Theory development methodology process: Transformational leadership model for academic nurse leaders in South Africa

Sipho Wellington Mkhize


Objective: The purpose of the article was to develop a transformational leadership model for academic nurse leaders in the nursing education institutions through theory development methodology process. This study emanated from objectives that were set into two phases whereby phase one formulated to enable the identification and classification of concepts in relation to transformational leadership of academic nurse leaders and phase two to develop and describe a model for transformational leadership for nursing education leaders in the Nursing Education Institutions.

Methods: An overarching theory generative design was adopted, in qualitative, quantitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual nature. The theory generative design provided an understanding of the phenomenon of transformational leadership model development for academic nurse leaders in nursing education institutions. The research methods followed the strategy of theory development using concept, identification and classification, data collection methods and procedures, data analysis methods and processes to ensure the trustworthiness of the study, concept description and critical reflection of the model. The study was conducted at nursing education institutions from four Provinces of South Africa, namely, Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Free State, and Northwest.

Results: A visual structure was constructed after main and associated concepts were identified to give the researcher a diagram that relates to the process and structure for the incorporation of academic nurse leaders. The structure of the model was developed and gave an account of the content conceptually classified. There were four structural forms, which to convey hierarchical relations, differentiation, overlapping areas, and polarity and continuity. The structured model formed the conceptual relationships within the model and thereafter, emerged from relationships within the model, which included central elements of the model and consists of concepts, statements and relationships between concepts. The concepts addressed were agent (transformational leadership), recipient (followers), context (nursing education institution), procedure (transformational leadership), terminus/goal (empowerment) and dynamic (collaboration and partnership).

Conclusions: This article described the research design and method employed to develop a model for transformational leadership for nursing education leaders. A theory development, descriptive, exploratory, contextual, qualitative and quantitative research design in nature was described. The research objectives were formulated in two phases to enable exploration, identification, and definition of concepts (phase 1) and for model development (phase 2). Data collected though individual interviews for college principals and focus group interviews for vice-principals and subject heads and questionnaires for lecturers, students and administrative staff. Information regarding the sample size and number of participants the data collection method was discussed. The instrument used in this research including its reliability and validity, discussed in detail. Finally, the data analysis of qualitative and quantitative research methodology was highlighted.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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