This study examined nurse managers’ leadership styles and their relationship with job satisfaction of nurses in University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, ItukuOzalla, Enugu. The specific objectives included to: determine the perceived leadership styles (Transformational, Transactional and Laisser-faire) utilized by nurse managers in University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH); determine the level of job satisfaction of nurses in UNTH; and to assess the relationship between leadership styles and job satisfaction of nurses in UNTH. Three hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Related literature was reviewed under conceptual review and empirical studies. Non-experimental descriptive correlational research design was adopted for the study. Validated questionnaire was used to administer the instruments to 228 respondents from which 205 correct responses were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The study revealed that the job satisfaction for the study participants was above average (60%). while all leadership styles examined had significant relationship with job satisfaction of the respondents. Transformational and Transactional leadership styles had positive correlations with job satisfaction, with mean scores of 2.40 + 0.49 and 2.31 + 0.39 respectively. Laissez faire leadership style had negative correlation with job satisfaction with a mean job satisfaction score of 2.30 + 0.46. The inclusion of nurses at all levels of policy formulation at the hospital level, and improvement in reward structure to motivate proactive nurses was recommended.
Background to the study
The constantly changing health care environment, high technology and high cost of care provision are few factors affecting nursing practice today(Murray, 2010). Hospitals face the problem of how to strategize to achieve their goals in this competitive and changing healthcare environment. This often means constant organizational change to meet new health care challenges. Pressures to provide quality care while cost reduction measures are frequently implemented, results in high stress levels for nurses in the workplace. In addition, constant changes inevitably place considerable pressure on nurse leaders to both adapt and proactively engage their subordinates to embrace changes in the face of acute staff shortages and in some poor cases,that slowly evolving work environment. These combined factors within the hospital arena maycontribute to the lack of satisfaction nurses experience with their jobs. As remarked by Sherman (2010), this scenario desperately calls for new leaders, leaders who inspire others with the vision of what can be accomplished. In order to move forward and survive in the face of these challenges, nurse managers and their subordinates must establish positive and mutually beneficial relationships that favour increased efficiency, productivity, and job satisfaction. Quality nursing leadership is seen as a predictor of job satisfaction (Giallonardo, Wong &Iwasiw, 2010).
Job satisfaction has been described as the most important predictor for nurses’ intention to remain in their work place and is related to the feeling of employees and can be influenced by factors such as the quality of their relationship with their supervisor or employer, the quality of the physical environment in which they work, or the degree of fulfilment in their work (Edwards, Bexley & Richardson, 2011, Ritter, 2010; Mackusick&Minick, 2010).The nurse manager (NM) is officially charged with leadership of a health unit in a hospital system. No one else influences the whole health unit operation and the degree of responsiveness of both the nurses and patients than nurse managers. The quality of patient care, as well as staff recruitment and retention success are the key roles of a nurse manager (Olanrewaju, 2012). NMs as leaders,plan, coordinate and supervise day to day activities and general welfare of the nurses and patients. Their activities positively or negatively affect patient care delivery. The leadership style, skills and abilities of nurse managers are critical to the smooth operation of nursing units, the success of the hospital and by implication the entire healthcare system.