Objective: The study examined a national sample of 396 randomly selected hospital nurse executives to explore transformational leadership, stage of power, and organizational climate.
Background: Results from a few nurse executive studies have found nurse executives were transformational leaders. As executives were more transformational, they achieved better staff satisfaction and higher work group effectiveness. This study integrates Bass' transformational leadership model with Hagberg's power stage theory and Likert's organizational climate theory.
Methods: Nurse executives (396) and staff reporting to them (1,115) rated the nurse executives' leadership style, staff extra effort, staff satisfaction, and work group effectiveness using Bass and Avolio's Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Executives' bosses (360) rated executive work group effectiveness. Executives completed Hagberg's Personal Power Profile and ranked their organizational climate using Likert's Profile of Organizational Characteristics.
Results: Nurse executives used transformational leadership fairly often; achieved fairly satisfied staff levels; were very effective according to bosses; were most likely at stage 3 (power by achievement) or stage 4 (power by reflection); and rated their hospital as a Likert System 3 Consultative Organization. Staff satisfaction and work group effectiveness decreased as nurse executives were more transactional. Higher transformational scores tended to occur with higher educational degrees and within more participative organizations.
Conclusions: Transformational qualities can be enhanced by further education, by achieving higher power stages, and by being within more participative organizations.