Purpose - This chapter seeks to increase our understanding of health care employees' perceptions of effective and ineffective leadership behavior within their organization. Design/methodology/approach - Interviews were conducted with 59 employees working in a diversity of positions within the case study hospital. Interviewees were asked to cite behaviors of both an effective and an ineffective leader in their organization. They were also asked to clarify whether their example described the behavior of a formal or informal leader. Grounded theory data analysis techniques were used and findings were interpreting using existing leadership behavior theories. Findings - (1) There was a consistent link between effective leadership and relationally oriented behaviors. (2) Employees identified both formal and informal leadership within their hospital. (3) There were both similarities and differences with respect to the types of behaviors attributed to informal versus formal leaders. (4) Informants cited a number of leadership behaviors not yet accounted for in the leadership behavior literature (e.g., 'hands on', 'professional', 'knows organization'). (5) Ineffective leadership behavior is not simply the opposite of effective leadership. Research implications - Findings support the following ideas: (1) there may be a relationship between the type of job held by employees in health care organizations and their perceptions of leader behavior, and (2) leadership behavior theories are not yet comprehensive enough to account for the varieties of leadership behavior in a health care organization. This study is limited by the fact that it focused on only those leadership theories that considered leader behavior. Practical implications - There are two practical implications for health care organizations: (1) leaders should recognize that the type of behavior an employee prefers from a leader may vary by follower job group (e.g., nurses may prefer relational behavior more than managerial staff do), and (2) organizations could improve leader development programs and evaluation tools by identifying ineffective leadership behaviors that they want to see reduced within their workplace. Social implications - Health care organizations could use these findings to identify informal leaders in their organization and invest in training and development for them in hopes that these individuals will have positive direct or indirect impacts on patient, staff, and organizational outcomes through their informal leadership role. Value/originality - This study contributes to research and practice on leadership behavior in health care organizations by explicitly considering effective and ineffective leader behavior preferences across multiple job types in a health care organization. Such a study has not previously been done despite the multi-professional nature of health care organizations. Copyright

Additional Metadata
Keywords Health care leadership, Ineffective leadership, Informal leadership, Leadership behavior, Relational leadership
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1108/S1474-8231(2013)0000014007
Citation
Gover, L. (Laura), & Duxbury, L. (2013). "What you see depends on where you stand" exploring the relationship between leadership behavior and job type in health care. doi:10.1108/S1474-8231(2013)0000014007