Key competencies, skills, and attributes required of leaders in the residential aged care services

OToole, J 2018, Key competencies, skills, and attributes required of leaders in the residential aged care services, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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OToole.pdf Thesis application/pdf 3.17MB
Title Key competencies, skills, and attributes required of leaders in the residential aged care services
Author(s) OToole, J
Year 2018
Abstract "Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth." Burns (1978 p.2)

"We need to recognise and plan for this increased need for health service provision. This is an urgent and critical challenge for Australia: if we don't provide properly for aged care, we will have a human rights disaster on our hands." Susan Ryan, Age Discrimination Commissioner (2014)

This thesis focuses on the skills and attributes required by Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and senior staff as leaders and managers in the residential aged care services (RACS) sector. It makes a significant contribution to this field of inquiry by utilising original research to examine the capabilities needed to meet the challenges faced within this industry sector.

The sector is beset by many complexities that are characterised by four main issues. Firstly, the need for effective leadership is essential. Prominent theorists claim that a paucity of research has been conducted regarding leadership in RACS. The second issue relates to demographic complications related to Australia's ageing population and workforce and the increasing demand for quality services and staff within budgetary and other constraints. The third issue involves the intricacies of government policies that are an added obstacle. Fourthly, RACS are affected by major complications regarding human resource management (HRM) issues, including poor working conditions and complexities recruitment, attraction and retention.

This study employs a qualitative research methodology, underpinned by constructivism and thematic analysis. In-depth interviews with eighteen CEOs and senior managers within the RACS explored the nature of leadership within the sector, identified key leadership capabilities and investigated the potential HRM strategies that could be developed to address the sector's needs.

Based on the research, this thesis provides a detailed understanding of what skills and competencies are required of leaders to be successful in RACS and what the major constraints and factors that impact on their ability to utilise these attributes effectively.  The thesis argues that there is an urgent need for Australia to develop a rigorously evaluated and strategically integrated national policy approach to the aged care health workforce.  Strategies are needed to enhance working conditions, improve leadership and facilitate workforce innovation. A key component of these strategies is the need for qualified, skilled and dedicated leaders within the RACS who exhibit and implement the complex skills, competencies and attributes found by this research to be essential to successful aged care leadership.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Subjects Nanoelectronics
Functional Materials
Keyword(s) Leadership
Residential Aged Care
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Created: Thu, 30 May 2019, 09:49:11 EST by Adam Rivett
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