Potential challenges facing distributed leadership in health care: evidence from the UK National Health Service

This article was published in Sociology of Health and Illness. First published online on 20 DEC 2014 and written by Graeme MartinNic BeechRobert MacIntosh and Stacey Bushfield.    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12171

The discourse of leaderism in health care has been a subject of much academic and practical debate. Recently, distributed leadership (DL) has been adopted as a key strand of policy in the UK National Health Service (NHS).  However, there is some confusion over the meaning of DL and uncertainty over its application to clinical and non-clinical staff. This article examines the potential for DL in the NHS by drawing on qualitative data from three co-located health-care organisations that embraced DL as part of their organisational strategy.