An investigation of the relationship of power and empathy in nurse executives
Review TypeNone: Degree-based Submission
Repository Posting Date2020-06-26T21:47:56Z
Author(s)Moulton, Patricia J.
Author DetailsDr. Patricia J. Moulton, PhD, RN
Lead Author Sigma AffliationUpsilon
Level of EvidenceDescriptive/Correlational
Research ApproachQuantitative Research
Changes in the health care delivery system have presented new challenges for the nursing profession. Nurse executives are faced with the responsibility for managing people, resources, and change within an environment that demands quality and cost containment. To meet these challenges, nurse executives must become active and knowledgeable players in the dynamic energy field of the health care environment. A descriptive correlational design was used to investigate the relationship of power and empathy in nurse executives within the context of the Science of Unitary Human Beings (M. Rogers, 1990). Power was defined as the ability to participate knowingly in change (Barrett, 1983) and measured by the Power as Knowing Participation in Change Test, v. II (Barrett, 1987). Empathy was defined as the multidimensional human experience characterized by thought, sensation, emotion, and responsivity to others and measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) (Davis, 1980). The IRI measures four separate dimensions of empathy; empathic concern, fantasy, perspective-taking, and personal distress. The national sample consisted of 182 nurse executives from the acute care, long term care, and home health care settings, selected by stratified random sampling from directories of organizations in their respective settings. Selection of organizations was based on size to minimize differences in practice related to administrative responsibilities. Questionnaires were distributed using the Dillman (1978) Total Design Method. Two of the four hypothesized relationships between scores on the PKPCT and scores on the IRI subscales were supported; perspective-taking and power $(r = .1817,\ p < .05),$ and personal distress and power $(r = -.1467,\ p < .05).$ Supplementary findings revealed that there were no significant differences in power and empathy across practice settings. Intercorrelations of the IRI subscale scores revealed that the IRI did not measure separate dimensions of empathy. Empathic concern was lowest among participants with basic nursing preparation at the baccalaureate level, whereas perspective taking was highest among participants with non-nursing master's degrees as their highest degree. Additional research is needed to address methodological concerns in the measurement of empathy and issues related to the use of power by nurse executives.
DescriptionThis dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 9423002; ProQuest document ID: 304139216. The author still retains copyright.
Advisor(s)Naegle, Madeline A.
Degree GrantorNew York University
NotesThis item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
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