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Leadership clarity and team innovation in health care

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Michael West
  • Carol S Borrill
  • Jeremy F Dawson
  • Felix Brodbeck
  • David A Shapiro
  • Bob Haward
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2003
<mark>Journal</mark>The Leadership Quarterly
Issue number4-5
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)393-410
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The relationships among leadershipclarity (i.e., team members' consensual perceptions of clarity of and no conflict over leadership of their teams), team processes, and innovation were examined in healthcare contexts. The sample comprised 3447 respondents from 98 primary healthcareteams (PHCTs), 113 community mental healthteams (CMHTs), and 72 breast cancer careteams (BCTs). The results revealed that leadershipclarity is associated with clear team objectives, high levels of participation, commitment to excellence, and support for innovation. Team processes consistently predicted teaminnovation across all three samples. Teamleadership predicted innovation in the latter two samples, and there was some evidence that team processes partly mediated this relationship. The results imply the need for theory that incorporates clarity and not just style of leadership. For healthcareteams in particular, and teams in general, the results suggest a need to ensure leadership is clear in teams when innovation is a desirable team performance outcome.