Exploring the links between ethical leadership, creativity and the work environment in hospital wards
Keywords:ethical leadership, creativity, creative mindset, work environment, interviews, thematic analysis
The literature indicates that a positive relationship between creativity and ethical leadership exists. It is critical to explore how this relationship can influence creative mindsets of nurse managers and nurses specifically within their work environment. The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of ethical leadership on creativity and the work environment in hospital wards. Data was collected by means of a qualitative approach. Staff from three wards in a general hospital was recruited for the study. Three nurse managers and nine nurses from three different wards in a hospital setting consented to hold semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data from the interview transcripts. Nurses and nurse managers co-exist in a dynamic context provided through their work environment. Most respondents were able to identify creative activities in their daily work. Trust, inclusiveness and altruism facilitated learning and the development of new skills. This was manifested in environments where most respondents where receptive to alternative methods of addressing issues on the ward demonstrating a creative mindset. Nurses and nurse managers may mutually enhance their work environment by making it more engaging, by nurturing relationships, and facilitating creativity and creative mindsets by practicing ethical leadership. The study supports other research linking creativity and ethical leadership. Nurse managers and their teams have the opportunity to improve the quality of care delivery in hospital settings through their leadership style and openness to creative ideas.
Keywords: ethical leadership, creativity, creative mindset, work environment, interviews, thematic analysis.