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Does participative leadership reduce the onset of mobbing risk among nurse working teams?




To evaluate the advancement of knowledge on the impact of an empowering leadership style on the risk of mobbing behaviour among nurse working teams. The secondary aim was to evaluate, along with leadership style, the contribution of other organisational- and individual-related mobbing predictors.


The style of leadership in reducing the onset of mobbing risk in nurse working teams still remains a matter of discussion. Nurse working teams are particularly affected by mobbing and studies exploring individual and organisational inhibiting/modulating factors are needed.


An empirical study involving 175 nurses of various public hospital corporations in northern Italy. Data were collected via structured and anonymous questionnaires and analysed through a logistic regression.


Organisational, individual and participative leadership variables explained 33.5% (P < 0.01) of variance in the onset of mobbing. Two predictive factors emerged: a participative leadership enacted by nursing managers and the nursing shortage as perceived by clinical nurses. Results confirmed that the contribution made by a participative leadership style in attenuating the onset of mobbing risk in working teams was significant.

Conclusions and Implications for Nursing Management

A participative leadership style adopted by the nurse manager allows for the reduction of tensions in nurse working teams. However, mobbing remains a multifaceted phenomenon that is difficult to capture in its entirety and the leadership style cannot be considered as a panacea for resolving this problem in nurse working teams.