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Nursing Professional Practice Environments: Setting the Stage for Constructive Conflict Resolution and Work Effectiveness

Siu, Heidi MSN, RN; Spence Laschinger, Heather K. PhD, RN; Finegan, Joan PhD

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: May 2008 - Volume 38 - Issue 5 - p 250-257
doi: 10.1097/01.NNA.0000312772.04234.1f

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the impact of nurses' perceived professional practice environment on their quality of nursing conflict management approaches and ultimately their perceptions of unit effectiveness from the perspective of Deutsch's theory of constructive conflict management.

Background: Rising reports of hostility and conflict among Canadian nurses are a concern to nurses' health and the viability of effective patient care delivery. However, research on the situational factors that influence nurses' ability to apply effective conflict resolution skills that lead to positive results in practice is limited.

Methods: A nonexperimental, predictive design was used in a sample of 678 registered nurses working in community hospitals within a large metropolitan area in Ontario.

Results: The results supported a modified version of the hypothesized model [χ2(1) = 16.25, Goodness of Fit = 0.99, Comparative Fit Index = 0.98, Root-Mean-Square Error of Approximation = 0.15] linking professional practice environment and core self-evaluation to nurses' conflict management and, ultimately, unit effectiveness. Professional practice environment, conflict management, and core-self evaluation explained approximately 46.6% of the variance in unit effectiveness.

Conclusion: Positive professional practice environments and high core self-evaluations predicted nurses' constructive conflict management and, in turn, greater unit effectiveness.

Authors' Affiliations: Doctoral Student (Ms Siu), School of Nursing; Distinguished University Professor and Associate Director of Nursing Research (Dr Laschinger), School of Nursing; Associate Professor (Dr Finegan), Department of Psychology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

Corresponding author: Dr Laschinger, School of Nursing, The University of Western Ontario, Health Sciences Addition, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C1 (

Funding: This study was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Extramural Standard Grants Program.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.