Date of Award

Spring 1980

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Several authors state that nurses are markedly underprepared to assume leadership positions, and this lack of preparation is a causal factor of the generally poor leadership provided in nursing. It has also been shown that leadership style does have an effect upon job satisfaction. It behooves nursing managers then to explore and be cognizant of the exact nature of the relationships between management/leadership styles and job satisfaction. This researcher did explore what, if any, relationships existed between job satisfaction, preferred and perceived management styles, level of education of respondents, perceived educational level of managers, age of respondents, perceived age of managers, size of hospital, years of nursing experience of respondents, and years of perceived management experience of managers. There were 183 questionnaires returned on a voluntary and completely anonymous basis from staff nurses in a small (100-200 beds) and large (500-600 beds) hospital. The results were tabulated in terms of total number of responses, percentage responses and cross-tabulation tables. The results show that the respondents largely preferred a more democratic management style, and predominantly perceived either an autocratic or democratic style. Those nurses unable to identify a clear management style or identifying an autocratic style, were most likely to indicate job dissatisfaction. Diploma Graduates were most likely to prefer an autocratic management style, whereas Baccalaureates were most likely to prefer a democratic management style. Those managers perceived to have 5 or more years of management experience had a more clearly identifiable management style (whether that style was autocratic or democratic), whereas those managers perceived to have 5 or less years of management experience had less clearly identifiable styles. There is also an evolution to a clearly identifiable management style with the perceived older manager. It was found then that there are significant relationships between the predominately perceived management style and job satisfaction: the perceived educational background of the manager and the predominantly perceived management style; perceived years of managers' experience and predominantly perceived management style.