Leadership and Health Advocacy Essay Example

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6Leadership and Health Advocacy

Leadership and Health Advocacy

Leadership and Health Advocacy

Potential Ethical Conflicts Faced by Public Health Advocates in Balancing Evidence Based Information with Value Based Opinions

In public health advocacy, many advocates find themselves involved in disagreement with the public at times with persons, factions who are very powerful and are firmed to oppose change, the change that the advocates are advocating for. This is because advocacy tries to find a means to alter the rules, guidelines, practices and set standards that have a bearing on individual health options of many persons and the surroundings in which many of them are crafted. In the process of trying to find these means, advocates find themselves in a situation of ethical conflict, conflict brought about by trying to balance evidence based information and value based opinions. It is not an overemphasis to state that ethics are a vital part of the professionalism of every public health advocate (Chapman, 2001).

There are certain virtues that are important to the administration of public health. These virtues include being neutral, observing fairness, having a scientific objective and being unbiased. Advocacy calls for the need of a passionate endorsement of a certain stand to the omission of certain outlooks. Public health advocates find their neutrality threatened by companies whose products they are advocating against and the public opinion hence an ethical conflict arises. This ethical conflict between evidence based information that indicates the number of deaths resulting from guns in the hands of civilians and the notion that gun owners are not viable to using their guns to kill. For a public health advocate, their neutrality becomes nonviable in such a case where they are at a loss if to advocate for the sake of the government or the owners who form part of the public that owns the guns (Johnson & Martin, 2001).

Public health advocates employ different tools in their quest for advocacy. They look at surveys and reports from which the draw conclusions on how to go about an issue that affects public health. Any public health advocacy is done in the perspective of existing cultural and societal ideas so as to employ a means of communication which is readily available to the community and society. From module 5, the communication should be balanced in that it avails the benefits of likely actions and identifies diverse views on the issue. Many issues in ethics are simply determined by rules that are made known and regulations that involve the professional. In this case, the public health professional (Coughlin, 1997)

Dimensions that Characterise Change and how they can help Public Health Leaders Craft Strategies for Managing People through a Major Change Institution

Change as it is well known is a norm in life and in organizations. It needs to be understood by public health leaders so that they can effectively and efficiently enforce it. it takes several forms and it can originate from any bearing. Public health leaders have to come up with new means to act in response to change. According to By & Macleod (2009), the latest re-evaluation of the literature on the association between performance and organizational change recognized three dimensions that show the association between performance and organizational change though in diverse manners. This dimensions if utilised by public health leaders diversely can help them come up with strategies to manage people (Harvard Business School Press, 2005).

According to the rational dimension organizational change is a procedure that can be adapted to and is intentional. Its aim may be to capture an opportunity or to close a gap in performance. From module 3 on understanding organizational change, leaders sense the want for change when there is a difference between current and wanted levels of performing. Thus, when public health leaders understand this dimension, they can advise employees on how to adapt themselves. According to the population ecology perspective, it views change in the organization as negatively impacting on the capability of the organization to sustain the high performance levels. This poses a challenge to public health leaders and people. That as they effect change, the performance levels of the organization should be sustained if they are at the best level. Failure to sustain them is deemed as a failure (By & Macleod, 2009).

During the change phase where the current system is changed with another one, there is what is called episodic change. This can be closely associated with the institutional dimension where organizational change is spurred by the demands to align the organization with the professionalism, society demands and the changes in the health industry. Many people in the organization may be considered as inert, this means that their rate of change with the change is low hence the organization changes faster than them. This is a challenge to many public health leaders. Public health leaders can use implementation tactics. This involves approaches that include educating; the leader takes the initiative on enlightening people on the change and providing knowledge on the advantages of the change. The leaders may also participate in the change process by redefining their roles and duties. They should provide support if necessary to facilitate the change process. This calls for different leadership approaches to the change process in regard to the implementation tactics so as to effectively enforce the organizational change (Poppe, Termeer & Slingerland, 2009).

How Participation can improve the Quality of Decisions Generally

According to module 4, in peoples’ lives and at their places of work, decisions are made. Many a times they are taken actively and many a times they are taken passively. Either way, the mode in which they are taken does not matter as they are decisions. The times that decisions are made passively are many as persons fear to take them or they do not want to be responsible for them. Thus, this throws health managers and leaders into the role of taking responsibility for making the decisions. Daft & Marcic (2008) state that managers, in this case health managers do make decisions in their capacity but note that decision making is mainly done through the help of a team. A leader may make the decision individually and then inform the team about it. The health manager may seek advice from health workers and then make the decision. He or she may participate by facilitating. This augers well with the health service management settings as all health workers will be involved in the decision making process and no suggestion will be regarded above the other.

According to Nagelkerk (2005), an organization in which everyone participates from the managers to the employees gives everyone power. It also enables the managers to give more time to other issues concerning the organization. Roussel, Swansburg & Swansburg (2006) talk about two types of decisions that include organizational and personal decisions. Organizational decisions are connected to the function of the organization. It avails the window for participation of employees and health managers to make decisions in regard to their professions. This makes sense as a health manager cannot make decisions for subordinate health professionals. The health sector is made up of characteristics that call for certain forms of participation. The type of hospital, type of practice in health and the organizational values that are connected with the practices of different health professionals determine the level of participation in decision making. The heath managers must play their role of building an environment that promotes participation of all health workers if the decision reached upon will be effective in achieving the aspired change. This participation is a form of shared governance where in the health sector it places the responsibility on health issues with the health professional who is with the patient (Jones & Beck, 1996).


By, R. T., & Macleod, C. (2009). Managing Organizational Change in Public Services: International Issues, Challenges and Cases. Routledge.

Chapman, S. (2001). Advocacy in public health: roles and challenges. International Journal of Epidemiology, 30, 1226-1232. <Retrieved from ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/6/1226.full.pdf>.

Coughlin, S. S. (1997). Ethics in Epidemiology and Public Health Practice: Collected Works. Quill Publications.

Daft, R. L., & Marcic, D. (2008). Understanding Management (6th ed.). Cengage Learming.

Harvard Business School Press. (2005). The essentials of managing change and transition. Harvard Business School Press.

Johnson, L., & Martin, R. M. (2001). Law and the Public Health: Dimension of Health. Routledge.

Jones, R. A. P., & Beck, S. E. (1996). Decision making in nursing. Cengage Learning.

Nagelkerk, J. (2005). Study Guide for Leadership and Nursing Care Management (3rd ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences.

Poppe, K. J., Termeer, C. J. A. M., & Slingerland, M. A. (eds.). (2009). Transitions Toward Sustainable Agriculture and Food Chains and Peri-Urban Areas. Wageningen Academic Pub.

Roussel, L., Swansburg, R. C., & Swansburg, R. J. (eds.). (2006). Management And Leadership For Nurse Administrators (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.