Topic 2

The course has examined the issue of the expected ‘leadership gap’ in healthcare as we consider the next 10 to 20 years.    Prepare a research paper that examines this critical issue and what can be done to prevent it from happening.  Your paper should address such questions as:


  1. Why is a healthcare leadership gap expected?
  2. What are some of the approaches recommended for addressing the leadership gap?
  3. Provide an analysis of at least three approaches to addressing the gap and based on the concepts of leadership we have reviewed what approach(es) hold the greatest hope for success?

Research Paper Considerations:

Your research paper is not to exceed 2500 words excluding the title page and references.   While the questions provided can help guide the organization of the paper is not to be in Q&A format.  You are to use APA style for references.  Sub-headings are acceptable.  At least 5 peer reviewed articles (beyond course readings) are to be cited. HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP GAP ESSAY EXAMPLE.

Use a 12 point font (Times Roman, Calibri or Arial preferred).  Spacing should be 1.5 and 1” margins on all sides.


The healthcare sector is lately undergoing rapid and significant changes, with dramatic changes yet to be experienced. In an ever changing and challenging environment, all providers of healthcare services must ensure that they uphold high levels of professional and technical expertise. In addition, they must seek to develop leadership capacities required to adapt and succeed in future. In the coming years, leadership gap in healthcare is expected. Advances in technology, changing demographics, new business models, new standards of care and a growing population are some of the expected phenomena that that will ultimately impact on healthcare services. For this reason therefore, healthcare organizations need to have leadership talents needed to set direction and create alignment while gaining commitment among partners, employees and stakeholders in their quest to provide safe and high quality patient services. HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP GAP ESSAY EXAMPLE.

Why healthcare leadership gaps are expected

Healthcare leadership gaps are imminent problems that many countries across the globe are facing while others are expected to face in the near future. In fact, it is argued that many important sectors of the economy face leadership gaps. Globally, there are instances of insufficient leadership skills required to propel organization and companies to their highest levels. In Australia for instance, technological innovations, new forms of treatment, constant demand for health services and new regulations are lately being witnessed. However, there is a problem. Just like many other parts of the world, its healthcare system is leadership deficient (Keenan, Galloway, Bickerstaff &McAlinden, 2014). Leadership gaps are expected as effective units of leaders capable of pursuing an overarching goal meant to improve the livelihoods of the citizens are lacking.

Healthcare systems across many parts of the world are a complete failure. Majority of them need to undergo rapid changes or risk being pushed out of the market by those who uphold competent leadership styles. In Canada for instance, its healthcare systems has been blamed for lacking effective leadership (Goldberg & Page, 2006). A report released by Roy Romanow painted a grim picture on Canadian health system arguing that the real deficit in the system is leadership. Even though several governments across the world such as the USA, UK and Canada amongst others have pumped millions of money at its healthcare systems, not much can be said to have been implemented leaving the healthcare systems in teeters (Goldberg & Page, 2006). HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP GAP ESSAY EXAMPLE.

According to Romanow’s landmark report certain aspects within several healthcare systems across the world exist that really inhibit healthcare provision. For instance, the waiting times for patient treatment have grown longer while emergency rooms are packed to the extent of overflowing. One thing is therefore evident and the real deficit in the said system is deficit in leadership. Leadership gap is a global phenomenon that seems to be troubling a lot of companies and organizations. As earlier postulated, healthcare system providers have not been spared at all. A painful vacuum looms as professional healthcare executives retire without preparing a new generation of leaders that will ensure that the healthcare system survives while providing excellent healthcare services to patients (Putre, 2014). According to Putre (2014), majority of health care organizations across the universe do have alarmingly feeble strategies or methods of identifying future leaders.

In a survey conducted in 2012 by Witt and Keiffer recruiting firm, it was reported that up to 52 % of the CEOs in health care said that they knew no one who was ready in the organization to fill their role in case of retirement or other unforeseen issues (Putre, 2014). In so far as these statistics indicate, there is an urgent need to address the issue of leader capability. Relying on past leadership styles as a means of solving modern day challenges erodes the ability to adapt and thrive. As earlier indicated, majority of healthcare CEOs are nearing retirement and this aspect has left the industry executives in worry as there seems to be insufficient talent pipeline necessary to meet leadership needs (Keenan, Galloway, Bickerstaff &McAlinden, 2014). HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP GAP ESSAY EXAMPLE.

Further surveys carried out by Witt/Kieffer indicated that less than 40 percent of CEOs in the healthcare sector have worked with their board on matters to do with developing a formal succession plan while as few as one-third of them have mentored a successor (Caramenico, 2013). With that in mind then, hospitals and other healthcare providers need to implement some approaches or leadership succession plan that identifies and develop leaders early enough rather than outsourcing for talent. Such a plan or strategy would not only ensure that competent and qualified leaders are in place but also save a lot of money. According to Caramenico (2013), another survey conducted in hospitals across the USA, it was noted that it really costs hospitals and other providers of health care services less money to develop and retain in-house leaders than hiring or outsourcing new managers. In addition, hospitals that don’t train leaders end up spending four times more than those who emphasize on leadership development.

`           As indicated above therefore, there is need to address such leadership gaps. Not all is lost though. There are several approaches put across by a wide range of scholars that can be used to address leadership gaps that exist in healthcare systems. First among the many approaches put across in leadership development in the healthcare sector is the need to improve the ability of leading employees and making them work in teams or groups. Leaders in healthcare organizations or institutions need to develop some sort of participative style of management that enables employees build relationships while creating a culture of collaboration so that employees problems can be solved effectively hence making healthcare institutions competent (Caramenico, 2013).

Approaches necessary for addressing leadership gaps

To bridge the gap of deficient leadership in healthcare, such institutions should seek to create or formulate strategies that ensure current and future leaders undergo learning and necessary experience needed in healthcare sector. As postulated before, it is evident that healthcare leaders have gaps in a number of areas that are essential for long-term success. This may include aspects such as possessing a broad functional orientation, career management and self awareness (Caramenico, 2013). By healthcare institutions making sure that they offer organizational training and development, coaching and individual feedback amongst others, the gaps that do exist will be greatly addressed. HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP GAP ESSAY EXAMPLE

As we may know, change is inevitable and for this reason, healthcare leaders need to adapt to change for purposes of meeting the business objectives of the firm. Responding and adapting to change allows healthcare firms to achieve greater stability and safety (Caramenico, 2013). Healthcare leaders need to be fast learners, resourceful, straightforward and composed amongst others in order to meet the demands of the customers while reducing the gap that previously existed (Basch, 2011). Without adapting to modern day demands of customers and the healthcare industry as a whole, gaps in the system are bound to be witnessed hence causing more harm than good.

Goal definition is another important approach that can be employed for purposes of addressing the gaps that may exist in healthcare. In fact, one of the first steps in solving a problem is defining a proper goal. Efforts to address the gaps in healthcare have been hampered by lack of clarity about the goal to be reached at (Caramenico, 2013). Today, healthcare providers seem to have lost the plot. Increasing profit margins while trying to reduce or contain running costs is one of the pillars that some healthcare providers are focusing on. Instances of leadership are seldom mentioned.

By being resourceful in nature, leadership gaps are greatly reduced. Healthcare institutions need to cultivate a culture of resourcefulness that ensures that its current and future leaders have the ability to think strategically and make good decisions while working under pressure. They need to ensure that such persons can come up with complex work systems while participating in problem solving behavior able to address complexities of the job (Sebastian, 2015).

Another notable approach that can be used to address the constant leadership gaps that majority of healthcare firms face is the ability of leaders in place to build relationships (Davis-Ajami, Costa & Kulik, 2014). By knowing how to build and maintain working relationships with external parties and coworkers, gaps in leadership are greatly reduced. Building relationships go deeper into ensuring that one can negotiate and handle challenges of work without alienating people (Basch, 2011).

Approaches to closing the gaps in healthcare

            In so far as the above are concerned, there is an urgent need to close the gap in healthcare. Healthcare organizations that seek to invest in their leaders must ensure that organizational needs, system-wide leadership capability and individual leader development amongst others are put in practice (Sebastian, 2015). A healthcare firm should be able to conduct gap analysis mechanisms to determine areas of difficulty and what can be done to solve the problem. The following are some of the approaches that can be employed to address the gap.

The first approach or step is to identify and classify the problem. This should be the first step that healthcare firms need to put in mind in so far as addressing healthcare gape is concerned. This early stage involves classifying the gap by domain and perspective and determining the time frame and the model needed for analysis (Davis-Ajami, Costa & Kulik, 2014). By ensuring such, leaders acquire a clear understanding of the information that they need to help get a clear picture of organizational structure, process and other outcomes that are related to the gap hence being able to investigate them and know how to solve them. By classifying or arranging the problem into the main domain one is able to focus on the underlying issues hence guiding in gap analysis (Davis-Ajami, Costa & Kulik, 2014). HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP GAP ESSAY EXAMPLE

Secondly, to help address the gap in healthcare, there is need to identify and define the best practice in place. This process begins after the assumed gap has been classified under the main domain as earlier indicated. Defining the best practices encompasses reviewing some legal and regulatory expectations required in healthcare industry. Under this, best practices are identified, reviewed, coded and mapped hence solving the gap under review. It is at this stage that expectations and performance standards are framed with necessary perspective and a specific aspect associated with the gap (Davis-Ajami, Costa & Kulik, 2014).

Measuring and benchmarking comes in the third approach that is used in solving certain gaps in healthcare. This involves measuring how close a given healthcare institution deals in meeting benchmarks based on evidence. Here, various tools are used to measure certain gaps against standards. Current practices are compared with one of the best practices in place in a comprehensive manner while trying to understand or come up with the best overall practice which are later identified, codifies, benchmarked and reviewed. If the best practice is achieved, it is immediately adopted and if not, the reason is clearly stated (Davis-Ajami, Costa & Kulik, 2014).

In view of the above therefore, there are certain leadership styles that do offer or hold greatest hopes for success. First, participative management or leadership style should be highly encouraged. This is one of the approaches that hold or promise for high levels of success. Strong leaders should use participative management where everyone in the organization is involved in various aspects such as decision making. Leaders in the healthcare sector who value participative management encourage others to share ideas, reactions, perspectives and information while making sure that they listen to them. A leader should communicate well while keeping his or her employees informed not forgetting to involve them in changes that may need to be undertaken at one given time. Without forgetting, leadership gap can be can be greatly minimized in the healthcare sector if the leader pays attention to multiple perspectives (Sebastian, 2015).

Secondly, the ability to lead employees is another approach that can be used to address the gap in healthcare. This is a highly variable skill that requires strong self awareness and interpersonal skills. Apart from being skilled directors and motivators, leaders and executives who are effective in leading their employees will at one point invest in others. As said, this is one of the best approaches that if used, it can be a success in reducing or completely eradicating healthcare gaps. In leading employees too, leaders ensure that they push the decision making process to cover everybody in the organization so as to promote employee confidence influencing their ability to take action (Azar & Aisabar, 2015). Such leaders ensure that they coach employees constantly while providing them with challenging opportunities for them to solve. With such a mindset, skilled leaders ensure that they are able to attract talented and productive people to the organization hence helping address the gap that may be in place (Azar & Aisabar, 2015).

Third, collaborative leadership may come in handy as one of the methods that may bring about success in addressing certain gaps healthcare. Collaboration is a successful process that happens when individuals are encouraged to work together towards mutual benefit of all. Collaborative healthcare leadership calls for synergy in the work environment hence bringing out outcomes that are greater than individual efforts put together. Leaders need to be at the forefront and the first one to model collaborative behavior while working towards raising the levels of motivation and promote interdependency among different healthcare practitioners (Azar & Aisabar, 2015).


In short, healthcare systems across many countries in the universe have huge leadership gaps that need urgent attention. With majority of healthcare practitioners retiring without passing over necessary leadership skills to those who should come in after them, a good number of healthcare facilities face a bleak future. The acute shortage of competent leaders in healthcare is a worrying trend. Lack of qualified personnel who understand the basic and core requirements of leadership skills in one of the most basic institutions is an issue that cannot be ignored anymore. Healthcare is an important aspect of the society. A healthy population means a productive country. However, if leadership gaps are overlooked in the healthcare sector, such an institution may degenerate to poor levels never imagined before. There is an urgent need to ensure leadership gaps in health sector are completely eradicated by coming up with modern solutions to modern problems. Such include training, coaching and educating current and future leaders entitled with overseeing this very important sector. HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP GAP ESSAY EXAMPLE



Azar, F. E., & Asiabar, A. S. (2015). Does leadership effectiveness correlates with leadership styles in healthcare executives of Iran University of Medical Sciences. Medical Journal Of The Islamic Republic Of Iran, 291-5.

Basch, C. E. (2011). Healthier Students Are Better Learners: High-Quality, Strategically Planned, and Effectively Coordinated School Health Programs Must Be a Fundamental Mission of Schools to Help Close the Achievement Gap. Journal Of School Health, 81(10), 650-662.

Caramenico, A. (2013). Bridging the generation gap in healthcare leadership. Retrieved from

Davis-Ajami, M. L., Costa, L., & Kulik, S. (2014). Gap Analysis: Synergies And Opportunities for Effective Nursing Leadership. Nursing Economic$, 32(1), 17-25.

Goldberg, R., & Page, E. (2006). Opinions: The Leadership Gap in Healthcare – The True Deficit. Healthcare Quarterly, 9(1) January 2006: 9-10.doi:10.12927/hcq.2006.20364

Sebastian, A. (2015). Raising the Bar for Health Leadership in Australia. Asia Pacific Journal Of Health Management, 10(3), SI47-SI50.

Keenan, C., Galloway, J., Bickerstaff, L., McAlinden, F., Workman, B., & Redley, B. (2014). Integrated Leadership Capability: building a model for today and tomorrow. Asia Pacific Journal Of Health Management, 9(3), 19-23.

Putre, E. (2014). The Global Leadership Gap. Retrieved from HEALTHCARE LEADERSHIP GAP ESSAY EXAMPLE

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