Containing conflict: A relational approach to the study of high-involvement work practices in the health-care setting

Eun Kyung Lee, Woonki Hong, Ariel C. Avgar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study extends strategic human resource management research by focusing on the effects of high-involvement work practices (HIWPs) on relational outcomes with customers (patients). The authors provide evidence that relational dynamics among employees act as a mediating mechanism for the relationship between workplace practices and these outcomes. In particular, we propose that human resource management practices designed to increase employees' involvement at work reduce the level of organizational conflict among employees, which, in turn, affect employees' conflict with patients and their families. Using a two-wave longitudinal survey of 378 patient care providers at 20 nursing homes, the authors argue that the effect of HIWPs on conflict between nursing home staff and patients and their family members is mediated by task and relationship conflict among employees. The results provide strong support for the mediating role of organizational conflict among employees by documenting that the negative effect of HIWPs on employees' conflict with patients and their families is mediated by the reduced levels of task conflict and relationship conflict among employees. The study's findings shed new light on the relational mechanism through which HR practices affect employees and customers. Scholarly and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-122
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

Keywords

  • health-care
  • high-involvement work practices (HIWPs)
  • relationship conflict
  • task conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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