Leadership and management series: Part 1 – an introduction to leadership and management for psychiatrists

by Dr Michael Hobkirk


Published: June 2014


'Leadership' is a fashionable term used a great deal by managers and others in healthcare organisations. As a concept it is complex, multifaceted, and heavily influenced by the context in which it occurs.


Management philosophies are relatively recent developments and the application of rigorous methodology to these even more so. Most psychiatrists have had years of being bombarded with data-free truisms such as 'a good organisation is a listening organisation', and for the most part we remain none the wiser.


This module offers guidance for senior clinicians on how to think about the topics of leadership and management as they apply to psychiatry. Key theories and models are presented alongside a critical commentary informed by an evidence base and personal experience. Readers are encouraged to increase their understanding of themselves and their managerial colleagues with a view to facilitating communication.


A keynote speech on Leadership and Management from Dr Laurence Mynors-Wallis, Registrar, RCPsych:




In this module you will learn about:


  • the rise of leadership thought


  • current popular theories of leadership and management


  • how leadership and management philosophies are being applied to mental health care


  • the evidence for the impact of leadership development


  • using a systemic perspective to inform your leadership practice. 


Start the module


This is the first of a series of modules covering the key concepts of leadership and management. See also: Leadership and management series: Part 2 – time management for psychiatrists and Leadership and management series: Part 3 – pragmatic leadership in teams and groups.


You may also wish to refer to the Leadership and Management pages on the Royal College of Psychiatrists' website for further information.



If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Organisation theory: conceptual frameworks in a changing context by Professor David Crowther and Dr Miriam Green


Probity in professional practice: Part 1 by Dr Ashok Patel and Dr Haider Malik


How patient-centred are you? Shared decision-making in psychiatric practice by Dr Robert Chaplin and Dr Alan Quirk


Book from RCPsych Publications: Management for Psychiatrists (4th edition)


RCPsych College Reports:

OP74. Role of the Consultant Psychiatrist: Leadership and excellence in mental health services


OP80. Leadership and Management Study Guide




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© 2019 Royal College of Psychiatrists