Purpose – This paper aims to describe the training strategy developed to provide the leadership of a new coordination structure of health centers in Portugal, with managerial competencies adapted to the requirements of their function, in support of primary care reform. Design/methodology/approach – Pre and post‐program questionnaires were exploited. These focused on the perceptions of the new managers of their needs and of the benefits derived from their participation in learning activities during 2008 and 2009. Findings – The findings outline that although the program created opportunities for executive directors to identify and analyze planning and management problems and to share potential solutions with colleagues, a training program is not sufficient to create the conditions that facilitate change. Research limitations/implications – More research is required to better understand the impact of the program on executive directors' attitudes and behaviors. More research on measuring the impact of leadership training is needed to provide policy‐makers with strategies to support their reforms. Practical implications – The PACES training program was designed to develop and strengthen the managerial capacities of a group of managers of a new administrative structure in the health sector; it could be also applicable to other sectors like education, environment, etc. Social implications – If a reform process is to be effective, policy‐makers need to address, in addition to building individual capacities, organizational and institutional capacity needs, and design mechanisms to support managers on a continuing basis. Originality/value – This paper describes the development of a new program focused on management and leadership to fit the needs of a reform in primary‐care.
Leadership in Health Services – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 4, 2011
Keywords: Health reform; Leadership; Primary‐care services; Executive training; Portugal
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