Leadership,Globalization, and Cultural Change in the Healthcare

Leadership,Globalization, and Cultural Change in the Healthcare

Healthissues that have impacted the U.S. Health care system

Today, ahealthcare leader must think globally, as well as, attempt toovercome the disparities existing in a healthcare system. Theexisting systems do not include all the elements of patients thus,the need for a leader to think of patients in a diverse manner. Inaddition, the world continues to experience population change andincreased chronic diseases. As such, population construct changes,increased chronic diseases, and changing healthcare systems havedeveloped as the main issues related to cultural change,followership, leadership, and globalization. As a global society,health care facilities continue to interact with an extensive anddiverse cultures. The diverse society include people from differentcultures, but also include people from the same society but withdifferent elements such as economic and social status. In thisregards, the treatment of individuals has focused on an adaptivehealth care system such as an inclusive insurance policy for peoplewho cannot afford to pay for medical care. On the other hand, theincreased innovation has resulted in globalization where nations havebecome global societies. The increased globalization has causedcultural diversity as people from different backgrounds haveinteracted extensively resulting into complexities, racism,prejudice, competition, and intercultural interactions. As such,healthcare organizations need to be competent and cognizant of theexisting differences among patients and stakeholders.

Furthermore, thechanging population has become an issue especially in the health caremanagement, treatment, and management of patients. Al-Sawai (2013)and Scammon et al. (2014) postulate that the today, the change to ahigher baby boomer has become obvious in census reviews because ofthe high number of people born between 1946 and 1964. This age groupis retiring at a higher proportion every year and leaving qualifiedareas, which has resulted to a gap in the laborforce. Thakur, Hsu,and Fontenot (2012) assert that numerous areas in the Americanlaborforce continue to report shortages against the backdrop of ahigher rate of retiring. Qualified persons need training while somepositions require highly qualified persons. As such, most babyboomers are encouraged to continue working as organizations fear thatit will be hard to fill their positions while others are still in thelaborforce as their retirement proposal does not offer the capacityfor one to be financially independent. Furthermore, with an increasednumber of baby boomers, the health care system has becomeunaccommodating to all the people seeking medical care.

In fact, the U.S. is experiencing an increased population change withmore people entering the aged population bracket, which has resultedin a gap in the management of patients. This means that the countryought to develop more rehabilitation centers, as well as, modify theexisting system to offer support to the increased aged population. Onthe other hand, chronic diseases such as obesity, stroke, kidneyfailure, and high blood pressure have become worse in the pastcentury. Jha et al. (2013) contend that although the treatment ofchronic diseases such as heart diseases has improved over the years,lifestyle changes has worsened the situation. Jha et al. (2013)assert that obesity has doubled in preschoolers in the past 10 yearswhile lack of exercise has increased especially among the middlepopulation. This has led to increased cardiovascular diseases, COPD,and strokes. It is important to note that the American healthcaresystem continues to experience issues related to health problems,improved technology, and the insurance fiasco. Although Obamacarehave really improved the insurance scenario in the country, thecountry is yet to realize a universal healthcare and given the costsof healthcare, it is essential that the government introduces auniversal healthcare or provide health benefits to underprivilegedpeople. In addition, the government needs to collaborate with healthcare providers to provide healthy plans for the aged, as well as,educate the public on the most effective lifestyle attributes.

Criticalelements of culture and diversity

Transformationalleaders solidify or change beliefs, values, behaviors, and attitudesin organizations as they influence employees and maintain a dynamicfocus on an organization’s moral obligation. Ledlow and Coppola(2013) posit that transformational leaders frequently expressexpectations about beliefs, principles, behaviors, and attitudes toemployees and stakeholders. In addition, they communicate a firm’svision and mission effectively hence, they have the capacity to leadany planned change in a firm. A transformational leader manages tocollaborate with all employees and communicate to them any desiredvision or mission. In this regards, efficient teamwork is realized,which increases diverse awareness and improve performance amongstemployees. Today, globalization and cultural dynamics have causedmajor changes in management practices especially in health care(Scammon et al., 2014). Healthcare organizations have becomedependent on leaders and sponsors, which has altered the system andexpectations. Sponsors offer guidance to leaders while leaders alignvisions and missions to expectations.

Ledlow andCoppola (2013) note that elements of culture and diversity allow afirm to remain competitive and committed to its missions and visionsLedlow and Coppola (2013) note that organizational design such asorganizational structures, commitment to the desired businessstrategy, and hiring employees committed to beliefs and principlesthat align to the firm’s principles, attitudes, and actions allow afirm to remain committed to employees. Furthermore, firms need to becustomer-centric, accountable, performance oriented, andcollaborative. It is essential for leaders to understand that beingaccountable, collaborative, and performance oriented allows one toidentify with employees from different societies effectively withoutantagonizing their beliefs. Furthermore, leaders who cultivatecultural elements manage to transform firms to serve customerseffectively in spite of the increased complexities and the risingtrends. As such, health care leaders need to be conscious of thevibrant essential when clients interact, provide cultural knowledge,and offer a strong cultural multiplicity in service distribution.

Tableof cultural attributes to be cognizant of

Table 1


Cultural attributes

Marginalized groups

The facility or the system must value and understand the dynamics of diversity especially in regards to excluded groups especially the elderly or people from minority groups

Spiritual practice and beliefs

People’s beliefs should be valued. Furthermore, facilities should include spiritual practices or values as part of the healing process

Mental and physical ability

The healing process should aspire to include mental and physical abilities of a patient, as well as, integrate these abilities as values

Complementary and alternative medicine

Practices or structures that are not part of the conventional process should be used, but should be aligned to the cultivated values


Health care leaders need to have great awareness of the inadequacies of all followers, as well as, understand all existing interactions and contexts in the organization


Collaborate with all employees in realizing organizational objectives and goals. The management should collaborate effectively with employees to facilitate integration, motivate employees, and manage conflict within the organization.

In the contemporary health care framework, followership,globalization, and leadership have become imperative elements becauseof the increased complexities. To overcome the existing complexities,businesses challenges, internal, and external contexts, health careleaders need to have great awareness of the inadequacies of allfollowers, as well as, understand all existing interactions andcontexts in the organization. Al-Sawai (2013) and Cook, Brydges,Zendejas, Hamstra, and Hatala (2013 assert that health care hasbecome diverse and flexible thus, healthcare leaders need to evolveand adapt new capacities to effectively lead their organizations. Onthe other hand, Ledlow and Coppola (2013) posit that a healthcareleader will manage and work with people from different societies andupbringings thus, they need to establish cultural competence,respect, and integrate differences existing in employees whilefocusing on performance orientation. In this regards, a healthcaresystem should be performance oriented, inspirational, teamintegrative, diplomatic, administrative competent, and dependablycapable to lead with professionalism and integrity.

The system should cultivate universal life energy, include consistentpolicies, communicate all ideas effectively, and promote bothspiritual, mental, and physical values of the patients. A healthcare organization entails accomplishing a big set of actions hence,a firm ought to build a management framework based onprofessionalism, integrity, honesty, and truth. Ledlow and Coppola(2013) assert that without integrity, honesty, and professionalism, ahealthcare leader cannot positively manage an organization. Theorganization must advance and preserve an administrative culture thatfulfills the vision and mission while integrating the vastmultiplicity and intricacy existing within the ethical contexts andprofessional standards expected in any healthcare organization. Aslong as the management remains collaborative, professional,charismatic, visionary, inspirational, and competent, a health careremains competitive and offer effective care to patients.

Leadershipapproaches for implementing change

The healthcaresystem has become flexible and fluid, which means that for leaders toremain competitive, they must be flexible to change. Leaders shouldremain cognizant of any planned change and collaborate withsubordinates and sponsors to attain any planned change. Scammon etal. (2014) say that power is an indispensable tool in any healthcare,which must be cultivated and efficiently utilized to motivateemployees and align them to organizational goals and objectives. Itis imperative to note that leaders should use power in a competentmanner rather than in an authoritative or disrespectful manner.Furthermore, leaders should understand the importance of technologyin realizing the desired goals thus, they should include effectivetechnology and hire qualified people to operate the systems. Cook etal. (2013) contend that failure to effectively operate systems canresult in disruptions, which can cause duplications and delays.Leaders should then align effective technology with knowledgemanagement to provide the necessary and desired care to patientswithout causing financial insolvency or stagnation. Managing peopleand utilizing the existing technology effectively means that theleaders do not overlook employees’ skills or contribution.

For a leader to apply changes effectively in organizational,interpersonal, and cultural dimensions, servant and transformationalleadership models are the best applicable and fundamental. Theseleadership models inspire and motivate followers by arousingsentiments and identification with the manager. Furthermore, a leaderbecomes a teacher, servant, mentor, and coach thus, manages tocollaborate with followers and empower them to work towards theidentified objectives and mission. In this regards, the twoleadership models will allow the leader to become flexible and adaptto changing systems and contexts, as well as, inspire employeestowards the identified expectations. At the cultural level, theleader should inspire employees from different cultural diversitiesand allow them identify to a common goal and objective (Thakur etal., 2012 Scammon et al., 2014). On the other hand, thedifferentiation of a leader at a global level in regards to knowledgeand power, they must develop an all-inclusive competence in thesystem, and appreciate the uniqueness of individuals. Conclusively,leaders should focus on the provision of a competent heath care thatsupport all people irrespective of their backgrounds.


Al-Sawai, A. (2013). Leadership of healthcare professionals: where dowe stand?&nbspOman medical journal,&nbsp28(4), 285.

Cook, D. A., Brydges, R., Zendejas, B., Hamstra, S. J., &amp Hatala,R. (2013). Technology-enhanced simulation to assess healthprofessionals: a systematic review of validity evidence, researchmethods, and reporting quality.&nbspAcademic Medicine,&nbsp88(6),872-883.

Jha, V., Garcia-Garcia, G., Iseki, K., Li, Z., Naicker, S., Plattner,B., … &amp Yang, C. W. (2013). Chronic kidney disease: globaldimension and perspectives.&nbspThe Lancet,&nbsp382(9888),260-272.

Ledlow, G. J. R., &amp Coppola, M. N. (2013).&nbspLeadership forhealth professionals. Jones &amp Bartlett Learning.

Thakur, R., Hsu, S. H., &amp Fontenot, G. (2012). Innovation inhealthcare: Issues and future trends.&nbspJournal of BusinessResearch,&nbsp65(4), 562-569.

Scammon, D. L., Tabler, J., Brunisholz, K., Gren, L. H., Kim, J.,Tomoaia-Cotisel, A., … &amp Magill, M. K. (2014). Organizationalculture associated with provider satisfaction.&nbspThe Journal ofthe American Board of Family Medicine,27(2), 219-228.