Higher Education Managers/Executives/Administrators
The purpose of this study is to explore the extent to which leadership practices of deans and department heads influence faculty job satisfaction in baccalaureate degree nursing program.
The sample consisted of 106 full time faculty members in baccalaureate degree nursing programs from public and private universities in the southeastern part of the
United States (response rate = 35%). They completed online both the Leadership Practices Inventory Observer and the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (Weiss, et al. 1977). The typical respondent was male (96%), over 40 years of age (84%), Caucasian (92%), married (78%), with a doctorate degree (54%), at the assistant professor level (52%), and not on the tenure track (54%). In this study, coefficient alpha for the total scale of the LPI-Observer instrument was .95; and for each practice was .95 for Model, Challenge and Enable, .96 for Inspire, and .97 for Encourage.
The most frequently engaged in leadership practice of deans and department heads was perceived as Enable, followed by Inspire, then Challenge and Model, and then Encourage. The most frequently engaged in behavior was “treats others with dignity and respect” closely followed by “seeks out challenging opportunities that test his/her own skills and abilities” and the least engaged in leadership behaviors were “asks for feedback on how his/her actions affect other people’s performance” and “shows others how their long-term interests can be realized by enlisting in a common vision.”
ANOVA revealed no significant differences in nursing faculty job satisfaction for the demographic variables of gender, ethnicity, age, marital status, faculty current position, tenure track, dean’s years in current position, nursing faculty current degree, faculty years of experience, and faculty annual salary. All five leadership practices were significantly correlated with job satisfaction. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that the five leadership practices accounted for 49.9% of the variance in job satisfaction, while none of the demographic variables accounted for significant amounts of additional explained variance.
The author reports: “The behavior of managers in leadership roles can determine the job satisfaction of staff nurses and increase their long term commitment to the organization. Nurse managers can use the leadership practices of the five subscales of the LPI-Observer to create an environment that will facilitate success for both the staff nurse and the employing organization. This type of environment may result in an increase in job satisfaction, enhance staff nurse retention, and subsequently improve the quality and cost of patient care. Since most nursing faculty member were once staff nurses, enhancing staff nurse retention in clinical areas as a result of good leadership practices that increases job satisfaction will ultimately increase the pool of future nursing faculty in our institutions of higher learning” (p. 87).
He goes on to say: “Based on the findings of this study, development of leadership training programs designed for deans and department heads in baccalaureate degree nursing programs is desirable. These leadership training programs should be developed to inculcate the basic principles of the five subscales of the LPI-Observer (p. 89)… The university authorities should develop a faculty satisfaction survey encompassing the LPI-Observer for use annually in nursing departments to monitor the degree to which leadership practices of deans and department heads relate to nursing faculty job satisfaction” (p. 89).
The author concludes: “Therefore, effective leadership practices by nursing deans and department heads are important in the academic climate of nursing education programs in order to ensure retention of current faculty and continued recruitment of qualified nursing faculty that will be satisfied with their jobs. In order to accomplish this, the utilization of the LPI-Observer and its five-subscales is highly recommended because all its components is congruent with transformational leadership practices which is by far more effective in enhancing faculty job satisfaction” (p. 90).