Conflict transformation The pattern of transformation and the mediating role of emotion in nurse-physician conflicts

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Byungjoo Lee
JaeYoon Chang


This study investigated the conflict transformation pattern and the mediating role of emotions in nurse-physician conflicts. Nurses experience relatively heavier amount of relationship conflict compared to physicians. Relationship conflicts are known to have adverse effects on team satisfaction and team performance. Using a five-day diary study, data was collected from nurses in large hospitals. The respondents selected the physicians with the most frequent interaction, and answered questionnaires regarding that specific interaction while most existing studies used the information elicited from the interaction with the most conflicts. Several HLM analyses on conflicts scales showed that there were conflict transformation from task conflict to relationship conflict and that positive emotion mediated the transformation process. In other words, once task conflict was experienced, positive emotion decreases, and the decrease leads to the increase of relationship conflict the following day. However, the emotion itself did not carry over to the next day. This result suggests that nurses are capable of psychological detachment, which buffers the emotional association for two consecutive days.


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Lee, B., & Chang, J. (2014). Conflict transformation: The pattern of transformation and the mediating role of emotion in nurse-physician conflicts. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 27(2), 449–469.
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