Association between nurse and hospital characteristics and organisational silence behaviours in nurses: A cross-sectional study

Leodoro J. Labrague*, Janet Alexis De los Santos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To examine the level of organisational silence among hospital nurses, and to identify the association between nurse and hospital characteristics and organisational silence behaviours in nurses. Background: Organisational silence is considered a major threat to patient safety. To date, most studies on this topic are confined to the academic and financial or banking sectors, and very few, to the nursing sector. Methods: This descriptive, cross-sectional study involved 624 licensed registered nurses from ten hospitals in the Central Philippines. Data were collected using the Organizational Silence Behaviour Scale. Reporting of this study conforms to Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guideline for cross-sectional studies. Results: The composite score of the Organizational Silence Behaviour Scale was 3.39 [standard deviation (SD) = 1.18], with prosocial ranked as the top subscale (M = 4.03, SD = 1.45). Number of years in the nursing profession (β = −0.028; p ≤.001), facility size (β = 0.451; p ≤.001) and facility location (β = −0.481; p =.001) strongly predicted organisational silence. Conclusion: Overall, nurses maintained prosocial silence to protect co-workers and the organisation. A few nurse and hospital characteristics were seen to predict and contribute to nurse silence behaviours. Implications for Nursing Management: Organisational measures directed towards empowering nurses to speak up on issues relative to patient care and nursing standards are vital. Such measures include promoting psychological safety within the workplace, establishing a reporting protocol system and implementing empirically tested interventions to enhance speaking-up behaviours among nurses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2196-2204
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • communication
  • health care
  • nursing
  • organisational silence
  • speaking up

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management

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