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  1. Morrison, Ruby S. DSN, RN
  2. Jones, LaDon PhD, RN
  3. Fuller, Bryan MBA


Objective: The authors explore the relation between leadership style and empowerment and its effect on job satisfaction among the nursing staff of a regional medical center.


Background: Several empirical studies on transformational leadership found that transformational leadership behaviors were positively related to work team success and leadership effectiveness. Transformational leadership processes have also been suggested to enhance followers' work-oriented values and shape the self-efficacies of followers. Employee empowerment may be influenced by the perception that the organization cares about its employees' well-being and that their work is valued. Empowering nurses may increase job satisfaction and improve patient care. Leadership style and empowerment influence job satisfaction among workers.


Methods: All nursing department staff were invited to complete a self-report questionnaire with no identifying information. Leadership style was measured using Bass's Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, empowerment was measured with items from Spreitzer's Psychological Empowerment instrument, and job satisfaction was measured by Warr, Cook, and Wall's job satisfaction questionnaire.


Results: Both transformational and transactional leadership were positively related to job satisfaction, as was empowerment. Differences in the contributions of empowerment and leadership style in predicting job satisfaction for licensed and unlicensed workers was evident.


Conclusion: Designing interventions that allow for the relative influence of leadership style as well as empowerment on varying classifications of nursing personnel may be a more effective strategy and have a greater effect on staff attitudes and behaviors.