Setting the Stage for a Business Case for Leadership Diversity in Healthcare: History, Research, and Leverage

Dotson, Ebbin; Nuru-Jeter, Amani
January 2012
Journal of Healthcare Management;Jan/Feb2012, Vol. 57 Issue 1, p35
Academic Journal
Leveraging diversity to successfully influence business operations is a business imperative for many healthcare organizations as they look to leadership to help manage a new era of culturally competent, patient-centered care that reduces health and healthcare disparities. This article presents the foundation for a business case in leadership diversity within healthcare organizations and describes the need for research on managerial solutions to health and healthcare disparities. It provides a discussion of clinical, policy, and management implications that will help support a business case for improving the diversity of leadership in healthcare organizations as a way to reduce health and healthcare disparities. Historical contexts introduce aspects of the business case for leveraging leadership diversity based on a desire for a culturally competent care organization. Little research exists on the impact that the role of leadership plays in addressing health disparities from a healthcare management perspective. This article provides practitioners and researchers with a rationale to invest in leadership diversity. It discusses three strategies that will help set the stage for a business case. First, provide empirical evidence of the link between diversity and performance. Second, link investments in diversity to financial outcomes and organizational metrics of success. Third, make organizational leadership responsible for cultural competence as a performance measure. In order to address health and healthcare disparities, collaborations between researchers and practitioners are necessary to effectively implement these strategies.


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