Original Research - Special Collection: Mental Health

An autonomy-supportive climate for facilitation of self-leadership in health sciences educators

Vhothusa E. Matahela, Gisela H. van Rensburg
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 28 | a2308 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v28i0.2308 | © 2023 Vhothusa E. Matahela, Gisela H. van Rensburg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 January 2023 | Published: 29 September 2023

About the author(s)

Vhothusa E. Matahela, Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Gisela H. van Rensburg, Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The authors have observed that studies on autonomy-supportive climates in academic settings mostly focus on educator-facilitated supportive environments that motivate students towards improved performance. Yet, little is known about how academic institutions teaching nursing can facilitate autonomy-supportive climates that enhance health sciences educators’ self-leadership practices.

Aim: This article discusses ‘autonomy-supportive climate’, a factor that emerged as a self-leadership practice construct, and how it can be promoted in academic institutions to facilitate self-leadership practices in health sciences educators.

Setting: The study was conducted in purposively selected academic institutions (N = 15) located in two provinces in South Africa.

Methods: Quantitative methods were employed to describe the factor ‘autonomy-supportive climate’, which yielded as a self-leadership practice construct, from a broader mixed methods project that sought to formulate guidelines that could promote health sciences educators’ self-leadership. The data were analysed using exploratory factor analysis.

Results: The construct ‘autonomy-supportive climate’ is one of the five constructs in the Self-leadership Practices Subscale that was found to be meaningful and valid, with its Cronbach alpha coefficient of 0.82 being the highest in the subscale. The perceptions of participants were that an autonomy-supportive climate promotes the facilitation of the educators’ self-leadership in a nursing education setting.

Conclusion: An academic institution could play a significant role in enabling self-leadership in educators, which would in turn improve their teaching performance.

Contribution: This study describes autonomy-supportive climate as a facilitator of self-leadership in health sciences educators. The study’s recommendations could assist institutions in facilitating a climate that strengthens educators’ self-leadership.


Keywords

academic institution; autonomy-supportive climate; health sciences educators; leadership; motivation; self-leadership; self-leadership practices.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

Metrics

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