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The mediating effect of burnout on the relationship between structural empowerment and organizational citizenship behaviours

journal contribution
posted on 2010-04-01, 00:00 authored by S Gilbert, H K S Laschinger, Michael LeiterMichael Leiter
AIM: We used Kanter's (1977) structural empowerment theory to examine the influence of structural empowerment and emotional exhaustion on healthcare professionals' use of organizational citizenship behaviours directed at the organization (OCBO) and peers (OCBI). BACKGROUND: Organizational citizenship behaviours (OCB) are discretionary behaviours that are not rewarded directly by the organization but have been linked to positive outcomes, such as increased job satisfaction and lower turnover intentions. Promoting OCB can help employees and organizations flourish despite current challenges in the healthcare system. Structural empowerment may influence the frequency and type of OCB by reducing burnout. METHOD: We conducted multiple mediated regression analyses to test two hypothesized models about relationships between empowerment, emotional exhaustion and two types of OCB (OCBI and OCBO) in a sample of 897 healthcare professionals in five Canadian hospitals. RESULTS: Emotional exhaustion was found to be a significant mediator of the relationship between empowerment and OCBO. The predicted mediation of the empowerment/OCBI relationship by emotional exhaustion was not supported. CONCLUSIONS: Exhaustion was an important mediator of empowering working conditions and OCBO, but was not significantly related to OCBI. Empowerment was significantly related to both OCBO and OCBI. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Promoting empowerment among healthcare workers may decrease burnout and promote OCB. Specific managerial strategies are discussed in the present study.



Journal of nursing management






339 - 348




Chichester, Eng.





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, The Authors