Ethical leadership outcomes in nursing: A qualitative study

Nursing Ethics 25 (8):1051-1063 (2018)
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Abstract

Background: Leadership style adopted by nursing managers is a key element in progress and development of nursing and quality of healthcare services received by the patients. In this regard, the role of ethical leadership is of utmost importance. Objectives: The objective of the study was to elaborate on the ethical leadership and its role in professional progress and growth of nurses in the light of work condition in health providing institutes. Methods: The study was carried out as a qualitative study following conventional content analysis method. In total, 14 nursing faculty members and nursing managers at different levels were selected through purposive sampling method. Semi-structured interviews were used for data gathering. The data were analyzed using latent content analysis and constant comparison analysis. Ethical considerations: This study was conducted in accordance with ethical issues in research with human participants and national rules and regulations related to informed consent and confidentiality. The study was approved by the Committee of Ethics in Research at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, under the code: sbmu.rec.1393.695 on 15 February 2015. Findings: Five subcategories were obtained based on the analysis, which constituted two main categories including “all-inclusive satisfaction” and “productivity.” Nursing leaders highlighted the point that their ethical behavior creates “inner satisfaction of the leader,” “employees’ job satisfaction,” and “patients’ satisfaction.” Improvement of productivity was another outcome of ethical behavior of the leaders. This kind of behavior resulted in “providing better services” and “inspiring ethical behavior in the employees.” It has great influence on progress and growth of the nursing profession. Conclusion: By creating an ethical climate, ethical leadership leads to positive and effective outcomes—for the patients as well as for the nurses and the leaders—and professional progress and development of the nursing profession. Therefore, an ethical work environment that supports nurses’ progress and development can be developed by paying more attention to moralities in recruitment, teaching ethical values to the leaders, and using a systematic and objective approach to assess morality in the environment.

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