The Impact of Chinese Cultural Values on Taiwan Nursing Leadership Styles: Comparing the Self-Assessments of Staff Nurses and Head Nurses

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of Chinese culture on nursing leadership behavior in Taiwan nurses. A descriptive study compared staff nurses' assessment of Chinese value in the leadership behavior of their head nurses. Data analysis was made on a convenience sample in Taiwan of 214 head nurses and 2,127 staff nurses who had worked with their head nurse for at least one year. Six medical centers and regional hospitals in northern (Taipei), central (Taichung) and southern (Kaohsiung) Taiwan were recruited for this study. Instruments included the demographic questionnaire, Chinese Value Survey, and Kang's Chinese Leadership Behaviors Module Scale. Results indicated that head nurses scored significantly higher than staff nurses in terms of all cultural values and leadership behaviors. Both staff nurses and head nurses scored the highest mean scores in personal integrity (Yi) and human connectedness (Ren) and the lowest in moral discipline (Li). Staff nurse perceptions of leadership behavior indicated the role of parent to be higher than either the role of director or mentor. Head nurses perceptions of leadership behavior emphasized the role of the director more than either parent or mentor. There were no significant differences between the staff nurses and head nurses in terms of expectative leadership behavior, which gave the role of director higher mean scores than those of either the parent or mentor. Positive and significant associations (r = .266 to r = .334) were found between cultural values and perceptions of leadership behavior. Cultural values predicted 10.6% of leadership behavior variance. The three demographic characteristics of location in northern Taiwan (β = .09), intention to leave (β = −.14), and general unit (β = .10) and the two cultural values of human connectedness (Ren) (β = .16) and personal integrity (Yi) (β = .16) together reported a cumulative R2 of 14.6% to explain variance in leadership behavior perceptions. Results of this study identified the important cultural values “Ren” and “Yi”. Managers and administrators could add the consideration of such cultural values into nursing leadership to enhance the organization in which Taiwan nurses work.

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