An ambulance trust has come under fire for spending £10,000 on a survey asking staff how ‘cool’ they think Hitler was.
West Midlands Ambulance Service embarked on the ‘making leadership cool’ research project in a bid to promote leadership development.
Staff were asked to rate a list of leaders – including Gordon Brown, Fabio Capello and Adolf Hitler – according to how ‘cool’ they were. Workers were even asked to compare their own chief executive to the Nazi leader.
The survey, sent to 3,300 employees, also asked employees if being gay, funny or black made a leader cool.
One paramedic, who refused to be named, described the survey as ‘insulting’ and said ambulances were “seriously under-equipped”, the Daily Mail has reported.
West Midlands Ambulance Trust defended the research, saying the results would be used to develop a “leadership development programme”.
A spokesman said: “Staff were asked to look at different leadership styles and one was a dictatorial style.
“Adolf Hitler’s style galvanised a country into terrible things but it did galvanise a country. Perhaps in hindsight a better example could have been used.”
However, Fiona McEvoy, of the TaxPayers Alliance, said: “Taxpayers don’t care if public sector managers are cool, they just want a decent service.”