According to the Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary (2009), power is simply the capacity to exercise control and influence over others, in so doing, a certain possession of authority must be apparent. The root word, or etymology, of power sprouted from the Anglo-French poer, and Vulgar Latin potere, which mean “to be able” and “acting with potency”, respectively (Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, 2009; Marquis and Huston, 2003, p. 184). And as common knowledge to everyone, power and leadership are terms which are often associated with each other.
Certainly, in order for a leadership to be effective, an appreciable degree of power is required to support it, thereby exemplifying the relationship between power and leadership (Marquis and Huston, 2003). Additionally, the illustration below enumerates the types of power that leaders may employ, and their corresponding sources: (Adapted from Marquis and Huston, 2003, pp. 187, 202) 2. Describe a situation where one may use a transformational leadership style and what type of power would you use.
According to Friedman (2000), transformational leadership is a leadership style that utilizes a high level of motivation among the subordinates in order to achieve better and greater performances that can eventually lead to positive and desirable outcomes. Moreover, transformational leadership involves a shared vision that inspires an organizational unit to accomplish its goals, as well as boosting the organization’s confidence (Friedman, 2000; Marquis and Huston, 2003). In short, vision is the essence of a transformational leadership (Marquis and Huston, 2003).
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A hospital’s nursing services department, which encompasses the nursing staff and its heads, is a situation or scenario to which transformational leadership is applicable and conducive. In this regard, according to Tyrrell (1994, p. 93, as cited in Marquis and Huston, 2003, p. 19), the nurse supervisor or nurse manager (nursing head, director) can be referred to as a “transformational leader” who can motivate and empower the nursing staff to render excellent patient care and attain quality nursing services.
In this regard, the referent type of power can be used by the leader (nurse supervisor or nurse manager), which is exactly corresponding to transformational leadership, as this type of power is obtained through association with others (in this case, the supervisor or manager associates with the nursing staff) (Marquis and Huston, 2003). 3. Find any article that focuses on a societal/organizational problem. Summarize the article and using a leadership theory as a framework, explain how a leader might approach the problem.
An article entitled “Case of Lemons” (found in Marquis and Huston, 2003, pp. 199-200 [Learning Exercise 8. 3]), which is based on a real event, deals with an organizational difficulty involving the nursing director (Ms. Jones), the hospital administrator (Ms. Smith) and the assistant hospital administrator (Mr. Black). The issue revolves around a possible dispute between the newly-appointed assistant hospital administrator, Mr. Black, and the nursing director, Ms. Jones. This is because Mr.
Black wants to extend the scope of his power by taking the hiring of new nurses under his management and supervision. As a background, the recruitment and hiring of new nurses are previously covered by the nursing service department, which is under the directorship Ms. Jones. Upon hearing the idea, Ms. Jones got angry as an initial reaction but she kept her feeling to herself. Eventually, Ms. Jones conceived a good idea which she immediately presented to Ms. Smith, the hospital director. Ms. Jones suggested that the hiring personnel can be under the command of Mr.
Black, but the personnel will still be situated inside the nursing department office. In this manner, Ms. Jones can still monitor the recruitment process while the personnel are under Mr. Black’s supervision. Eventually, Ms. Smith found the idea of Ms. Jones an exemplary one, which is also acceptable for Mr. Black. Hence, Ms. Jones exhibited self-control, stayed professional, managed her composure and bounced back despite the seemingly odd situation. The abovementioned case exemplified a laudable leadership style, as manifested by the nursing director.
As explicated by the leadership theory, Ms. Jones played the roles of a decision maker, communicator, facilitator, influencer, critical thinker, and a creative problem solver (Marquis and Huston, 2003), which pave the way for the resolution of the issue. She also used her legitimate power as a nursing director, who is expressing her concerns to the prospective new nurses who will join her staff after the hiring process, and her charismatic power that motivated the hospital administrator and the assistant hospital administrator to agree with her suggestion.
Thus, she effectively approached the problem with core knowledge pertaining to the leadership framework.
References Friedman, J. P. (2000). Dictionary of Business Terms. 3rd Edition. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. Marquis, B. L. & Huston, C. J. (2003). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing theory and application (pp. 11-24, 184-207). Fourth Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. power. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved April 14, 2009, from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/power
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