Leadership' is a social process in which a member or members of a group influence the interpretation of events, choice of goals/outcomes, organization of work activities, motivation, abilities, power relations, and shared orientations. This study identifies leadership behaviours of Jordanian nursing leaders. A descriptive comparative design was used to collect data from four governmental and three private hospitals. Data were collected during April 2005. The total number of recruited nursing leaders was 140 with a 70% response rate. T-tests and chi-squares were performed to compare the phenomenon of interest. The mean reported leadership behaviours were slightly higher in private hospitals than those in governmental hospitals. However, more than half of the time, leaders in both types of hospitals used supportive leadership behaviours. There were significant differences between governmental and private hospitals in most demographics of the sample. Based on types of hospitals and gender, differences in leadership behaviours were advantageous for nursing leaders in private hospitals, while differences based on units and wards were advantageous for nursing leaders in governmental hospitals. In general, Jordanian nursing leaders used supportive leadership behaviours. Differences in leadership behaviours have implications for nursing practice, research, and education.
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