Senior manager leadership competencies for quality residential aged care: an Australian industry perspective

Dawes, Nathan, and Topp, Steph (2022) Senior manager leadership competencies for quality residential aged care: an Australian industry perspective. BMC Health Services Research, 22. 508.

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Background: Documented poor quality and standards of care in Australia’s residential aged care (RAC) sector have highlighted a need to better understand the role of and skills required by, RAC senior management personnel to address these concerns. This study examined which senior management leadership skills and personal qualities are necessary to deliver and strengthen the quality of RAC, with the aim of improving understanding of the professional development needs of leaders in the sector.

Methods: We conducted 12 in-depth interviews with Australian aged care industry experts, including academics, and representatives from the primary health network, consumer, and provider advocate groups. Abductive, thematic analysis incorporated coding derived from existing leadership skills frameworks as well as inductively identified themes.

Results: Identified leadership skills were grouped into five domains including i) workforce development and retention, ii) governance and business acumen; iii) health systems knowledge; iv) stewardship and v) responding to regulatory and political contexts. Skills particularly emphasised by participants were those required to recruit and retain a skilled workforce, manage relationships, and promote a positive organisational culture and employee wellbeing.

Conclusions: RAC senior managers require a complex mix of business, human resource management, and clinical skills to deliver quality care in Australia’s complex RAC setting. The lack of any professional development framework to guide the acquisition or updating of those skills is a concern.

Item ID: 73683
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6963
Keywords: Leadership, Management, Skills, Residential aged care, Industry experts
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Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativeco applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 26 May 2022 23:13
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420301 Aged health care @ 40%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420309 Health management @ 40%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420306 Health care administration @ 20%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200206 Health system performance (incl. effectiveness of programs) @ 40%
20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200502 Health related to ageing @ 30%
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160104 Professional development and adult education @ 30%
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