Aims: The aim of the present study was to describe personnel's attitudes to change processes between a regional hospital and the primary health care centre as well as investigate these results with regards to theories pertaining to change and leading change.
Background: Leadership has three crucial dimensions: focusing on personnel, results/key processes and the ethical base of activities.
Methods: A survey was conducted in 2003 using a comprehensive questionnaire. The total sample consisted of the personnel (n = 899) at the two organizations (answering rate was 68.8%). The data were analysed descriptively.
Results: Approximately two-thirds of the respondents understood why the merger was occurring. Only one-third expressed that they had received sufficient information regarding the merger. In total 67% felt that the merger would create conflict while approximately one-fourth expressed uncertainty. Despite such negative responses, approximately two-thirds felt there were advantages to the merger. Significant differences were seen between the groups.
Conclusions: In times of change personnel expect leaders to focus on dialogue with their personnel and to anchor the vision of the change process amongst the personnel.
Implications for nursing management: By identifying the 'prison of thought' and creating an atmosphere where reflection and discussion are valued the nurse leader can help prevent resistance to change.