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Essay: Exploring Situational and Transformational Leadership in Healthcare Organizations

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  • Published: 1 February 2018*
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  • Words: 944 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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Training and development are key components to the success of organizations. It is vital for organizations to practice this so that their employees can maintain and improve the standards of the workforce. Leadership is a significant trait to have but an even valuable skill to enforce in the workplace. As there are different types of leadership styles they can be beneficial to any organization but especially in the healthcare field. The purpose of this paper is to explore the issues of leadership training and development. Leaders can have a tremendous amount of influence on people or groups to achieve or be successful in their organizations. As the world is evolving through technology and individual skills, there is always room for improvement, especially in the healthcare setting. Leadership is an important contributor to the success of organizations as it links to people's motivation to succeed and achieve goals. With that being said, situational and transformational leadership, two approaches that have attained substantial support will be discussed in this paper.

Situational Leadership

Situational leadership is a unique way to connect with followers as leaders often view followers individually, which allows leaders to cater to their needs. According to McCleskey (2014), situational leadership is composed of two perspectives; task oriented and people oriented. Leaders who are task oriented focus on the task that their followers can follow through clear instructions, organization, and communication (McCleskey, 2014). People oriented leaders put more importance on their followers in a social aspect, such as their emotions, behaviour and how they can participate (McCleskey, 2014). This leadership style is solely based on what the leader thinks is best for people and the organization, leaders strictly match their leadership style to the situation. Behaviour plays an integral role in this style as leaders adjust their style of leading to the development level of their followers (Nagelkerk, 2005). These leaders are very flexible and can adapt to their followers, which contributes to their environment in a beneficial way. When leaders can approach followers level it can build dedication, which can be motivating and ultimately lead to the productivity of the organization. Lynch, McCormack, & McCance (2011), explain the sets of leadership behaviours that are a result of linking high and low leadership behaviours. In the healthcare field this approach can be seen to support person centred practice such as nursing (Lynch et al, 2011).

According to Sonnino (2016) being a healthcare leader has gained a ton of importance over the last few decades. Sonnino (2016) also indicates that although leadership training existed in the healthcare field due to the development of the needs of individuals it has called attention to more training programs. Whether it be for women or students, different groups of people or rather individuals in general require training programs that they can perform at their fullest potential and succeed. Situational leadership can benefit the healthcare organization as it allows a open dynamic where leaders can interact with followers in a understanding level (Sonnino, 2016). A high level of efficiency can be contributed from employees if their leader is able to connect and understand their mindset or level of ability to perform (Lynch et al, 2011).


There are barriers in almost every aspect in life. Now of course theories are going to have criticism, McClesky (2014) indicates that this theory based on some researchers argue that it lacks in areas such as consistency and conformity. Consistency is key in any organization let alone in healthcare. Thus as situational relationship involves leaders adjusting their behavior to their followers, and as each individual is unique the level of ability for leaders to do so can lack in strength, which can hinder leadership effectiveness (McClesky, 2014). When a leader is unable to be effective it disturbs the process and consistency of productivity. A leader's personality can definitely hinder their ability to modify to their followers level. Even though leaders in this theory adapt to followers maturity level, it can be very difficult when group progress is not symmetrical (McClesky, 2014). Similarly, due to the nature of this form of leadership conformity of followers can also be a barrier to the success of this leadership (McClesky, 2014). As leaders have this role to guide, influence, and motivate their followers, it can be difficult to achieve goals if followers are not participating or conforming to the task or relationship oriented leader that the leader has implemented.

Transformational leadership

Transformational leadership, Bass (1999) describes as an approach that enables change so that followers can go above and beyond and potentially become leaders. This form of leadership empowers as leaders push followers as Bass (1999) states “it elevates the follower’s level of maturity and ideals as well as concerns for achievement, self- actualization, and the well-being of others, the organization, and society”. While it allows followers to work on themselves and strengthen their abilities, leaders manifest those aspects so that organizations can succeed through the work of the followers (McClesky, 2014). This type of leadership allows followers opportunities and room for growth (Bass, 1999). Bass (1999) explains that these leaders are made up of four different characteristics; idealized influence,  intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, and inspiration motivation. Idealized influence and inspiration motivation is shown when the leader is confident that the followers can lead as they set examples, instructions, and goals of how it all can be achieved (Bass, 1999). Likewise, he explains that intellectual stimulation is shown when leaders create room or allow followers to be creative (Bass, 1999). individualized consideration is shown when leaders pay close attention to followers developmental needs, and assisting them in this area of understanding and growth (Brass, 1999). These are all ways that support the notion that leaders can influence their followers in a beneficial way as it can improve organizational performance.

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