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Objective: To test an exploratory model of the antecedents and consequences of nurses' perceptions of respect in hospitals.
Background: Although nurses in hospital settings often state that they do not receive the respect they deserve for their contribution to patient care, there is little empirical research on this phenomenon. Interactional organizational justice theory framed the analysis.
Methods: A random sample of 285 staff nurses from Ontario teaching hospitals completed measures of interactional justice, structural empower-ment, perceived respect, work pressures, emotional exhaustion, and work effectiveness.
Results: More than half of the nurses felt that managers did not show concern or deal with them in a sensitive and truthful manner regarding decisions affecting their jobs. The strongest predictors of perceptions of respect were interactional organizational justice, followed by structural empowerment and job stress resulting from lack of recognition, poor interpersonal relationships and heavy workload. Consequences of nurses' feelings of respect included greater job satisfaction, trust in management, and lower emotional exhaustion, as well as higher nurse ratings of quality of care and perceived staffing adequacy.
Conclusions: A positive organizational environment increases nurses' perceptions of respect, resulting in positive outcomes for both the nurse and the organization.
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