How perceived physician leadership behavior affects physician satisfaction

Ronald Menaker, Rebecca S. Bahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether faculty members at an academic medical facility perceive their physician leaders as exhibiting transformational leadership behavior and whether they are most satisfied with leaders perceived to be most frequently exhibiting this behavior. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: The study was conducted within the Department of Medicine at Mayo Clinic's site in Rochester, MN, from December 1, 2005, through March 21, 2006. A total of 314 physicians within the Department of Medicine were asked to complete a Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) consisting of 22 questions regarding their primary physician leader (ie, division or department chair). The MLQ asked how frequently the physician leader exhibited specific behavior comprising 5 transformational leadership attributes (idealized attributes, idealized behavior, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration) and included 2 questions regarding satisfaction with that leader. RESULTS: Leaders varied in how frequently their faculty perceived that they exhibited each behavior. Leaders were shown to exhibit the attributes "fairly often," but not "frequently if not always." Each of the leadership attributes highly correlated with each of the 2 satisfaction measures. However, the attributes most strongly correlated with satisfaction were among the least often displayed. CONCLUSION: Physicians' satisfaction with their leaders is closely associated with the frequency with which leaders are perceived as exhibiting specific transformational leadership behavior. These results point to 5 specific behaviors that might be targeted to enhance both leadership skills and faculty members' satisfaction with their leaders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-988
Number of pages6
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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