Brokers of Change: Outcomes of a Shared Governance Model of Leadership in Academia
Long, JoAnn D.
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Purpose: There is an international shortage of nurses. Data support faculty nearing retirement age will affect the supply of educators needed to teach the next generation. Evidence from academia suggests that program leaders experience disproportionate workloads related to program demands and excessive job-related stressors compounding the problem. Workplace structures which address root-cause and retain, support, and grow academic leaders at all levels are needed. Shared governance (SG) models and authentic leadership play a role in establishing and sustaining healthy work environments in clinical settings; however, SG has not been widely applied in traditional academic settings. The purpose of this project is to discuss the measureable outcomes associated with the implementation of a SG model of leadership and to discuss the application of elements of collaborative teams, healthy work environments, and authentic leadership to a SG model for nursing faculty. Methods: This project used a non-experimental, descriptive, mixed-method design. The research questions are: 1) What are the structural, financial and human [faculty, student, and alumni] outcomes associated with implementing a SG model of leadership during the 2009-2011 timeframe? 2) What elements of collaborative teams, healthy work environments, and authentic leadership are applicable to a SG model? Results: The department of nursing restructured from a traditional, vertical-hierarchical model to a horizontal-flat SG model consisting of a collaborative team of directors. The outcome metrics support a 54% increase in student enrollment, project an additional increase in 2012 from new partnership students, increase in MSN alumni donations from 0.07% to 36%, and a 22% increase in student research abstract acceptance. Qualitative assessment of increased faculty engagement suggests a growing integration of collaborative team elements and authentic leadership characteristics which may contribute to healthy work environments. Conclusion: A SG leadership model improved program outcome metrics and may contribute to healthy work environments meriting further study.