Leadership and management
Information and resources on various aspects of leadership and management. Explore the links below to learn more.
Approaches to leadership and managementOpen
While there are numerous theories about leadership and management, two distinguishing aspects have been identified. These are:
- transactional leadership: associated with tasks, meeting objectives, implementation of policy and the use of positional authority to get people to do what is required
- transformational leadership: associated with strategy, setting the vision, service transformation and a focus on the use of personal authority to facilitate sustainable change at both individual and organisational levels.
Leadership is concerned with developing a credible vision - being able to make sense of and communicate the bigger picture at a local level. This will have to be done while managing competing priorities, efficiency savings and relationships with partners. Whichever approach is used - transactional or transformational - leaders/managers will need to purposefully engage their workforce to move towards their organisation's objectives.
Leadership for personalisation and integrationOpen
Leadership and management are closely identified, since managers are expected to demonstrate leadership behaviours in the way they manage teams or services. The current policy context of social care, with its focus on transformation and personalisation, means that leadership and management are often indistinguishable. To see how leadership and management roles overlap, follow the link to page 23, Leadership for personalisation and social inclusion in mental health.
Personalisation is about giving people much more choice and control over their lives in all social care settings. It means addressing the needs and aspirations of whole communities to ensure that everyone has access to the right information to make informed choices about the support they need. Personalisation proposes that wellbeing is linked with social inclusion and active participation in civic society. It aims to achieve better outcomes for people who use services and carers.
In order to improve the quality, relevance and choice of services, government policy has been to involve service users and community representatives in leadership roles. This was clear in the Putting People First strategy and programme. Think local Act personal, next steps for transforming adult social care, continues by recognising the contribution that individuals, families, carers and communities make in providing care and support. It is the most current statement on how organisations will work together to make sure people have more choice and control over public services.
Currently, the health and social care landscape is undergoing major change. At the policy level, this may be seen in the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 and the Vision for Adult Social Care 2010. The emphasis is on joined-up structures and services integrating health and social care, involving the independent sector and local communities.
The challenge for leaders and managers will be for them to maintain the running of their business or their organisation while incorporating transformation and growth. This will need an understanding of the role of local government, the NHS, GPs, the independent sector and the local community.
The Health and Social Care Bill 2011
This Bill, if passed by Parliament, will have a major impact on health and social care in England as it proposes to:
- transfer responsibility for public health to local authorities
- establish Health and Wellbeing Boards
- introduce GP-led commissioning
- reform health and social care arm's length bodies.
The Bill's progress can be tracked on the parliamentary website.
Leadership and management role and skillsOpen
The role of the leader/manager is complex. Their tasks will depend on the context in which they find themselves (public/independent, commissioner/provider) as well as their position (frontline, strategic, senior level). The task of leadership and management is best understood in relation to organisations and the wider context with in which they sit. This includes the key policy, and the changing landscape due to mergers, acquisitions and other factors in health and social care. A starting place for this might be the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 or the Vision for Adult Social Care 2010 and supporting papers.
Effective leadership needs activity at all levels (strategic, operational and grassroots) to be grounded in:
- relationship building
- the development of shared values across systems
- the encouragement of creativity
- the capacity to influence others
- 'hosting' and facilitating energies rather than 'directing' them.
Skills for Care (the employer-led authority on training, standards and development in the sector) has identified a number of key leadership responsibilities for the social care sector. Leaders and managers in social care need to:
- have a vision that is informed by involving people who use services and other partners
- lead and support staff to work with people who use services and their carers to influence service developments
- take responsibility and be accountable for good social care and social work practice
- influence a wide range of stakeholders to promote a social model of care and its values
- be able to deal with the conflicts, tensions and shifting roles in managing social care services, taking account of individual and community needs.
- A manager's guide to developing strategic uses of national occupational standards (Skills for Care 2006),
- Local Government Improvement and Development hosts a range of support materials on local leadership for leaders working in local authorities.
- The Children's Workforce Development Council is completing work on the national occupational standards (NOS) and NVQs/SVQs for Leadership and Management for Care Services.
- What leaders and managers in adult social care do (Skills for Care 2008) ,
Organisational culture and learningOpen
What is a learning organisation?
'A learning organisation is one that is able to change its behaviours and mind-sets as a result of experience' (Mittleton-Kelly).
The concept of a learning organisation has been evolving in the past 35 years in an attempt to understand the key characteristics of successful companies and organisations. These are companies and organisations that are successful over time, in both the public and the private sectors.
Professor Mittleton-Kelly points out that 'many organisations refuse to acknowledge certain truths or facts and repeat dysfunctional behaviours over and again. Examples include the number of times restructuring initiatives are repeated because the previous attempt did not achieve the desired outcomes or the failure of mergers and acquisitions to meet initial objectives'.
The five key features of a learning organisation are identified as:
- organisational structure
- organisational culture
- information systems
- human resources practices
(Iles and Sutherland 2001).
To find out more about this, see SCIE Resource Pack: Learning organisations.
Governance is about organisations and the people within them taking responsibility for their actions. Therefore, establishing accountability and ownership is critical. Good governance is needed to maintain quality within a diversified landscape. The Good governance standard for public services published by the Audit Commission can be seen by following the link. Leaders have the responsibility for creating a culture within their organisation that encourages open learning and sharing, learning from mistakes and continual improvement. Tools such as the systems model for conducting multi-agency serious case reviews encourage an organisational culture of examining risk and sharing responsibility between agencies without apportioning blame to individuals.
SCIE's Somerset workbook on social care governance (2011) provides a framework for making sure that social care delivers a good service (good practice, appropriate structures, effective and productive working) through recognising accountability, and acting on lessons learnt to achieve the best possible outcomes for people who use services. Leaders/managers may wish to consider this framework to transform their organisations into learning organisations able to thrive in a changing landscape while still maintaining their core values and objectives.
Training and development for leaders and managersOpen
Research indicates that there is a strong relationship between the systematic implementation of leadership development and increased organisational performance. Leadership development and improvement in social care have therefore been the focus of a number of national initiatives. The National Skills Academy for Social Care (NSASC) has been given the lead role in developing leadership and management in the social care sector. It was set up by employers to transform the quality of leadership and management in the social care sector at all levels and to raise the profile and capability of social care leadership.
The Academy has developed a series of leadership and management programmes that address leadership needs at different levels of the workforce. These include:
- a National Management Trainee Scheme for graduates
- a Leadership in the Frontline programme for first-time social care managers and new leaders
- an Aspiring Leaders programme for managers working towards senior management
- a management scheme for personal employers
- a coaching and mentoring register and training.
Further programmes are expected:
- a leadership programme for middle managers: middle managers are frequently the most critical link in organisations between corporate policy and frontline delivery, and yet are also likely to feel that they are hard-pressed and unsupported
- leadership expertise for social work managers: the Skills Academy for Social Care is working with Skills for Care on a training and support programme for frontline social work managers.
Employers and education establishments are organising themselves into consortiums regionally and locally to deliver programmes for leaders and managers within their area. You will need to contact your local area to find out more.
Key additional resourcesOpen
- Search Social Care online for information on managers and staff development.
- ACAS website: this contains a wide range of resources on leadership and management practice, for example on communication, consultation, engagement and leadership, and its advisory booklet on frontline managers.
- Adair, J. (1997) Leadership skills, London: CIPD.
- Snell, P. (2009) Coaching and effective leaders, The Guardian, 2 December- an article on using coaching for effective leadership.
- SCIE (2009) Leading practice, London: SCIE. This is a free training resource for frontline managers and includes a section on supervision and one on team leading.
- Maclean, S. and Shiner, M. (2009) Leadership in adult care services: Understanding the policyframework, Rugeley: Kirwin Maclean Associates. There is also a one on children's services.
- Leadership & Management (Business Balls website).
- Skills for Care (2008) Leadership and management: A strategy for the social care workforce update, Leeds: Skills for Care.
- Allen, R., Gilbert, P. and Onyett, S. (2009) Leadership for personalisation and social inclusion in mental health, London: SCIE.
- Local leadership; to be found on the Local Government Improvement and Development website.
- CIPD (2007) Learning and the line: The role of the line manager in training, learning and development, London: CIPD.
- Strengthening leadership and management across the workforce located on the Children's Workforce Development Council website.
- Top tips for better management; (ACAS website).This document helps you to understand the business case for better management. You can also consult a list of practical resources.