This qualitative case study utilized interviews and evaluation of publicallyavailable documents to investigate the process of succession planning in a moderately-sized public health office located in a metropolitan community in a frontier-rural state. Following analysis of the data, the results were compared to literature findings. Four public health directors, the County Health Officer and the Board of Health chairperson participated in the private, face-to-face interviews. These individuals were asked to participate because they have the ability to direct staff leadership development activities. A formal succession planning program did not exist at this agency; however, on an informal basis, leadership development was evident. Successes in promotion of leadership development included establishment of a cooperative and collegial work atmosphere. Barriers to the process of succession planning included a lack of stable funding, lack of understanding about the role of public health by the public, erosion of public health authority, inability to recruit trained personnel, low pay scales, and aging of the current workforce. The results of this study indicate that although formal succession planning programs may not exist within an agency, leadership development is still possible through proven adult education methods.
Succession Planning, Rural Public Health, Leadership Development, Case Study, Qualitative Research
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Recommended APA Citation
Cole, S. L., & Harbour, C. P. (2015). Succession Planning Activities at a Rural Public Health Department. The Qualitative Report, 20(1), 148-164. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2015.1960