Transformational leadership in nursing practice
Owen Doody and Catriona M Doody
Traditionally, nurses have been over-managed and led inadequately, yet today they face unprecedented challenges and opportunities. Organisations constantly face changes that require an increasingly adaptive and flexible leadership. This type of adaptive leadership is referred to as ‘transformational’; under it, environments of shared responsibilities that influence new ways of knowing are created. Transformational leadership motivates followers by appealing to higher ideas and moral values, where the leader has a deep set of internal values and ideas. This leads to followers acting to sustain the greater good, ...view middle of the document...
TransformationalleadershipwasfirstdefinedbyDownton (1973) but it was the work of Burns (1978) that gained most currency. Burns distinguished between transactional and transformational leadership, feeling that one prohibits theotherandthattheyareatoppositeendsofacontinuum (Gellis, 2001; Judge and Piccolo, 2004). However, good
OwenDoodyisLecturer,DepartmentofNursingandMidwifery attheUniversityofLimerick,IrelandandCatrionaMDoodyis RegisteredIntellectualDisabilityNurseattheDaughtersofCharity Service,Ireland Accepted for publication: July 2012
leaders demonstrate both transactional and transformational characteristics(JudgeandPiccolo,2004),requiringamarriage of both styles complementing and enhancing each other (Bryant,2003;Rolfe,2011). Transformational leadership is a process that motivates followersbyappealingtohigherideasandmoralvalueswhere theleaderhasadeepsetofinternalvaluesandideasandis persuasiveatmotivatingfollowerstoactinawaythatsustains thegreatergoodratherthantheirowninterests(Burns,1978). Transformational leaders make it safe for staff to risk and extendtheboundariesofthinkinganddoing,creatingample conditions for energy, creativity and innovation to emerge (Porter-O’Grady, 1997), where supportive environments of sharedresponsibilityarecreated(Ward,2002;Bally,2007). Transformational leadership is viewed as the most effectivemodelofleadershipbecause,whileitrecognisesthe importance of rewards, it goes further to satisfy the higher needs of the follower by engaging this person emotionally andintellectually(Surakka,2008). This article focuses on transformational leadership and its application to nursing through the four components of transformational leadership identified by Bass (1995; 1998), Hall et al (2002) and Barbuto (2005): idealised influence; inspirational motivation; intellectual stimulation; andindividualconsideration.
Idealisedinfluencebuildsconfidence,admiration,respectand trust(Bassetal,2003),providingemployeeswithasenseof mission (Northouse, 2010). For this to occur, nurse leaders needtoberolemodelswhotheirstaffseektoemulate(Hay, 2006;Iliesetal,2012).Whenaleaderisarolemodelforstaff, itbecomeslesslikelythattherewillberesistancetochangeor newinitiativesthataretobeimplemented(Wangetal,2011). Thisidealisedinfluencecanbeencapsulatedinthephilosophy andethosoftheservice/unitanditsmissionstatement.The leadershouldideallyinvolvestaff,familiesandserviceusersin thedesignandimplementationofthesestatements. However, even with this shared vision, leaders as role...