To examine the relationship between health care managers' work place
empowerment and their perceptions of leadership characteristics.
All health care managers and coordinators from one acute care
community hospital were invited to participate. Twenty-three accepted (82% response
rate). Participants completed the Conditions for Work Effectiveness Questionnaire
(Chandler, 1986), the Job Activities Scale (Laschinger, Kutzcher & Sabiston, 1993), the
Organizational Relationship Scale (Laschinger, Kutzcher & Sabiston, 1993), the
Organizational Description Opinionnaire (Laschinger, 1991), the Leadership Practices
Inventory, and provided demographic information. The typical respondent was female
(77%), a program coordinator (54%), with an average age of 40.5 years and 17.7 years of
work experience, and college-educated (46%). The alpha reliability coefficients for the
LPI ranged from .46 to .84 (and may be affected by the small sample size).
Managers' perceived access to empowerment was significantly
correlated with leadership practices, especially for Encouraging and Challenging. Seven
other relationships between the CWEQ subscales and the leadership practices were
statistically significant: Support with Encouraging, Enabling and Overall; Resources with
Encouraging, Inspiring and Overall; and Information with Challenging. No relationship
was found between informal and formal power and the five leadership practices.
"The results suggest that if health care managers perceive themselves to be in
empowered workplace environments, they will utilize leadership behaviors that empower
Health care managers' leadership skills were also significantly correlated with their
perceived ability to get things done (as assessed by the ODO measure). Challenging,
Inspiring, and Overall were each significantly correlated with the ODO instrument.
No significant relationships were found between gender and education level and
LPI scores. The only leadership practice significantly correlated with age and years in
health care was Inspiring, with a weak correlation with Modeling, and between age and
Challenging and Encouraging. The author suggests that this finding implies that
leadership skills and knowledge about the heath care business are acquired over time.