The Empowerment Process: Integrating Theory and Practice

Evaluating a piece of research allows for the validity or limitations of the article to be clearly illustrated based on existing guidelines. Moreover, an article becomes deconstructed into multiple elements that allow for a more comprehensive examination of the content. The purpose of this paper is to perform a research study critique of the study conducted by Mudallal et al. (2017b), in which the researchers examined the phenomenon of nurse burnout. Based on the evaluation performed according to relevant guidelines, the research follows the appropriate structure. It adds to existing literature with certain limitations, such as the use of subjective information that may induce errors and the lack of a well-structured literature review.


The title of the research, namely, “Nurses’ Burnout: The Influence of Leader Empowering Behaviors, Work Conditions, and Demographic Traits” is readily understood as it relates to the research question. This is one of the guidelines formulated by Fain (2017). The reader is able to determine the topic of the article and the main variables considered in the research. Furthermore, the title is accurate and relates to the content and the hypothesis utilized during the study. Nonetheless, the authors have not specified a more particular demographic or the design of the study. By inserting the type of research, which is a cross-sectional study, in this case, the authors would minimize any possible confusion regarding the content of the article.


The abstract is constructed in the manner of providing the reader with a short summary of the study. The content fits the definition of abstracts based on the formulation of Fain (2017). Moreover, the article states the problem that facilitated the topic of the study, namely, nurse burnout being a common problem within the medical community (Mudallal et al., 2017a). The lack of hypothesis is not a limitation as the central issue is clearly presented in a concise manner in the introductive sentence within the abstract. The methodology is also presented through a mention of the Leader Empowering Behaviors Scale and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) as the two tools applied to collect data (Mudallal et al., 2017a). Moreover, the results are also illustrated in the abstract in the form of the variables that induce nurse burnout, as well as a concise conclusion on the importance of nurse leaders in reducing the limitations. Overall, the abstract follows an appropriate structure and effectively summarizes the study.

Problem Statement

The problem is stated in the abstract and the introduction of the article. Namely, the authors introduce the research topic by highlighting the problem of healthcare provider shortage, which is partially facilitated by burnout (Mudallal et al., 2017a). While no questions are stated, it is certain that the researchers have focused on leaders, work conditions, and demographic traits as potential variables impacting the challenge. The problem statement is clear and illustrated both in the title, abstract, and introduction. No hypothesis is formulated, yet the research question is clear enough for the supposition to be determined by the reader based on the rest of the content.

The limitations of the study can be identified early on, such as the relative subjectivity of the design due to the use of questioners alongside objective variables such as marital status, age, and gender. Furthermore, the assumptions of the research are clear despite the lack of a hypothesis. Since the variables examined during the study include leadership, work conditions, and demographic characteristics, the authors have certainly assumed the aforementioned circumstances do, indeed, impact burnout. Due to the fact that the nursing research paper correlates with sociology and psychology, the pertinent terms can easily be operationally defined and comprehensively illustrated. This allows readers with different levels of academic education to have the ability to comprehend the content. Moreover, the significance of the issue is illustrated by highlighting the stands of the World Health Organization on the topic, an entity that acknowledges the threats of employee shortages due to burnout (Mudallal et al., 2017a). Thus, the importance of the subject and the major limitations and challenges correlating with the problem itself facilitates the circumstances in which research on the topic of justified and compelling.

Review of Literature

The study is supported by an extensive list of references. Namely, the authors have inserted more than 50 pertinent sources, ranging from relevant guidelines to supporting evidence that align with the research problem (Mudallal et al., 2017a). The research is based on the rationale highlighted in previous studies, such as the article linking work conditions with burnout (Mudallal et al., 2017a). Thus, the variables have been previously examined, which allows for the current study to highlight relevant evidence on the topic. It is essential to highlight that a literature review per se has not been structured in a separate section. However, leadership and burnout are the two topics that the researchers have examined through relevant pieces of research. The studies have not been critically examined yet have been applied to provide additional evidence on the research question. Nonetheless, the relationship between the problem and previous research is clear, as exemplified in a similar study conducted by Greco et al. (2006), which links efficient leadership and minimization of workplace burnout. The studies, however, are relatively outdated, as illustrated in the years in which there were published, which may compromise the evidence.

It is also important to highlight the presence of a conceptual framework that guided the researchers and has facilitated an evidence-based basis for the research. Specifically, the authors mention the concept of leader empowering behaviors (LEBs) developed by Conger and Kanungo (1998). In regards to the concept of burnout, namely, its characteristics, the theory was formulated by Maslach and Jackson (1981). Since there is no designated literature section, the study lacks a summary of relevant research that may have implications for the current article.


The subject population is well-defined and presented. Namely, the researchers mention the sample size consisting of 407 registered nurses from 11 different hospitals in Jordan (Mudallal et al., 2017a). The sampling method is also comprehensively illustrated as consisting of statistical power procedures. Furthermore, the authors have justified the sampling techniques by highlighting the need for higher precision and a small effect size. Moreover, the researchers have not failed to reject a null hypothesis, which implies that a type 2 error was avoided. To protect the sample population, researchers focused on maintaining individual anonymity by not including information about identity in the distributed questionnaire.


Relevant reliability data from past studies are presented in an efficient manner. Namely, the researchers mention such tools as the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Leader Empowering Behaviors Scale, and Nurses’ demographic and work characteristics (Mudallal et al., 2017a). For this study, the reliability data pertinent to the topic is expressed through evidence-based coefficients (Cronbach’s alpha). Moreover, previous validity data is not illustrated, while the reliability one is, namely when it comes to the use of the MBI. Overall, the methods of data collection are effectively presented and alight with the design of the research, which will be discussed further.


The design, namely, a cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational one, is appropriate for the research question. The cross-sectional type allows for the observation of a population that the authors chose for determining burnout factors, and the descriptive and correlational one facilitates qualitative data to be examined. Since the study is descriptive and correlational, the lack of a control group does not hinder findings as no variables were changed but only observed. Moreover, the moderating variables (demographic characteristics) are identified and well-illustrated. The description of the design, which is non-extensive, facilitates replication due to the informative content highlighted within the paper in relation to the methodology of the research.

Data Analysis

The data analysis question contains the necessary information to answer the research question, namely, whether leadership, work conditions, and demographic factors impact nurse burnout. The researchers have applied both descriptive and inferential statistics to reach the findings. MANOVA tests were applied to reduce the risks of type I errors since three subscales have been implemented. Moreover, the obtained values have been reported, such as the significance of such variables as gender, work shifts, and departments, and information that has been organized in a Table format (Mudallal et al., 2017a). The reported statistics formulated as a result of an extensive analysis align with the research question and highlight variables that impact burnout on a higher level. Moreover, as the data is illustrated in the form of a table, it is informative and easy to identify within the content of the article.


The conclusions formulated based on the findings are clearly stated. Researchers mention that work conditions, leaders, and demographic factors are, indeed, impactful in regards to burnout. Moreover, relevant evidence constructed in previous research supports the argument, such as the findings from the study conducted by Mudallal et al. (2017b), linking the work environment to fatigue and job dissatisfaction. Moreover, the methodological limitations are stated as the relatively small sample size and the subjective information gathered through questionnaires. However, the study did not discuss whether experience within the medical field is another essential variable. Nonetheless, the findings are specifically linked to the theoretical basis mentioned prior.

Moreover, implications, such as the importance of effective leadership and efficient management, are also stated. On the other hand, despite the fact that nurses from Jordan participated in the research, the findings have not been generalized to this specific demographic. Recommendations have also been made, such as conducting more extensive research and the development of specific programs that can reduce burnout through evidence-based practices.

Form & Style

The article written by the authors is clearly written and follows the guidelines appropriate for academic research. The content is well-organized in sections, with the exception of the paragraph in which a literature review is presented. Thus, determining whether the article is supported by evidence can only be determined through the rest of the content. Nonetheless, the report is logically organized, starting with an abstract that summarizes the research question, design, and findings and ending with a conclusion in which the evidence is presented. The tone of the study is unbiased as enough additional resources are included, and the variables examined in the article have already been linked to nurse burnout in other pieces of literature. The impartiality and scientific attitude is clear and evident, as illustrated in the statistical approach and the declaration of a lack of conflicts of interest. Thus, the form and style are appropriate for the scientific article published by the authors to contribute to the existing evidence on the topic of burnout in the healthcare industry.


Conger, J. A., & Kanungo, R. N. (1988). The empowerment process: Integrating theory and practice. Academy of Management Review, 13(3), 471–482.

Fain, J. A. (2017). Reading, understanding, and applying nursing research (5th ed.). F.A. Davis Company.

Greco, P., Spence Laschinger, H., & Wong, C. (2006). Leader empowering behaviours, staff nurse empowerment and work engagement/burnout. Nursing Leadership, 19(4), 41–56.

Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1981). The measurement of experienced burnout. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2(2), 99–113.

Mudallal, R. H., Othman, W. M., & Al Hassan, N. F. (2017). Nurses’ burnout: The influence of leader empowering behaviors, work conditions, and demographic traits. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, 54, 004695801772494.

Mudallal, R. H., Saleh, M. Y. N., Al-Modallal, H. M., & Abdel-Rahman, R. Y. (2017). Quality of nursing care: The influence of work conditions, nurse characteristics and burnout. International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences, 7, 24–30.

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