Testing the effects of an empowerment-based leadership development programme: part 2 – staff outcomes




To determine if nurse leaders' attendance at a leadership development programme based on an empowerment framework would increase staff perceptions of organisational support and organisational commitment.


Leadership empowering behaviours are teachable relational competencies that have been associated with quality leader-staff relationships and positive staff outcomes.


A quasi-experimental, pre-test–post-test design was used to compare perceptions of staff whose leaders participated in a year-long leadership programme with staff of similar leaders who did not attend the programme. A series of multiple regression analyses were used to test the conceptual model of programme effects.


Leaders' programme participation was directly associated with greater staff organisational commitment 1 year after the programme. Both programme attendance and leader-empowering behaviours were found to act as independent catalysts for staff empowerment, with structural empowerment partially mediating the effects of leader empowering behaviours on organisational commitment.


Leader participation in a development programme based on an empowerment framework may be an important means of increasing staff organisational commitment, a key predictor of staff turnover.

Implications for nurse management

Leadership development programmes should emphasize relational competencies, including leader empowering behaviours, given their potential for enhancing organisational commitment.