Social support and work engagement: a study of Malaysian nurses


Noraini Othman
School of Business Management
College of Business
Universiti Utara Malaysia
06010 UUM, Sintok
Kedah Darul Aman


othman n. & MOHD nasurdin a. (2012) Journal of Nursing Management
Social support and work engagement: a study of Malaysian nurses

Aim  This study addressed the question of whether social support (supervisor support and co-worker support) could contribute to the variance in work engagement.

Background  Nurses, as customer-contact employees, play an important role in representing the organization’s competence. Their attitudes and behaviour toward patients has a significant influence on patients’ satisfaction and perception of quality of service.

Methods  The sample comprised 402 staff nurses working in three general hospitals in Peninsular Malaysia. Variables included demographic information, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and Social Support Scale. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, correlations and regression analysis.

Results  Findings indicated that supervisor support was positively related to work engagement. Co-worker support was found to have no effect on work engagement.

Conclusions  Supervisory support is an important predictor of work engagement for nurses.

Implications for nursing management  Nursing management should provide more training to nurse supervisors and develop nurse mentoring programmes to encourage more support to nurses.