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Week 5: Behavioral/Style Perspective to Leadership

There is a common phrase, “actions speak louder than words.” You may or may not have heard of this, but it is an interesting phrase to contemplate as a future public health leader. It is almost incumbent upon leaders to possess excellent communication skills so they may clearly articulate thoughts and information. Consider for a moment a public health leader who motivated a group of people to change something about their behavior in order to improve their overall health. If the public health leader communicated effectively, the group of people might consider this change, positioning this leader as an authority on the subject and leader in social change. But what if this leader, who spoke so eloquently, behaved in a manner that contradicts everything he or she said. Would the perception of the group of people be the same? Consider a similar scenario of a leader who manages public health programs, initiatives, and people. What if they speak the right words, but their actions are contradictory? Is that person still considered an effective leader?

This week, you continue your understanding and analysis of leadership perspectives with behavioral perspective. In your review of this leadership perspective, you analyze strengths and limitations in this perspective within public health leadership.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Nahavandi, A. (2014).
The art and science of leadership (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

  • Chapter 3, “The Foundations of Modern Leadership”
  • Chapter 9, “Leading Change”

Blake, R. R., Mouton, J. S., Barnes, L. B., & Greiner, L. E. (1964). Breakthrough in organization development. Harvard Business Review, 42(6) 133-155.

Borkowski, N., Deckard, G., Weber, M., Padron, L.A., & Luongo, S. (2011). Leadership development initiatives underlie individual and system performance in a US public healthcare delivery system, Leadership in Health Services, 24(4), 268 – 280.

Derue, D. S., Nahrgang, J. D., Wellman, N., & Humphrey, S. E. (2011). Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: An integration and meta-analytic test of their relative validity. Personnel Psychology, 64(1), 7-52.

Salmela, S., Eriksson, K., & Fagerström, L. (2012). Leading change: A three-dimensional model of nurse leaders’ main tasks and roles during a change process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68(2), 423-433.

Walden Writing Center. (2011). Writing a problem statement. Retrieved from
http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/researchcenter/o…

Walden University: Online Writing Center. (2011). Literature reviews. Retrieved from
http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/as…


Discussion: Behavioral/Style Perspective to Leadership

In the early 20th century, rural areas of China experienced deplorable health conditions. Due to extreme poverty and lack of access to adequate medical care, nearly 80% of China’s population, the percentage living in rural areas, teetered on the verge of death. In an attempt to solve the public health crisis, the Chinese government commissioned doctors, known as “barefoot doctors.” These doctors used specific behaviors that connected to and were understood by residents in the community. With specific behaviors that shaped a style of leadership, these doctors educated rural residents on basic healthcare practices. Although “barefoot,” these doctors projected a wealth of knowledge, leading others to better health and a better way of life (Valentine, 2005).

For this Discussion, select an article depicting a behavioral perspective to public health leadership. Think about particular strengths and limitations of this perspective. Consider how this perspective relates to Trait Theory of leadership.

By Day 3

Post a brief explanation of the behavioral perspective reflected in the article you selected. Then explain the strengths and limitations of this perspective. Finally, explain how this perspective you selected relates to both Trait Theory and the Skills Approach.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.