Experiences of followers in the development of the leader -follower relationship in long -term health care: A phenomenological study
This descriptive phenomenological study explored the perceptions and experiences of followers in the development of the leader-follower relationship, within a long-term health care environment. This study is also framed within the disciplinary context of human resource development (HRD).
This study addressed the research question, “During your first year of employment, what has the experience of getting to know your supervisor been like?” This broad question was intended to allow participants to engage their own mental models of who they relate to as their supervisor and what the process of getting to know them has been like.
The methodology of the study utilized one-to-one in-depth phenomenological interviews for data collection. The participants were 13 Certified Nursing Assistants from six different long-term health care facilities employed with Golden Living organization between six months and one year.
The study utilized an approach to data collection and analysis developed by Giorgi (1997) that employed five basic qualitative steps: (1) collecting verbal data, (2) reading the data, (3) breaking the data in to parts, (4) organizing and expressing the data from a disciplinary perspective, and (5) synthesizing and summarizing the data. The data analysis revealed five significant themes of meaning: (1) Direct contact and assistance are important; (2) Supervisors treat us differently based on certain follower behaviors; (3) Personal conversation is important: (4) Follower competence affects relationships; and (5) ED/DNS leader-follower relationships are primarily transactional and often intimidating for CNAs. The interrelationships among these meanings are then presented as an integrated description of the essential structure of the meaning of this experience for CNAs.
Because this study is framed within a disciplinary context of human resource development, there is an implied theory-to-practice stance. The HRD disciplinary context of this study proposes a framework for sharing and synthesizing this information to leaders so they may appropriate the findings in a personal way as part of their own developmental process. Transformational learning theory in the cognitive-rational model, as developed by Mezirow (1978, 1990, 1991) is considered as useful for synthesizing the transformational development process and phenomenological findings from a study of this nature.
Health care management
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