Project focuses on healthcare leadership 

Taylor Fukunaga
Staff Writer 

University of La Verne Professor of Management and Leadership Louise Kelly, is collaborating with the Institute for eHealth and Management in Healthcare in Flensburg, Germany, on a research project that will focus on the leadership challenges faced by nurses in both the United States and Germany. 

Kelly is interested in the notion of authentic leadership, a new concept in leadership studies. 

“In a group, authentic leadership really focuses on the relationship that’s established between the leader and their workers,” Kelly said. “It’s about cultivating a setting (in which) leaders are self aware (with an) understanding towards other points of view,” Kelly said adding that in such an approach, they listen to others, and there is greater transparency.  

She said that she is working on the health leadership collaboration because she believes that young people are interested in the authentic leadership approach.

Kelly received a $5,000 three-year to support University faculty members who conducted research in different areas of well-being. 

In Spring of 2023, Kelly studied the relationships between trust, authentic leadership and stress levels in organizations with people of diverse backgrounds. 

“In low-trust cultures, leading authentically is more difficult. I wanted to find these people from non-dominant groups and see how their stress level is influenced by how they pursue authentic leadership and their trust in the organization or workplace,” Kelly said. 

Kelly planned to take biometric studies, used to measure the signals of the human body, and pair them with her questionnaire that evaluated the stress levels of individuals. 

While on sabbatical during the Spring of 2023, she visited the Institute for eHealth and Management in Healthcare at the Flensburg University of Applied Science. She met with Bosco Lehr, director of the institute and professor at Flensburg University, and his team who wanted to collaborate. 

The study is going to be done by looking at authentic leadership in the hospital setting at Flensburg with the nursing workplace. 

“I was even more interested in looking at the levels of authentic leadership in both the United States and Germany when I learned that nurses have more power in Germany,” Kelly said. 

She said that nursing is a female-dominated profession and a caring profession where authentic leadership fits. 

“Dr. Kelly comes from a unique perspective,” said Kathy Duncan, interim dean of the Càstulo de la Rocha College of Health and Community Well-Being. 

By modeling authentic leadership, a leader gives permission to others to bring their whole selves to work, Duncan added. 

Kelly plans to complete her research in 2024. 

Taylor Fukunaga can be reached at taylor.fukunaga@laverne.edu.

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