Transformational and authentic leadership are two popular theories in the field of leadership studies. These theories have been extensively examined and applied in various professional contexts, including the nursing profession. This paper aims to compare and contrast these two leadership theories and analyze their strengths and weaknesses in relation to the nursing profession.
Firstly, it is important to understand the basic principles of transformational and authentic leadership. Transformational leaders are known for their ability to create strong relationships among team members and motivate them towards achieving shared goals. They inspire and challenge their followers to go beyond their self-interests and strive for excellence (Sfantou et al., 2017). On the other hand, authentic leaders align their values with their actions and build transparent relationships with their followers. They create an environment in which individuals feel respected, appreciated, and empowered to contribute their best (Carvalho et al., 2016).
When considering the nursing profession, both transformational and authentic leadership have their merits. Transformational leadership has been found to improve worker commitment to goal attainment and enhance overall performance at the institutional level (Asif et al., 2019). In a healthcare setting, this can be particularly beneficial in promoting teamwork and achieving quality care measures (Sfantou et al., 2017). However, the result-oriented nature of transformational leadership may not always be suitable for the nursing environment.
Nurses require a supportive and nurturing work environment in which they can deliver care with empathy and compassion. Authentic leadership, with its focus on building trust and fostering positive relationships, aligns more closely with the values and needs of the nursing profession. Authentic leaders create an atmosphere where every individual feels respected and valued for their contribution, regardless of its magnitude (Nelson et al., 2014). They prioritize open communication, transparency, and empathy, which are crucial for effective teamwork and patient-centered care in nursing (Carvalho et al., 2016).
In conclusion, both transformational and authentic leadership have their strengths and weaknesses in relation to the nursing profession. While transformational leadership can enhance performance and goal attainment, authentic leadership is better suited for fostering trust, transparency, and empathy among nursing teams. In a profession where trustful relationships and effective communication are essential, authentic leadership provides a better framework for creating a positive work environment. However, it is important to note that leadership styles should be contextually adapted and applied based on the specific needs and dynamics of the nursing setting.
Asif, M., et al. (2019). Linking transformational leadership with nurse-assessed adverse patient outcomes and the quality of care. Retrieved from [link]
Carvalho, I., et al. (2016). Authentic leadership in nursing: A scoping review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 63, 82-91.
Nelson, A., et al. (2014). Authentic leadership and psychological well-being in nurses: The mediating role of empowerment. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(4), 956-968.
Sfantou, D., et al. (2017). Importance of leadership style towards quality of care measures in healthcare settings. Healthcare, 5(4), 73.