This study uses Leader–Member Exchange (LMX) theory to test the associations between the supervisor–subordinate relationship, psychological empowerment and affective commitment amongst 1283 nurses working in Australian public and private hospitals. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected, analysed and presented. The findings show that the quality of LMX is more important in public sector nursing contexts than in the private sector with regard to the relationship between empowerment and affective commitment. Furthermore, the relationship between empowerment and affective commitment is stronger for nurses in public sector organisations with low-quality LMX than for nurses in public sector organisations with high-quality LMX. As empowerment and affective commitment are both predictors of staff retention, the findings can assist in developing targeted current and future retention strategies for healthcare management
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