Developing a work-based leadership programme in the UK social care sector

Janet McCray, Adam Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of the application of action research inthe design of a degree-level leadership skills programme in the English social care sector.Design/methodology/approach – The action research study involved four formal semi-structuredinterviews with strategic leaders in the social care sector and three focus groups with managers. Thepaper captures some of the reflections of university lecturers who are both researchers andcollaborative partners in the project in its early stages.Findings – The findings demonstrate consensus in the sector at regional strategic and organisationallevel about leadership skills required for future service models.Research limitations/implications – The sample remains small; however, the findings may haverelevance for leadership development planning for social care in other regions of England, as thepersonalised care agenda gains momentum and services need to realign. Service users were not part ofthe focus groups and future activity that builds on this preliminary study may need to redress this.The implications of the research are that it offers a model of collaboration between a university and theworkplace to support change through learning.Practical implications – There is potential for a sector or an organisation to access managementdevelopment accredited by a university that meets its needs, is focused, relevant and provides a modelfor continuing learning beyond the programme.Originality/value – The paper brings together a range of well-established concepts in actionresearch, reflective practice and learning to help deliver change through collaboration. It explores thenew demands being placed on care leaders in the independent social care sector when manyinternational governments are facing fiscal challenges which may require care sector reform.Keywords Action research, Action learning, Workplace learning, Social care, Leadership, EnglandPaper type Research paper
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-476
JournalJournal of Workplace Learning
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

Cite this

McCray, Janet ; Palmer, Adam. / Developing a work-based leadership programme in the UK social care sector. In: Journal of Workplace Learning. 2009 ; Vol. 21, No. 6. pp. 465-476.
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Developing a work-based leadership programme in the UK social care sector. / McCray, Janet; Palmer, Adam.

In: Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 21, No. 6, 10.2009, p. 465-476.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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