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WM076-15 Leading Change in Healthcare

Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Sudakshina Lahiri
Credit value
Module duration
1 week
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

The landscape defining healthcare service delivery is undergoing rapid changes. While this has created unprecedented opportunities for providing high quality person-centred care, it also brings with it unique challenges on best ways to manage the changes that are redefining the service environment. Hence, leaders and managers must not only deal with changes that are redefining care delivery, equally important, they must anticipate trends that will lead to change; provide leadership in a work environment often characterized by unforeseen events that trigger change; find ways to address reactions and resistance to change while at the same time identify and harness the opportunities that arise from the change.
At times, they might even have to initiate change, develop a plan and communicate this to staff and other stakeholders, and oversee the implementation process so as to facilitate the intended impact.

Module aims
  1. Examine relevant evidence to develop an understanding on ways to respond to new challenges and uncertainties that can affect complex and highly distributed service organizations.
  2. Develop the self-awareness to be a leader of change by understanding leadership theories and gaining self-insight through experiential exercises of how change affects oneself and how to inspire change in others
  3. Understand and evaluate practical frameworks, tools and techniques in order to initiate and lead change, resolve conflicts and competing priorities in healthcare environments.
  4. Understand the sustainable impact of change on governance, ethics and values involving health services
  5. Analyze and synthesise critical evidence to enhance the effectiveness of change process to a given situation requiring interdependent decision making in the context of health service delivery
  6. Critically reflect how change processes affect organization wide improvement and performance.
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

    1. Leadership in the healthcare context of change, complexity and ambiguity
  1. Applying frameworks, models and tools for change in a healthcare environment

  2. Resolving conflict – values, discourse and dialogue

  3. Emotional responses to change in the care environment

  4. Embedding and sustaining change in healthcare contexts

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Articulate a comprehensive understanding of the different requirements for initiating change and describe how these could be implemented in selected scenarios involving complex health care organizations providing patient services
  • Demonstrate critical understanding of the impact of change on the design, economics, governance and ethical considerations surrounding the management of healthcare service delivery systems
  • Synthesize personal insights into the way that the personal past informs present and future actions, emotional and perceptions of change
  • Analyze critical evidence on tools, methods and insights to be effective leaders of change in healthcare environments
  • Systematically understand diverse concepts guiding change management and apply these in leadership situations in health care settings
  • Demonstrate critical understanding of existing theories and concepts involving change, and be able to apply these to new problems and scenarios in health service delivery
  • Critically evaluate suitability of factors necessary to initiate and manage change in health service and describe how these can be implemented in selected scenarios
Indicative reading list

Leading Change in Healthcare: Transforming Organizations Using Complexity, Positive Psychology
and Relationship-Centered Care. Anthony L. Suchman, MD MA, David J. Sluyter, EdD, & Penelope
R. Williamson, ScD, editors. ISBN-13: 978-1846194481 ISBN-10: 1846194482 Edition: 1st
Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. (2009). William Bridges. 3rd edition. Nicholas
Brealey Publishing. ISBN-10: 1857885414; ISBN-13: 9781857885415
Morjikian, R.L., Kimball, B. & Joynt, J. (2007). Leading Change: The Nurse Executive's Role in
Implementing New Care Delivery Models. Journal of Nursing Administration, Vol. (37)9: 399-404.
Rushmer, R., & Davies, H. (2004). Unlearning in healthcare: nature, importance and painful
lessons. Quality & Safety in Health Care, Vol. (13):10–15.
Greener, I. (2008). Decision making in a time of significant reform: managing in the National
Health Service. Administration and Society, Vol. (40)2: 194-210

Nicolini, D., Powell, J., Conville, P., Martinez-Solano, L. (2008). Managing knowledge in the
healthcare sector. International Journal of Management Review, Vol. (10):245–63.
Sheaffer, Z., Mano-Negrin, R. (2003). Executives’ orientations as indicators of crisis management
policies and practices. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. (40):573–606.
Anderson, R. A.; McDaniel, R. R. Jr. (2002). Managing Health Care Organizations: Where

Professionalism Meets Complexity Science. Health Care Management Review, Vol. 25(1): 83-92. Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management: Using AI to Facilitate Organizational Development - Sarah Lewis, Jonathan Passmore and Stefan Cantore Leading Change – Why Transformation efforts Fail. Kotter, HBR, Jan 2007 Accelerate – Kotter. HBR Nov 2012 Change Communications: Making the connections – Bill Quirke The Art of Possibility – Zander and Zander The three laws of Performance – Zaffron and Logan

Research element

This module incorporates elements of exploratory research, essence and importance of qualitative and procedural data, themes that arise from complex data and their interpretation surrounding quality improvement in the healthcare sector.


Healthcare operational management is a new emerging discipline that combines health science methodologies with engineering, statistics, quantitative elements of management with data science for quality and productivity improvement in the healthcare sector.

Subject specific skills

-Structuring healthcare system
-Psychology of change
-Organizational interdependencies
-Continuous improvement
-Ethics and values

Transferable skills

-Teamwork and collaboration
-Modelling complex decisions
-Translating information into operational strategies
-Complexity and ambiguity

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 25 sessions of 1 hour (17%)
Seminars 15 sessions of 1 hour (10%)
Practical classes (0%)
Assessment 110 hours (73%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

No private study requirements defined for this module.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Written Assignment 100% 110 hours

Single post module assignment comprised of two parts:
-Part-1 around 3000 words (65%)
-Part-2 around 1000 words (35%)

Feedback on assessment

Written feedback on post-module assignment.


This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of TWMS-B9AA Postgraduate Healthcare Operational Management