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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1025-9848

Abstract

CILLIERS, Frans  and  TERBLANCHE, Landa. The systems psychodynamic leadership coaching experiences of nursing managers. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.15, n.1, pp. 1-9. ISSN 1025-9848.

The mostly linear and mechanistic nature of the nursing manager role is rapidly becoming more dynamic and systemic. The change involves task and people management within a constantly changing organisational identity, taking up multiple leadership roles, having to authorise oneself and others in a complex matrix system, and managing conscious and unconscious psychological boundaries within and between conflicting systems. The aim of this study was to describe the systems psychodynamic learning experiences of nursing managers during leadership coaching. The coaching task was to provide learning opportunities to the individual leader, towards gaining insight into conscious and unconscious leadership dynamics in terms of anxiety, task, role, authorisation, boundaries and identity. A qualitative research design was used. Six nursing managers attended ten leadership coaching sessions over ten weeks. Field notes and reflective essays were analysed using systems psychodynamic discourse analysis. The findings indicated clarity and authorisation in the participants' primary task and normative roles; anxiety and de-authorisation in their experiential and phenomenal roles; anxiety in boundary management related to the misuse of power by others; and the continuous exploration of their leadership role identity towards achieving integration. Participants' learning experiences were evaluated in terms of criteria for organisational learning, after which a general hypothesis was formulated.

Keywords : coaching; task; role; authorisation; boundaries; identity.

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