Ineffective participation: reactions to absentee and incompetent nurse leadership in an intensive care unit
Article first published online: 17 MAR 2009
© 2009 The Author. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Leadership in Nursing Issue editor: Marie Carney
Volume 17, Issue 4, pages 463–473, May 2009
How to Cite
ROUSE, R. A. (2009), Ineffective participation: reactions to absentee and incompetent nurse leadership in an intensive care unit. Journal of Nursing Management, 17: 463–473. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2009.00981.x
- Issue published online: 5 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 17 MAR 2009
- Accepted for publication: 31 August 2008
- intensive care;
- nurse leader
Aim The aim of the present study was to analyse reactions to ineffective leader participation in an intensive care unit (ICU).
Background Critical examination of leadership failures helps identify nurse manager behaviours to avoid.
Method An online survey collected data from 51 interacting healthcare providers who work in an intensive care unit.
Results Participants reported dissatisfaction with nurse leaders who were perceived as absent or ill prepared. Participants categorized intensive care unit productivity and morale as moderate to low. Multiple regression suggested the best predictor of perceived unit productivity was supervisor communication; the best predictor of employee morale was perceived leader mentoring.
Conclusions Intensive care unit nurses reported wanting active participation from their leaders and expressed dissatisfaction when supervisors were perceived as absent or incompetent. Ineffective leader participation significantly correlated with lower employee perceptions of productivity and morale.
Implications for nursing management Senior managers should recruit and develop supervisors with effective participation skills. Organizations primarily concerned about productivity should focus on developing the communication skills of nurse leaders. Units mainly concerned with employee morale should emphasize mentorship and role modelling. Formal assessment of nurse leaders by all intensive care unit team members should also be used to proactively identify opportunities for improvement.