Term of Award

Spring 1991

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Eunice Bell

Committee Member 1

James F. Repella

Committee Member 2

Kathy Wood


This descriptive correlational study of 130 critical care nurses in three Southeastern states examined nurses' perception of selected elements of decentralization: participation in decision-making, forrnalization of the organization, and the relationship to job satisfaction. Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory of job satisfaction provided the theoretical framework for the study. The hypothesis, which predicted that nurses who participated in decision-making would experience high levels of job satisfaction, was accepted (r = 0.45) with a p < 0.05 level of significance. The prediction that high levels of forrnalization would result in decreased levels of job satisfaction was not supported by this study. However, two subconstructs of forrnalization, job codification and rule observation, did show significant relationships with both job satisfaction and participation in decision-making. The demographic variable, nursing education, was found to be related to both job satisfaction and job codification. Herzberg's theory was supported. Multiple regression analysis of job satisfaction variables found that nurses in this study identified intrinsic factors as stronger predictors of job satisfaction than extrinsic factors. Implications of these findings are that nursing administrators must create professional work environments and seek to increase the involvement of their staff nurses in the decision-making process affecting their practice.


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