Organizational Behavior and Leadership Theories in Nursing Practice
Within the work environment a number of activities take place, which in their very essence help in the manifestation of people’s behavior; both in administrative and working positions. Within the healthcare environment, and particularly in the nursing practice, individuals manifest different organizational behavior, and those in leadership do indeed manifest different leadership characteristics that go ahead to explain both organizational behavior and leadership theories. Given that organizational behavior and leadership within an organization are instrumental in the achievement of organizational objectives, which in the nursing practice include proper care of patients, McGregor’s X/Y theory and transformational leadership theories were among the most visible theories in the nursing practice.
McGregor’s X/Y theory concerns itself with motivational aspects influencing employee behavior (Mohamed &Nor, 2013). According to this theory, X refers to the leadership direction of worker behavior, particularly by allocating rewards based on the meeting organizational needs. Without this, the theory indicates that employees are likely to be passive or resistant (Mohamed &Nor, 2013). The other part of the theory, Y, contends that individuals have capability of taking up responsibility in the workplace, and the leadership task is therefore only to expedite the achievement of the individual employee’s goal through the achievement of organizational goals. The overall contention of the X/Y theory therefore is that it is the leadership that sets the standards and path on which the staff follows towards the achievement of organizational objectives, and towards the fulfilment individual objectives and staff productivity (Mohamed & Nor, 2013).
As the supervising nurse, John instituted a system in which all the nurses within his department met at the start of a fiscal year. Members of the staff helped in setting out departmental objectives, which in essence related to the facility’s objectives. From these objectives, each individual set their own personal objectives, which they hoped to achieve by the end of a specified time. In his supervisory role, John ensured that each individual had all the necessary tools for the achievement of their individual objectives. It was the responsibility of the individuals to file a report at the end of the specified time enumerating the extent of their achievement. From these reports, each individual was then evaluated based on present evidence, and in relation to the organizational objectives. Special leaves, family trips and certificates of recognition formed part of the rewards instituted by the facility. Additionally, there was special recognition for outstanding initiative, which helped achieve some objectives or contributed to the ease of achieving the objectives.
By paving the way and setting objectives for each individual, John followed McGregor’s X/Y theory of organizational behavior. Giving responsibility to individual members of the staff and rewarding the work according to the level of the staff’s work in achieving organizational objectives ensured that each worker contributed to the achievement of overall organizational objectives. Moreover, John ascertained that employees could indeed take responsibility and initiative following the leadership’s facilitation of their work.
As a leader, John evidenced the transformational leadership theory. According to Marshall (2011), transformational leaders work to empower their followers. Transformational leaders therefore are vibrant individuals with the eye to recognize the distinctive capabilities of their followers. Transformational leaders further view their role as matching tasks with their followers’ capabilities, and use interactive and communicative approach in the distribution of these responsibilities. By envisioning the future, transactional leaders strive to share the vision with their followers, making them own the vision as their own, yet they remain highly receptive to any suggestions from the followers as it concerns the vision.
A peculiarly distinguishing characteristic of John was his approach to the accomplishment of objectives. By opening dialogue among the staff and allowing each member to contribute and choose particular tasks, John presented the characteristics of a transformational leader. The idea of sharing tasks in the facility according to capability, interest and expertise was indeed a radical change in the facility, one that had not been experienced previously. One of the defining feature of the transactional leadership theory as a leadership theory is the ability and propensity of such leaders to bring marked changes in an organization. It is therefore strange that John could offer such opportunity to the staff, an event unheard of in the history of the facility.
John additionally offered support to the entire staff, and where he was unable, ensured that someone knowledgeable or capable of arrested the situation was contacted. The support offered was both moral, professional and material, in addition to organizing consultative forums in which the staff from different departments would speak on different issues and hurdles they face, and through these, reach solution for resolving or circumventing the issues and hurdles respectively. Moreover, these consultative forums and dialogues helped build consensus and unity among employees. Even more is that he valued independence and personal choice, this underscoring his position as a transactional leader, given that individualized consideration is among the four dimensions of transactional leaders, the other three being charisma, intellectual motivation and inspirational motivation (Trepanier, Fernet& Austin, 2012).
Attributes of Leadership and Role Delineation in Nursing Practice
Leaders within healthcare are required to specific qualities, which allow them not only perform their role, but also to be able to lead the followers and be quick, precise and efficient in making decisions given that the lives of the patients depend on such roles. It is therefore essential that leaders possess increased knowledge and administrative skills for the provision of the requisite leadership (Zaccagnini& White, 2014). Such knowledge and skills are particularly important in the changing face of both the nursing practice and patients that they handle (Chism, 2013).
Traditionally, advanced practice registered nurses have had four roles of certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse-midwife, clinical nurse specialist and certified nurse practitioner (Dreher& Glasgow, 2011). A leader should however be able to work beyond these roles in their nursing practice, showing unique attributes that help in the smooth running of the facility. As a nursing supervisor, John has been instrumental in quick and informed decision-making especially in times of crises with patients and their parents in helping them reach a decision over the type of care the patients should receive at whatever stage of a disease. By showing compassion, understanding and knowledge, particularly for patients and families indecisive about palliative care, John has demonstrated not only knowledge in the type of care, but also in other areas of care away from palliative care.
In assisting patients and colleagues in making decisions, it has been the practice of John to rely on law and principles within the nursing practice. Thus, while informing a patient and the family on the importance of palliative care for the terminally ill, the information passed by John has always relied on knowledge of the advancement of the disease, based on not only experience, but also on knowledge acquired through advanced and extensive reading on the diseases.
John was additionally enthusiastic about new healthcare delivery methods and did more than just inform on these novel methods. He demonstrated the new healthcare delivery methods through demonstrations, in addition to organizing trips to facilities that employed these new delivery methods for firsthand experience among the staff on these novel methods. Moreover, he ensured that he availed further information to any interested party on the new healthcare delivery systems. These information, demonstrations and trips were followed by forum among the staff for assessment of whether or not they are feasible initiatives to be undertaken by the facility. Such consultative forum also included analysis of the new healthcare delivery methods, particularly their pros and cons, safety and any potential dilemmas that they may present. On adoption, he ensured that staff members get training from experts on the use of the new methods, yet allowing a smooth transition between the old and the new delivery methods.
John was indeed a transactional leader. His forward-looking operation demonstrated the progressive nature of the nursing practice from the four traditional roles of APRN. Within the establishment of the Doctor in Nursing Practice, it is hoped that such a degree will push the nursing practice beyond the traditional confines, to a more progressive and research based practice (Dreher& Glasgow, 2011; Zaccagnini& White, 2014). Among the essentials of the new nursing practice is the capability of realizing the scientific foundations of the practice. Therefore, by suggesting new healthcare delivery methods, all these related to the guiding principles and laws of the life process (Chism, 2013). The aim of suggesting, demonstrating and introducing the new healthcare delivery methods for John was therefore geared toward making positive changes in the health of those affected, while making it easier for care giver to make these positive changes.
Further, involving the staff in the discovery of the new delivery methods transcended the demonstration of capable leadership through the utilization of scientific findings to professional and individual motivation of the followers (Marshall, 2011). As a leader therefore, it was the responsibility of John to find such methods, relay them to the staff and if adopted train them on the proper use of these new healthcare delivery methods. Such initiatives ensure that there is accountability, safety and quality in the care offered to patients (Chism, 2013). Safety also encompasses the caregivers, given that it is through them that care is delivered to patients, and therefore safety should begin with them. Additionally, by involving the staff, and through research on the new healthcare delivery methods, their pros and cons, John was able to manage ethical dilemmas in patient care and within the organization given that the staff did deliberations on the same collectively. This conclusively therefore, helps in alleviating any occurrence of such dilemmas, and when they occur, the staff and the managementis readily prepared to tackle them.
John’s expertise and attributes were pivotal in improving the overall nursing practice in the origination. By involving the staff, and accommodating different ideas, particularly evidence-based practices, he was able, thorough the help of the staff, to improve the general healthcare practice and standard of the facility during his tenure.
Chism, L. A. (2013). The Doctor of Nursing Practice: A guidebook for role development and professional issues (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers
Dreher, H. M., & Glasgow, M. E. S. (2011).Role development for doctoral advanced nursing practice. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Marshall, E. S. (2011). Transformational Leadership in Nursing: From Expert Clinician to Influential Leader. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company
Mohamed, R. K. M. H., &Nor, C. S. M. (2013). The relationship between McGregor’s X-Y theory management style and fulfillment of psychological contract: A literature review. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 3(5), 715-720.
Trépanier, S., Fernet, C., & Austin, S. (2012). Social and motivational antecedents of perceptions of transformational leadership: A self-determination theory perspective. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 44(4), 272-277.
Zaccagnini, M. E., & White, K. W. (2014).The Doctor of Nursing Practice essentials: A new model for advanced practice nursing (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.