Leadership and organisational outcomes in healthcare

  • Thomas West

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This research examined to what extent and how leadership is related to organisational outcomes in healthcare. Based on the Job Demands-Resource model, a set of hypotheses was developed, which predicted that the effect of leadership on healthcare outcomes would be mediated by job design, employee engagement, work pressure, opportunity for involvement, and work-life balance. The research focused on the National Health Service (NHS) in England,
and examined the relationships between senior leadership, first line supervisory leadership and outcomes. Three years of data (2008 – 2010) were gathered from four data sources: the NHS National Staff Survey, the NHS Inpatient Survey, the NHS Electronic Record, and the NHS Information Centre. The data were drawn from 390 healthcare organisations and over 285,000 staff annually for each of the three years. Parallel mediation regressions modelled both cross
sectional and longitudinal designs. The findings revealed strong relationships between senior leadership and supervisor support respectively and job design, engagement, opportunity for involvement, and work-life balance, while senior leadership was also associated with work pressure. Except for job design, there were significant relationships between the mediating variables and the outcomes of patient satisfaction, employee job satisfaction, absenteeism, and
turnover. Relative importance analysis showed that senior leadership accounted for significantly more variance in relationships with outcomes than supervisor support in the majority of models tested. Results are discussed in relation to theoretical and practical contributions. They suggest that leadership plays a significant role in organisational outcomes in healthcare and that previous research may have underestimated how influential senior leaders may be in relation to these outcomes. Moreover, the research suggests that leaders in healthcare may influence outcomes by the way they manage the work pressure, engagement, opportunity for involvement and work-life balance of those they lead.
Date of Award2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJudith W Scully (Supervisor) & Yves R Guillaume (Supervisor)


  • senior leadership
  • supervisor support
  • patient satisfaction
  • absenteeism
  • turnover
  • job satisfaction

Cite this