The role of leadership in organisation change: What is the role of leadership in Ministry of National Guard-Health Affairs (MNGHA) in Embracing Change in current COVID-19 Pandemic

The role of leadership in organisation change: What is the role of leadership in Ministry of National Guard-Health Affairs (MNGHA) in Embracing Change in current COVID-19 Pandemic?


Project Requirements in

“Leadership and Change”

Sulaiman AlRajhi School of Business


Supervisor: Prof. Wan Khairuzzaman Wan Ismail, PhD

Date: 29/11/2021

Table of Contents

1.0 Organisation Background. 2

2.0 Leadership and Change in MNGHA Organisation in Saudi Arabia. 5

3.0 COVID-19 Pandemic Derailed MNGHA Vision and Set Goals 9

4.0 What is the role of leadership and change to solve the issues highlighted as impeding vision and goals attainment in MNGHA?  11

5.0 Conclusion. 13

References 15


1.0 Organisation Background

The Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs (MNGHA) operates as a government sponsored multispecialty mandated with the role of managing the health care system in the entire Saudi Arabia. Its best practice entails integration of clinical care, training, academics with research and cutting-edge technology. Since its establishment in 1982, the organisation has been offering impeccable health care services to the eligible local population. One of the recent changes in the organisation is centralising their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system (MNGHA, 2021). Also, as part of their success in change management, the organisation has managed the COVID-19 pandemic with enormous success. It is in this regard essential to evaluate if the MNGHA success in embracing change is as a result of its detailed leadership. As a result of the organisation change, they have recently introduced the King Abdullah Bin AbdulAziz Arabic Health Encyclopaedia (KAAHE), State-of-the-art simulation center, and the National and Gulf Center for Evidence-Based Health Practice (NGCEBHP) which operates academic and research dimensions into an impeccable clinical training programs. It is nevertheless not clear the scope in which leadership plays in guaranteeing the successful change process by the organisation.

For the purpose of leveraging on a maximum scope of operations, MNGHA their leadership has been instrumental in embracing change process as illustrated in figure 1 organisational leadership structure.

Figure 1: MNGHA Organisational Structure

Currently, the organisation CEO has been Dr Bandar Al Knawy, Chief Executive Officer in MNGHA (HIMSS, 2021). After the emergence of the COVID-19, the leader was selected to lead MNGHA and also the King Saud Bin AbdulAziz University for Health Sciences. Evidently, the previous leadership in MNGHA were slow in terms of embracing change in their operations. It is hence evident that if MNGHA was not under the leadership of Dr Bandar Al Knawy as the Chief Executive Officer, they would have failed in terms of embrace of change and successfully navigating the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic.

Figure 2: Past Leadership Weaknesses in MNGHA

Source: MNGHA desk research

From the evidence findings in figure 2, the previous leadership in MNGHA can be noted to be lacking ability of conveying messages along the hierarchy as illustrated in previous figure 1. It is these areas that Dr Bandar Al Knawy as the Chief Executive Office (CEO) has managed to put in place for guaranteeing success in their operations (EMEA, 2021). As opposed to the other leaders who have held senior positions in MNGHA, Dr Bandar Al Knawy is attributed to having traits as summarised in figure 3;

Figure 3: Dr Bandar Al Knawy Leadership traits

Based on the provided background information, this report focuses on evaluating the MNGHA leadership in pre and post COVID-19 pandemic to identify the extent in which its leadership has been instrumental in embracing change process to a successful change process.

2.0 Leadership and Change in MNGHA Organisation in Saudi Arabia

Considering a research published in McKinsey & Company (2021) targeting approximately 2,500 organisations, it was noted that 83% of all organisations whose change is successful have invested in transformational leadership. This is with the executive noting that 63% of all successful change projects are the ones which embrace a significant leadership which is transformative both for a short and long-term practice. Similarly, in the context of Saudi Arabia healthcare sector, Alharbi (2018) study findings had evidenced the extent in which leadership behaviour influence the readiness for an organisation in embracing change (see figure 4);

Figure 4: Barriers to readiness of change process

In context of MNGHA, the identified barriers for successful change process have been evident in the current COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, in 2015 when the MERS-COV in Saudi Arabia, the CEO at that time Dr. Ahmed Alaskar had failed in ensuring that they successfully manage these infections. As evidenced in OSHA (2021), when the outbreak arose, the organisation had failed in terms of effectiveness of the precautions which had been put in place for the disease management. The first action when COVID-19 pandemic arose in 2020, the organisation engaged Dr Bandar Al Knawy who is credited for successful COVID-19 pandemic management by MNGHA. For instance, as evidenced in LinkedIn (2021), the leader initiated a strategy for  a centralised Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. Also, the leader was able to facilitate the implementation of the precautionary measures and approaches as shown in figure 5;

Figure 5: MNGHA COVID-19 Pandemic Mitigation Leadership Strategies

As evidenced here, it is clear that the changes in leadership from Dr. Ahmed Alaskar who oversaw the management of MERS-COV in Saudi Arabia to Dr Bandar Al Knawy who is credited for successful COVID-19 pandemic is an evident of successful change process. These practices were essential for harnessing collaboration to guarantee appropriate management of the COVID-19 pandemic positively impacting successful MNGHA employees continued operations.

When the employees in MNGHA were asked on the approaches they felt as effective when integrated to COVID-19 pandemic management by their leader Dr Bandar Al Knawy, relevant insights were obtained. These insights are relating to the success in the process and sourced from the centralised Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system which was in an active use. This is as illustrated in figure 6;

Figure 6: COVID-19 Strategies by leadership in MNGHA effectiveness

Source: MNGHA Electronic Medical Record (EMR) System

In my capacity as a people practice professional in MNGHA, my experience offers a one-on-one witness and a capacity for noting any disruption harnessed by COVID-19 pandemic . At one point, after a series of meetings with Dr Bandar Al Knawy and the board of the commission tasked to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in the organisation, we had contemplated redundancy and retrenching some of the employees in the organisation. MNGHA being a significant partner of Saudi Arabia Government, it benefited from the revocation of the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development of Article 41 (World Gulf, 2021). These were strategies I recommended to Dr Bandar Al Knawy and he gladly accepted them as approaches for successful COVID-19 pandemic management and change embrace in the organisation.

There are nevertheless evident limitations in Dr Bandar Al Knawy ability to holistically guide MNGHA towards successful embrace of change and sustainable strategies. This is by fully exploiting their capacity as a successful leader. In times of uncertainties, Yue et al. (2019) had observed the best practice would include embracing situational leadership by being able to note on prevalent challenges, mitigate the and also enact policies and governance strategies to steer an organisation forward. It is with this in mind that Dr Bandar Al Knawy had put all efforts including an increased budgetary allocation to ensure the success of implementation of the EMR system.

3.0 COVID-19 Pandemic Derailed MNGHA Vision and Set Goals

The core vision of MNGHA has been to ensure they maintain a global leadership and excellence in healthcare services provision to Saudi Arabia citizens. As evidenced…….

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