Discourse / Discours - A Critical Perspective on Relations Between Staff Nurses and Their Nurse Manager: Advancing Nurse Empowerment Theory

Sonia Udod, Louise Racine

Abstract


This study considers empowerment in nurse-manager relations by examining how conflict is handled on both sides and how the critical social perspective has influenced these relations. The authors use inductive analysis of empirical data to explain how (1) nursing work is organized, structured, and circumscribed by centrally determined policies and practices that downplay nurses' professional judgement about patient care; (2) power is held over nurses in their relationship with their manager; and (3) nurses' response to power is to engage in strategies of resistance. The authors illustrate how power influences relations between staff nurses and managers and provide a critical analysis of the strategies of resistance that result in personal, relational, and critical empowerment among staff nurses. Through resistance, staff nurses engage in alternative discourses to counteract the prevailing neoliberal organizational and managerial discourses of efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

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