Characteristics of Shared Governance in Iranian Nursing Schools: Several Souls in One Body

Maryam Sattarzadeh‑Pashabeig, Foroozan Atashzadeh‑Shoorideh, Mohammad‑Mehdi Sadoughi, Alice Khachian, Mansoureh Zagheri‑tafreshi


Background: Shared governance is a decentralized structural model that gives individuals the right to make decisions and a position analogous to managers. The shared governance is different based on context in every organization. This study identified the characteristics of shared governance in Iranian nursing schools.

Materials and Methods: In this qualitative research, 11 participants were selected using purposive sampling method. Deep semi‑structured interviews were conducted, and the data were analyzed using conventional content analysis. Lincoln and Guba’s criteria were used to verify the accuracy and trustworthiness of the data.

Results: Through data analysis, the theme of “several souls in one body” was achieved in addition to the seven categories of “climates based on common interests,” “conscious participatory decision‑making,” “mutual accountability,” “multiplicity of ideas,” “decentralized structure,” “interrelationship,” and “sublime organization.”

Conclusions: According to the findings, the characteristics of shared governance in the social culture of Iran are like several souls in one body, emphasizing all aspects of participation and morality in the organization. Managers and administrators in higher education and nursing faculties need to pay attention to all aspects of shared governance, including spirituality in managing the covered institutions.



Education, Iran, management, nursing, qualitative research

Full Text:



Anderson SD. Shared governance. Shane D. Anderson RN, BSN, MDIV November 2012.

Jones WA. Faculty involvement in institutional governance: A literature review. J Professoriate 2011;6:118‑35.

Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB). Shared governance: Changing with the times; 2017.

Shah S, Asimiran S, Pihie ZAL, Ahmad S. Analyzing theoretical perspectives of shared governance model; 2015.

Abdelkader R, Al‑Hussami MO, Saleh A, Shath TA. Perception of academic nursing staff toward shared governance. J Nurs Educ Pract 2012;2:46.

Baker‑Brown CM. An analysis of the shared governance practices in the Jamaican community college system: Faculty perspectives. Morgan State University; 2011.

Shah S, Zai SY, Munshi P, Asimiran S, Pihie ZAL, Ahmad S. A study to evaluate the attitude of faculty members of public universities of Pakistan towards shared governance. Res Human Soc Sci 2014;4:16‑22.

Ben‑Ruwin M. The corporatization of shared governance: The corporate challenge and the Academic Response 2010. Available from:‑assets/ documents/faculty‑senate. [Last accessed on 2017 Dec 20].

Crellin MA. The future of shared governance. New Directions for Higher Education. 2010;2010:71‑81.

Polit D, Beck C. Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice; 2008. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Co; 2017.

Elo S, Kyngäs H. The qualitative content analysis process. J Adv Nurs 2008;62:107‑15.

Graneheim UH, Lundman B. Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: Concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Educ Today 2004;24:105‑12.

Stuart TR. A study of the relationship between self‑perceived presidential leadership style and the level of faculty satisfaction with shared governance at community colleges: Ohio University; 2012.

Taylor M. Shared governance in the modern university. Higher Educ Quart 2013;67:80‑94.

Taylor M. Stags, hares and strategic planning: Towards a model of university leadership. Unpublished paper, Warwick Business School; 2012. 16. Ramo K. Indicators of sound governance. From 1986 monograph: American Association of University Professors; 2001.

Tierney WG. Research excellence in Indian higher education: An American perspective. Social Change 2016;46:277‑85.

Heaney T. Democracy, shared governance, and the university. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Educ 2010;2010:69‑79.

Cramer SF. Shared governance in higher education. In: Demands, Transitions, Transformations. vol. 1. SUNY Press; 2017.

Finnell JT. Shared governance and job satisfaction effecting community college leaders. PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis; San Diego State University; 2014.

Zhang D. A Comparison of perceptions and implementation of shared governance between American and Chinese higher‑education institutions. PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis; East Tennessee State University; 2013.

Abels M. Managing through collaborative networks: A twenty‑first century mandate for local government. State Local Govern Rev 2012;44:29S‑43S.

Shattock M. University governance: An issue for our time. Perspectives: Policy and practice in higher education. 2012;16:56‑61.


  • There are currently no refbacks.