A Qualitative Study: Exploring Perceptions of Leadership Among Nurses

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Committee Chair

Alyncia Bowen

Committee Member

Bora Pajo

Committee Member

Karen Lankisch


The leadership style displayed within the work environment can affect every employee’s attitudes and behaviors when coupled with poor leadership approaches from others at different management levels. This study explored the dynamics of leader-member exchange theory, the leadership styles (transformational, transactional, and authentic), and the attitudes and behaviors that shaped the personal experiences of healthcare professionals. The purpose of this qualitative narrative inquiry was to contribute additional knowledge to healthcare administration and leadership styles. Nurses were interviewed regarding their perceptions of leadership styles. They were interviewed about attitudes and behaviors toward leadership and whether those attitudes changed the continuity of patient care and safety. Eleven verbatim transcripts of the audio-recorded interviews were imported as text documents to NVivo 12. Four themes emerged during data analysis: (a) positive perceptions, (b) negative perceptions, (c) effective performance, and (d) barriers to performance. Future recommendations involve an understanding of leader-member exchange theory for leader relationships with nurses.