hospital leadership, leadership development programs, resource dependency



  1. Thompson, Jon M. PhD
  2. Kim, Tae Hyun PhD


Community hospitals face increasing organizational and environmental complexities that challenge effective leadership. Hospitals are embracing leadership development programs in efforts to ensure leadership talent. While prior literature has described the intent and availability of these programs, the characteristics and performance of hospitals having such programs and their associated market characteristics have not been fully addressed. This article identifies significant differences in organizational, operational, performance, and market factors that are associated with hospitals offering a leadership development program, compared with those hospitals lacking such a program. The authors used American Hospital Association Survey data for 2008, the Area Resource File, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid data to identify hospitals with and without leadership development programs and analyzed the differences for a number of organizational, operational, performance, and market variables. Findings indicate that hospitals having leadership development programs were large-bed-size facilities, had not-for-profit ownership, were system affiliated, were located in metropolitan statistical areas, and were teaching affiliated facilities. These hospitals also generated higher patient discharges, had higher occupancy, and had a longer average length of stay, compared with hospitals without such programs. In addition, these hospitals had higher net patient revenue per adjusted discharge and higher total profit margins relative to the comparison group.