Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Nursing and Midwifery

First Advisor

Professor Di Twiggi

Second Advisor

Dr Sara Bayes

Field of Research Code

1110

Abstract

Effective communication is the most central process within an organisation and is essential to organisational values, norms and expectations. There is a documented connection between job satisfaction, work commitment and organisational communication. However, nurses’ and nursing middle managers’ satisfaction with organisational communication has not been extensively studied in recent years and not at all among paediatric nurses. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop and test a theoretical model that examined paediatric nurses’ and middle managers’ satisfaction with organisational communication and the effect this has on paediatric nurses’ job satisfaction and intention to stay in their job.

Employing a quantitative research design, a series of surveys were distributed to paediatric nurses (including middle managers) in both electronic and hard copy formats. A total of 165 surveys were returned for a response rate of 42.4%. A Mann-Whitney U test was used to identify the difference in organisational communication perceptions between paediatric nurses and middle managers. A statistically significant difference was identified, with middle managers displaying greater dissatisfaction in seven communication satisfaction areas.

Structural Equation Modelling tested and refined the hypothesised model. Final analysis showed adequate fit data (ꭓ²=2.040, p value= .728, SRMR= .0302, CFI=1.00, RMSEA=.000, pCLOSE= .827). In the final model, supervisor relationships, media quality and communication climate had a direct effect on job satisfaction and an indirect effect on intention to leave ones’ job and looking for another job. Job satisfaction had a direct effect on intention to leave and looking for another job. Study findings suggest that changes to upward and downward communication systems are needed to improve the nursing voice within healthcare organisations. In addition, more support and guidance is required for middle managers, including mentorship and intense training programs. Likewise, organisational communication education at the undergraduate level is needed for student nurses to develop the skills necessary to challenge weaknesses in communication once graduated.

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