Chapter 5 Leading Effective Change

Learning Objectives

  • Explore theories utilized to lead change
  • Select effective conflict management approaches
  • Identify interprofessional collaborative practice methods

Change is constant in the health care environment. Change is defined as the process of altering or replacing existing knowledge, skills, attitudes, systems, policies, or procedures (Ana & Hendricks-Jackson, 2017). The outcomes of change must be consistent with an organization’s mission, vision, and values. Although change is a dynamic process that requires alterations in behavior and can cause conflict and resistance, change can also stimulate positive behaviors and attitudes and improve organizational outcomes and employee performance. Change can result from identified problems or from the incorporation of new knowledge, technology, management, or leadership. Problems may be identified from many sources, such as quality improvement initiatives, employee performance evaluations, or accreditation survey results (Ana & Hendricks-Jackson, 2017).

Nurse leaders must deal with the fears and concerns triggered by change. They should recognize that change may not be easy and may be met with enthusiasm by some and resistance by others. Leaders should identify individuals who will be enthusiastic about the change (referred to as “early adopters”), as well as those who will be resisters (referred to as “laggards”). Early adopters should be involved to build momentum, and the concerns of resisters should be considered to identify barriers. Data should be collected, analyzed, and communicated so the need for change (and its projected consequences) can be clearly articulated. Managers should articulate the reasons for change, the way(s) the change will affect employees, the way(s) the change will benefit the organization, and the desired outcomes of the change process (Ana & Hendricks-Jackson, 2017). See Figure 5.1 (Amman Wahab Nizamani, n.d.) for an illustration of communicating upcoming change.

Next: 5.1 Theoretical Approach to Change



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Leading Change in Health Systems: Strategies for RN-BSN Students Copyright © 2023 by Kathy Andresen DNP, MPH, RN, CNE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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