Healthcare leadership focuses on interactions between values, capabilities and the organizational context (Stefl & Bontempo, 2008). Leaders ensure organizational progress in the changing healthcare environment by balancing power, authority, and influence.
Power is the ability of a leader to influence individuals or groups work towards achieving a common goal. Power is vested in individuals with experience, education, character, and wisdom (Maner & Case, 2013). Abuse of power in leadership lowers morale, creates turnovers, and incurs grievances lowering quality of services in an organization. Failure to use power leaders are entrusted with creates anxiety and confusion in workplaces leading to junior employees feeling helpless. An example application of power is when leaders decide recognition of task allocation amongst staff to affect service delivery.
Influence occurs when individuals or groups of people are impacted by someone’s character. To influence people, you must have the ability to effectively apply power sources by organization culture because it implies voluntary submission. Sources of influence are individual characteristics, expertise, and opportunities. Abuse of influence in healthcare diminishes patients’ satisfaction when used to organize boycotts to push for collective bargaining agreements and other demands in healthcare.
A person is said to have authority when they are given specific power by individuals or group. According to Al-Sawai (2013), authority is a power subset involving involuntary submission by subordinates. Abuse of authority in health-care appears to be like bullying, causing stress-related problems to junior employees lowering quality of services
Al-Sawai, A. (2013). Leadership of healthcare professionals: where do we stand? Oman medical journal, 28(4), 285.
Maner, J. K., & Case, C. R. (2013). The essential tension between leadership and power. American Psychological Association.
Stefl, M. E., & Bontempo, C. A. (2008). Common competencies for all healthcare managers: The healthcare leadership alliance model. Journal of healthcare management, 53(6), 360.