To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Motivational mechanisms influencing error reporting among nurses

Marcello Russo (Department of Management and Strategy, KEDGE Business School, Talence, France.)
Filomena Buonocore (Department of Law, University of Naples Parthenope, Napoli, Italy.)
Maria Ferrara (Department of Management, University of Naples Parthenope, Napoli, Italy.)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 9 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to explore antecedents, namely reasons for/against error reporting, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control, of nurses’ intentions to report their errors at work.


A structured equation model with cross-sectional data were estimated to test the hypotheses on a sample of 188 Italian nurses.


Reasons for/against error reporting were associated with attitudes, subjective norms and perceived control. Further, reasons against were related to nurses’ intentions to report errors whereas reasons for error reporting were not. Lastly, perceived control was found to partially mediate the effects of reasons against error reporting on nurses’ intentions to act.

Research limitations/implications

Self-report data were collected at one point in time.

Practical implications

This study offers recommendations to healthcare managers on what factors may encourage nurses to report their errors.

Social implications

Lack of error reporting prevents timely interventions. The study contributes to documenting motivations that can persuade or dissuade nurses in this important decision.


This study extends prior research on error reporting that lacks a strong theoretical foundation by drawing on behavioral reasoning theory.



The authors are grateful to Yehuda Baruch, James Westaby, the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on developing this paper.


Russo, M., Buonocore, F. and Ferrara, M. (2015), "Motivational mechanisms influencing error reporting among nurses", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 118-132.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles