Nottingham University Business School

Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership and Learning (CHILL)  

HeLPA  - Healthcare Leadership with Political Astuteness: understanding the acquisition, use and contribution of leadership with ‘political astuteness’ in the implementation of major health system change, developing lessons for service leaders, educators and recruiters

The purpose of this study is to investigate the acquisition, use and contribution of ‘political astuteness’ by service leaders and other change agents in the implementation of strategic health system change, with the aim of informing the co-production of materials and resources for the recruitment, training, and development of existing and future leaders.

Project aims

To understand the perceptions, experiences and reported practices of service leaders, and other change agents, about their acquisition and use of PA in the implementation of health system change, taking into account differences in professional background, age, gender, ethnicity, geo-political context, and change context.

Project highlights

  • The study will produce ‘state of the art’ conceptual understanding of political astuteness in different service contexts, and ‘cutting edge’ empirical understanding of the contribution of political astuteness to the implementation of major system change in healthcare services.
  • The findings will inform the co-production and piloting of new learning and recruitment materials, to be developed and tested in conjunction with existing NHS leadership development providers.
  • The new learning and recruitment materials, including workbook, online resources and self assessment tools, will be made available to all NHS leadership development providers for further refinement and integration into existing training programmes.
  • The study will produce both formative and summative learning to national and regional service leaders engaged in the formulation and implementation of STPs, including an analysis of the specific barriers and drivers to change within the informal political environment, and the contribution of leaders' political astutness in distinct and common change arenas.


Project team

PI: Professor Justin Waring

CHILL team: Dr. Simon Bishop,Dr. Jenelle Clarke, Clare Ramshaw

Funder: NIHR

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