Healthcare: “Leadership Styles and Theories” by Giltinane


The article by Giltinane (2013) explains some of the most popular leadership styles and theories to highlight important distinctions between them, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. The author introduces the topic of leadership in clinical settings, noting that it can be used to enhance performance and achieve organizational objectives faster. Giltinane (2013) also refers to other scholars in order to show that leadership is a capacity that can be developed using appropriate theories and training.

For instance, developing emotional intelligence can help leaders to empathize with their followers, thus reducing workplace stress and improving decision-making (Giltinane, 2013). The article discusses three key leadership types: transactional, transformational, and situational leadership.

Main body

Transactional leadership is defined as “offering rewards to others in return for compliance” (Giltinane, 2013, p. 36). The author explains that this leadership style relies on using appropriate rewards, including financial compensation and bonuses, to motivate employees to complete tasks. Giltinane (2013) also states that this leadership style does not enable building strong teams or promoting shared values, and thus some transactional leaders may even be disliked by their teams. Nevertheless, transactional leadership can be successfully used to achieve performance objectives, such as higher sales or increased productivity.

Transformational leadership style is contrasted with transactional leadership, as it focuses more on followership and organizational culture. Transformational leaders are described as visionary and inspiring, and thus they can motivate employees to perform better with or without financial rewards (Giltinane, 2013). Transformational leaders also use a democratic approach to governance and recognize the individual differences, abilities, and talents of employees (Giltinane, 2013). This enables people working with transformational leaders to develop their full potential and contribute to the organization.

Lastly, situational leadership is the most flexible type of leadership considered in the article. It is also particularly relevant to the healthcare sector because it is subject to continuous change and innovation (Giltinane, 2013). Situational leadership involves adapting one’s leadership style to particular situations in order to resolve problems or achieve goals (Giltinane, 2013). Thus, situational leadership can be successfully applied to most clinical settings.

Impact of Giltinane Article Content on Future Practice

I found the article useful in explaining the differences between three common leadership styles. The author related each section of the paper to clinical settings, which allowed me to understand how different leadership styles would work in my future practice. For example, I think that transactional leadership has many disadvantages when it comes to healthcare leadership, as it would not help to fully engage employees in the organization’s work.

However, I would probably use it as a short-term measure when there is a need to boost employee performance quickly. Transformational leadership, on the other hand, seems to be helpful for managing employees during a major organizational change or when a company is underperforming due to poor workforce characteristics, such as high turnover or burnout. Transformational leadership relies on a vision created by a leader for their employees, and thus it should be useful for resolving most organizational problems.


Nevertheless, I believe that the style of leadership that would be particularly relevant to my future practice is situational leadership. The contemporary healthcare environment is increasingly complex and shaped by various internal and external factors, such as demand, legislation, demographics, new drugs, and more. Using the situational leadership style would enable me to navigate this environment successfully by adapting to changes. Moreover, it would make the organization more stable, thus attracting highly qualified staff and generating funds for innovation and service improvement.


Giltinane, C. L. (2013). Leadership styles and theories. Nursing Standard, 27(41), 35-39.