Teaching and Research Area: Organizational Communication
- Innovation communication for effective inter-professional collaboration
- Middle management roles in healthcare organizations
- Leadership Communication in healthcare organizations
- Cultural competence and women’s leadership
- Integrated corporate communication
Research Projects (2013)
Currently I am working on a number of research projects with a focus on healthcare organizations:
The first involves an extension of the work in the area of healthcare leadership and the vital role of middle managers in healthcare organizations. Middle managers’ traditional roles of communication transmitters and organizational custodians have been transformed dramatically with the downsizing and consolidation waves of the 1990s and 2000s. As a result, many middle managers have become hyper-effective with considerable loss of discretionary time and feelings of powerlessness. As healthcare organizations increased purchases of services from outside suppliers and continue to form alliances and partnerships that bring external influence, middle managers have been pushed to focus on inter-professional collaboration and stakeholders’ interests. This includes influencing initiatives through direct involvement with executives while implementing change through subordinates. Balancing strategic awareness with operating experience has become the new mantra for successful, high-impact middle managers.
The second line of research covers healthcare communication with a focus on patient satisfaction. As the role of the health care leader continues to broaden to accommodate shifting policy, economic, technological, clinical, and demographic conditions, research indicates that health care leaders must also be mindful of the importance of sound interpersonal and communication practices that affect patient satisfaction. A broader evaluation of these trends and factors and strategies for overcoming obstacles to patient satisfaction are explored in my research and presented in academic conferences with others.
The third line of my research centers on the socio-structural tension inherent in healthcare organizations, particularly between a variety of approaches to managing and leading. These seemingly contradictory orientations are unified in the concept of ambidextrous leadership to address complex, unprecedented challenges healthcare organizations face. The research focuses on communication orientations and message construction strategies associated with the responsibilities of the master leader in healthcare organizations.