Leadership Styles in Nursing Essay
Over the course of a few last decades, numerous studies on leadership have emerged. One of the areas where leadership skills are considered important is nursing. In this paper, we will describe the main characteristics of the transformational leadership, and summarize a scholarly article (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013) reviewing literature on this leadership style. We will also assess our own leadership style and see whether it aligns well with the transformational model of leadership.
The transformational leadership style has been given most attention in the nursing research (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013, p. 11-12). A transformational leader is usually described as a charismatic person who leads their followers by providing a vision, giving them challenges, inspiring and motivating them to reach high organizational goals that transform the organization and improve its position; the followers are also supposed to develop in the process. Transformational leaders are often expected to possess innumerable positive characteristics that would allow them to lead their followers and develop their company (Marshall, 2011, p. 28).
Transformational leadership in nursing is addressed in the article by Hutchinson & Jackson (2013). The authors critically discuss the theory of transformational leadership, providing a short description of the theory of this style of leadership, proceeding to discussing the limitations and drawbacks of this model, as well as of the research on the transformational leadership theory specifically in the nursing context.
The authors found out that the popular transformational leadership model suffers from numerous restrictions. For instance, they state that leadership is often interpreted dichromatically, either as transformational or transactional, which means that studies often concentrate only on either or on communicating ideas of change and inspiring transformation; such phenomena as power, domination, politics, etc. are often not addressed. Leaders are usually viewed as some type of heroic and distant individuals, those who inspire their followers from above, . Also, it is stated that little attention is paid to leader integrity; leaders must cause their followers attain organizational goals and develop, but moral issues are rarely stressed. In fact, it is stated that narcissistic leadership has many similar traits with the transformational style. It is also mentioned that leadership theorists pay little attention to the negative sides of leadership, which means that avoidant or immoral leadership behaviors often remain unexamined. Cultural and gender issues are underrepresented in the literature on transformational leadership as well. In addition, the studies on leadership practice often suffer from numerous methodological drawbacks.
The authors point out that transformational leadership studies focus attention on the characteristics of leaders and their vertical influence over followers (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013, p. 18). The studies are leader-centered, their followers are often perceived as playing a passive role; no wonder that leaders often rate their transformational characteristics much higher than their followers do. It is concluded that leadership research should focus more on leadership integrity, the darker sides of leadership, and pay more attention to other participants of the nursing environment.
The author of the current paper is inclined towards the democratic leadership style. It is our belief that whether relying mainly on the leader might in some separate cases be fruitful, it is generally better not to view the followers as a passive mass that is to be shaped by the leader. The nurses working in clinical environments are usually expected to be professionals, and it is reasonable not to rely solely on the leader in the decision-making and . Clearly, the leader should provide help and guidance to their less experienced colleagues, and inspire them to work, but building a hierarchy where the leader is the shaper and of relying on the power of the nursing community does not appear to be a .
To sum up, while transformational leadership has been paid much attention to by the contemporary scholarly literature, Hutchinson & Jackson (2013) point out a number of drawbacks regarding this theory and practice. In part because of these drawbacks, the author of this paper considers the democratic leadership style more preferable that the transformational one.