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Understanding leadership and management development in a health board of NHS Scotland.

Seow, Jireh Hooi Inn


Jireh Hooi Inn Seow


Alistair R. Anderson

Dennis Tourish


This doctoral thesis, entitled Understanding Leadership and Management Development in a Health Board of NHS Scotland, is completely written by Jireh Hooi Inn Seow for submission to meet the partial requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy. This doctoral research is in the field of leadership and management development. It explores and seeks to understand healthcare leadership and management development in a region (officially called a Health Board) of NHS Scotland. It employs a qualitative methodology, anchored within a broad approach of interpretivism, and the fieldwork data collection methods of interviewing and participant observation to inform the objective of this study, which is to investigate the prominent behavioural attributes, values, attitudes, traits, ways of thinking and feelings, or actions exhibited by the research subjects who are emergent Scottish healthcare leaders and managers. This research involves two stages of data collection where the second round of interviews takes place slightly more than a year after the first round. After reviewing the literature on seven popular leadership and management development practices or programme, and after the analyses of qualitative empirical data from the fieldwork, this research provides the discovery of how the healthcare professionals are developed as well as an understanding of a mechanism underlying their leadership and management development. The application of meme theory, the main theoretical lens of this research, reveals the workings of a memetic mechanism behind leadership and management development. Thus, this main contribution of this research is the addressing of the relative shortage of research publication on leadership and management development, particularly on the mechanisms underlying leadership and management development, by showing how healthcare professionals are developed into leaders and managers via the spread, replication, transmission, and acquisition of memes; this study then offers suggestions of how leadership and management development programme could be designed in light of such a memetic leadership and management development. The main contribution of this research also includes the discovery of leadership and management development memes which are then categorised into four memeplexes labelled as the Altruism Memeplex, the Motivation Memeplex, the Motivating Memeplex, and the People-developing Memeplex. In addition, a minor contribution of this study is a novel interview data collection method in the research design that incorporates 360-degree feedback.


SEOW, J.H.I. 2012. Understanding leadership and management development in a health board of NHS Scotland. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2013
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2013
Public URL
Award Date Dec 31, 2012


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