Interprofessional Organizational and Systems Leadership

Interprofessional Organizational and Systems Leadership

Interprofessional Organizational and Systems Leadership



Review of Literature, Best Practices, and Impact on Leadership

Change is ever occurring and necessary for the success and improved outcomes of any healthcare organization. But how do we achieve this change if resistance is met? Some change is mandated, and some are proactive; usually, it is the mandated change that creates the resistance. It is crucial for leaders to be mindful of each person’s values, education, cultural and social backgrounds when implementing change. In the past managers used an autocratic style to approach change; doing this can lead to wasted energy and frustration and an overwhelming resistance from staff. The best approach to meeting resistance is to recognize it. Leaders must put efforts into understanding that resistance is going to happen and looking at ways to identify strategies to meet resistance. One example is to have all who are resisting verbalize what they see as barriers. Allowing the individuals to verbalize their thoughts, meets that emotional need to vent and allows the individual to feel heard (Marquis & Huston, 2017).


The leader must also share the “end game” vision. Sharing will enable the employee to have a shared vision with the leader. When the leader articulates the vision for the change, it allows others the ability to give input on that vision, resulting in increased communication (Gesme & Wiseman, 2010). It may mean that the vision is altered slightly; however, all feel they have had a voice. Doing so will decrease resistance in the future when the change is implemented. It is vital for the manager to create a trusting environment, so the employee feels they can support and trust that the vision will happen successfully.

It is also necessary to identify those who are onboard from the beginning and use them as spokespersons to truly ignite a positivity around the proposed change (Marquis & Huston, 2017). It is essential that one acknowledges those who are onboard with change. Managers must remain at the center of the process to maintain engagement of those that are onboard. It is imperative that organizations guide the behavior of experienced managers and increase their overall knowledge of key resistive factors and how to address appropriately. As nurses make up much of the organization’s staff, it is important for managers to  meet with their nurses. Meeting each person who is affected by the change is key, looking at their emotions and attitudes and truly consulting with them on how the change will affect them will negate any unnecessary pushback in the future. A final strategy for defeating resistance is by conducting the change under the best conditions possible (Moradpour et al., 2017). The organization must be in an ideal place for change to happen. For example, if change was initiated when staffing was low, nurses may feel as if they were not properly prepared and the change would not be successful. Overall, it is key that a positive emotionally based approach be taken when resistance to change is received.

Implications or Consequences for Nursing Leaders

As a nursing leader, one must realize that “resistance to change or to feedback is often a normal reaction to anxiety, stress, evaluation, trauma, or even the learning process” (Backlund & Johnson, 2018, p. 47). Resistance to change should be expected and dealt with effectively by the nursing leader if their staff is to accept the change (Curtis & White, 2002). There are several strategies a nursing leader can use to reduce resistance to a planned change. These include introducing the change slowly; allowing all affected staff to participate in the planning and implementation of the change; and encouraging staff to initiate changes within their environment. All these strategies help to develop a trusting relationship between the leader and their staff. As this relationship deepens, resistance to planned changes will decrease.

A successful leader is one who “engages employees in dialogue, actively shares and seeks feedback, practices participative decision making, and is perceived as open and involved” (Johansson, Miller, & Hamrin, 2014, p. 147). Communication within the healthcare setting is vital to building relationships based on mutual trust and respect, which leads to improved patient care and outcomes. Nursing leaders should not fear resistance to change; instead, they should understand that it can foster an environment of growth and change if handled properly.


























Backlund, M., & Johnson, V. (2018, August). The beauty of client and supervisee resistance. Counseling Today, 61(2), 46-51. Retrieved from Retrieved from

Changing Minds. (2002-2019). Resistance to change. Retrieved from


Gesme, D., & Wiseman, M. (2010). How to implement change in practice. Journal of Oncology

Practice, 6(5), 257-259. Retrieved from https://doi-

Hader, R. (2013). The only constant is change. Nursing Management, 44(5), 6. Retrieved from

the Walden Library databases.

Johansson, C., Miller, V. D., & Hamrin, S. (2014). Conceptualizing communicative leadership. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 19(2), 147-165.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2017). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing:

Theory and application (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Moradpour, S., Abedi, H., & Bahonar, A. (2017). Investigating the relationship between self-

leadership and resistance to organizational changes in the nursing managers of hospitals

affiliated with isfahan university of medical sciences, 2015. Annals of Tropical

Medicine and Public Health, (5). Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-


Shimoni, B. (2017). What is resistance to change? A habitus-oriented approach. Academy of

Management Perspectives, 31(4), 257–270. Retrieved from the Walden Library


Interprofessional Organizational and Systems Leadership