The Importance of an Organization’s Culture in Nursing Management

Organizational Culture

The effects of organizational culture on employee retention, satisfaction, and the quality of patient care in the domain of public health have become a subject of interest for research in nursing management. Organizational culture helps strengthen the working climate by accentuating the core values required for increased personal and organizational performance. Investigating organizational culture promotes understanding of processes that may go unnoticed but influence how efficiently an organization operates and the frequency and intensity of arising conflicts. It is stated that the concept in question is one of the principal predictors of nursing professionalism (Manojlovich & Ketefian, 2016). Therefore, organizational culture has considerable practical and theoretical implications for nursing.

Organizational Mission and Vision

Mission, vision, and values are primary components in developing organizational culture. The organizational mission and vision jointly constitute a framework of directives that define an organizational purpose and its desired future (Huber, 2017). Mission and vision are frequently documented – mission statements manifest an organization’s overarching goal, why it exists. They serve as a point of departure for all organizational activities and ensure that the nursing staff has a unified perception of its role in an organization (Huber, 2017). Whereas a mission statement concerns the present, a vision statement focuses on the future, outlining what an organization is supposed to achieve based on its mission. Vision serves as a benchmark to facilitate decision‑making processes and consolidate nursing staff.

Organizational Values

In order to secure that decisions and actions within a structure have the same ground, organization values are employed. Huber (2017) states that values are “beliefs and priorities that guide organizational decision making. Core values are things that do not change. They are anchors or fundamentals that hold constant and relate to mission and purpose” (p. 227). Communicating values is a task for nursing leaders who provide the followership with guidance on how to act in complicated situations, what choose between equally appealing or unappealing alternatives, and shape hierarchal vertical and horizontal interactions. Values expressed in written form present expectations about individual behavior not only inside a team but also with patients. Furthermore, they also function as a basis to determine misconduct.

Organizational Culture, Nurse Engagement, and Patient Outcomes

Constructing a professional practice environment and corresponding organizational culture is another considerable responsibility for nurse leaders. A nourishing professional practice environment can be described as one in which nurses are allowed to practice in safety and engage in interactions that lead to improved patient care outcomes (Ducharme et al., 2017). For instance, an inspirational vision could be named as a characteristic of such an environment. Chief nursing officers are essential for maintaining vision and professional practice, particularly ensuring that nurses have all needed resources, and their unique role in patient care is acknowledged (Ducharme et al., 2017). Enhancing the quality of patient care, nursing practice, and increasing nurse retention rates are objectives that can only be achieved in a balanced, productive, and respectful work environment – qualities that an organizational vision promotes.

Conflict in Professional Practice

Conflict is an inevitable part of social life that frequently emerges from individual differences. According to McKibben (2017), in a healthcare setting, conflict is born “from a disparity in an individual’s perceptions, in relation to patient care” (p. 100). An array of prerequisites exist propelling the emergence of a clash between team members and supervisors, namely: animosity, disrespect, unfairness, hierarchy, demoralization, and lack of common goals (McKibben, 2017). Addressing these underlying causes is a part of effective conflict management. Consequently, it can prevent such consequences as debilitated stability, diminished work performance, and disruption of the status quo (McKibben, 2017). In addition, the danger of conflict in a healthcare setting lies in its implications for the degree of care quality provided for patients.

Organizational Culture, Nurse Engagement, and Patient Outcomes

Nurse engagement seems to be strongly linked to the quality of care, and thus increasing nurses’ commitment and satisfaction with their work is a priority for medical organizations. A medical institution’s ability to retain nurses partially determines its success, which could be measured with patients’ experience. Consequently, understanding the extent to which nurses’ job satisfaction and commitment influence patient outcomes leads to creation of nurse engagement programs. Furthermore, organizational values could be an instrumental element in securing nurse engagement. Establishing core values that center around teamwork, safety, open communication, and respect could increase sense of works’ importance, team support, and reliance. Organizational culture, its core values specifically, is a predictor of nurse engagement, how gratifying the job is, and thus the attitude towards patients.

Conflict in Professional Practice

Conflict situations in nursing practice not only jeopardize the staff but also can indirectly influence patients’ condition and stay quality. McKibben (2017) indicated that “organizational conflict is classically considered to have a negative impact on team functioning, weakening stability, disrupting the status quo, and impeding productivity ” (p. 101). Such precipitating factors as lack of open communication, overworking and consequent burnout, sickness, or unfortunate staff selection are able to disrupt the everyday working flow (McKibben, 2017). Additionally, differences in character, inefficient planning, or incompatible interests can result in a conflict. On the other hand, work‑related stress is also defined as one of the principal causes of clashes in medical institutions.

Organizational Values, Culture, and Conflict Resolution

Organizational conflicts can stem from dominant conduct patterns and values promoted by an organization’s culture. Depending on what behaviors are considered acceptable and highlighted in a values statement, conflict management can vary considerably. For instance, an organizational culture that encourages constructive communication could facilitate conflict resolution – flexible corporate culture warrants employees’ autonomy and enables them to communicate openly (McKibben, 2017). On the other hand, organizations with a hierarchical culture where a non-humanistic type of interactions between employee and employer predominates conflict management possibly does not result in a satisfying solution. Conflict resolution in hierarchical culture does not address root issues but strives to reestablish the former order. Therefore, organizational culture and values influence the efficacy of how a conflict is addressed, encouraging a more collaborative or rigid approach.

Conflict Resolution Strategies

Choosing an effective conflict resolution strategy depends on an array of factors: time, effort, individual peculiarities of participants, and organization. One popular approach is based on a nurse leader’s or managerial passivity. In this case, the conflict participants are supposed to control it themselves, and decisions about its resolution are relegated to employees. A passive approach to conflict management has many disadvantages, as decision-making does not include a person representing an organization’s interests (McKibben, 2017). An alternative would be a minimalistic approach where the role of the nurse leader is still limited, but they guide the resolution process or provide training about active listening or open communication, methods that promote mutual understanding.

Other effective conflict resolution strategies include compromising and collaborating. The Thomas-Kilmann Model also includes such strategies as competing, avoiding, and accommodating (Huber, 2017). Nevertheless, they are less efficient since one party needs to make significant sacrifices to resolve a conflict. Collaborating includes working together towards a solution that would meet all the needs of conflict participants. On the contrary, compromising means that not all conditions are satisfied, but a balance between them is established. Thus, effective conflict management strives to achieve a state where one party’s needs are met to the extent where they do not threaten others’ needs.

Encouraging Interprofessional Collaboration

The significance of interprofessional collaboration seems to be increased in the domain of health care. Cooperation between doctors and nurses can decrease the occurrence of medical errors and improve patient outcomes. A collaborative approach in health care facilities can be promoted with the incorporation of interdisciplinary sessions, where medical professionals from various departments have a chance to gain an insight into issues lying outside their competence. Participation in training not specific to one’s discipline could help nurses obtain a more profound understanding of other specialists’ role in patient care. Digital technologies can also be incorporated into interprofessional collaboration using health information technology (Troseth, 2017). Lastly, team building with members of different departments is another well-known activity that provides opportunities for fostering interprofessional cooperation.

The Influence of Organizational Culture and Needs on Outcomes

It seems very likely that aspects of cultural life, such as needs, would influence organizational outcomes. Given the intricacy of healthcare and vagueness of what outcomes can be considered clearly positive, the connection between the two healthcare notions seems not to be explicit. However, research indicates that organizational culture and outcomes have demonstrated a systematically positive correlation (Mannion & Davies, 2018). Collaborative approach and strategic involvement proved to be the necessary consequences of organizational culture that enhanced patient care delivery (Mannion & Davies, 2018). These conclusions support the idea of corporate culture’s significance for maximizing positive outcomes in healthcare facilities. Furthermore, assessing needs helps determine issues that can hinder the attainment of the desired results, and outline achievable objectives, improving organizational success chances.

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

To establish a correlation between organizational culture and health and disease promotion, it is necessary to examine the latter notions. Health promotion is a public health sector that contributes immeasurably to community health by mediating and advocating practices that help avoid premature death and health complications that could have been avoided otherwise. An interrelated concept, disease prevention, in practice, seems to serve the same purpose, which is a general improvement of public health by diminishing the strain on it created by preventable illnesses. The two notions constitute a cost-effective approach to addressing risk factors and increasing a population’s life quality. Disease prevention and health promotion are essential elements in creating a culture of health and particularly at a workplace.

The Link Between Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and Organizational Culture

The significance of health promotion and disease prevention can be supported by organizational culture. Health promotion practitioners in medical institutions can act as change agents and policymakers with consideration to organizational needs. They could collaborate with staff, and for that should understand in-depth dynamics of an organization and increase the efficiency of their work. Implementing health promotion and disease prevention practices into organizational culture and ensuring that the resources needed for this purpose are a part of organizational needs is beneficial to community health. Communities and hospitals are mutually dependent, and the culture prevalent in the latter has an immense impact on society’s well-being.


Healthcare is a value-driven field that is in a constant search for improvement. Medical institutions’ organizational culture should reflect this characteristic to both ensure staff’s work satisfaction and enhance patient outcomes. Corporate culture can assist in various healthcare objectives, such as maximizing patient safety, ethicality, and employee retention. Recognizing and translating into practice organizational mission, vision, and values is a requirement for medical professionals. The significance of organizational culture and its elements lies in its capacity to define healthcare institutions’ image, form the relationships and interactions, influence the frequency and intensity of conflicts, attract and retain staff, and impact the quality of care provided.


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