Staff nurses' perceptions of job empowerment and level of burnout: a test of Kanter's theory of structural power in organizations

Can J Nurs Adm. May-Jun 1996;9(2):74-94.


Kanter's structural theory of organizational behavior was used as framework to explore the relationship between perceptions of power and opportunity and level of burnout in a sample of 87 hospital staff nurses. Data were collected using a modified version of the Conditions for Work Effectiveness Questionnaire (Chandler, 1986) and the Human Services Survey (Maslach & Jackson, 1986). Consistent with Kanter's theory, perceived access to power and opportunity was significantly related to the three aspects of burnout: level of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization (r = -.3419, p = .004; r = -.2931, p = .02), and personal accomplishments (r = .3630, p = .002). The results of this study are useful for nurse administrators positioned to create organizational structures than empower staff nurses and subsequently decrease burnout.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires