Supportive and Transformational Leadership Styles in a Healthcare Environment

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Supportive and Transformational Leadership Styles in a Healthcare Environment

Dianne Conforte
Current Issues in Leadership MBA595

April 25, 2010

Introductory Section
Supportive organizations and exceptional individual contributions set the stage for effective teamwork. Healthcare teams require a clear purpose that integrates specific analytical groups and multiple facets of patient care. “Healthcare teams which have a clear purpose that is consistent with the organizations’ mission, can be more clearly integrated, resourced and supported. Healthcare teams generate commitment through a shared goal of comprehensive patient care and a common belief that the team is the best way to deliver coordinated care” (Proctor-Childs, 1998, pp 616-635). Transformational leadership creates an empowering environment where quality in clinical care is significant. Communicating a vision and influencing others to strive towards this ideal is the premiere responsibility of an effective leader.

Literature Section

“Committed individuals are more willing to invest personally in the team, contribute to the decision making and respect the balance of interdependence and collaboration” (Bassoff, 1983, pp 280-286). “As the health care system is staffed by more and more professionals, the need for more supportive type leadership based on referent power will increase. In order to achieve the goals of the organization, leaders must begin to rely on their ability to communicate “themselves” to others, rather than on their coercive or legitimate power. Rapport (through empathy, respect, and warmth) is suggested as a means of influencing the attitudes of others and developing supportive leadership capabilities” (Warner, 1981, pp 415-420). When there is trust, open communication, respect, and a sense of camaraderie, the work is still challenging but gets done: priorities are met and people feel good about what they are doing (Disch, Beilman, Ingbar, 2001, pp 366-377). Whenever these prominent elements are absent, staff and patient satisfaction decreases and employee turnover and organizational costs increase (Disch, Beilman, Ingbar, 2001, pp 366-377). “More importantly, research findings suggest that improving collaboration and teamwork are more than “feel-good” exercises: patient outcomes of care can be jeopardized when nurses, physicians, and other members of a critical care team, are not communicating or collaborating” (Disch, Beilman, Ingbar, 2001, pp 366-377). “The nurse manager and medical director of a unit, as leaders of this team, are responsible for ensuring not only that quality care is delivered to patients, but also that the environment is supportive to caregivers” (Disch, Beilman, Ingbar, 2001, pp 366-377). Authors, Morrison and Jones, exploring the relation between leadership style and empowerment of job satisfaction found that transformational and transactional leadership behaviors were positively related to work team success and leadership effectiveness (Morrison, Jones, Fuller, 1997). According to Bass, “transformational leaders strive to elevate the needs of their followers which are congruent with their own goals and objectives through charisma, intellectual stimulation and individual consideration” (Bass, 1987, pp 73-87). Intellectual stimulation encourages employees to think and process ideas for themselves, to challenge valued assumptions about how they get their job done, and to consider new ways to complete ongoing tasks. It is well known that transformational leaders know how to motivate and energize staff to pursue mutually beneficial goals, share similar visions and work towards creating an empowering culture, where personal values and joint respect are fundamental principles. Transformational leadership creates an empowering environment where quality in clinical care is outstanding. “Transformational leadership has been associated with superior performance in both correlational (Howell & Avolio, 1993, pp...
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