We Only Wanted to “Scare” Management into Making Changes! A small group of nurses, employed at a large community hospital, were unhappy about their work environment and would meet daily during lunch to discuss the situation. There had been a recent change in the hospital’s senior management, which caused a high level of uncertainty and anxiety among the nursing staff. The nurses felt overworked due in part to the industry’s current nursing shortage. Their wages and benefits had been stagnant with no salary market adjustments for the past two years. The nurses saw the situation as management requiring them to do more work with fewer resources, with no appreciation or recognition of their efforts. Whenever the nurses approached management with their concerns, they perceived them as falling on deaf ears since no changes were made. Feeling like they had no other choice, the nurses contacted a labor union. The labor union began an organizing effort in the hospital shortly thereafter, holding an aggressive campaign over a six-week period. There was tremendous peer pressure, as some of the well-respected nursing staff became active leaders for unionization, although they were not part of the initial group of nurses who had first contacted the union. The election was held and the union was voted in by two thirds of the nursing staff. In the weeks that followed, the original group of nurses remarked that they were surprised by the union’s victory; they had only wanted to “scare” management into making changes to their work environment.
1. Why were the nurses motivated to contact the labor union.
2. Describe and analyze the leadership style displayed by management to the nursing staff.
3. Compare and contrast formal and informal groups. (Note: include in your answer (1) why management needs to be aware of informal groups within their organizations, and (2) why people join informal groups).
4. Who displayed power(s) in this case and why?