Title

How nurse managers contribute to registered nurses' perceptions of the workplace reality

Date of Completion

January 1988

Keywords

Business Administration, Management|Health Sciences, Nursing|Health Sciences, Health Care Management

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The purposes of this investigation were: (1) to gather data on how nurse managers contribute to registered nurses' perceptions of the workplace reality and (2) to develop knowledge that will help hospitals obtain and retain registered nurses.^ Specifically, the research questions were: (1) How do nurse managers contribute to registered nurses' perceptions of the workplace reality? (a) How do nurse managers in the course of relating to their staff contribute information through social cues? (b) How do nurse managers in the course of carrying out their role and responsibilities enact the objective reality of the workplace?^ The primary methodology adopted for this investigation was grounded theory developed by Glaser and Strauss. Interviews with nurse managers and their staff (registered nurses), observer field notes, and review of selected memos and documents were combined to arrive at how nurse managers contribute to registered nurses' perceptions of the workplace reality. A total of five nurse managers and five registered nurses participated in the study.^ Data analysis yielded three categories of how nurse managers contributed to registered nurses' perceptions of the workplace reality: nurse manager as standard bearer, diplomat, and change agent. Based on these categories and their properties, an explanation of both aspects of the research question was obtained.^ Nurse managers and registered nurses identified that nurse managers play a significant role in the socialization of their staff. They influence their staff greatly during their initial contact (timing) with them and this appears to have a lasting effect over time.^ As diplomats, nurse managers strive to achieve a mutual level of understanding with their staff. They provide the organization's warmth; filter information to make it more acceptable for staff; and protect the organization's image.^ This study provides data to support that how nurse managers view change dictates how they implement the change process. As change agents, they use their authority to govern the workplace of their staff. Additionally, nurse managers have difficulty implementing a change they do not believe is consistent with the purpose of the organization.^ The findings suggest that nurse managers serve as key participants in their organization who enact the workplace reality through the process of attention and interpretation of the social construction and interaction processes of their organization. ^