Person-centred Leadership: a relational approach to leadership derived through action research

Shuan Cardiff, Tanya McCance, Brendan McCormack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aims & Objectives: How does person-centred leadership manifest in clinical nursing.Background: Person-centred practice fosters healthful relationships and is gaining increasingattention in nursing and healthcare, but nothing is known about the influence of a person8centred approach to leadership practice. Most leadership models used in nursing wereoriginally developed outside of nursing.Design: A three year participatory action research study where participant leaders planned,researched and learned from their practice development.Methods: After an orientation phase, four action spirals focused on: critical and creativereflective inquiries into leadership practice change; leading the implementation and evaluationof a new nursing system; facilitating storytelling sessions with staff and annually reflecting onpersonal leadership change. Multiple data gathering methods offered insight into leadershipdevelopment from several perspectives.Results: Critical and creative thematic data analysis revealed a set of attributes, relationalprocesses and contextual factors that influenced the being and becoming of a person-centredleader. Comparing the findings with nursing leadership literature supports a conceptualframework for person-centred leadership.Conclusions: Person-centred leadership is a complex, dynamic, relational and contextualisedpractice that aims to enable associates and leaders achieve self-actualisation, empowermentand wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Early online date21 Apr 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Apr 2018


  • person-centeredness
  • leadership
  • nursing leadership
  • action research

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