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The Antecedents and Consequences of Empowerment: A Gender Analysis

Finegan, Joan E. PhD; Spence Laschinger, Heather K. PhD, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: October 2001 - Volume 31 - Issue 10 - p 489-497

Kanter argues that empowerment has many positive consequences. Not only do empowered employees work more effectively, but they are more likely to express positive attitudes toward their organization. Although support for Kanter’s model has been found in several studies of nurses, these studies have not explored the possibility of gender differences. Do men in nursing have the same access as women do to structures that lead to empowerment? Moreover, do men and women react differently to empowerment? To answer these questions, we sampled 412 nurses (195 men; 217 women) about their access to empowerment structures and their trust and commitment to their organization. We found no support for the suggestion that male nurses are less empowered because of their “token” status. Also, we found that the model predicted the responses of men and women equally. Our results suggest that empowerment provides an excellent way of enhancing organizational attitudes for both men and women.

Author affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario (Ms Finegan); School of Nursing, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario (Ms Laschinger).

Corresponding author: Joan E. Finegan, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 5C2, Canada (

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.