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A Phenomenology of Communication and Decision-Making among Head Nurses and Staff Nurses in a Managerial Job-Sharing Unit

Background: Job-sharing is one of the most intriguing innovations in the nursing management and administration. This strategy has been introduced to nursing since the late 1970s primarily to empower and retain staff nurses. Job-sharing is a flexible working arrangement which assigns two or more employees (at any levels) sharing the same tasks, responsibilities, and accountabilities, thereby dividing the amount of workload, helping each other, and learning from each other. In the Philippines, especially in nursing, job-sharing is not widely exercised due to some reasons such as organizational structure, costs, and human resource management issues. Since there is only a few number of hospitals which employs the said working arrangement, a need for understanding and knowledge is of importance. The aim of the study is to describe the experiences of the head nurses and staff nurses in the decision-making and communication aspects when job-sharing at the managerial level is employed.

Method and material: A total of 12 nurses (n=4 head nurses and n=8 staff nurses) participated in this phenomenological inquiry. Semi-structured interview and protocol writing were utilized as tools to gather data. Descriptions of experiences among participants were explicated following the Colaizzi’s mode of analysis and themes were presented in a table through the process of thematic analysis.

Results and conclusion: The concept ‘need’ was the main theme of this study. There are six needs that occur from the approach of job-sharing. These needs were sorted from two areas of inquiry – decision-making and communication. The needs in communication include ‘the need for identification,’ ‘the need for compatibility,’ and ‘the need for belongingness.’ On the one hand, the needs for decision-making include ‘the need for negotiation,’ ‘the need for collaboration,’ and ‘the need for integration.’ Further research is necessary to study how these needs exist and sustain job-sharing in nursing.


Nadia J Malabi

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