The Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Organizational Commitment in Nonprofit Long Term Care Organizations: The Direct Care Worker Perspective
Porter, Jeanette A.
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The United States population is rapidly aging, and retaining direct care workers (DCWs) will continue to be a workforce concern for the industry in addressing the demand for long term care services. To date, scant literature exists that addresses the DCW perspective of leadership behaviors and their influence on organizational commitment. To respond to this deficiency, this research studied leadership behaviors of direct importance for DCWs at the immediate supervisor level, and provided empirical insight into organizational commitment among workers closest to patient care. Research on leader behaviors has focused on managerial and executive levels, with scant consideration in long term care at the lower hierarchical levels. Transformational leadership was hypothesized to have a significant positive relationship with organizational commitment, specifically affective and normative commitments, and a significant inverse relationship with continuance commitment. The quantitative correlational study explored the relationship between transformational leadership and organizational commitment among 322 direct care workers employed by nonprofit, multi-level long term care organizations located in the Midwest. Results revealed a statistically significant relationship between overall transformational leadership and organizational commitment as well as affective and normative commitment dimensions, with no significant relationship found between transformational leadership and continuance commitment. The study results are beneficial to industry leaders, researchers, and policymakers for addressing operational policies, leadership training, human resource practices, and workforce policy development. Operational policies should reflect the values of the organization and follow from a compelling, collective vision and mission. Human resources practices warrant review if not aligned with the vision, mission, and values. Leadership development training should considered for continuing education for supervisors at all levels as well as for potential policy alternatives.