Elisabetta Trinchero, SDA Professor of Public Management and Policy, with Rodney Farr-Wharton, Matt Xerri, Yvonne Brunetto, Kate Shacklock, Rona Beattie won the Best Papers Awards of BAM2016 (British academy of Management) for Public Management and Governance with this paper: Working Harassment in the UK and Australia: Does it affect public and private sector nurse engagement.
In this paper we examine the supervisor–work harassment relationship for nursing professionals, an employee group in short supply in OECD countries. Work harassment is a growing phenomenon for healthcare professionals and is associated with high workloads and excessive accountability. The study undertakes latent mean and path model comparison analysis using structural equation modelling. The survey data was drawn from 189 nurses from the UK, and 401 nurses from the USA
The findings indicate a good model fit in explaining nurse’s behaviour and a significant path from LMX to work harassment to well-being and then turnover intentions.
The strongest finding is that whilst work harassment is a growing phenomenon in the nursing profession, mediation findings indicate significant differences in the perceived role of the supervisor in causing work harassment for the UK and USA samples, with harassment fully mediating the path from LMX to wellbeing for UK nurses, but only partially mediating the same path for nurses in the USA. This indicates that when work harassment is present between the supervisor and the subordinate – especially for the professional relationship, other forms of support stemming from this relationship are also inhibited in the UK context. However, only partial inhibition was evident for the USA group, suggesting that USA nurses have either other means of support or are able to ‘put their differences aside’. Both models predicted nearly half of nurses’ intention to leave, highlighting the salient role of LMX, harassment and well-being on nurse retention.
SDA Bocconi School of Management