A majority of the nurses in this study believed that working as a team was an effective means to provide patient care. Nurses also saw the importance of sharing the decision-making 14
Running Head: NURSES’ PERCEPTIONS OF TEAMS AND BULLYING power among the group while equally contributing the needed time and energy to help the team function well. In terms of decision making, nurses generally agreed that team members should implement the decisions made by the team, regardless of their personal preferences. Most nurses agreed that patient follow-up is part of each team member’s responsibility. Such results are consistent with other reports regarding perceptions of teamwork in healthcare (e.g., Gallagher & Malone, 2005; Heale, Dickieson, Carter, & Wenghofer, 2014; Malone & McPherson, 2004). Team characteristics of leadership, trust, and communication were rated high. Similarly, cooperation, balanced participation, role clarity, conflict resolution, and opportunity to give and receive feedback were viewed positively. Such variables are important to team performance. In fact, the presence of effective team characteristics might account for the lower reports of direct experience of bullying (compared to observing others being bullied) discussed below. Workplace bullying has been identified in the literature (Agervold, 2007, 2009; Croft & Cash, 2012; Demir & Rodwell, 2012) and that noted in this study reflects rates reported by the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007) and Duffin (2013). Consistent with the literature, nurses were more likely to report observing others being bullied than the direct experience of being bullied (Bloom, 2014; Ditmer, 2010). As an alternate explanation to that posited above, nurses might be less comfortable saying they’ve been bullied than sharing their observations of others. As reported by others (e.g., Malone & McPherson, 2004) team members might be reluctant to addressing that which can result in conflict. Atwal and Caldwell (2006) suggested that power disparity can result in a fear of recourse when speaking up. Finally, one’s perceptions of bullying might be influenced by victim attribution wherein the victim blames herself for the negative behaviors experienced. Such processes can have a negative impact on one’s psychological well- being (Demir & Rodwell, 2012), undermining important variables such as trust, commitment, 15
Running Head: NURSES’ PERCEPTIONS OF TEAMS AND BULLYING communication, and motivation. We suggest additional work is needed to determine the reason for data as reported here. In addition to perceptions of team acceptance (AATS), team characteristics (TCS), and workplace bullying (NIQ), associations among the variables on these surveys was explored. Several variables representing acceptance or favorable regard of the team process were related to effective team characteristics (e.g., belief that it isn’t permissible to revise a healthcare plan without asking others was associated with equal power). In addition, several variables representing acceptance or favorable regard of the team process (e.g., importance of teams,
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