Volume 53, No. 4 | Leadership in healthcare

Clara Siboni Lund | Professional development leadership in public organizations: A multi-level study of causes and consequences among head nurses and nurses 

Professional development leadership is defined by the core ambition to facilitate a shared understanding of professional quality in an organizational unit and realizing it in the service delivery. The core behaviors are defined by attempts to create alignment between organizational goals and professional norms, develop professional knowledge, and activate professional norms and knowledge in practice. A multi-level study of head nurses and nurses at Danish hospital wards shows that head nurses’ execution of professional development leadership is positively related to nurses’ assessments of professional quality. In addition, head nurses’ span of control, their perceptions of the span of control, and their leadership identity are related to nurses’ perceptions of their head nurses’ exercise of professional development leadership. The results indicate that professional development leadership is relevant in public organizations, and that both organizational and leader characteristics may influence whether leaders succeed in exerting professional development leadership that their employees see. 

Keywords: professional development leadership, professional quality, head nurses, multi-level analysis

Mads Pieter van Luttervelt, Mikkel Skov Benthem, Johan Kruse Rasmussen, Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen and Lotte Bøgh Andersen | Walking the talk?

The importance of personal leader credibility for employee motivation when transformational leadership is exerted

Leaders are credible when their employees believe they will act in accordance with their stated intentions. The question therefore is: Does employee-perceived personal leader credibility affect employee motivation? We examine this by conducting a survey experiment in which we expose 817 MTurkers to different video vignettes that manipulate a fictive leader’s personal credibility when they exert transformational leadership. The results reveal significant differences in perceived leader credibility. These differences affect both self-reported motivation and time spent on performing tasks for the leader. We contribute to leadership research by showing that it is possible – in an experimental setting – to affect employee perceptions of personal leader credibility and furthermore that perceived personal leader credibility affects the motivation of the respondents. We encourage further investigation, as leader credibility seems to be an important concept.

Keywords: personal leader credibility, motivation, transformational leadership, survey experiment

Mathilde Cecchini | Who am I as a leader? An analysis of leader identity among clinical consultants in Denmark

Studies have emphasized the importance of leader identity for the development of public leaders since a strong leader identity is strongly correlated with active leadership behavior. In the literature, leader identity is often defined as “the extent to which an individual identifies as a leader”. In this article, I argue that leader identity is not only a question of strength but also of the substantial meaning individuals ascribe to this identity. Based on the literature on leader identity and a qualitative analysis of 21 semi-structured interviews with clinical consultants in Danish hospitals, the article identifies three different types of leader identity: the dominant leader, the engaging leader and the entrepreneur. 

Keywords: leader identity, health care leadership, health professionals, qualitative methods 

Oluf Gøtzsche-Astrup and Troels Gottlieb | In sickness and in health: The impact of personnel changes and public leaders’ personalities for healthcare employees’ sickness absence, job and leadership satisfaction

Redundancy and staff expansions in the public sector are events associated with employee uncertainty and potential work-related stress. It is therefore essential for public leaders to be aware of potential consequences for such changes in employee units. We explore the relationship between redundancies, staff expansions and leadership personality on the one hand and long-term sickness leave, job satisfaction and leader satisfaction on the other hand among 146 head nurses and their 3426 employees in Hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark. We find that redundancies are associated with higher levels of long-term sickness leave. Staff expansions are related to lower levels of illness and higher leader satisfaction ratings. Leaders who are more emotionally stable have employees with higher job and leader satisfaction.

Keywords: healthcare leadership, personality, organizational change, satisfaction

Clara Siboni Lund, Line Hvilsted, Heidi Houlberg Salomonsen and Lotte Bøgh Andersen | Organizational resilience: What public managers do to ensure continued goal attainment during drastic changes 

Public organizations must keep attaining their goals during changes, and the concept of organizational resilience describes this ability. The article examines public managers’ leadership behaviors focused on promoting organizational resilience during drastic changes. Based on 24 interviews with public managers and professionals who worked with public health and elderly care during the Covid-19 pandemic, we shed light on four leadership behaviors aimed at ensuring organizational resilience: setting direction, supporting relations, facilitating reflections, and clarifying the rules of the game. We find that public managers particularly set direction by balancing opposing considerations in the daily work, and that their support of relations includes both employees and citizens. The managers facilitate opportunities to reflect differently with variation in whether they initiate and/or participate in the reflection process themselves. The rules of the game are changed toward either leader-centrism or self-governance (away from decision-making with both leader and employee participation). The four types of leadership behaviors are interrelated and interact with established types of leadership behaviors. 

Keywords: organizational resilience, public leadership, organizational change, health, care 

Ophavsretten tilhører Politica. Materialet må ikke bruges eller distribueres i kommercielt øjemed.