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Using Focus Groups to Modify the Workplace Affective Commitment Multidimensional Questionnaire (WACMQ) for use in Health Care

Author: TYRONE PERREIRA and WHITNEY BERTA
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 39 No. 3

Background: The Workplace Affective Commitment Multidimensional Questionnaire (W ACMQ) measures affective commitment towards eight work-related targets. While this questionnaire was developed in the business sector, we believe that the multi-target conceptualization of affective commitment has applicability to complex health care contexts where providers of care, in the production and delivery of care, likely develop commitment toward a multiplicity of targets. Affective commitment is a strong predictor of extra-role workplace behavior; indispensable behaviors which enable health systems to function. Objective: The aim of this psychometric exercise is to content validate the WACMQ questions for use in health care. Methods: Two focus groups were conducted, consisting of nurses working in acute care and emergency hospitals in Ontario. Linguistic validation and cognitive debriefing were used. Results: A total of 14 modifications to the wording of items on the original WACMQ questionnaire were made. Conclusions: This modified version of the WACMQ reflects the need for researchers in health care settings to acknowledge the complex context of health care and the attendant complexities of worker attitudes. Health care workers can experience affective commitment toward leadership (clinical or administrative), co-workers (nurses or interprofessional), patients, their profession, organization, work or tasks. Further, in some health care settings, features like union membership may have important implications when examining affective commitment or behaviors. Psychometric properties of the modified WACMQ will be established in an upcoming study that will examine the relationships between extra-role behaviors, commitment, perceived organizational support and justice within acute care and emergency departments of hospitals operating in Ontario.

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