• instrument development;
  • leadership and management skills;
  • principal component analysis

Aim  To estimate the validity and reliability of the Leadership and Management Inventory, a tool to measure the skills and abilities of first-line nurse managers.

Background  The decision to develop an inventory reflects the need for an instrument that can measure the various skills and abilities first-line nurse managers should possess.

Method  Factor analysis was conducted and internal consistency initially estimated on data from 149 registered nurses; a second sample of 197 health care personnel was used to test these results.

Results  Principal component analysis of the first sample resulted in a preferred three-factor solution that explained 65.8% of the variance; Cronbach’s alpha coefficient varied between 0.90 and 0.95. Analysis of the second sample also resulted in a three-factor solution that explained 64.2% of the variance; Cronbach’s alpha coefficient varied from 0.88 to 0.96. For both samples, the factors were labelled ‘interpersonal skills and group management’, ‘achievement orientation’ and ‘overall organizational view and political savvy’.

Conclusion  Results indicate that estimates of validity and reliability for the Leadership and Management Inventory can be considered acceptable.

Implications for nursing management  The Leadership and Management Inventory can be used when first-line nurse managers’ leadership and management skills and abilities are to be measured.