Leadership and management discussion 4
Please read the lecture and respond to the discussion questions APA format with reference
Organizational Culture and Values
Organizations rely on managers and leaders to fulfill their mission today and their vision of the future. The focus for this week will be on the roles of nurse managers and leaders in health care organizations, theories that underlie the practice of management and leadership, as well as the use of power in an organization.
Role of the Manager
The role of the manager is to ensure that the mission of the organization, which focuses on providing excellent care for clients, is fulfilled through the effective and efficient coordination of resources. Managers are responsible and accountable for ensuring that competent staff are provided with the tools and processes required to accomplish the work. To perform this role, managers are given the authority to make decisions that directly influence these factors within their scope of responsibility.
The functions of the management role include planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling (Marquis and Huston, 2009). Within each of these functions, decisions must be made to optimize the care provided while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Planning is required to determine the best ways to fulfill the organization’s mission. As in client care, this step includes assessing the current situation and identifying actual or potential issues. Organizing provides the framework within which care is provided. Staffing refers to determining both the overall number and skill mix (e.g., numbers of licensed and unlicensed personnel required to care for a specific client population) needed as well as ensuring adequate shift-to-shift staffing. Directing includes assuring the work is being accomplished, whereas controlling encompasses both quality management and adherence to the budget. In this course, elements of each of these functions will be explored.
Role of the Leader
The role of the manager is often viewed as one that works to maintain the status quo and ensure smooth day-to-day operations which are critical to the organization. A leader is viewed as one who encourages growth in the organization. The word itself implies movement and there is no need for a leader to simply get people to where they already are.
Leadership remains a vague concept, but ideas about what makes a great leader abound. Warren Bennis offers this definition “Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential” (The Teal Trust, n.d.). Throughout the definitions and discussions of leadership, two major themes emerge: 1) leaders are responsible for promoting growth, and 2) leaders work by influencing and empowering others.
Theories regarding leadership styles and their application also abound. Early in the discussion of leadership, three basic styles were defined. These classic types include authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire. Further exploration of these styles led to a theory of situational leadership, where the leader alters their approach based on the issues and people involved. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and matching these to the situation should achieve better outcomes.
Current theories of leadership focus on recognition and empowerment of individuals. The challenge lies in developing a culture that fosters these collegial relationships and in preparing individuals for leadership. Not everyone in a leader’s circle of influence will be interested in becoming a leader. Some find it difficult, due to their culture or experiences, to develop a different relationship with persons viewed as authority figures (Marquis and Huston, 2009). Despite the challenges, this approach to leadership of professional staff shows promise in creating a work environment that enhances nurse satisfaction (Kerfoot, 2004).
Power and Politics
Power is defined as “the ability or capacity to act or perform effectively” (The American Heritage Dictionary, 1985, p. 971). Power is also linked to the ability to influence or control. Power is strongly linked to the roles of manager and leader since both, by definition, must be able to influence or control others in order to accomplish the mission of the organization.
People within the organization gain power in different ways. Managers are given legitimate power, otherwise known as authority, to provide rewards and consequences for staff behavior. It is well known that being given authority does not always lead to the power to manage others, as seen when staff choose not to follow policies. Bridging the gap between authority and power often requires the skill of a leader to influence people to work together and be willing to follow policies for the good of the organization or speak up when they believe the policy no longer benefits the organization. Leaders may or may not have legitimate power or authority. Leaders in this position often influence others through expert and referent power. This type of leader may be a member of the staff who is recognized as a clinical expert or who is aligned with persons in authority.
Marquis and Huston (2009) define politics as the effective use of power. Politics recognizes that all people are interdependent; no one can accomplish the work of the organization in isolation. Learning the political climate of an organization is a key to success as a manager or leader. Developing relationships with others in the organization is a critical component. This is best done in face-to-face encounters rather than by telephone or e-mail. Possessing information is also a form of power, knowing when and with who to share that information is also important. A new manager or leader will often benefit from finding a mentor who understands the political climate of the organization.
Integrating the Roles of Manager and Leader
Not all leaders are managers and not all managers are leaders. The theories of transactional and transformational leadership highlight this quite well. A transactional leader is interested in maintaining the status quo. A transformational leader is interested in promoting growth, both for themselves and for others. Although a manager is given legitimate power simply by the authority delegated to the position, this is often not sufficient for truly carrying out the mission and vision of the organization. Conversely, leadership alone, without attention to day-to-day organization, is likely to lead to chaos. Finding a balance of the roles that suit the organization and the people being managed or led is the challenge.
Although managers and leaders have distinct roles within an organization, the most effective people will blend the functions and roles in their work. Both managers and leaders need to develop a power base and use that power wisely within the organization to further the mission and goals. When management is effective and efficient, and leadership is characterized by vision, communication, and empowerment, then both the organization and the clients served will benefit.
The American Heritage Dictionary (2nd ed.) (1985). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Drucker, P. F. (1999). Management challenges for the 21st century. New York: HarperCollins.
Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2009). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (6th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
The Teal Trust. (n.d.). Our definition of leadership.
A new director decides to reorganize the department you work in. This reorganization comes about without input from the employees and many of the nurses that you oversee are feeling resentful of the change. As a nurse leader, identify factors that may lead to conflict and ways you can manage them.
Personal affiliations and networking are important for nursing leaders. Why are these important? How will they benefit you in your career future? Identify two affiliations or a situation in which you have networked for the health of a population or your community.