The Impact of Work Relationship on Job Satisfaction and Commitment of Taiwanese Nurses

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Shacklock, Kate

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Brunetto, Yvonne

Timo, Nils

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Job satisfaction has been found to relate to nurse turnover and organisational commitment. In an era of high nursing turnover, nurses’ job satisfaction therefore is an important issue to health care service administrators regarding nursing human resource management (HRM). Front-line managers are in charge of the implementation of many human resource practices; therefore, they play a critical role in an organisation in shaping members’ perceptions towards the job and/or the organisation. However, research on the link between HRM and organisational performance has neglected the role of front-line managers. This thesis examines the significance of supervisor-subordinate relationships to nursing management in Taiwan. The research question being addressed is “What is the value of supervisor-subordinate relationships to nursing in Taiwan?” In particular, this thesis investigates the impact of supervisor-subordinate relationships (in the form of leader-member exchange) and other work-related factors on Taiwanese nurses’ job satisfaction and organisational commitment. Using the literature review as a point of departure, and being strengthened by in-depth interviews, a conceptual model is developed. It is argued that leader-member exchange is an important indicator of Taiwanese nurses’ job satisfaction and/or organisational commitment, because it not only has direct impacts on job satisfaction and/or organisational commitment of Taiwanese nurses, but also has indirect impacts on both outcomes through autonomy, opportunity to learn, co-worker interaction, work atmosphere, and safety climate. In total, 14 research hypotheses are established. Two of them investigate the impact of leader-member exchange on Taiwanese nurses’ job satisfaction and organisational commitment. Five hypotheses examine the relationships between leader-member exchange and autonomy, opportunity to learn, co-worker interaction, work atmosphere, and safety climate. Another five look into the impact of autonomy, opportunity to learn, co-worker interaction, work atmosphere, and safety climate on job satisfaction. One hypothesis investigates the relationship between co-worker interaction and work atmosphere. The last hypothesis explores the impact of job satisfaction on organisational commitment. The research design of this thesis is a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches within the positivist paradigm. The main advantage of this design is the integration of the rich information from the qualitative research and the objectivity and generalisability of the quantitative research. The qualitative phase was conducted prior to the principal quantitative study to provide information on the context and subjects, as well as to strengthen the conceptual model. A total of 14 in-depth interviews were conducted, and two additional variables emerged from the interviews...

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Management

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work relationship

job satisfaction

Taiwanese nurses



work committment

job committment


nurses' job satisfaction

human resources management


nursing human resources management

supervisor-subordinate relationship

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