, Volume 103, Issue 3, pp 429-451
Date: 01 May 2011

Withdrawal Behaviors Syndrome: An Ethical Perspective

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Abstract

This study aimed to elucidate the withdrawal behaviors syndrome (lateness, absence, and intent to leave work) among nurses by examining interrelations between these behaviors and the mediating effect of organizational commitment upon ethical perceptions (caring climate, formal climate, and distributive justice) and withdrawal behaviors. Two-hundred and one nurses from one hospital in northern Israel participated. Data collection was based on questionnaires and hospital records using a two-phase design. The analyses are based on Hierarchical Multiple Regressions and on Structural Equation Modeling with AMOS. Affective commitment was found to mediate the relationship between different dimensions of nurses’ ethical perceptions (caring climate, formal climate, and distributive justice) and their intent to leave work. Lateness was found to be positively related to absence frequency which was found negatively related to intent to leave. Males were late more frequently than females, while seniority was related only to absence frequency. The findings indicated that each withdrawal behavior exhibits unique relationships. The results may help policy makers to focus on improving the ethical environment in order to increase nurses’ commitment and reduce their intent to leave. Improving the ethical environment may be achieved through ethical education for nurses which may promote ethical considerations becoming an integral part of nurses’ work.