University of Oulu

Mohamed Mousa, Shlomo Tarba, Ahmad Arslan & Sir Cary Cooper (2023) When extreme work becomes the norm: an exploration of coping strategies of public sector nurses, Public Management Review, DOI: 10.1080/14719037.2023.2246493

When extreme work becomes the norm : an exploration of coping strategies of public sector nurses

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Author: Mousa, Mohamed1; Tarba, Shlomo2; Arslan, Ahmad3;
Organizations: 1CENTRUM Católica Graduate Business School (CCGBS), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), Lima, Peru
2Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
3Department of Marketing, Management & IB, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2023
Publish Date: 2025-02-17


Drawing on extreme work and transactional stress literature streams; this paper investigates the mechanisms used by public sector nurses to cope with their extreme work conditions in the fragile state context of Egypt. Our findings, which are based on 24 qualitative interviews, show that, to cope with their extreme job duties, nurses engage in the following four strategies — reassertion of professionalism, submission and fatalism, cronyism, and temporalism. Moreover, we found that the low availability of social, physical, and psychological resources and the perceived inadequate provision of entitlements also played a role in this context. Finally, our study is among the first to link the fragile state environment with extreme work conditions in healthcare sector while simultaneously highlighting the related coping mechanisms.

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Series: Public management review
ISSN: 1471-9037
ISSN-E: 1471-9045
ISSN-L: 1471-9037
DOI: 10.1080/14719037.2023.2246493
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Public Management Review on 17 Aug 2023, available online: