UBC Theses and Dissertations
Addressing the challenge of alienation, identity and moral leadership in a seniors care home. Nijjar, Muninder Bobby
The purpose of this study was to document, critically analyze and understand both my experiences as the supervisor of the support service workers (SSWs) and the experiences of the SSWs in the context of privatization at a care home. The conceptual framework for this study was developed using chiefly the literature on workplace alienation, identity development and moral leadership. Qualitative research methodology was used to collect data. One source of data was from my self-reflection on my own practice and a second source was from the SSWs through focus group and individual interviews. The process of privatization of the SSWs jobs and the subsequent significant reduction in wages and benefits was highly alienating. The educational interventions that I developed to involve the SSWs in the care planning process brought significant positive shifts in the SSWs’ attitude towards their jobs and their workplace identity, diminishing their sense of alienation at the care home. I also experienced significant positive shifts in my engagement, identity and leadership at the care home. The findings of this study demonstrates that educational interventions supported the transition of a group of women alienated at work, considered low-status with minimal influence and outside the care planning process to become a team of women who developed a strong sense of belonging and influence at the care home and are now considered insiders and important contributors to the care planning process. The study also demonstrates my own de-alienation and the shift in my workplace identity from an alienated manager with little influence to an involved leader-educator with significant influence and a healthcare professional who makes a difference in the lives of both residents and the SSWs. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of implications for future research, for leadership practice in care homes, and for my own leadership practice.
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