Live like an ant to eat sugar: Nurses’ engagement in extreme work conditions and their perceptions of its ethicality

Mohamed Mousa, Arslan Ahmad, Cary L Cooper, Shlomo Tarba

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Abstract

Based on recent research on extreme work and social exchange theory, this paper presents a pioneering study focussed on public hospital nurses' engagement in extreme work conditions and its associated ethical aspects. The empirical part involves 32 in-depth interviews conducted with nurses in four public hospitals in Egypt. Our findings highlight how a misunderstanding of religion, gender inequality, average education, and staff shortages are the main reasons why nurses accept to engage in intensive jobs. Moreover, poor physical and mental health, lack of time available for life and personal commitments, and a sense of coercion emerged as aspects that raise questions regarding the (un)ethicality of nurses engaging in extreme work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Early online date22 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • (Un) Ethicality
  • Extreme Work
  • Social Exchange Theory
  • Hospitals
  • Nurses

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