HealthcarePapers 4(1) July 2003 : 69-74.doi:10.12927/hcpap..16899

Is the Graduate Education Model Inappropriate for Leadership Development?

Joseph R. D'Cruz


This commentary argues that the graduate education model is inappropriate for developing healthcare leaders. The model has served healthcare well in the development of researchers and other academics because it prepares them for a lifetime of success in scholarly publication. However, this model is inappropriate for developing healthcare leaders. What is required for leadership development is a practitioner-based learning model that focuses on developing emotional intelligence. As illustrated by the success of the Center for Creative Leadership, such a learning process involves experiential learning with and from peers in a supportive environment. The paper argues that future leaders must be provided with opportunities to reflect upon and refine their emotional responses to situations that call for leadership. Reflection and feedback on behaviour and emotions are the critical components of such learning. Cognitive understanding, the hallmark of the graduate education model, is but a small part of leadership development.



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