Organizational Psychology

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Eylem Bayrakçi1, Mehmet Dinç1, Hasan Uzunbacak2, Tahsin Akçakanat2, Tuğba Erhan2
  • 1 Isparta University of Applied Sciences, Isparta, Turkey
  • 2 Süleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey

Do you believe in prophecies? Self-fulfilling prophecies in nurses: A descriptive qualitative study

2023. Vol. 13. No. 4. P. 67–82 [issue contents]
Purpose. The study aims at revealing the role and meaning of perceived leader expectations and beliefs in nurses’ high performance. Study design. This qualitative descriptive study included ten nurses and two supervisors who were selected using purposive sampling technique and theirs two supervisors. Data were collected by semi-structured interviewing and evaluated using content analysis. Findings. The data revealed four themes of the Pygmalion effect on nurses’ performance, and these themes represented four consecutive steps of the pygmalion effect. These themes stated as the “Pygmalion process” were conceptualized as 1) formation, 2) transmission, 3) perception and internalization, 4) reflection, respectively. Leaders’ expectations about nurses’ performance and success, and their beliefs about nurses’ abilities were found to be important for nurses. When these beliefs and expectations were perceived by nurses, they resulted in high performance. Nurses, who perceived positive expectations conveyed by leaders through different channels, had the tendency to respond to these expectations with high performance. This expectation effect emerged within a four-stage process, and this process included the emergence of the expectation which was formed before the first impression, and the steps of a complex process transmitted through many verbal, nonverbal, formal and informal communication channels. Research limitations. the small number of participants in the study can be considered as the first limitation. The sample size should be increased with more participants (study groups) to develop more comprehensive understanding with future studies. Since the data of the study is based on selfreports, possible response bias can be considered as another potential risk, and this situation was tried to be overcome by interviewing the head nurses as well as the nurses. Considering that positive leader expectations can be an antecedent to different positive organizational outcomes as some other recent studies showed, searching for the relationship of the Pygmalion effect with different outcomeswill contribute to the literature. This study conducted with the nurses examines the Pygmalion effect of the leaders’ positive expectation. For future studies, holistic research can be carried out by choosing healthcare employees using the expectation effect, and other versions such as Galateas and Golem. Value of the results. This is a qualitative study on the relationship between perceived leader expectations and beliefs in nurses’ high performance by evaluating the role of Pygmalion effect.

Citation: Bayrakçi E., Dinç M., Uzunbacak H., Akçakanat T., Erhan T. (2023) Do you believe in prophecies? Self-fulfilling prophecies in nurses: A descriptive qualitative study]. Organizational Psychology, vol. 13, no 4, pp. 67-82.
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