The importance of effective organisational relationships for nurses: a social capital perspective

Document Type


Publication details

Brunetto, Y, Farr-Wharton, R, 2006, 'The importance of Effective organisational relationships for nurses: a social capital perspective', International Journal of Human Resource Development and Management, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 232-247.

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This study used a social capital theoretical framework to explain how the quality of relationships (that develop between nurses and their supervisors) affect individual and organisational outcomes. The findings make a contribution to the field of public sector organisational behaviour by identifying how the quality of relationships between employees and management not only affects the employees themselves, but also affects longer term organisational effectiveness by affecting productivity and turnover rates. Whilst previous research has identified the importance of building social capital within private sector organisations; these findings suggest that it is as important for public sector organisations to invest in developing effective relationships so as to improve organisational effectiveness. Many of the changes resulting from the implementation of NPM improved the efficiency of processes; however, the same measures appear to have negatively impacted on the quality of organisational relationships for nurses. The implication of the findings for senior hospital management interested in ensuring longer term organisational effectiveness is that nurses' satisfaction with supervisor communication is a powerful ingredient within the social capital equation. This is because it moderates part of nurses' perception of other organisational factors, which in turn, affect approximately a third of their job satisfaction (and therefore productivity) and job commitment (and therefore absenteeism and turnover).

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