Nurses' Organizational Values and Organizational Commitment: Do Cultural Differences Matter?

Monday, July 11, 2011: 4:25 PM

Tova Hendel, RN, PhD
Ilya Kagan, RN, MA, PhD
Nursing Department, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the most and the least important organizational values as perceived by the participants.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to discuss the relationship between organizational values, organizational commitment and multi-culturism

Introduction: The values of an organization are key factors in shaping the organizational climate. Occasionally, individual values are in conflict with those of the organization. Values differences and the discrepancy between individuals' values and those of their organizational culture are a potential source of adjustment difficulties. Organizational commitment (OC) is considered to be the bond of the individual to his organization's goal. In multicultural societies, like Israel, the organizational values (OV) and OC of individuals may vary substantially, and may be reflected within work groups.  

Purpose: To examine the differences in perception of OV importance and OC among Israeli nurses in relation to their cultural background.

Methods:  This cross-sectional design study was conducted among 140 registered nurses, working in 8 medical-surgical units/departments in a large medical center, in Israel. A total of 106 responses (75.7%) were obtained: 59.8% were Israeli born; 21.6% were born in the former USSR and 7.8% - in Ethiopia; 72.8% of the sample were Jews, 25.2% – Muslims. A three-part structured questionnaire (OV, OC and socio-demographics) was used.

Results: Nurses perceived the following as the most important values: quality, cooperation, effectiveness, and efficiency. Significant relationship was found between OV and OC (r=.25, p<.01). Of all the socio-demographic and professional characteristics only two contributed to the differences between the participants: place of birth and professional education.  Significant differences were found in the mean scores of OV perceived importance between Israeli-born nurses (6.00) and Ethiopian-born nurses (6.59) (t=2.15; p<.0.5) and between the mean scores given by USSR-born nurses (6.01) and Ethiopian-born nurses (6.59) (t=2.22; p<.05).

Conclusion: Findings of this study support the role played by culture in examining OV and OC, and emphasize the importance of awareness to cultural diversity and growing need for including the cultural aspects as a central element at all levels of nursing education.