Nurses’ supervisors, learning options and organisational commitment: Australia, Brazil and England

Authors

  • Yvonne Brunetto PhD,

    Professor, Deputy Head Research
    1. Southern Cross Business School, Department Head, Management, Marketing & HRM, Southern Cross University, Bilinga, Qld, Australia
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  • Kate Shacklock PhD,

    Associate Professor, Discipline Leader, HRM and ER, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Employment Relations and Human Resources, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia
    • Correspondence

      Kate Shacklock

      Department of Employment Relations and Human Resources

      Griffith University

      Gold Coast Campus

      Gold Coast

      Qld 4222

      Australia

      E-mail: k.shacklock@griffith.edu.au

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  • Stephen Teo PhD,

    Professor of Human Resource Management, Deputy Head of Department (Management), Deputy Director
    1. New Zealand Work Research Institute, AUT Business School, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • Rod Farr-Wharton PhD,

    Senior Lecturer
    1. Innovation, School of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Qld, Australia
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  • Silvia Nelson PhD

    Lecturer
    1. Southern Cross Business School, Department Head, Management, Marketing & HRM, Southern Cross University, Bilinga, Qld, Australia
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Abstract

Aim

To examine the relationships between leader–member exchange (LMX), workplace learning options (teamwork, training and development), empowerment and organisational commitment, for nurses in Australia, England and Brazil.

Background

The supervisor–employee relationship is fundamental to management theory and practice within the work context of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.

Methods

Survey-based, self-report data were collected from 1350 nurses in 23 acute-care hospitals during 2011.

Results

Significant relationships were found between key Social Exchange Theory antecedents (LMX and teamwork) and outcomes (organisational commitment) for nurses in Australia and England, but not in Brazil. As expected, the path between teamwork and organisational commitment was significant in the three countries.

Conclusions

The findings affirm the importance of LMX as a management tool affecting employee outcomes in OECD countries. In contrast, LMX cannot be assumed to play an important role within a context that operates a dual employment structure coupled with a culture accepting of ‘Jeitinho’ workplace relationships.

Implications for nursing management

Informal workplace relationships – ‘Jeitinho’ (similar to the Chinese ‘guanxi’) may be worthy of examination within BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries such as Brazil.

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