Aim: Affecting the attitudes and the behaviors of the employees, leaders’ ethical focused behavior is one of the most important factors affecting employee work motivation. The study was conducted with the aim of examining the relationship between ethical leadership behavior and the work motivation of Intensive Care Nurses (ICNs).
Material and Methods: The study adopted a cross-sectional and descriptive design and was performed between August and October 2018 with 98 ICNs at a university hospital in Turkey. A Nurses’ Description Form, the Ethical Leadership Scale, and the Nurses’ Work Motivation Scale were used to collect data. Since the data were found to be normally distributed, to compare the total scores of ethical leadership scale and nurses’ work motivation scale for demographic information of the nurses independent t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) test were used. Pearson correlation analysis was used to determine the relationship between ethical leadership and work satisfaction.
Results: A statistically significant positive correlation was found between the mean total score of the Ethical Leadership Scale and the mean total score of the Nurses’ Work Motivation Scale (p < 0.001). A statistically significant difference was found between the mean total score of the ELS and the number of patients for whom daily nursing care was provided (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: It was concluded from this study that the perceptions of ICNs concerning ethical leadership behavior and their work motivation were at a medium level. In addition, it was found that the nurses’ ethical leadership behavior had a positive effect on their work motivation. Nursing leaders should therefore endeavor to maintain their ethical behavioral integrity in order to promote nurses’ work motivation.
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