This article makes a broad discussion of leadership and management while using the case of a director of nursing in a hospital illustratively. The article will provide some biographical information of the director of nursing of the St. Joseph Transitional and Rehabilitation Facility, their present position as well as the organization setting in which they work. The article will also highlight the experience of the director of nursing as well as reasons why they were identified for the interview. Furthermore, the article will make a comparison of available literature on leadership and management with the leadership and management style of the director of nursing. Lastly, the article will highlight the findings from the interview as well as the questions used in the interview.
In many quarters, leadership and management are regarded as same thing. However, it is important to highlight the fact that there is a difference between the two. Leadership is about influence and providing a sense of direction towards the attainment of a particular goal, be it an individual or organizational goal. Indeed scholars such as David Schwartz have defined leadership as the art of inspiring subordinates to perform their duties willingly, competently and enthusiastically. On the other hand, management experts such as Mary Parker Follet have defined management as the art of getting work or things done through using people. Management has also been defined as the process of process of planning, organizing, leading and controlling the efforts of organizational members and using all other resources to achieve desired organizational goals. Thus while leadership is more interpersonal in nature as it involves some sort of relationship between the superior and his subordinate where the superior is able to influence the conduct of the subordinate, management is more detached from persons and is mostly geared towards the attainment of organisational goals irrespective of interpersonal relations. While the two are different, they play intertwined roles and both must be effective if an organisation is to achieve its goals.
The roles of leadership include overall guiding of organizational efforts towards the achievement of organizational goals, persuading others to seek defined goals enthusiastically and transforming the organization’s potential into reality. On the contrary, the roles of management include collecting and disseminating information to the members of the organization, making decisions resonating around the utilization of resources. Such decisions affect the organization. Thirdly, management also involves playing a supervisory and co-ordinating role.
Interviewee’s biographical information
The person selected for the interview which provided the raw material for this report was the director of nursing at St. Joseph Transitional and Rehabilitation Facility. She has attained high academic qualifications having RN, BSN and MSN in nursing and like the case with most hospitals across the United States, the position of Director of Nursing in this hospital is held by a woman. Her full position in the hospital is the director of nursing practice, education and research thus in a nutshell; she is the overall head of all the nursing activities in the hospital. In her capacity as the director of nursing, she spearheads the delivery of optimum care to the patients while acting as a focal point for coordination and consultation necessary for the development, evaluation and implementation of programs and standards that enhance clinical practice especially with regard to nursing. It goes without question that she cannot perform all these tasks by herself and thus has persons working under her towards the realisation of these goals. I opted for the director of nursing at the St. Joseph Transitional and Rehabilitation Facility for various reasons. First, the director works in a globally renowned healthcare facility thus it was important to get a perspective on the best practices it has adopted with regard to matters of nursing. Secondly, the fact that it is a highly successful hospital points to both good leadership and management in all the key departments of the hospital; the nursing department is certainly a key plank in any hospital. Thirdly, the facility has a management structure where the director of nursing practice, education and research reports to the vice president for nursing and healthcare services. Thus, the interviewee selected was a key resource person in understanding the leadership and management given that while people report to her, she also reports to somebody.
The management style adopted by Rosemary is what was defined by Mary Parker Follet as getting work done through using people. Her management style is characterised by a lot of delegation and with her topmost priority being getting things done but in the right way. She thus makes as much use as possible of her subordinates to get things done but at the same time effectively plays her role. In playing her role of leading nursing practice, research and education at the hospital, Rosemary is heavily involved in the planning, organizing and coordinating the activities of the nursing department as well overall supervision of the resources assigned to the nursing department. Rosemary is also a very hands on leader as she likes getting involved as much as possible and always strives to lead by example so that her subordinates can follow suit. She tries to motivate her subordinates so as to increase their productivity and thus aid in realising the hospital’s nursing goals. A key feature of Rosemary’s management and leadership style is that she rarely makes unilateral decisions but always consults widely before making any major decision affecting her department. She consults both her superiors and her subordinates; hers is a participatory leadership and management approach.
Impressions from the interview
Rosemary seemed to be both an impressive leader and manager. It was worth noting that her leadership and management skills have fostered a strong teamwork culture in the nursing department. It was also very impressive to note that she belongs to a class of very few modern day managers who actually consult and take into account the views of their subordinates despite having the option of ignoring them. It was also striking and impressive to learn that all the employees under her have access to her any time and she readily listens to their issues no matter how low they are in the hierarchy.
- Describe the organisational structure of St. Joseph Transitional and Rehabilitation Facility?
- What position do you occupy in the management structure of the St. Joseph Transitional and Rehabilitation Facility?
- What role do you play in the position you occupy in the management structure/leadership of the Facility?
- Do you view your role as that of a leader or a manager?
- What changes should be made to make the leadership and management of the nursing department of the Facility more effective?
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Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F. (2009). Leadership: Theory, Application and Skill Development. Connecticut: Cengage Learning.
Michelle, B. E. (2009). Workplace Incivility and Conflict Management Styles of Community College Leaders in the Nine Mega States. New York: ProQuest.