Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Heather Laschinger

Second Advisor

Dr. Carol Wong


The purpose of this study was to test a theoretical model based on Kanter’s theory of workplace empowerment in a sample of Ontario acute care nurses. The relationships among four key variables were explored: leader empowering behaviours, workplace empowerment, nurse-physician collaboration and respect. A cross-sectional correlational survey design was used to obtain data from a random sample of 300 nurses. Overall, acute care nurses perceived both their leaders’ behaviours and their workplaces to be moderately empowering. Nurses felt that they had leaders who expressed confidence in their abilities and fostered their autonomy; however, their leaders did not promote inclusion in organizational decision-making. Nurses reported that the most empowering structure in their workplace was opportunity, and the least, formal power. Nurses perceived their work relationships with physicians to be moderately collaborative and their perceptions of respect overall as moderate. Overall, leader empowering behaviours had both a direct effect and an indirect effect on respect, through structural empowerment and nurse-physician collaboration. The final model revealed a reasonably good fit (x2 = 15.5, df=2, CFI=.92, IFI=.92, RMSEA=.21).



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