Leadership style preference of undergraduate occupational therapy students in Australia

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SummaryBackground Occupational therapy graduates are expected to assume leadership roles in a variety of contexts and capacities. Objective To investigate the leadership styles of undergraduate occupational therapy students. Methods First, second, third, and fourth year undergraduate occupational therapy students from one Australian university were asked to complete the What's My Leadership Style (WMLS) questionnaire. Results The total sample response rate was 86.3% (n = 182/211). Overall there was a statistically significant difference in students' preference for the leadership styles (p <.001). The two most preferred leadership styles were the Considerate and Spirited styles while the two least preferred were the Direct and Systematic leadership styles. There were no statistically significant differences in preference for any of the four leadership styles based on students' sex, age, or year level of study. Conclusion The Considerate leadership style is characterised by creating comfortable working environments, following established procedures, and creating an easy work pace, while the Spirited leadership style is about inspiring people, generating excitement, turning work into play, and rallying people. It is recommended that leadership be integrated into occupational therapy curricula so as to adequately equip students for future professional practice.© 2014, Elsevier (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.




Brown, T., Williams, B., & Jolliffe, L. (2014). Leadership style preference of undergraduate occupational therapy students in Australia. Hong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy, 24(1), 35–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hkjot.2014.04.002

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