Leadership Styles and Nurses’ Job Satisfaction. Results of a Systematic Review

Maria Lucia Specchia, Walter Ricciardi, Gianfranco Damiani, Elettra Carini, Andrea Di Pilla, Caterina Galletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Healthcare organisations are social systems in which human resources are the most important factor. Leadership plays a key role, affecting outcomes for professionals, patients and work environment. The aim of this research was to identify and analyse the knowledge present to date concerningthecorrelationbetweenleadershipstylesandnurses’jobsatisfaction. Asystematicreview was carried out on PubMed, CINAHL and Embase using the following inclusion criteria: impact of different leadership styles on nurses’ job satisfaction; secondary care; nursing setting; full-text available; English or Italian language. From 11,813 initial titles, 12 studies were selected. Of these, 88% showed a significant correlation between leadership style and nurses’ job satisfaction. Transformational style had the highest number of positive correlations followed by authentic, resonant and servant styles. Passive-avoidant and laissez-faire styles, instead, showed a negative correlation with job satisfaction in all cases. Only the transactional style showed both positive and negative correlation. In this challenging environment, leaders need to promote technical and professional competencies, but also act to improve staff satisfaction and morale. It is necessary to identify and fill the gaps in leadership knowledge as a future objective to positively affect health professionals’ job satisfaction and therefore healthcare quality indicators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1552-1552
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • job satisfaction
  • leadership
  • nursing


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