Two of the main problems with the trait approach to studying leadership is that traits are not necessarily easy to measure (Bolden, Gosling, Marturano & Dennison, 2003), and that over time, an almost limitless list of positive adjectives have been forwarded as important leadership traits.
However, Stogdill (1974) summarized the contribution of trait approaches to the study of leadership (see table 2) by listing those traits and skills that have been found more frequently in related research.
Major Research Approaches To Studying Leadership
The necessity of quality and patient satisfaction improvement initiatives are significant considerations in health care. Health care specialists describe quality health care as the degree to which services of health for public and individuals increase the probability of the desired health outcomes. These health services must also be in line with the most recent professional knowledge. Some of the approaches used include continuous quality improvement (CQI), Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) and Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA). Nursing managers and leaders utilize these approaches to ensure that there is continuous quality improvement and that the nursing care meets the patients satisfaction. The main objective of continuous quality improvement (CQI) is improving health care for problems identification, implementation and evaluating the corrective actions (Hughes,2008).ffectiveness is also studied. Nursing leaders who apply this approach make use of a structured process to identify areas that require improvement in the system used in delivering health care services. When they identify such areas, they organize the nursing staff to assist in developing and implementing strategies for improvements. An important element in improving health quality is the overseeing of problem-prone, high-volume or high-risk aspects of health care (McLaughlin, 2004). Note that in quality improvements there is no need of studying every aspect of major service. The major areas of study consist of continuity of care, emergency care, the intake process, access to care and adverse patient outcomes which include all deaths. The nursing manager or leader should, therefore, be careful while identifying the major areas that require to be studied. CQI studies are conducted in a variety of ways. It requires the nursing leader or manager to understand the method that is most effective in addressing the Quality problem in his organization (Hughes,2008). Nursing leaders have always found a challenge differentiating between CQI process and outcome studies. A process study is involved in the examination of the effectiveness of the process of delivering health care. On the other side, an outcome study does the examination of whether the expected patients care outcomes were achieved. Both studies types should engage in finding a problem of the facility, conducting a study, developing and implementing a plan (McLaughlin, 2004). They should also help in monitoring and tracking results and demonstrating improvements or restudying the problem. As mention there before, quality improvement can be done using different methods. This approach contributes a lot to continuous improvement of quality and patient satisfaction. Some nursing managers and leaders utilize Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model approach. Nursing leaders should understand that PDSA approach is one of the CQI studies that aim at making positive changes in the processes of health care and increasing the probability of positive outcomes(Hughes,2008). PDSA has unique featuresespecially its cyclical nature which it uses to impact and assess change. The main purpose of PDSA in the efforts of improving quality is establishing causal or functional relationships between the changes in outcomes and processes. Nursing managers answer the three questions before applying the PDSA cycles. The first questions they ask themselves are the goals of the project they will use. The second question is the means they will use to evaluate whether the goal was achieved. The last question is what they are supposed to do reach the goal (Hughes,2008). The nursing manager or leader then begins carrying out relevant studies to answer the three questions. The change is then implemented which lead to quality improvement and patient satisfaction. The approach is simple to apply, and this simplicity explains why it is applied by many nursing leaders and managers. Nursing managers or leaders also use Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) approach to improve the quality and patient satisfaction. FMEA is a technique of evaluation that is used for identifying and eliminating potential or known errors, failures and problems in the system(Hughes,2008). This technique of evaluation then engages in designing, processing and servicing of these failures and errors before they occur. Nursing managers must be in a position to prevent the failures or errors that occur in the clinical setups. The nurse manager must be capable of using a multidisciplinary team for evaluating the process from an improvement of quality and patient satisfaction perspectives. Nursing leaders should be capable of using this approach in evaluating alternative procedures and processes, as well as monitoring change over time. In order to oversee change over time, measures that are well-defined are required in providing objective information of the process effectiveness (McLaughlin, 2004).The nurse manager should identify failures and weaknesses early enough to avoid causing harm to the patients. Prevention of harm to the patients translates into improved quality of nursing care and patients satisfaction. approach meets my leadership style is the fact that its one of the CQI studies that aim at making positive changes in the processes of health care. It also increases the probability of positive outcomes (Hughes,2008). According to me quality improvement and patient satisfaction involve making positive changes and outcomes in improvement requires making positive changes in the system (McLaughlin, 2004). PDSA has three questions that help in the designing of my study. The three questions involve identifying the goal of the project. The second question looks for means of evaluating whether the goal was achieved and the last question looks for the means of achieving the goal. These questions guide me in the selection of the relevant study to carry out in order to answer my three questions. Carrying out the relevant study help me in identifying the necessary change I am supposed to make to improve the quality and patient satisfaction in the clinical setting. Nursing managers and leaders use various approaches to improve the quality and patient satisfaction. Some of these approaches include FMEA and PDSA. However, there is no approach that is better than the other it all dependsithon the leader applying it. PDSA is the approach that fits my personal and professional philosophy in nursing, and it fits my leadership style. Quality improvement and patient satisfaction are a priority issue in health care. Nursing leaders and managers should use the approach that best fit their personal and professional philosophy in nursing. Hughes, R.G., editor. (2008). Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).Retrieved from: McLaughlin, C. (2004). . Jones & Bartlett Learning.