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Date of Award

6-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Nursing

Supervisor

Gina B. Browne

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between staff nurses' perceptions of their leader's use of empowering behaviours and their perception of workplace empowerment, psychological empowerment and organizational commitment, and absenteeism. A correlation study was conducted by survey in three acute care teaching hospitals, that had recently merged and undergone restructuring and downsizing. Data was collected from a sample of 191 staff nurses employed full time. Six separate measuring instruments were used: (a) Leader Empowering Behaviours Scale; (b) three tools to measure the Kanter's (1977) construct for workplace empowerment: Conditions of Work Effectiveness Questionnaire, Job Activities Scale and the Organizational Relationship Scale; (c) Spreitzer's (1995) Psychological Empowerment Scale; and (d) Meyer and Allen's (1991) Organizational Commitment Scale. Absenteeism was measured from data on days absent collected from the employees' payroll files. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science programs (SPSS) analysis. The findings confirmed that nurses' perceptions of leader empowering behaviours were: (1) significantly related to their perceptions of workplace empowerment structures; access to opportunity, information, support and resources, formal power, informal power and global empowerment (p = <.001); (2) significantly related to their perceptions of psychological empowerment gestalt and the subscales autonomy, impact (p = <.001) and meaning (p = .006), but not significantly related to confidence (p = .139); (3) significantly related to their perceptions of overall organizational commitment, affective and normative commitment (p = .001), but not significantly related to continuance commitment (p = .617); and (4) not significantly related to absenteeism. The study suggest the need for further study and consideration of methodological issues in the study of leadership and absenteeism.

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