The value of collaborative governance/staff empowerment

J Nurs Adm. 2003 Feb;33(2):96-104. doi: 10.1097/00005110-200302000-00006.


Objective: Collaborative governance is the decision-making process that places the authority, responsibility, and accountability for patient care with the practicing clinician.

Background: Collaborative governance was introduced as one of nine structures within the patient care services' professional practice model to facilitate communication and optimize staff participation in decision-making across disciplines. The concept of empowerment was used to evaluate the impact of the collaborative governance structure on members.

Methods: The purpose of the current study was to compare empowerment and power scores for both members and nonmembers of collaborative governance over a 3-year period.

Results: Initial survey data (baseline) from 136 staff from across disciplines was returned prior to beginning work on a committee. Study results were based on survey returns from 657 staff over a 3.5-year period. There were no significant differences between collaborative governance members and nonmembers on some demographic variables such as age, but there were significant differences on variables such as work status and education. All empowerment scores were significantly higher at the 2nd and 3rd measurement periods for collaborative governance members as compared to nonmembers.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that membership on a collaborative governance committee increased staff sense of empowerment and fostered self-growth and organizational development.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Boston
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Decision Making, Organizational*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Institutional Management Teams / organization & administration*
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Models, Organizational
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Regression Analysis