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Healthcare at the Forefront – Do personal values affect hospital leadership?

“In the last decade, political, social and economic forces have fostered a market-driven healthcare environment,” say Lynn profs

Published Jan. 05, 2009

With the topic of healthcare one of the pivotal issues in the Nov. 4 election, the topic will no doubt remain front and center in the national media in the weeks and months ahead as the Obama administration – and agenda – take shape. In such a climate, a team of researchers and educators at Lynn University recently published a paper that focuses on values and leadership on the ground – in hospitals. Valerie Storey, assistant professor of education, and Malcolm Asadoorian, an associate professor of economics, along with two co-authors, affiliated with Lynn, Thomas Beeman and Amanda Cartwright, recently had their paper, Values in Hospital Leadership: A Case Study of a Highly Performing Health System, published in the International Journal of Behavioural and Healthcare Research by Inderscience Press.

“In the last decade, political, social and economic forces have fostered a market-driven healthcare environment focused on productivity and profitability,” notes the paper, Values in Hospital Leadership: A Case Study of a Highly Performing Health System. “There will never be sufficient resources (including time) to find and treat the last measure of need. Thus, the understanding of decision-making of healthcare leaders is critical in understanding organizational leadership and effectiveness.”

Results of the paper conclude that, “those in healthcare leadership possess the ability and authority to affect the quality and delivery of patient care services, it is important for those in a leadership position to recognize the role that values may perform in the delivery of healthcare services… respondents utilize their spirituality and inculcated family values as a guide for their lives and their organizational leadership.”

According to Asadoorian, “this paper is meant to represent an example of applied research to shed light on the important and often under-emphasized issue of the values and, sources of those values that motivate hospital leaders and their decision-making process.” Moreover, Beeman adds, “By understanding what motivates healthcare leaders and by coming to know what their values are we can better prepare the next generation of leadership to guide this complex but very important service.”

Source: Asadoorian is an associate professor of economics at Lynn with over ten years of teaching experience at the college/university level, as well as extensive academic administrative and research experience. Asadoorian served as a postdoctoral research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass. He earned his B.A. degree in economics and computer science from Assumption College and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Clark University in Worcester, Mass. Currently, he is researching topics including Urban Form and Global Warming: An Econometric Analysis and Atmospheric Concentrations of Urban Pollutants in China and Impact on Mortality Rates. In this role, Asadoorian, who has published numerous textbooks and journal articles in economics and statistics, regularly speaks to the media regarding hospital leadership, climate change, greenhouse gasses, modern business trends, energy economics and the demand for electricity in China, a forecast of environmental and resource economics through 2100 – including a spatial distribution of population and emissions.

Most recently, Asadoorian and Storey have been collaborating on a paper entitled “Quantitative Analysis of Current Issues in Education: Answering the Call Re-Thinking Doctoral Education Programs for the 21st Century: Consumers versus Producers and the Choice between the Ed.D. and the Ph.D.”, which was presented at the 22nd Annual University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Convention. Their paper offers both an empirically-testable framework for examining the choice between the Ed.D. and Ph.D. in education as well as examining the future of the Ed.D. degree by discussing the impact of knowledge and pedagogy gained from dialogue with Doctorate granting universities invited to participate in The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate. Ongoing research on this project will be conducted over the next 12 months. The UCEA Convention took place Oct. 30 – Nov. 2, 2008, in Orlando and focused on the theme of "Preparing Democratic Leaders for Quality Teaching and Student Success: A Time for Action.”