University of Oulu

Kiljunen, M., Laukka, E., Koskela, T.K. and Kanste, O.I. (2022), "Remote leadership in health care: a scoping review", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 98-115.

Remote leadership in health care : a scoping review

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Author: Kiljunen, Mari1; Laukka, Elina1,2; Koskela, Tarja K.1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Health and Social Service System Research Group, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
3Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-09-01


Purpose: The degree of remote working has increased in the health-care sector, but remote leadership in health-care contexts has not been systematically studied. Thus, the purpose of this review was to map existing literature and research themes of remote leadership in health care and identify potential research gaps to guide future studies.

Design/methodology/approach: A scoping review with narrative synthesis was conducted, covering all published literature addressing remote, virtual, online or distance leadership practices. The ABI/INFORM Collection, CINALH, PsycArticles, Scopus and Web of Science, MedNar, Open Grey and PQDT Open databases were searched electronically, and Finnish Journal of eHealth and eWelfare was searched manually.

Findings: In total 15 articles were included in the review. Most literature concerning remote leadership in health care has been published during the past three decades. The main themes discerned in this research stream are related to interactions, work environments, leadership in practice, use of technology and needs for more study of remote leadership and guidance for remote leaders.

Research limitations/implications: Research on remote leadership in health care is limited, patchy and associated concepts vary substantially. More comprehensive research on the phenomenon is needed, with more systematic attention to, and coverage of, relevant populations, concepts, contexts and the identified themes.

Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this appears to be the first review to map research on remote leadership in health care and identify research gaps, which is important as its prevalence has rapidly increased.

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Series: Leadership in health services
ISSN: 1751-1879
ISSN-E: 1751-1887
ISSN-L: 1751-1879
Volume: 35
Issue: 1
Pages: 98 - 115
DOI: 10.1108/LHS-06-2021-0059
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3141 Health care science
Copyright information: Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.