Understanding veterinary leadership in practice

Pearson, C, Butler, A and Murray, Y (2018) Understanding veterinary leadership in practice. Veterinary Record. pp. 1-7. ISSN 2042-7670

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Official URL: doi: 10.1136/vr.104485

Abstract

From early in employment, veterinary surgeons adopt a position of leadership, taking responsibility for case management, client communication and the coordination of the team of veterinary nurses and receptionists who facilitate their role. With time, many progress to become partners or directors within practice. A key ambition of the Vet Futures Report is ‘exceptional leadership,’ yet to date there has been little formal leadership training within the UK veterinary curriculums and a notable absence of veterinary-specific leadership literature.1 This vacuum in identifying the qualities of exceptional leadership raises the question of how the industry continues to progress, embracing the challenges of corporate ownership, growing numbers of veterinary surgeons and a turbulent macroenvironment during, and post, Brexit negotiations.2 Historically, leadership research has tended to follow a managerialist path,3 4 focusing analysis on alpha white men within US leadership.5–7 As such, ethnocentric leadership models pervade the literature. Critically, these models ignore contextual variation, the influence of leadership on the individuals within an industry and complexity.6 Therefore, in recent decades, literature has redirected to take a critical approach. In beginning to understand the value of leadership studies to the veterinary industry, the interconnection of leaders, followers, context and purpose in each unique leadership situation needs to be fully appreciated.8 Furthermore, to ensure exceptional leadership, we must first recognise its inseparability from the wellbeing of veterinary surgeons. Given the Vet Futures’ ambition of ‘exceptional leadership’ coupled with the paucity of literature on leadership in the veterinary industry, this study explores the experiences of leadership among senior veterinary surgeons (SVS), while acknowledging the complexity of multifactorial influence and uniqueness of practice. The value lies in reflecting on industry relevance.9

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Agriculture, Food and Environment
Depositing User: Lynn Seager
Date Deposited: 03 May 2018 14:20
Last Modified: 22 May 2019 15:02
URI: http://rau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/16059

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