Research carried out by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has revealed a third of senior managers in health and social care are considered ineffective by their staff.
The survey of around 4,500 employees in the sector also found that lower than average levels of investment in management and leadership development were hindering managers from performing to the best of their ability.
At senior management level, the proportion of managers deemed to be ineffective rose to 43% and that average investment in management development was just £1,075 per year.
Managers were most likely to receive on-the-job training or internal development, but found this least effective, according to the survey.
According to the CMI, greater investment in management skills and support would help to increase organisational performance in a third of health and social care employers whilst improving staff performance in a quarter.
Commenting on the findings, CMI chief executive Ann Francke said that bad management has damaging consequences in any sector. But in the health sector, more than anywhere else, strong management and leadership is critical.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, Dean Royles, is reported as saying that senior mangers in the NHS had a complex agenda to deal with. However he agreed with recommendations for greater investment in training and development.