Leadership and Service Quality in UAE Hospitals

Summary and analysis

The article was done by Jabnoun Naceur and Aisha Juma Al Rasasi. The topic of the article is transformational leadership and service quality in UAE hospitals written in 2005. The primary objective of the research article was to investigate the relationship between leadership style and quality service delivery within the facilities. Naceur is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at the College of Business and Management at the University of Sharjah while AL Rasasi is in the Medical Records Department, Al-Thaid Hospital, Sharjah. Their credentials and work experience could be used to qualify their work as an authentic research article based on the data used and past writing experience.

Two main leadership styles referenced in the article are transactional and transformational. These are believed to have an effect on employee satisfaction and the service quality of the hospital industry. The measure of service delivery was patient satisfaction and employee’s opinion of the leadership style. The styles in reference were transformational and transactional. Data collection was through structured questionnaires for employees and patients. The results showed that patients were satisfied with service delivery, but the employees had some reservations concerning the contingent reward attached to the transformational leadership style applied in the industry.

Critical analysis of the article

The article is understandable. First, it is true that there is a relationship between leadership style and service quality. Leadership style forms a major basis in operation and the success of any institution. Leadership has the responsibility of making the core day-to-day decisions concerning the running of the organization, and it plays the sole role of motivating employees. If these roles are played effectively, then the organization is bound to progress and succeed as far as its mission is concerned. Considering hospitals lie among service industries, leadership is critical as it influences the relationship between the various parties in the institution (Naceur, Juma, & Rasasi, 2005).

Second, there are several styles of leadership styles; transactional leadership, autocratic leadership, bureaucratic leadership, charismatic leadership, democratic or participative leadership, laissez-faire leadership, task-oriented leadership, people-oriented or relations-oriented leadership, servant leadership, and transformational leadership. It is common knowledge that transformation and transactional are the most widely used, and they are most popular among the service industry-oriented firms. These leadership styles use two approaches considered appropriate for service industries; Consideration (employee orientation) and Structure (task orientation). The design and use of a questionnaire based on these two styles for the research are, therefore, commendable. They provide reliable and comprehensive information in relation to such research needs.

The content of the research is superficially satisfying, and as a reader, I am happy with it. This is because it presents clear and evidence-banked scenarios of management in the hospital industry. First, the use of questionnaires as the data collection tool receives major appreciation. Secondly, the collection of employees and patients as the sources of data is worth appreciating. The employees directly feel the impact of leadership style while the patients feel the direct effect of service quality.

However, as a management student having knowledge of statistical analysis, the article presents a statistically limited in data collection and report presentation. First, the use of questionnaires as the only tool for data collection is limiting. Questionnaires have several flaws making them unreliable. The data collected is limited to the questions raised in the questionnaire, and it is possible to give biased opinions in the questionnaire. This tool also shapes the findings since questions are suggestive. Other forms of data collection would have served to broaden the data collected and open the chances for more additional information while narrowing down the error margin, interviews, and observations.

Secondly, the research might, however, not be convincing to the reader or anyone who seeks to improve service delivery through leadership style as the questionnaires used in the data collection event is not provided with the research report.

Third, the determination of the sample size is also a statistical limitation. There are several factors determining sample size; desired level of statistical power, the p level, treatment variability, and error variability as well as other non-statistical factors like budget and time. It is not stated if these are factored in. First, the population size is not stated as it would help the reader establish the representativeness of the sample size, and secondly, the reasons for using only six hospitals and 360 questionnaires for each resource group are not given. It is, therefore, impossible for the reader to determine the representativeness of the sample size, which affects the credibility of the report.

Application of subject matter to a real business

In the hospital industry, this report is highly relevant. Despite the various limitations discussed above, which are only limited to data and reporting, the content therein is resourceful. The recommendation in the report is that the leaders of the hospitals in the UAE under transformational leadership style need more training. Employees ultimately determine service delivery as they have direct contact with the customers. The report states that the problem in transformational leadership is contingent rewards; the best strategy in real business would be to improve on the rewards to the employees. These would include both contingent and non-contingent incentives in the multi-task principal-agent relationship. To determine which rewards are appropriate for the respective employee, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs would be most useful.

The report is guaranteed to work in a real practical case. The main reason why people work is to satisfy their needs and the commitment to work is dependent on the rewards obtained from the job. By training leaders on how to address contingent rewards for employees, job satisfaction improves which then translates to more commitment to the job with better service delivery as one of the outputs of the commitment.

Lessons learnt

The report addresses key issues for any firm in the service industry. The main lesson learnt from the report is that leadership style has a greater stake in output quality. The report brings to light major concerns that are often overlooked yet they are important in the day-to-day running of service firms. The main lesson that would be shared with any service industry is that, employee’s job satisfaction is important in determining how they commit to the job and serve. This has direct impact on quality of services offered in the industry and within the organization. To best way to improve on these is to improve on contingent rewards.

References

Naceur, A., Juma, A., & Rasasi, L. (2005). Transformational Leadership and Service Quality:Managing Service Quality. Pro Quest.