The enactment of dynamic leadership

David Greenfield*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine how clinical team leadership can facilitate a collaborative team and, in doing so, drive change in a health service. Design/methodology/approach Ethnographic field work was conducted with a clinical team, comprised of 13 health professionals, in community health, in Sydney Australia. Utilising semi-structured interviews, data were collected and then analysed using Goleman's leadership typology as an analytic lens. Findings Leadership can facilitate a team to realise high levels of collaboration, trust and respect. This creates an environment in which collective learning and increased responsibility thrives. Together, these elements enable front-line staff to take ownership of their services, to integrate the organising and delivery of services, and, in doing so, improve health care practice. Research limitations/implications The leadership empirically observed here confirms qualities, behaviours and approaches that have been argued as important in the literature. Practical implications For health professionals in a clinical team leadership role Goleman's typology can be instructive. Many leaders in complex health care organisations are engaged in, and needing to respond to, unfolding situations to ensure positive improvement. At such times the typology offers a range of leadership styles to draw upon. Originality/value The application of the typology to health care clinical team leadership is a new development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalLeadership in Health Services
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Change management
  • Health services
  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Trust


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