Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Zoe Barley

Third Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Pennington


This study tested the hypothesis that staff nurses in hospitals used different leadership and followership behaviors than staff nurses in home care settings. Leadership behaviors were measured using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Bass, 1995); followership was measured using Kelley’s Followership Style Questionnaire (1992). Three hospital and home care agencies belonging to a private nonprofit corporation in the Midwest provided data. A total of 136 surveys were used in data analysis; 57% of distributed surveys were returned.

Differences between the hospital and home care staff nurses were not found. Self-perception, difficulty in applying clinical behaviors to the MLQ, unknown aspects of leadership or followership, or measurement limitations may have affected the results. The findings provide support for the premise that staff nurses use a variety of transformational and transactional behaviors, although at levels below those demonstrated in prior literature. Among the respondents, 75% used exemplary followership, 22% used a pragmatist style, and 3%, a conformist style. Nurses in this sample did not use alienated or passive followership style. Further study looking at the effect of setting and at factors affecting leadership and followership behaviors in staff nurses is recommended. All levels of nursing should address the discrepancy between the conceptual leadership expectation for the staff nurse and what the staff nurse perceives and demonstrates. Finally, the profession should develop models of leadership and management that incorporate clearer definitions of such behavior and how these behaviors can be seen in the clinical arena.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access