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J Nurs Adm. 2000 Sep;30(9):413-25.

Organizational trust and empowerment in restructured healthcare settings. Effects on staff nurse commitment.

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  • 1School of Nursing, University of Western Ontario, London.


In today's dramatically restructured healthcare work environments, organizational trust is an increasingly important element in determining employee performance and commitment to the organization. The authors used Kanter's model of workplace empowerment to examine the effects of organizational trust and empowerment on two types of organizational commitment. A predictive, nonexperimental design was used to test Kanter's theory in a random sample of 412 Canadian staff nurses. Empowered nurses reported higher levels of organizational trust, which in turn resulted in higher levels of affective commitment. However, empowerment did not predict continuance commitment--that is, commitment to stay in the organization based on perceived lack of other job opportunities. Because past research has linked affective commitment to employee productivity, these results suggest that fostering environments that enhance perceptions of empowerment and organizational trust will have positive effects on organizational members and increase organizational effectiveness.

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