accountability, management strategies, nursing managers, work environment, workplace aggression



  1. St-Pierre, Isabelle PhD, RN


Nursing managers are identified as playing a central role in workplace aggression management. In effect, employees' decisions to report unacceptable behavior is said to be directly influenced by how a manager will respond to their claims. Using principles from critical nursing ethnography, data were collected from interviews, organizational documents, and observation of physical environment. Twenty-three semistructured interviews were conducted in both a university-affiliated psychiatric hospital and a community hospital located in a large metropolitan city in Ontario. The study aimed at broadening the understanding of how nurse managers respond to intraprofessional and interprofessional workplace aggression. Several strategies were described by managers including coaching individuals so they feel capable of addressing the issue themselves, acting as mediator to allow both sides to openly and respectfully talk about the issue, and disciplining employees whose actions warrant harsh consequences. As part of the study, managers reported that dealing with workplace aggression could be difficult and time consuming and admitted that they sometimes came to doubt their abilities to be able to positively resolve such a widespread problem. Conclusions drawn from the study suggest that aggression management is not solely the responsibility of managers but must involve several actors including the aggressive individual, peers, human resources department, and unions.