The impact of organisational factors on horizontal bullying and turnover intentions in the nursing workplace

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AimTo examine the impact of organisational factors on bullying among peers (i.e. horizontal) and its effect on turnover intentions among Canadian registered nurses (RNs).BackgroundBullying among nurses is an international problem. Few studies have examined factors specific to nursing work environments that may increase exposure to bullying.MethodsAn Australian model of nurse bullying was tested among Canadian registered nurse coworkers using a web-based survey (n = 103). Three factors – misuse of organisational processes/procedures, organisational tolerance and reward of bullying, and informal organisational alliances – were examined as predictors of horizontal bullying, which in turn was examined as a predictor of turnover intentions. The construct validity of model measures was explored.ResultsInformal organisational alliances and misuse of organisational processes/procedures predicted increased horizontal bullying that, in turn, predicted increased turnover intentions. Construct validity of model measures was supported.ConclusionNegative informal alliances and misuse of organisational processes are antecedents to bullying, which adversely affects employment relationship stability.Implications for nursing managementThe results suggest that reforming flawed organisational processes that contribute to registered nurses’ bullying experiences may help to reduce chronically high turnover. Nurse leaders and managers need to create workplace processes that foster positive networks, fairness and respect through more transparent and accountable practices.

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