A descriptive study investigating the effect of situational and constraint variables on leadership style is reported A sample of 35 administrators of college (diploma) nursing programmes and 106 of their senior faculty participated in the study The Leadership Style Analysis Instrument was used to determine the administrators’ leadership styles, as perceived by the administrators themselves and by their senior faculty Demographic characteristics of the administrators and constraint variables were examined by chi-square analysis (0 05) regarding their relationship to leadership styles It was found that despite variations in administrator characteristics and extent of constraints, the perceived leadership style was consistently relationship-oriented The results have implications for educators and administrators in nursing