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Job satisfaction among staff nurses in relation to leader empowering behaviors, structural empowerment and psychological empowerment Lee, Seung Eun


Job satisfaction is one of the most important factors in health care organizations as it is related to organizational effectiveness, quality patient care and other organizational outcomes. Job satisfaction is a multifaceted concept associated with many factors such as leader empowering behaviors, structural empowerment and psychological empowerment. Although recognition of the importance of job satisfaction in health care has led to considerable research on nurses’ job satisfaction, nurses continue to report high-levels of job dissatisfaction. Moreover, there has been limited research on the effects of psychological empowerment on Canadian nurses’ job satisfaction. Hence, this cross-sectional, correlational study was undertaken to answer two research questions; “How is job satisfaction among staff nurses associated with leader empowering behaviors, structural empowerment and psychological empowerment?” and “What are the relationships between the four psychological cognitions of psychological empowerment (Meaning, Competence, Self-determination and Impact) and each of the dimensions of nurses’ job satisfaction after accounting for demographic characteristics, leader empowering behaviors and structural empowerment?” This study was a secondary analysis of data collected between 2007 and 2010 as part of the evaluation of the British Columbia Nursing Leadership Institute. A series of multiple regression analyses were conducted to answer the two research questions. Structural empowerment was found to be the strongest predictor of nurses’ global job satisfaction and each dimension of job satisfaction, followed by the leader’s use of empowering behaviors. Psychological empowerment also helped to predict job satisfaction among nurses, but the relationships were dimension specific. Two dimensions of psychological empowerment (competence and self-determination) helped to predict nurses’ satisfaction with their relationships with colleagues, and their sense of self-determination and impact helped to predict satisfaction with their working conditions. This study suggests that leaders should use strategies that help staff to feel psychologically empowered. For example, nurse leaders should encourage staff to participate in decision-making to help staff have a greater sense of autonomy and impact in the workplace which, in turn, should foster greater job satisfaction.

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