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J Nurs Manag. 2010 Nov;18(8):948-69. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2010.01136.x.

Beyond generational differences: a literature review of the impact of relational diversity on nurses' attitudes and work.

Author information

1
Fraser Health Authority, Surrey, BC, Canada. angela.wolff@fraserhealth.ca

Abstract

AIM:

Based on a review of the empirical literature, we examine the influence of selected diversity attributes on nurses' work-related attitudes and behaviour.

BACKGROUND:

The nursing workforce has become increasingly heterogeneous in its age, educational attainment, and ethnicity/race distributions. There is considerable speculation, in the literature, that the work values of recent nursing graduates are discordant with more experienced nurses.

RESULTS:

A review of studies published between 1980 and 2009 in nursing, healthcare, psychology, and organizational behaviour led to the inclusion of 19 peer-reviewed research articles, from which our analyses are drawn.

KEY ISSUES:

The findings indicate that age diversity leads to negative behaviour toward others in the workgroup (e.g. poor collegial relationships) whereas perceived work-values diversity is negatively associated with individuals' own attitudes and behaviour toward their work as well as toward other members of their workgroup.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is inconclusive evidence about the attributes that most significantly influence nurses' attitudes and work; however, preliminary evidence supports the salience of work values.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT:

Irrespective of the actual diversity within workgroups, how nurses see one another can have a significant impact on members of their workgroups and their functioning. Broader conceptualizations of diversity are necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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