Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore self-reported transformational leadership behavior profiles within the six largest allied health profession groups in the National Health Service in Scotland and to determine whether factors such as seniority of grade, locus of employment, and/or leadership training have a positive influence on transformational leadership behaviors.
Methods: A postal survey comprising the shorter version of the Multifactorial Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) and contextual demographic information was completed by 753 allied health professionals from four Health Board areas across Scotland who were randomly selected through a modified cluster sampling technique. The MLQ contains 36 items that measure nine identified leadership factors; however, only the responses to the five transformational leadership factors are reported here.
Results: The study identified significant differences in transformational leadership behaviors between individual allied health professions. Radiographers and podiatrists scored consistently lower than the other professional groups across the range of transformational behaviors. Seniority of grade significantly influenced the scores, with higher-graded staff reporting greater leadership behaviors (p < 0.001). Prior leadership training also positively influenced transformational behaviors (p < 0.001). However, locus of employment within a primary or secondary care setting or even a multidisciplinary or unidisciplinary team had no effect.
Conclusions: This research identified significant differences in transformational leadership behaviors between individual allied health professions, indicating that some professional groups are inherently advantaged in embracing the modernization agenda. This highlights an as-yet missed opportunity for effectively targeting and evaluating multidisciplinary leadership training programs across the allied health professions.