The Effect of Military Experience on Civilian and Military Healthcare Facility CEO Leadership Development, Behaviors, and Outcomes
This study examined whether the leadership experiences and leadership behaviors of United States healthcare facility Chief Executive Officers are affected by military or civilian experience. The study also investigated whether differences in leadership outcomes, as perceived by key subordinates, were affected by the CEO's leadership development experiences or leadership behaviors. The goal of this study was to investigate how occupationally similar, yet experientially diverse, military and civilian hospital CEOs differ in significant leadership experiences, behaviors, and three performance outcomes, namely perceived effectiveness, follower satisfaction with the leader, and willingness of subordinates to put forth extra effort.
Responses from a national sample of civilian and military healthcare facility CEOs affiliated with the American College of Healthcare Executives were used to address the research questions. A total of 117 healthcare facility CEOs and 190 key subordinates completed surveys designed to evaluate leadership development experiences and subordinates' perceptions of leader behaviors and outcomes.
Analysis of Variance was chosen as the method for data analysis to describe quantitatively the relationship between CEO military experience and leadership development experiences, leadership styles, and leadership outcomes. Results indicated that the CEO's adult leadership development activities differed by military experience. The facility CEOs with prior military experience had unique leadership promoting and inhibiting factors. However, the prediction was not supported that the military CEOs would exhibit stronger leadership behaviors. Again, significant differences were not found between facility CEO groups in mean scores for leadership outcomes of extra effort, satisfaction and perceived effectiveness of the leader.
The study findings added to the healthcare leadership knowledge base concerning improvement of the organizational outcomes of United States healthcare facilities. In addition, the results of this study have potential for linkage with assessments of ongoing military and civilian healthcare leader development initiatives.