Date of Award



© 2019 Susan Murphy Campanelli

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Carey Clark

Second Advisor

Barbara Heard

Third Advisor

William Kriegsman


Healthcare leadership is evolving in response to recommendations from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Physicians and administrators are partnering to form leadership dyads. These leadership dyads are focusing on improving healthcare quality, decreasing costs, and improving access. Existing literature on healthcare dyads explores leadership training needs for physicians, focuses on the differences between physicians and administrators, and emphasizes the need to develop role clarity for dyad leaders. There is a lack of empirical literature exploring how the physician and the administrator develop into a leadership team and extend shared leadership into their organization.

This phenomenological study applies Bandura’s (1986) social cognitive theory, triadic reciprocality, and human agency to the lived experience of healthcare dyad leaders. The purpose is to give equal voice to physicians and administrators. This study provides insight into the similarities and differences between the physicians and the administrators in dyad leadership roles. Six participants, three physicians and three administrators, participated in semi-structured interviews. An interpretive phenomenological methodology was used to analyze the experience of each group then compare and contrast the experiences of the two groups.

Results yielded more similarities within each group than between the two groups. Administrators experienced shared leadership with their physician partners whereas the physician group was divided. The full-time physician achieved shared leadership with more than one dyad partner, but the two part-time physician leaders were unable to achieve shared leadership. Part-time physician leaders experienced significant role conflict between their clinical practice and their administrative leadership role. The two roles often overlapped causing internal demotivation and feelings of frustration. All participants experienced internal motivation and professional satisfaction when they were able to meet patient care needs or create programs and infrastructure to serve populations. The key difference in the experience of part-time and full-time physician dyad leaders fills a gap in the literature and creates opportunities for further research into dyad leadership.


Ed.D. Dissertation