Job satisfaction and public service motivation in Australian nurses: the effects of abusive supervision and workplace bullying

Ng, Kara, Franken, Esme, Nguyen, Diep and Teo, Stephen (2023) Job satisfaction and public service motivation in Australian nurses: the effects of abusive supervision and workplace bullying. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 34 (11). pp. 2235-2264. ISSN 0958-5192

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Workplace mistreatment is common in healthcare, especially among nurses, who may experience mistreatment from different sources, yet must carry out essential, public-facing duties. However, researchers have typically studied forms of mistreatment in isolation. This paper investigates the combined relationship between abusive supervision (i.e., vertical mistreatment) and workplace bullying (i.e., horizontal mistreatment) on job satisfaction and public service motivation among nurses. Drawing from self-determination theory, we examine how experiencing workplace mistreatment can thwart the fulfilment of psychological needs, operationalised as job satisfaction. Experiencing workplace bullying alongside abusive supervision is predicted to worsen this relationship. In turn, nurses are less likely to internalise their organisation’s values, leading to less public service motivation. We tested our hypotheses on 219 Australian public sector nurses via an online survey, with a temporal separation of six weeks. Results suggest that abusive supervision has an indirect negative association with public service motivation, via job satisfaction. Workplace bullying moderated the indirect relationship at high and low levels, though the indirect relationship was stronger at low levels. Our study contributes to a well-rounded understanding of workplace mistreatment, particularly within the context of self-determination theory, and to our understanding of how public service motivation is affected by employees’ social environment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Abusive supervision, workplace bullying, public service motivation, workplace mistreatment, nursing
Subjects: B700 Nursing
L900 Others in Social studies
N200 Management studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 12 May 2022 15:08
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2023 03:30

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