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Delegation of responsibilities is the organized process that permits the transfer of responsibilities and authority form an executive to the subordinates. This study investigated nurses’ perception of their nurse managers’ delegation of responsibilities in four purposively selected tertiary health institutions in Enugu state, Nigeria: University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teaching Hospital, Federal Neuropsychiatry Hospital and National Orthopedic Hospital, all in EnuguState. Six objectives were raised to guide the study. Descriptive survey design was used for the study. A sample size of 300 nurses was drawn from the population of 943 nurses (nursing sisters and senior nursing sisters) in the four tertiary health institutions selected. Pre- tested 54 item researchers developed questionnaire was used for data collection. The Split half method using Cronbatch alpha was employed to test for reliability which yielded 0.895 and 0.959 respectively. Data collected were subjected to descriptive statistic and analyzed using SPSS version 20. T-test and ANOVA were used to test for hypothesis. Results were presented in tables, means and standard deviation. Findings revealed that mean age of the respondents was 38.44 (±6.77) year and nurses involved in this study perceived that their nurse managers adhere to stipulated guidelines/ criteria in delegating responsibilities,which had grand mean of 3.20 ± 1.21, use of nursing job description had grand mean of 3.00 ± 0.76, practice of transfer of authority had grand mean of 2.88 ± 1.03, practice of accountability had grand mean of 3.00 ± 1.32 and also practice of supervision had grand mean of 2.97 ± 0.87 Hypothesis results indicates that there is no significant difference in the nurses’ age and their nurse managers’ delegation of responsibilities, p-value (> 0.05). No significant difference was found in nurses’ perception of their nurse managers’ delegation of responsibilities based on their rank, p-value (0.391 > 0.05). Also no significant difference was found between nurses’ year of experience and their perception of their nurse managers’ delegation of responsibilities, (p-value) of the F statistics are greater than 0.05 level of significance for all the items tested. These results with P-values greater than level of significance (0.05), indicates there is no difference in age, rank and years of experience. However, there is a significance difference in nurses’ perception of their nurse managers’ delegation of responsibility based on their institution,p-value(< 0.05) Based on the findings, suggestions were made for further studies.




Background of the study

Delegation of responsibility is one of the vital organizational processes which is inevitable along with the expansion and growth of a business enterprise (Akrani, 2010). It is a management function that can be learned and horned to a fine edge by anyone who is willing to make some effort and able to get some practice (Curtis & Nicholl 2004). In nursing profession delegation is not a new function but it is becoming increasingly important as the profession experiences rapid change. The changes centre on skill mix, structuring how care is delivered and the expanding role of nurses. Crucial to the success of this function is the ability of both the delegator and delegate to perceive their roles and assignments correctly.

Okoronkwo (2005) stated that effective delegation is the organizational process that permits the transfer of responsibility and authority from an executive to the subordinate. The author goes on to say that it establishes responsibility on the part of the subordinate, giving her authority to use her discretion on behalf of the superior. Responsibility is a duty or obligation to satisfactorily perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one’s own premise or circumstance) that one must fulfill and which has a consequent penalty for failure. Effective delegation of responsibilities can be defined as giving someone a task from the delegators practice (Weydt, 2010). It could also be seen as transfer of responsibility, authority, and power to somebody for the performance of an activity while retaining accountability for the outcome (Bylgia & Helga, 2012).


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