This article addresses differences in RNs' commitment to their employing hospital versus the umbrella corporate organization, and the role of organizational culture during a tri-hospital merger. This study is the first to investigate the construct of dual commitment in healthcare organizations.
Fiscal restraints, decreasing reimbursement, and increasing competition have made organizational mergers and acquisitions prevalent. As corporate culture changes, organizational variables previously related to organizational commitment may no longer apply.
RNs employed on general nursing units at 3 hospitals involved in a merger process completed 2 versions of Mowday's Organizational Commitment Questionnaire. Commitment to hospital and corporate system were examined. Semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and analysis of company documents assessed the organizational culture changes that have occurred.
Thirty-one percent of the nurses returned completed questionnaires; 9 were interviewed. RNs from the acquiring hospital demonstrated a significantly stronger commitment to the corporate system than the nurses from the acquired hospitals. The RNs at all 3 hospitals showed significantly greater commitment to their own particular hospital than to the umbrella corporate system.
Moderate level of commitment reflected uncertainty of job status, work overload, and feelings of unappreciation. These attitudes prevent nurses from exerting efforts on behalf of the organization.