Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Are organisational factors affecting the emotional withdrawal of community nurses?

Leila Karimi A B G , Sandra G. Leggat A , Cindy Cheng E , Lisa Donohue C , Timothy Bartram D and Jodi Oakman F

A School of Public Health, La Trobe University, Plenty Road, Melbourne, Vic. 3083, Australia.

B School of Insurance and Public Health, Ilia State University, Georgia.

C Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Peninsula Campus, McMahons Road, Frankston, Vic. 3199, Australia. Email: ldonohue@bluep.com

D La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University, Plenty Road, Melbourne, Vic. 3083, Australia. Email: T.bartram@latrobe.edu.au

E Living with Disability Research Center, La Trobe University, Plenty Road, Melbourne, Vic. 3083, Australia. Email: c.cheng@latrobe.edu.au

F Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Plenty Road, Melbourne, Vic. 3083, Australia. Email: J.oakman@latrobe.edu.au

G Corresponding author. Email: l.karimi@latrobe.edu.au

Australian Health Review - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH16027
Submitted: 19 February 2016  Accepted: 11 June 2016   Published online: 5 December 2016

Abstract

Objective The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of work organisation on the emotional labour withdrawal behaviour of Australian community nurses.

Methods Using a paper-based survey, a sample of 312 Australian community nurses reported on their emotional dissonance, withdrawal behaviours (i.e. job neglect, job dissatisfaction, stress-related presenteeism) and work organisation. A model to determine the partial mediation effect of work organisation was developed based on a literature review. The fit of the proposed model was assessed via structural equation modelling using Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS; IMB).

Results Community nurses with higher levels of emotional dissonance were less likely to be satisfied with their job and work organisation and had a higher tendency to exhibit withdrawal behaviours. Work organisational factors mediated this relationship.

Conclusion Emotional dissonance can be a potential stressor for community nurses that can trigger withdrawal behaviours. Improving work organisational factors may help reduce emotional conflict and its effect on withdrawal behaviours.

What is known about the topic? Although emotional labour has been broadly investigated in the literature, very few studies have addressed the effect of the quality of work organisation on nurses’ withdrawal behaviours in a nursing setting.

What does this paper add? This paper provides evidence that work organisation affects levels of emotional dissonance and has an effect on job neglect through stress-related presenteeism.

What are the implications for practitioners? In order to minimise stress-related presenteeism and job neglect, healthcare organisations need to establish a positive working environment, designed to improve the quality of relationships with management, provide appropriate rewards, recognition and effective workload management and support high-quality relationships with colleagues.


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