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Giltinane’s “Leadership Styles and Theories” in Healthcare


Leadership is a complex concept that may refer to a plethora of skills, qualities, and competencies simultaneously. According to Giltinane (2013), it comprises the provision of support to team members, motivation, communication, emotional intelligence, and so forth. At the same time, different leader qualities and skills are associated with distinct leadership styles: transactional, transformational, and situational leadership.

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The first leadership type is “task-orientated and can be effective when meeting deadlines” because it is associated with the promotion of employee compliance, a well-developed work structure, well-defined needs/goals, and so forth (Giltinane, 2013, p. 36).

At the same time, transformational leaders are more preoccupied with employee motivation and empowerment rather than the encouragement of obedience to norms through the implementation of reward-punishment systems. As Giltinane (2013) observes, the transformational leadership approach aims at meeting higher hierarchy needs of staff members, such as professional development, the realization of personal potentials, and improvement of self-esteem. In this way, transactional leaders focus more on organizational interests, while transformational leaders strive to align the company’s interests with employees’ needs.

Main body

The described leadership styles are linked to different advantages and disadvantages. For instance, transactional leaders can be more successful in managing emergency situations because they often aim to develop positive organizational behaviors in employees and intervene in the problematic ones timely to solve them (Giltinane, 2013). However, such an approach may fail to consider the psychoemotional element of behavior similarly to transformational leadership, which is all about employee communication, relationships, and accountability.

Nevertheless, transformational leadership can help improve individuals’ internal motivation to succeed in the workplace and increase employee loyalty to the company, Giltinane (2013) notes that in some cases (for instance, when “addressing issues such as sick leave and team conflict”), it is appropriate to combine its stylistic features with transactional management skills (p. 38). The third leadership style, situational leadership, has the purpose of achieving this managerial objective.

It is characterized by a more flexible and adaptable approach to solving distinct problems, focusing on both the achievement of positive short-term outcomes and employee support and involvement. As Giltinane (2013) concludes, considering that work situations in clinical settings are complex and often have multilateral implications, the realization of situational leadership can be highly beneficial. Since situational leadership combines the best aspects of the other two leadership styles, it significantly outweighs them in terms of advantages.

Impact of Giltinane Article Content on Future Practice

The findings of the article review make it clear that a healthcare practitioner playing the role of a leader should be able to evaluate various situations and problems occurring at the workplace correctly to choose and implement the right solutions to them. It is apparent that some issues may require a combined leadership approach. For instance, transactional management skills are needed to design strategies, behavioral norms, and protocols, yet without proper communication and motivation of employees, one may fail to achieve a sufficient level of compliance with those organizational regulations and goals.

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At the same time, the promotion of individuals’ internal motivation to work seems preferable as it is linked to greater job satisfaction and organizational loyalty, which may consequently lead to sustained improvements in productivity and work quality. Thus, external motivation through rewards and punishments is not enough, and the development of charisma needed to inspire others, as well as effective communication skills, is pivotal for every aspiring leader in any industry.


Overall, the evidence described in the article suggests that leaders need to improve critical thinking, strategic management competencies, and creativity. The former is required for the effective need assessment and identification of employees’ differences, interests, and preferences. The latter two of the essential leadership skills are important for the synthesis of the analysis data, and the creation of an integrated and comprehensive approach to problem-solving that would comprise cultural, psychological, operational, and other aspects of work in the healthcare organization. It is possible to say that these skills and competencies are core to situational leadership.


Giltinane, C. L. (2013). Leadership styles and theories. Nursing Standard, 27(41), 35-39.

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