Top Management Leadership Style and Quality of Care in Nursing Homes

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the association of Nursing Home Administrator (NHA) leadership style and Director of Nursing (DON) leadership style with quality of care. Design and Methods: Leaders were categorized into 4 groups: consensus managers, consultative autocrats, shareholder managers, or autocrats. This leadership style assessment came from primary data collected from approximately 4,000 NHAs and DONs that was linked to quality information (i.e., Nursing Home Compare Quality Measures and 5-Star rating scores) and nursing home information (i.e., Online Survey, Certification, And Reporting data). Results: A consensus manager leadership style has a strong association with better quality. Top managers using this style solicit and act upon input from their employees. For NHAs exhibiting this leadership style, the coefficients on 5 of the 7 quality indicators are statistically significant, and all 7 are significant when the DON exhibits this style. When the NHA and DON both have a consensus manager leadership style, 6 of the 7 quality indicator coefficients are significantly associated with better quality. Implications: The findings indicate that NHA and DON leadership style is associated with quality of care. Leadership strategies are amenable to change; thus, the findings of this study may be used to develop policies for promoting more effective leadership in nursing homes.

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