Attachment and Leadership in the Nursing Environment




Coleman, Alicia Ann

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Attachment style is a characteristic that is directly related to interpersonal relationship functioning, and in recent years has been found to predict organizational behaviors. This study reports the relationship between the attachment styles of nurses and the attachment and leadership styles of nurse supervisors and nurse managers at a hospital in Dallas, Texas, as well as organizational factors such as nurse satisfaction with their supervisor. Some evidence was found in this study to support this relationship in that insecure attachment is positively associated with certain leadership styles and negatively associated with transformational leadership. Specifically, supervisors with anxious attachment tended to show a passive management-by-exception leadership style and score lower on contingent reward, and two of the five transformational scales, idealized influence attributed and individual consideration. Supervisors with avoidant attachment demonstrated passive and active management-by-exception, and were the least likely to show transformational leadership in that they scored lower on four of the five transformational scales- idealized influence behavioral, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration. Supervisors with higher scores on the active management-by-exception and contingent reward scales were found to have larger discrepancies between their self-ratings of leadership and ratings from their supervisees.

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