Leadership clarity and team innovation in health care

Michael A. West*, Carol S. Borrill, Jeremy F. Dawson, Felix C. Brodbeck, David A. Shapiro, Robert Haward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationships among leadership clarity (i.e., team members' consensual perceptions of clarity of and no conflict over leadership of their teams), team processes, and innovation were examined in health care contexts. The sample comprised 3447 respondents from 98 primary health care teams (PHCTs), 113 community mental health teams (CMHTs), and 72 breast cancer care teams (BCTs). The results revealed that leadership clarity is associated with clear team objectives, high levels of participation, commitment to excellence, and support for innovation. Team processes consistently predicted team innovation across all three samples. Team leadership predicted innovation in the latter two samples, and there was some evidence that team processes partly mediated this relationship. The results imply the need for theory that incorporates clarity and not just style of leadership. For health care teams in particular, and teams in general, the results suggest a need to ensure leadership is clear in teams when innovation is a desirable team performance outcome. © 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-410
Number of pages18
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Leadership clarity and team innovation in health care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this