Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 12(1) January 1999 : 14-22.doi:10.12927/cjnl.1999.19067

Nurses' Motivation and its Relationship to the Characteristics of Nursing Care Delivery Systems: A Test of the Job Characteristics Model

Linda Edgar


The purpose of the study was to describe the relationship among motivation, job satisfaction and the characteristics of nursing care delivery systems using the Job Characteristics Model of Work Motivation (Hackman & Oldham, 1980), and to test a framework of nursing care delivery system attributes that have been found to contribute to job satisfaction and good patient care outcomes. The present era of cost containment pressures means that nurse administrators need to ensure that nurses have a work environment with the characteristics of work known to be linked to job satisfaction, motivation and good outcomes. The model was tested with nurses working in medical-surgical areas of four Montreal teaching hospitals. Findings included the applicability of the Job Characteristics Model to the work of nursing and that the addition of four attributes of nursing care delivery systems, namely support for autonomy, communication, adequate time for patient care and the degree of environmental uncertainty contributed to job satisfaction and motivation.

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