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Workplace conflict resolution and the health of employees in the Swedish and Finnish units of an industrial company


  • Hyde, Martin
  • Jappinen, Paavo
  • Theorell, Tores
  • Oxenstierna, Gabriel


New patterns of working, the globalisation of production and the introduction of information technologies are changing the way we work. This new working environment has eliminated some risks whilst introducing others. The importance of the psychosocial working environment for the health of employees is now well documented, but the effects of managerial style have received relatively little attention. Yet management is an increasingly important aspect of companies' policies. In this paper, we examine the relationship between conflict management in the workplace and self-reported measures of stress, poor general health, exhaustion and sickness absence due to overstrain or fatigue. Our sample consists of non-supervisory employees (N=9309) working in the Swedish and Finnish plants of a multinational forestry company who were surveyed in 2000. Bivariate analyses show that those who report that differences are resolved through discussion are least likely to report stress, poor general health, exhaustion or sickness absence. Those who report that authority is used or that no attempts are made to resolve differences have quite similar rates across all measures. Binary logistic regression analyses were performed for all health outcomes controlling for age, sex, occupational group, job complexity, job autonomy and support from superiors. Results show significantly lower likelihoods of reporting stress, poor general health, exhaustion or sickness absence amongst employees who report that differences of opinion are resolved through discussion compared to those who report that no attempts are made. No significant differences were found between those who reported that differences were resolved through use of authority and subjects in the 'no attempt' category. These results suggest that the workplace conflict resolution is important in the health of employees in addition to traditional psychosocial work environment risk factors.

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  • Hyde, Martin & Jappinen, Paavo & Theorell, Tores & Oxenstierna, Gabriel, 2006. "Workplace conflict resolution and the health of employees in the Swedish and Finnish units of an industrial company," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(8), pages 2218-2227, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:63:y:2006:i:8:p:2218-2227

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Kößler, Franziska J. & Fujishiro, Kaori & Veit, Susanne & Hoppe, Annekatrin, 2022. "Ethnic Differences in Context: Does Emotional Conflict Mediate the Effects of Both Team- and Individual-Level Ethnic Diversity on Emotional Strain?," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 6(1), pages 27-49.
    3. Svetlana Lakiša & Linda Matisāne & Inese Gobiņa & Hans Orru & Ivars Vanadziņš, 2022. "Sickness Presenteeism among Employees Having Workplace Conflicts—Results from Pooled Analyses in Latvia," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(17), pages 1-12, August.
    4. Baqutayan, Shadiya Mohamed Saleh & Tabrizi, Mohammad Reza Faraj & Minavand, Hadi, 2014. "Is workplace conflict costly? An international case study of conflict and stress among project managers," International Journal of Development and Conflict, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, vol. 4(1), pages 49-59.
    5. Miloš Gejdoš & Martin Lieskovský, 2024. "Overview of Health and Safety Risks in the Process of Production and Storage of Forest Biomass for Energy Purposes—A Review," Energies, MDPI, vol. 17(5), pages 1-18, February.
    6. Cokkie Verschuren & Maria Tims & Annet H. De Lange, 2023. "Beyond Bullying, Aggression, Discrimination, and Social Safety: Development of an Integrated Negative Work Behavior Questionnaire (INWBQ)," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 20(16), pages 1-24, August.

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