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Complexity science and participation in decision making among Taiwanese nurses


Yi Liu
School of Nursing
The University of Texas at Austin
1700 Red River St.
TX 78701


Aim  The perspective of interconnection in complexity science is used to examine the concept of participation in decision making among Taiwanese nurses in the context of Chinese communication culture.

Background  Participation in decision making among nurses has been widely discussed and tested in the Western healthcare systems. Many studies have shown that participation in decision making relates to nurses’ autonomy, job satisfaction and quality of care. However, participation in decision making has not been fully discussed in Taiwan’s nursing community. In a different cultural environment, participation in decision making may have different effects.

Evaluation  The concept of participation in decision making is analysed in three facets of Chinese communication culture: (1) hierarchical social relationship; (2) harmony maintenance; and (3) insider effects.

Key issues  Taiwanese nurses might establish different levels of participation and need to use different strategies to enhance participation in decision making for desired outcomes.

Conclusion  While applying participation in decision making in a different context, it is very important to consider the social and cultural differences.

Implications for nursing management  Two implications are made. First, nursing leaders/managers who are working with a multicultural team should be aware of the cultural difference in the pattern of interaction in the process of participation in decision making. Second, leaders/managers should be creative and try to apply different strategies to encourage staff’s participation in decision making.

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