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Leadership toward positive workplace culture in Aotearoa New Zealand: clinical nurse manager perspectives

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posted on 2021-09-01, 23:02 authored by Graham, Krystle

Clinical nurse managers play a vital role in the healthcare system. They are responsible for the day to day running of departments and ensuring that patients are safely cared for. The leadership behaviour and practices of a clinical nurse manager are fundamental for establishing and maintaining positive workplace culture, which is important for nurse performance and quality patient outcomes. This research sought to understand how clinical nurse managers build positive culture in their workplace and to identify leadership attributes and actions that they perceive to be important for generating positive workplace culture. Furthermore, it aimed to identify the challenges of creating positive workplace culture in Aotearoa New Zealand.

A qualitative descriptive design was used to capture rich in-depth understanding and insight into clinical nurse manager experiences of positive workplace culture from their position in nursing leadership. Ten clinical nurse managers from one secondary hospital within the North Island of Aotearoa participated in semi structured face-to-face interviews. Data was transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis with assistance of NVIVO 12 coding software to manage the process of analysing transcripts.

Findings demonstrated that clinical nurse managers deliberately engage in strategies to build positive workplace culture and the more prepared they were for their role, the better equipped they were to do so. Three themes were identified: role preparation, achieving perspective, and intentionality. The theme of role preparation describes the actions clinical nurse managers use to cope with realities of the job, build good teams, and manage uncertainty. The second theme achieving perspective represents the internal processes clinical nurse managers use to understand situations and make decisions. The final theme intentionality describes the leadership strategies clinical nurse managers use to enhance collaborative behaviour and positive relationships within the team.

To prepare and develop nurses into leadership positions, organisations and executive leadership teams must actively invest in the preparation of this workforce. Establishing educational prerequisites and having structured orientation and mentoring programmes will build a clinical nurse manager workforce that is equipped to foster positive workplace culture in Aotearoa. Furthermore, conducting performance appraisals habitually will provide a foundation for training and development that is needed to keep nurses motivated and engaged in their workplace.


Advisor 1

Rook, Helen

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Nursing Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health