Supervisor-nurse relationships, teamwork, role ambiguity and wellbeing: public versus private sector nurses

ABSTRACT This paper uses a Leader-Member Exchange theoretical framework to compare the relationship of the supervisor-subordinate relationship upon nurses’ satisfaction with teamwork and their perceived levels of role ambiguity, and in turn, their perceptions of wellbeing. Data were collected using a survey-based, self-report strategy from 1138 nurses, of which 901 worked in private sector hospitals and 237 were from the public sector. Using path analysis, the findings from this study identify that supervisor-nurse relationships affect nurses’ perceptions of teamwork, role ambiguity and wellbeing, although the association is different for public sector compared with private sector nurses. However, of the two groups, private sector nurses were the most satisfied with their supervisor-nurse relationship and teamwork, and had higher perceived levels of both role clarity (instead of role ambiguity) and consequent wellbeing. Key words: Leader-member exchange (LMX), nurses, teamwork, wellbeing,


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