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International Journal of Public Health and Clinical Sciences (IJPHCS)
Open Access e-journal ISSN : 2289-7577


Arifah A.R., Mohd Tariq, Mohd Fikri R. Syahira S., Rosliza A.M., Muhamad Hanafiah Juni



Background: Leadership is crucial in disease outbreak management to ensure successfulness of control and prevention programme. Leadership theories explain the rational of management action during an outbreak.  This paper aims to examine various applications in diseases outbreak management.

Materials and Methods: Adopting a scoping review method, articles were identified using four databases namely Scopus, Google Scholar, PubMed and Science Direct through the keywords “leadership” and “outbreak management”. Only articles written and published in English within the last 15 years were included. 20 articles were reviewed after the filtering process.

Result: Four Participative Leadership Theory themes with various examples were identified. These include “Encouragement to the staff” by hospital administration to control SARS outbreak in Taiwan, “Partnership” between international agency in managing polio outbreak in Africans, “Communication with external factor” between health authorities and external general practitioners in controlling meningococcal outbreak in England and “Collaboration between government agencies” between local hospital and clinic in conducting tuberculosis screening. Three Contingency Theory themes that emerged include “Positional power” “Leader-member relation”, “Task-structure” in various outbreak management scenario comprising of various leadership skills. For Transformational Theory, three themes recognised include “Inspirational Motivation” involving a hospital CEO in Taiwan managing the SARS crisis, “Idealized Influence” among the health leaders in Papua New Guinea during a Cholera outbreak and “Individualized Consideration” seen through the management of Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

Conclusion: The participative leadership theory, contingency theory and transformational leadership theory is identified as equally prominent leadership theories in effective management of diseases outbreak.  

Keywords: Leadership theories, disease outbreak, management

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