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Research

Integrating rigor and relevance in how leadership and strategic thinking is developed and studied is at the core of the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking (CLST). By advancing the science and practice that connect leadership and strategic thinking the University of Washington Foster School of Business is changing the way leadership and strategic thinking are developed. Highlight areas of focus as the center evolves:

Strategic Leadership Model: Testing a model of strategic leadership development that enhances the leader and follower interface at all levels of organizations.

Leadership ROI: Validate tools to help calculate an organization’s return on leadership development efforts.

Business Partnerships: Develop signature strategic relationships with innovative organizations to create experiential cases.These cases will offer teams of business students the opportunity to tackle real-world, real-time issues – and interact in parallel with the individuals within the organization tasked with addressing the issue. If you are interested in your organization being featured in an interactive business case, contact clst@uw.edu.

Select the the healthcare, military or future decisions tab to learn more about the research happening in those fields.

U.S. Veteran’s Administration
CLST is in its second year working with the New England Veterans Administration. This work builds on the Center’s research program that focuses on how to optimally develop authentic and transformational leadership among physicians, nurses and administrative leaders. One of the primary objectives in this work is to examine how these positive forms of leadership enhance the level of ownership employees assume for serving our nation’s veterans, and the impact it has on key performance outcomes such as patient stay, safety and satisfaction.CLST has completed work with the Veterans Administration Nebraska Western Iowa facilities on a variety of intervention projects to develop individual, unit and strategic leadership.

Catholic Health Initiatives

A Sound Health Care Project
This research project goal is to understand how effective strategic change initiates, unfolds and sustains over time in healthcare organizations, so that we can then teach how to replicate successful strategic change at the least cost with the maximum impact on performance. During 2010-2011, we examined a select set of 10 hospitals in the Puget Sound region to study how these hospital systems engage in major strategic change, such as improving patient flow, enhancing safety or the digitization of patient records.

Master in Health Administration Leader Development Project
This research project goal is to understand how effective strategic change initiates, unfolds and sustains over time in healthcare organizations, so that we can then teach how to replicate successful strategic change at the least cost with the maximum impact on performance. During 2010-2011, we examined a select set of 10 hospitals in the Puget Sound region to study how these hospital systems engage in major strategic change, such as improving patient flow, enhancing safety or the digitization of patient records. Learn more about UW’s MHA program.
Testimonial: “The CLST staff and leadership are a delight to work with. With their help we have substantially augmented the quality of the leadership training for our students, and the results are obvious to the faculty.”
Ed Walker, M.D., M.H.A.
Director, UW Certificate Program in Medical Management
Director, UW Healthcare Leadership Development Alliance
Former Medical Director for the University of Washington Medical Center

Combat Leadership Project
Working in collaboration with the US Army and the US Army’s Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE), CLST researchers have been studying how leaders and units prepare for and deal with combat once deployed. This project specifically focuses on the individual and team leadership and climate characteristics that best prepare units to perform in the range of missions involved in combat. Initial results show that how units are led prior to and in combat instances can have a significant impact on the performance of those units, soldier well-being, attitudes towards civilians and combatants, and how adaptive the units are once leaving deployment

Baseline Officer Longitudinal Development Study (BOLDS)
BOLDS is an Army Research Institute funded longitudinal project, which is following a cohort of West Point Military Academy cadets that graduated in 1998 to determine how early characteristics and experiences related to leadership predict subsequent development and performance. Specifically, now almost two decades post-graduation, we are trying to determine whether information collected from the cadets during their training at West Point predicts the kinds of professional positions, performance and outlook that they have today towards current leadership challenges being faced in the military or in outside organizations if participants have left the military. Learn more about BOLDS.

Professional Military Ethics Project
The CLST is working with the US Army’s Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE) to identify the critical components of what constitutes a soldier’s Professional Military Ethic (PME). This multi-year project involves assessing the current state of the professional military ethic and how it applies to leadership development, as well as what the future state will look like over the next two decades. CLST researchers are currently surveying members of the US Army regarding their perceptions of the current Army’s PME, and will provide support for developing program enhancements that will be administered Army-wide during 2011.

Financial Analyst
In partnership with Oliver Wyman Leadership Development, CLST conducted 45 interviews with financial analysts around the globe to learn how the strength or quality of leadership plays into the analysts’ evaluation of the firm. We discovered that estimating the quality of leadership was even more important in companies and industry sectors with substantially higher degrees of strategic freedom and controls to make decisions impacting a firm’s performance. In a follow-up study, working with Forbes research and surveying 305 financial analysts around the globe, the initial findings noted above have now been corroborated and expanded. The net result is that analysts’ evaluation of leadership indeed matters and can account for 20% or more of the changes in their estimation of a firm’s value.

New Research

Recently, the CLST worked with several researchers around the world to examine if emergent entrepreneurial leadership was heritable. What we discovered was that for males entrepreneurial leadership had zero heritability considering the entire working life-span, while for women it was near 50%. The authors speculated that the high heritability associated with women entrepreneurs is likely due to potential biases in business against woman entrepreneurs. Specifically, certain traits that help woman to be successful today, may become less important over time, moving the overall amount of heritability associated with being an entrepreneurial leader down closer to males

LDNavigator Project
The LDNavigator is a web portal CLST has developed that allows eadership performance coaches to work with their clients n a secured, online environment, and to give feedback about developmental plans and goals the clients are working on, developmental assessments they complete, and reflective journal entries they share. We provide clients with a host of online resources to foster and accelerate positive leadership development, and a forum for them to interact with their teammates and coaches on a variety of tasks. The LDNavigator allows us to customize the developmental experience and trajectory to each user’s needs and potential.