Developing a model of source-specific interpersonal conflict in health care

Ashley M. Guidroz, Mo Wang, Lisa M. Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Nurses work in complex social environments, and conflict may arise with fellow coworkers, their supervisor, physicians or the patients and family they care for. Although much research has documented the negative effects of conflict on nurses, no research to date has examined the comparative effect that conflict from all four sources can have on nurses. The purpose of this study is to test a model of workplace conflict where the negative effect of conflict on nurses will be experienced via emotional exhaustion. We test the mediator model by analysing the cross-sectional data collected within one hospital (N 1=182) and cross-validating those results in a second hospital (N 2=161). The pattern of results was largely consistent across the two samples indicating support for a mediated model of workplace conflict for physician, supervisor and patient. Conflict with other nurses, however, did not have a relationship with either emotional exhaustion or other personal and organizational outcomes. The theoretical and practical implications of the current findings, as well as the limitations and future research directions, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalStress & Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • emotional exhaustion
  • interpersonal conflict
  • nurses
  • patients
  • physicians

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