Leadership Development in Social Care – A Study of the Entrepreneurs and Managers of Elder Care in India and Sweden
The developing world is going grey. Amidst the claims of demographic dividend of India due to its predominant young population, there is a growing population of people above 60 years of age, who constitute the aged population. There is also epidemiological evidence of growing mental health issues amongst elders in developing countries like India. The Indian elder care industry in recent years has seen tremendous growth both in terms of business and the number of opportunities for entrepreneurial start-ups. In this paper, we share the findings of an inductive (qualitative) study based on constructivist grounded theory approach, to uncover the themes that help us arrive at a conceptual model for leadership development in social care. The study was conducted on the top or senior management of elder care organizations in two different institutional contexts: India (where the elder care sector is at an initial stage of development driven by private players) and Sweden (a matured well-developed elder care system mostly organized by public sector and funded by taxes). The emerging themes helped us arrive at important values in caregiving and leadership in elder care viz., purpose, passion, patience, patient-centricity (people), and practical wisdom. This establishes the relevance of Bhattacharjee and Singh's (2017) 4P model of leadership and paves the way for future research on practicing servant leadership models in elder care (e.g. Gunnarsdóttir et al., 2018).