The article under review is, “Does Organizational Justice Predict Empowerment? Nurses Assess Their Work Environment” by Kuokkanen et al. (2014). The authors studied the assessment of nurses’ empowerment and the role of organizational justice in comparison with other work-related factors. To assess the quality of the study and its implications in practice, the review covered critical sections of the research report, including the introduction (the need for the study, research problem, the purpose, assumptions, hypothesis, design, and theoretical framework), literature review (adequacy, organization and synthesis, and critical appraisal), ethical considerations (human rights, legal rights, and informed consent), and sampling (sampling, inclusive and exclusive requirements), and characteristics of randomization.
Does Organizational Justice Predict Empowerment?
Empowerment is critical in the achievement of organizational productivity. Such support is imperative for nurses, especially in the current workplace, which is characterized by technology. Various factors determine the level of empowerment among nursing professionals. However, research remains limited regarding the relationship between the variable and company-level factors such as organizational justice. The reviewed article, “Does Organizational Justice Predict Empowerment? Nurses Assess Their Work Environment” by Kuokkanen et al. (2014) filled the gap in research by examining the relationship between empowerment and organizational justice.
The first part of the review focuses on whether there was a need for the study. From the analysis, the study was necessary because empowerment is a critical concept among nursing professionals since significant changes have occurred in the healthcare sector, such as an increase in the use of technology. Besides, gaps in research on the role of organizational justice in achieving employee empowerment in nursing have necessitated the study (Kuokkanen et al., 2014). The study was essential to reveal organizational variables that affect empowerment, including organizational justice. The researchers needed to determine the relationship between the variables from the perspective of nurses who work in healthcare organizations. The study would inform healthcare management to improve employee empowerment and efficiency by enhancing organizational justice.
The research problem emanates from the development of technology that drives nurses to improve their efficiency in the delivery of services. Nursing professionals and other employees require empowerment from their managers who should improve their working conditions (Cicolini, Comparcini, & Simonetti, 2014). Organizational justice might play a vital role in the empowerment process, but only a few studies report the impact of the variable. Consequently, the problem emerges because of inadequate evidence to support the need for organizational justice to improve employees’ empowerment. The gap creates the need to research the association between the variables and their potential influence to enhance the empowerment of nursing employees.
The purpose of the study was to explore the way nurses assess their empowerment and the clarification of organizational justice rather than other work-related variables. The researchers also examined the main variables (job control, shift work schedule, the potential for developing work, employment sector, employment period, and work tenure), which determine the level of empowerment of nurses in their organizations (Kuokkanen et al., 2014). They measured the variables quantitatively and qualitatively.
Various terms and variables relevant to the study were explored. Empowerment is one of the variables studied in the article, which was measured using the Nurse Empowerment Scale. Organizational justice is the second variable assessed using a questionnaire that was created by Colquitt (2001) and Colquitt and Shaw (2005) (as cited in Kuokkanen et al., 2014). Job control is the third variable in the study, which was assessed using Karasek’s Job Content Questionnaire (Karasek, 1985, as cited in Kuokkanen et al., 2014). Nurses provided information about other variables, including work shift schedule, age, gender, education, employment sector, the period of employment, and work tenure. The terms and variables were defined, measured, and assessed in the study.
Assumptions are the aspects of a study that are accepted as true because of the nature of the population. Researchers or their peers make such assumptions after an analysis of the characteristics of the study or the population. Some researchers include their assumptions in the report. However, the authors did not include any assumptions made in the survey.
The study design was appropriate for the study, which assessed the factors, such as organizational justice that affect the level of empowerment among nurses. As a correlational study, the researchers were justified to use a questionnaire to collect data from the sample of nurses. The instrument tested the hypothesis of whether a strong relationship between employee empowerment and organizational justice exists. A qualitative model was also relevant to the study to provide evidence from the participants’ point of view (Flick, 2018). The researchers used statistical analysis, including descriptive statistics, to analyze the data and report the findings proving the strong relationship between the variables.
Theoretical frameworks provide the basis for the study and inform the design used to collect data to answer the research question or test the hypothesis. Many studies have a clear theoretical framework identified in the report. The current study used a conceptual framework, which is the psychological model of empowerment (Thomas & Velthhouse, 1990, as cited in Kuokkanen et al., 2014). The model informed the qualitative study and introduced theme-based interviews related to the empowerment variable. The Model of Nurse Empowerment was also used to provide the background of empowerment among nursing professionals.
The report does not include a section on literature review. However, it has adequate review and analysis of previous research to inform the introduction and background of the study (Flick, 2018). The review includes a sufficient range and scope of ideas, including the definition and models of empowerment and organizational justice. Besides, the authors explored various points of views and opinions of other scholars on the topic. The review is relevant to the research problem because it includes an analysis of the two variables, empowerment and organizational justice, indicating gaps in previous research on their relationship. Therefore, the review focused on the research questions that led to the data collection process.
The review of the literature was effectively synthesized and organized. The researchers analyzed past studies using the two main themes covered in the research, empowerment and organizational justice. They began with a definition of empowerment using the literature and theoretical framework. Then, the authors reviewed the literature on the concept of organizational justice, defining it and explaining its measurement in the existing knowledge (Kuokkanen et al., 2014). The review and synthesis led to the identification of gaps in research, such as the lack of adequate evidence to link the two variables. The current study would fill the identified gaps and justify further research.
Each of the primary references in the study had an essential contribution to the current research. The researchers only concentrated on the articles that were relevant to the study. For example, they supported the theoretical framework with critical evidence from research, such as Thomas and Velthhouse 1990, as cited in Kuokkanen et al., 2014. Other significant sections of the article were supported by empirical findings from previous research.
Besides other factors, such as the participant’s demographics, the study revealed a close relationship between empowerment and organizational justice. Therefore, the results of the study have important implications in healthcare settings to improve the level of empowerment among nurses by ensuring organizational justice. From the results, one of the most important things to promote empowerment is to increase organizational justice by the management. The outcome has implications on the management, which should change the workplace to improve organizational justice and increase the perception of empowerment among nurses. Nurse administrators should understand the factors related to organizational justice to change them. All healthcare workplaces should have a conducive environment to empower and motivate employees.
Legal and Ethical Issues
Since the study involved human subjects for data collection, the researchers should understand and protect their human rights. They needed to safeguard participants from the violation of any human right throughout the research process. The right to privacy was observed by ensuring that respondents could not be identified using personal information in the presentation of results (Kuokkanen et al., 2014). All the personal details were deleted after confirming the accuracy of the data.
Human participants have legal rights that researchers should protect and uphold. For instance, legal procedures and regulations should be followed throughout the study (Kuokkanen et al., 2014). The National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health gave the necessary approval for the study. The consent ensures that the investigation adheres to the research guidelines. Besides, the researchers offered information about the rationale for the study and contact information on the cover letter in case the participants had any questions. The information provided legal protection for the subjects because they had legitimate contact with the researchers.
Informed consent was critical in the study to ensure that all participants engaged in the study voluntarily and upon a complete understanding of the research content. Each of the participants in the study offered a written consent to participate (Kuokkanen et al., 2014). Signing the informed consent affirmed that the participants had understood the information on the cover letter about the nature and importance of the study. Therefore, they knew what was expected of them concerning the study. Informed consent also relates to the amount of information that should be disclosed to third parties.
Sampling was critical because the researchers could not engage the entire population of nurses in the data collection process. The article describes the type of sampling method used in research. They used a random sampling approach to access the sample of 5,000 registered nurses. The sample was selected from a population of Finnish nurses (Kuokkanen et al., 2014). The random sample was sufficient for the researchers to collect the necessary data to address the research problem. The method used was also essential to prevent issues of bias for the researchers who collected the data from participants.
Inclusive and exclusive requirements are necessary for sampling since not all members of a particular research population quality for inclusion. The article does not include an explicit discussion of the inclusion/exclusion criteria. However, only registered nurses were included. Another condition for inclusion was only nurses who completed and returned the questionnaire. Out of the 5,000 included in the original sample, only 2,152 completed and returned the data collection tool (Kuokkanen et al., 2014). No other condition was included in the report.
Randomization involves assigning individuals into the study by chance. The process blinds the researcher to the participants in the study to prevent any form of researcher control over the subjects. The method minimizes differences among participants by distributing them equally with specific characteristics throughout the research process (Kratochwil & Levin, 2014). For example, the study involved the randomization of nurses to prevent any chance of bias in their selection. The method supports the use of probability theory.
As it is evident from the review of the article, the empirical evidence can be applied to nursing practice. The authors found a strong relationship between empowerment and organizational justice. Therefore, nurse managers can improve the variable to empower and motivate employees to achieve positive practice and patient outcomes