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Measuring distributed leadership agency in a hospital context: Development and validation of a new scale

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to develop and validate an instrument that can measure Distributed Leadership as employees’ active participation in distributed leadership tasks. We designate this as the Distributed Leadership Agency (DLA).

Methodology: Data were collected throughout all departments and occupational groups at a merged centralized hospital setting in Denmark. A total of 1774 employees from 24 hospital departments and 16 occupational groups completed our survey. SEM and CFAs were applied to identify appropriate items and a test for measurement invariance, predictive, discriminant and convergent validity, and ANOVAs were applied to analyze group differences in DLA.

Findings: The identified uni-dimensional questionnaire consists of seven items, as it is different from, but associated with, empowering leadership, organizational influence, attitude to participation and trust in management. As theoretically predicted, DLA is positively related to self-efficacy, job-satisfaction and innovative behaviour. Chief physicians, permanent employees and employee representatives scored higher on the scale than the rest of their respective counterparts.

Practice implications: The survey offers a method to assess a distribution of leadership agency in hospital organizations. Such assessment may provide a basis for organizational and leadership development, as well as future research in Distributed Leadership among hospital employees.

Originality/value: The present study provides a reliable and valid quantitative
instrument that measures how much employees’ at all hierarchical levels are involved in concrete leadership activities in the hospital context. Taking a normative perspective we could show that Distributed Leadership – measured with the DLA-questionnaire – has positive effects on employees’ behaviour.
TidsskriftJournal of Health, Organization and Management
Sider (fra-til)908-926
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 2016

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