Library Open Repository

Nurses’ responses to workplace verbal abuse: a scenario study of the impact of situational and individual factors

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

Martin, AJ and Gray, C and Adam, A (2007) Nurses’ responses to workplace verbal abuse: a scenario study of the impact of situational and individual factors. Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, 15 (2). pp. 41-61. ISSN 0218-5180

[img]
Preview
PDF
verbal.pdf | Download (255kB)

Abstract

Verbal abuse in the workplace represents a costly problem for human resource management, with implications for staff productivity and retention. Nurses are a profession exposed to extremely high levels of verbal abuse, particularly from patients, but also from colleagues, making these abusive behaviours, and reactions to them, of vital significance to hospital personnel management
professionals. The present study investigated the extent to which responses to verbal abuse scenarios varied as a function of the role and gender of the perpetrator, the situation in which the verbal abuse occurred, and the participant’s level of assertiveness, with a view to establishing key contributors for management attention. Participants were 62 female registered nurses. Results
showed evidence of variation in cognitive, affective and behavioural attitudes toward the verbal abuse described, particularly as a function of situation. In particular, verbal abuse was reported to be more frequent, considered less acceptable and elicited more affective arousal in non emergency than in emergency situations. These findings were consistent with predictions that were based on
attribution theory. Responses to verbal abuse also varied in relation to the nurse’s assertiveness, which is a finding suggesting that assertiveness training is a potential strategy for protecting employees against the effects of verbal abuse. This study has important implications for managers in hospitals, and indeed, other organisational settings in that dealing with verbal abuse requires cognisance of the need for the implementation of both organisational and individual levels of intervention, within a framework that acknowledges the complexity of responses to verbal abuse in the workplace.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Research and Practice in Human Resource Management
Page Range: pp. 41-61
ISSN: 0218-5180
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2008 00:32
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:48
Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page