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Leadership, Leading, Power, Observation, Case Study


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Aim: The aim of this case study was to explore if observing leaders in the context of their day-to-day work can provide an insight into how they lead in particular circumstances.

Background: The study was carried out in small organisation which was set up five years ago.

Methods: A case study methodology was used. Data was collected by field notes of non-participant and participant observations. Follow-up interviews were transcribed and analysed to contextualise the observations. A reflective diary was used by the researcher to add to the richness of the data.

Results: The data demonstrates how the leader responded in key circumstances during scheduled meetings with staff, interactions in the office and during coffee time. These responses are linked to literature on leadership in the areas of power, personal development, coaching and delegation.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that observing a leader in the context of their day-to-day work can provide evidence to validate what leaders do in particular circumstances

Implications for Nursing Management: The implications of the findings for nursing management are the opportunities to use observation as a tool to understand what managers/leaders do, how they manage or lead and why others respond as they do, and with what outcomes.


Health and Medical Administration | Medicine and Health Sciences


Joyce P. Leading and leadership: reflections on a case study. Journal of Nursing Management 2010;18(4):418-424.

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