Exploring leadership in health professionals following an industry-based leadership program: A cross-sectional survey

Publication Name

Journal of Advanced Nursing


Aim: To evaluate the self-reported leadership practices and behaviours of health professionals following a leadership program and explore factors that impacted leadership style. Design: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted from August to October 2022. Methods: The survey was disseminated via email to leadership program graduates. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire Form—6S was used to measure leadership style. Results: Eighty completed surveys were included in the analysis. Participants scored highest on transformational leadership and lowest on passive/avoidant leadership style. Participants with higher qualifications scored significantly higher in the inspirational motivation scores (p = 0.03). As years in their profession increased, there was a significant decrease in contingent reward scores (p = 0.04). The younger participants scored significantly higher on the management-by-exception than older participants (p = 0.05). There were no significant associations with the year the leadership program was completed, gender or profession and Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire Form - 6S scores. Most participants (72.5%) strongly agreed that the program enhanced their leadership development and 91.3% strongly agreed or agreed that they routinely apply the skills and knowledge learnt in the program in their workplace. Conclusion: Formal leadership education is important in developing a transformational nursing workforce. This study found that program graduates had adopted a transformational leadership style. Education, years of experience and age impacted the specific leadership elements. Future work needs to incorporate longitudinal follow-up to relate changes in leadership with impact on clinical practice. Implications for the Profession: Transformational leadership as a dominant style can contribute to nurses and other disciplines positively contributing to innovative and person-centred approaches to health service delivery. Summary Statement: What already is known—Leadership amongst nurses and other health professionals impacts patients, staff, organizations and ultimately healthcare culture. What this paper adds—Formal leadership education is important in developing a transformational healthcare workforce. Implications for practice/policy—Transformational leadership can enhance nurses and other disciplines commitment to innovative and person-centred approaches. Impact Statement: This research identifies that lessons learnt from formal leadership education are retained over time by healthcare providers. This is important for nursing staff, and other healthcare providers, who are leading teams and overseeing care delivery, can ensure leadership behaviours and practices are enacted to influence a transformational workforce and culture. Reporting Method: This study adhered to STROBE guidelines. No Patient or Public Contribution.

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