the effect of leadership on research use
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The Effect of Leadership on Research Use. Sue Dopson KU05 Melbourne. Volume of research. (a) Books in the US Library of Congress 1896 – 0 Books 1981 – 5000+ (b) 10 Journal Articles per day. Leadership and management.

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Volume of research

  • (a) Books in the US Library of Congress
  • 1896 – 0 Books
  • 1981 – 5000+
  • (b) 10 Journal Articles per day

Leadership and management

  • ‘Management’: via Latin ‘Manus’ – hand and Italian ‘Maneggiare’ to control, especially horses
  • Working the Land (especially manuring)
  • Use of a contrivance to effect some purpose
  • Administrative skill
  • Indulgence
  • Addicted to scheming
  • Governing Body

Leadership and management

  • Leadership via Old German ‘Lidan’ to go and Old English ‘Lithan’ to travel
  • To show the way, to guide
  • To cause to act, think, feel or behave in a certain way
  • To initiate the action
  • To go at the head
  • The principal role

“…there are almost as many definitions

of leadership as there are persons who

have attempted to define the concept.”

Stogdill, 1974, p259


Leadership may be considered as the process (act) of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts toward goal setting and goal achievement (Stogdill, 1950, p3)

  • Leadership is a process of influence between a leader and those who are followers (Hollander, 1978, p1)
  • Leadership…is the behaviour of an individual when he/she is
  • directing the activities of a group toward a shared goal
  • (Hemphill and Coons, 1957, p7)
  • The statement, ‘a leader tries to influence other people in a given direction’ is relatively simple, but it seems to capture the essence of what we mean by leadership…
  • (Korman, 1971, p115)
  • ‘Leadership’ is defined as the process of influencing the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement.
  • (Rauch and Behling, 1984, p46)
core models



Transformational and Transactional

Complexity Theory


Core models
leadership research findings
A. Fiedler and House 1998

‘well-established conclusions about leadership which ….. constitute important contributions to our knowledge’

1. Two categories of leader behaviour - interpersonal relations/task accomplishment

2. No one ideal leader personality

3. Different situations require different leader behaviour

4. Intellectual abilities contribute to performance only under selected conditions

5. Charismatic or transformational leadership is not a mysterious process, but is the result of clearly identifiable behaviours

B. Quinn 1984

‘Despite the immense investment in the enterprise, researchers have become increasingly disenchanted with the field. The seemingly endless display of unconnected empirical investigations is bewildering as well as frustrating’

Leadership research - findings


  • Leadership is one piece of a locally unique
  • jigsaw
  • Whatever the exact mechanism by which opinion
  • leaders exert influence, their support,
  • particularly in the early stages, was perceived as
  • helpful
  • Importance of selecting opinion leaders

Technical expert Peer

Formal leadership Informal leadership

Supportive Hostile

Committed Ambivalent

Corporate Industrialised

Enthusiastic Disaffected

Optimistic Cynical

Leading by instruction Leading by example

Conformist Deviant

Professional/ Executive/

technical management


Difference opinion leaders for different stages – the peer and the expert

Expert:‘Where the evidence is that strong, people do take it on board.

They’re just glad when someone who knows what he’s talking

about says “look, the evidence is this, just do it”

Peer:‘They (GP opinion leaders) gave it credibility. The fact that a

leading one of their number had already thought about it and that they could trust him, that was very important. Otherwise I think they’re very sceptical because they can’t trust other sources’

‘He was vital because of his on-take responsibilities. (The other physicians) were the champions, but everybody disregarded them precisely because they were champions. The views of the general on-take physician carried more weight with general colleagues’


The importance of a spectrum of involvement,

  • from expert academics through expert clinicians
  • to peer clinical opinion leaders
  • The dangers of:
  • strong leaders
  • ambivalent opinion leader
  • resistant opinion leaders
relevant findings to the issue of leadership impact on research use
Robust evidence is not enough to facilitate diffusion

Evidence is differentially available for different professions

Other sources of evidence are important

Professional boundaries inhibit knowledge diffusion

Relevant findings to the issue of leadership impact on research use
Key individuals in leadership roles

are able to influence and stimulate

innovation pathways actively.

Leaders need to:

Appreciate the complexities of context and its processual and historical character;

Foster a supportive organisational culture;

Ensure good quality relationships within and between groups;

Provide opportunities to share information and ideas within a local context; and

Foster organisational innovations to improve interchanges between groups

“Our languages are constructed in such a way that we can often only express constant movement or constant change, in ways which imply that it has the character of an isolated object at rest, and then, almost as an afterthought, adding a verb which expresses the fact that the thing with this character is now changing…We say ‘the wind is blowing’, as if the wind were actually a thing at rest, which, at a given point in time, begins to move and blow. We speak as if the wind was separate from its blowing, as if a wind could exist which did not blow. And this reduction of processes to static conditions, which we shall call “process reduction”, for short, appears self-explanatory to people who have grown up with such language. (Elias, 1970, pp.111-12)
sir geoffrey vickers

Victoria Cross, Classics at Oxford, City Solicitor, Director of Economic Intelligence, Board of National Coal Board (800,000 employees)

Para-academic, prolific writer, Visiting Professor at Lancaster University, aged 85

Sir Geoffrey Vickers

Approach‘I have spent my life in practising the law and helping to administer public and private affairs; and I have thus had opportunity to observe and take part in the making of policy. The more I have seen of this, the more insistent has been the challenge to understand it both as a mental activity and as a social process, for it seems strange and dangerous that something so familiar and apparently important should remain so obscure. My enquiry into it has led me further than I expected. I have had to question sciences in which I am not professionally qualified and sometimes to supply my own answers, when theirs seemed ambiguous, inconsistent or absent. I present the result with humility but without apology. Even the dogs may eat of the crumbs which fall from the rich man’s table; and in these days, when the rich in knowledge eat such specialised food at such separate tables, only the dogs have a chance of a balanced diet’.