Evaluation of leadership practices: How to develop a vision

Jacqueline S. Martin, Brendan McCormack, Donna Fitzsimons, Rebecca Spirig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Leadership competencies and more specifically a strategic vision are essential to managing increasingly complex healthcare organisations and change. However, Switzerland, like many other countries, has identified a lack of leadership skills among nurse leaders. Therefore the Royal College of Nursing's (RCN) Clinical Leadership Programme has been adapted, implemented and evaluated in the Swiss nursing context. The aim of this qualitative study was to evaluate the Leadership Programme's support for vision development. In-depth interviews with six nurse leaders, who were purposefully selected according to the quantitative results of the overall mixed-methods evaluation project were included. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed prior to qualitative content analysis. Findings showed the different approaches used in the process of vision formation. Some used cognitive-analytical techniques and proceeded very methodically and systematically, whereas others described a more intuitive approach. Some also used a combination of both approaches. Participants experienced fostering and hindering factors on different levels - personal as well as organisational. The identified factors in vision development may be helpful in the planning of educational programmes to facilitate visionary skills among nurse leaders. Vision formation requires time for reflection and the ability of creative thinking, which is distinct from day-to-day management tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-115
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Issue number2
Early online date25 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • change management
  • clinical leadership programme
  • evaluation
  • nurse leaders
  • qualitative studies
  • visionary skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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