Critical Role of Human Resource Management in the Cost, Quality and Productivity Equation
Edited by Peter Spurgeon, Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 14: Organisational and health effects of workplace empowerment in health care settings
Creating empowering work environments that promote employee engagement and retention is challenging in today’s fiscally constrained health care climate. Increasing workloads and patient acuity have had negative effects on nurses’ workplace health and wellbeing (Stanton, 2004; Tyler and Cushway, 1992). Nurses have an illness-related absenteeism rate that is 58 per cent higher than the overall Canadian labour force (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2007) and alarmingly high rates of job dissatisfaction (Aiken et al., 2002). These poor working conditions impede efforts to recruit and retain qualified nurses, which are critical in a time of a nursing workforce shortage. Workplace empowerment theory (Kanter, 1977, 1993; Spreitzer, 1995) offers a theory-driven approach for creating work environments that promote positive employee outcomes in health care settings (Joiner and Bartram, 2004; Laschinger et al., 2004b; Laschinger et al., 2009c).
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