Theories of Leadership

Below are your guidelines for your Final Paper assignment.
The good news is that this paper will be in a similar format and have the same expectations as the midterm. That being said, this assignment will require devoted inquiry, reflection, and refinement in order to achieve the highest possible score. This is only one of your two major grades and your quality of work needs to reflect the importance of the assignment.
If you are retaking this class, you cannot re-use your previous paper. You will exceed the similarity score and this is also considered a violation of the MHA Honor code. These re-used materials will NOT be accepted. Also, the paper has to be your OWN UNIQUE contribution. The use of third- party platforms and/or technologies is not allowed. We have AI detectors in Turnitin.
You will have the opportunity to choose from the following topics. HOWEVER, you ONLY PICK and WRITE about ONE.
This paper will be your unique, scholarly contribution. With each option, I am just giving you a broad topic. It is up to you to address the topic but support it with empirical facts, theory, and a persuasive
argument that is appropriate for a Master’s level program.
All papers have to be written in third person – think of this as a formal, practitioner-based paper. As this is a formal, practitioner paper.
You do HAVE to include an abstract and title page. The paper should consist of at a minimum: Introduction, Body of Paper (multiple sections to address specific aspects), Discussion, Conclusion, and References.
When you submit your paper, please use the following naming convention for your file “Last Name, First Name – Title of Paper.”
Additionally, beyond identifying and writing about a particular theory, you will need to incorporate appropriate and supplemental information about your topic. This means you may have to find information regarding the current state of affairs; include relevant stats; other data; additional supplemental facts, etc. to make your paper persuasive and detailed enough for a Master’s level program.
Remember that this paper is a THEORETICAL PAPER. This class is all about theory. If you FAIL TO GROUND YOUR PAPER IN A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK – you have not met the goals of this paper. This paper is supposed to answer one of the questions below – THROUGH THE USE OF THEORY. I cannot say this enough; it is not enough to address one of the options below. It has to be substantiated through theory and peer-reviewed resources. Your opinions do not constitute a research paper.
Address the case inquiries in full, being absolutely certain to do so not as a layperson, but as a healthcare organizational behavior expert, making sure to reference theory, findings in scholarly articles, etc. to justify your positions. Merely providing personal opinions which are unsupported is insufficient and will be grounds for failing this assignment. You must use the tools offered in your readings, coupled with those acquired by additional research, to address the case professionally.

In Chapter 9 and 10, we discussed the topics of trait, behavioral, and contingency theories of leadership. There is the trite saying, “Good is the Enemy of Great.” In this paper, you need to a theory that exemplifies some of the positive traits, attributes, and behaviors of a great healthcare leader(s). You also need to consider the downside of these possible traits. You have to justify any traits, attributes, and/or behaviors using established theories.
Make sure that you describe their attributes and behaviors in detail and justify their use through theory. What type of leadership styling would an effective leader display (i.e. telling, selling, participating, delegating) and why? In order to get full credit, you will need weave theory in and out of your paper to support your findings. This paper cannot just be based solely on your opinion; it has to be supported using theory. You will have to justify their behaviors or attributes as being positive or negative through existing theory.
Do your answers identify traits or behaviors? Which, traits or behaviors, do you personally view as effective as it relates to leadership. Describe how these behaviors can be promoted or curtailed in our current healthcare environment.
Possible Deliverables for Option 1:

  • Describe the most common traits or behaviors of effective and non-effective leaders in healthcare
  • Identify specific theories that may elaborate on positive or negative leadership qualities
  • Describe why certain behaviors or traits may be more prevalent than others in healthcare environments
  • Through the use of theory find ways to substantiate your position
  • Explore some of the challenges and opportunities as it relates to promoting leadership qualities in healthcare
  • Describe the current environment as it relates to leadership and what traits / behaviors have been identified as being proactive

Option 2:
In Chapter 11, we discussed contemporary theories of leadership. For this assignment, you will need to compare / contrast the similarities and differences of transactional and transformational theories of leadership. Discuss the appropriateness of each style in the modern healthcare environment. List the positive and negative outcomes that can arise from each leadership approach. Take into account the current healthcare environment and the factors that are influencing healthcare providers, such as, changing regulation, globalization, technology, patient engagement, and/or empowerment.
Possible Deliverables for Option 2:

  • What does the healthcare environment look like currently? Which leadership style do you believe is appropriate for organizational success in today’s market? Justify your response with facts and figures.
  • In what context is each leadership style appropriate?
  • What benefits arise with each leadership style?
  • What are the cons that arise with each leadership style?
  • Identify strategies justify the chosen leadership role(s) – using established theories

Option 3:
In Chapter 12, we talked about stress. Stress is a common phenomenon in healthcare. Write about stress in healthcare and the impact it can have on employees, organizational performance, the delivery of patient care, etc. Identify and describe the different kinds of stress that can occur. Discuss why stress in a healthcare environment may be more of a pressing issue as compared to other industries (be sure to address factors, such as, professional hierarchy, personalities, ethnicity, gender, etc.). Describe if / how employee burnout (due to stress) is impacting the delivery of care. Find a theory to explore the issue of stress. Once you have written about stress in the workplace, identify some best practices to alleviate the negative effects of stress in the workplace. How should managers behave so that employees experience less stress on the job? Ground all your work in existing theory. What strategies can the organization use so that the employees experience less stress on the job? This write-up has to be supported by current facts and literature.
Possible Deliverables for Option 3

  • What does the healthcare environment look like currently?
  • Why is stress more prevalent in healthcare? What impact can it have on an organization, employees, and patients.
  • Define stress – when is it good and when is it bad?
  • What can administrators do to address employee stress? What can employees do to better manage stress?
  • Using established theories to describe stress in a healthcare environment

Option 4:
In Chapter 13, we explored decision making. In your life, there are times when you have made good decisions. At the time of the decision, you knew that it was a good decision. There are also times that you have made bad decisions. Using a theoretical framework highlight the processes that ultimately lead you to a good decision.
For this paper, create a professional white-paper that would tell administrators how to make the best decisions, highlighting the theory that outlines how to develop and implement good decision(s). Also address, the areas that can sabotage effective decision making. What steps can you recommend to keep the decision making process on track. Utilize existing theory to substantiate your work.
Possible Deliverables for Option 4:

  • Highlight the decision making process using theory – outline the particular steps necessary for good and bad decisions
  • Outline the steps that hospital administrators need to do when making effective decisions
  • Identify the pitfalls and barriers to effective decision making.
  • Identify and describe the factors that can contribute to effective decision making
  • Tie these processes to existing theory or existing decision making-frameworks

Option 5:
In Chapter 14, we introduced the idea of conflict management and negotiation skills.

In this paper, identify what conflict is and provide an example of conflict that can arise in a healthcare setting. Using theory, describe how this conflict experience fits into the four basics types of conflict. Describe this example of conflict using the different levels of conflict. Develop strategies on how to identify conflicts and how to successfully review them. It may help to highlight the five conflict-handling modes. Use this exploration of conflict and theory as a way for future leaders to best handle/avoid conflict in the future.
Possible Deliverables for Option 5:

  • Highlight the processes of conflict and conflict resolution – using theory to describe the process
  • Outline the steps that individuals should use to resolve conflict situations
  • Identify the factors that contribute to conflict
  • Identify and describe the factors that lead to effective conflict resolution
  • Tie your conflict experience to existing theory or conflict frameworks

Option 6:
Chapter 15 and 16, we explored Groups and Group Dynamics. In this topic imagine a poor group decision. Identify what contributed to the group’s poor decision? Did the group think of alternative possibilities? Did the group move too quickly through any of the development stages? Identify a theory that may explain the groups actions.
For this paper, you need to use theory to explore and explain group decision making in depth. Discuss the process and steps to effective decision making. Identify the root cause of the issue (i.e. poor communication or lack of cooperation). Identify steps and mechanisms that should have been put in place to prevent this bad outcome. Justify your actions with established literature and theory. Essentially, you must suggest an outline on how for healthcare teams to avoid poor decisions and utilize positive behavioral techniques.
Possible Deliverables for Option 6:

  • Explore the importance and challenges of group decision making in a healthcare setting
  • Describe the process of group decision making using a theoretical basis
  • Find unique ways that group decision making could be improved
  • Explore barriers to effective groups and how you will address and overcome these issues

Option 7:
In Chapter 17, we discussed issues of teams and team building. In this paper, you need to first address why teams and groups are not the same. Explore the existing literature to describe some of the most
effective types of teams that are used in today’s healthcare environment. Describe any changing trends in the use of teams in effective organizations and how the changing healthcare environment may facilitate or hinder the use of teams (i.e. traditional work-teams, self-managing teams, virtual teams). Describe ways that you as a manager can help build effective teams and overcome the barriers to team effectiveness.
Based on organizational theories, are there any other items that should be addressed to make successful teams.
Possible Deliverables for Option 7:

  • Address the changing healthcare landscape and why teams may be more critical than ever.
  • What facilitates the development of effective teams? What can derail teams?
  • Describe teams and team building using a theoretical framework

Option 8:
In healthcare we have a multigenerational workforce. Hospital leaders need to learn to adapt to the different expectations and deliverables of a multi-generational workforce. These differences may lead to a breakdown in communication. You need to explore the issues that issues and impact that the multigenerational workforce may have on this issue is having and to try to help the organization become more cohesive. Identify and write about a theory or framework that may help the organization better deal with a multigenerational workforce.
Possible Deliverables for Option 8:

  • Which type of Organizational Development intervention is the leadership using in this situation
  • What obstacles do you see in this situation that may make this intervention more difficult than other types?
  • What recommendations do you have for this situation?
  • What other interpersonal issues exist in organizations besides generational issues that may create a need for an OD intervention?


In order to successfully complete this assignment, you will have had to take the ONE of the scenarios listed above and address it in full, and submit your work in accordance with the instructions contained herein.
Importantly, this is an independent assignment to be completed by you and you alone. Sharing work with fellow students, supplying advice to your student peers, gaining assistance from outside parties, and similar actions will constitute violations of the academic code of conduct and will carry significant penalties in accordance with University policy. Also, we will be using Turnitin. If you work is the same as someone else’s – you will not get a passing grade.

The Submission Requirement
Your submission in its entirety must be between 2500-3,000 words – this EXCLUDES the reference, title, and abstract. The 2,500 to 3,000 words is only the body of the work.
It is to be typed (or pasted) directly into Turn-It In. Given the length of the submission, it is advised that students prepare it in a word processing program, and when finalized, copy and paste the text into the Turnitin.
When you submit your work – you need to name your paper as your name (last name, first name) and the title. For example, my submission would be “Lord, Justin – Sample Paper.”

Your submission will be assessed for originality. Your paper cannot exceed the 20% limit for as the guidelines set-up in Turnitin. You are citing scholarly work but even with quotes – your work will not be accepted if it is above the Turnitin threshold. If your work does exceed that similarity or AI threshold, I highly recommend that you retract your paper and refine it before the resubmission date.
However, if your paper does not exceed the 20% limit, I highly recommend that you only submit in your assignment ONCE. Once you submit your paper it will be added to the database that Turnitin reviews. If you resubmit your paper, if it is not necessary – your original paper will already be included in the database – your similarity score will increase dramatically (close to 100%).
If you resubmit your paper – you need to take a screen shot of your first submission and your second submission and send that along with a copy of the original and revised paper to your academic coach.
If you paper is over 20%, you can check the areas of similarity by using the “Feedback Studio” within Turnitin. When you see your similarity score in the green box, click the “pencil” right by your score, it will take you to the “Feedback Studio” where you can see the areas of similarity that is causing your score to go up. Go there and if you have areas of large similarity, I recommend that you take an opportunity to fix. This can be areas that need to be paraphrased or re-worded. I would recommend you staying away from large amounts of cited material.

Even though you can revise and resubmit in your paper – please be aware that the third time you submit your paper into Turnitin, your score will take 24 hours to be calculated. This is an automatic de- prioritization that occurs within the system, that I do not have control of. Please make note.
Also, if you use another similarity score program, realize that the algorithms are different for each platform, so just because you receive a score in a program like Grammarly does not mean this will be the same for Turnitin.
You are writing a research paper in the context of your case. As such, it should be a scholarly work. Your work should demonstrate a competency of the material that you are writing about. This work should also demonstrate the fact that you are in a Master’s program. Typos, poor grammar, punctuation, failure to follow direction, and obvious errors will be penalized. You have plenty of time to work on this paper so it should reflect your level of effort. Unlike a proctored exam – YOU HAVE FULL CONTROL OVER YOUR GRADE for this assignment.
Your submission must be supported by 10 (minimum) or 40 (maximum) references, with at least 10 being from scholarly academic journals (peer reviewed journals). If you cannot ascertain whether a journal does or does not qualify as scholarly academic, please contact the Noel Library and request assistance.
Citations are to be prepared in accordance with the standards set forth in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Be sure to consult the style guide itself, as database listings often contain formatting errors which are not compliant and can hurt your grade.
If you are writing about the current healthcare environment (i.e. competition, market structure, patient demographics), I would find the most recent literature. However, for some of the theories or the theoretical based literature – often we will have to cite “seminal” research that can be decades old. It is not recommended best practice to have all older literature as the field is constantly growing and changing. However, if there are some works that you believe are the cornerstones of your theory(s) than I would use them regardless of the age. I would not include more than five articles that are older than 15 years.

Keep in mind that this is a formal research paper. As such, it needs to be written in third person.

APA –Citation of References
If you do not know how to cite your references correctly, I highly recommend that you utilize the resources at your disposal: mat.html These are auto-citation websites/ resources

If you do not know how to find scholarly articles than please look at LibGuides, entitled “Distance Learners/Dual Enrolled Students: Getting Started.” This LibGuide will illustrated how to search for books, journals, Interlibrary Loan requests.

The LibGuides List is on the right-hand side of the page under Library Quick Quick Links. See the link below.

If you are struggling to find appropriate journal articles, I may suggest checking the back of each Chapter in the Organizational Behavior in Health Care (if you have a copy of the book). Dr. Borkowski lists out the articles that she referenced when discussing each theory.
Another suggestion is that you take one of the seminal journal articles about a particular theory and you put it into Google Scholar and see all the other journal articles that reference it. You can then search for healthcare related articles from that one resource.
APA Format
Couple of little tidbits of info regarding APA if you’re interested….

APA doesn’t require a heading for the Introduction. A paper would generally begin with the title, unbolded, centered at the top of the page. Then your “main headings” will be centered and bolded, each main word being capitalized, and then subheadings within these mainheadings will be left aligned, bold and each main word capitalized.


This is the Title of My Fake Paper
This would be where I would write out my introduction, being sure to summarize the rest of

my paper and explaining the purpose of my paper.

(BOLD) Main Heading
This may be where I discuss a certain topic, maybe theoretical assumptions, but if I am going to break down these theoretical assumptions, it is helpful to divide even further with second level headings as below.

(BOLD) Heading for Second Level
Here I would get even more in depth and subheadings can be broken down further and further. I use Purdue Owl as a reference to remember how to break these down when needed.
Link: eadings_and_seriation.html

Other Paper Important Info
In presenting your work, identify the title, your name, student ID number, and submission date in the title slide of your work. It is recommended that you include the following sections in your paper:

  • Title (Name, Id Number, Date, Title)
  • Abstract (200 word synopsis/summary of your paper…think of it as a paper movie trailer)
  • Introduction (one-two paragraphs)
  • Current Review of the Literature (body of paper; use sub-sections as you deem necessary)
  • Review and Application of Theory (body of paper; use sub-sections as you deem necessary)
    o You need to demonstrate a significant degree of knowledge regarding the theory you choose.
    o Support with theories that are appropriate for each case
    o Recommend you review the existing literature to further explore that theory and how it has been applied
  • Discussion (Tie the theory back to the case problem)
  • Conclusion (one – three paragraphs)
  • References (APA style)

Assessment Criteria
Your submission will be assessed based on the following :
Compliance quality: The degree to which your submission complies with noted guidelines, including word count, reference/citation specifications, and adherence to APA style,
Communication quality: The degree to which your work meets standards expected in business communications, including matters concerning the use of proper grammar and punctuation,
Content quality: The quality of the content presented in your work.

Take care to note the deadline for this assignment. Late entries will not be accepted. It does not matter if your internet went down – you had three weeks to prepare this paper. SAVE YOUR WORK. Invest in a flash drive if you do not save your work to the cloud.

Please remember that this is a Master’s level course. We want to prepare you to be independent researchers and practitioners. As such, I will not hold your hand in this process. The ONUS IS ON YOU to make this paper work. My advice is to start early. This constitutes 30% of your grade. Start early and work hard. Be finished in time to make sure that you can PROOF, PROOF, PROOF your paper and that you do not exceed the Turnitin threshold for non-original work.

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