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Examining Commissioners' Leadership Behaviour

Authors: Peter Bohan and Graeme Mitchell

Clinical Commissioning groups (CCGs) are meant to be leading the development of healthcare across England and control about two thirds of the NHS England budget. But what really goes on inside these important bodies and are they capable of offering local NHS services the necessary leadership? This fascinating study suggests there may be some profound problems that will need to be addressed.

Through careful analysis this research identifies that the dominant leadership by commissioners was transactional, rather than transformational. However a questionnaire to subordinates of commissioners suggested that transformational leadership had the best outcome on staff performance, if this was linked to a positive leadership style. Furthermore, commissioners seemed to lack consistency when analysing risks effectively and holding providers to account, citing issues such as ‘professional drift’ and concerns over further scrutiny, as validation for this approach. This confusion of leadership behaviours, allied with poor analysis of risk leaves commissioners prone to repeating previous healthcare failures.


The publisher is the British Journal of Healthcare Management.

Examining Commissioners' Leadership Behaviour © Peter Bohan and Graeme Mitchell 2015.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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