1. Gruber, Marcia MSN, MS, RN


Managers frequently seek ways to create effective and lasting change among employees. When attempting change, each manager must consider what will motivate a particular employee at a particular time. To create lasting change, it is believed that a change in attitudes, beliefs, or values may be necessary. Cognitive dissonance is purported to be a powerful motivator for change. People find consistency comfortable and prefer to be consistent in their thoughts, beliefs, emotions, values, attitudes, and actions. When inconsistency exists, an individual feels an imbalance or dissonance. To reduce this feeling of imbalance, individuals may change their attitude or behavior to regain the feeling of consistency. This article explores cognitive dissonance theory and discusses a situation in which it was used to produce effective and lasting change in a nursing work unit.