Publication Date



We analyzed an eight-year multi-source longitudinal data set that followed a healthcare system in the Eastern United States as it implemented a major conflict management initiative to encourage line managers to consistently perform Personal Management Interviews (or PMIs) with their employees. PMIs are interviews held between two individuals, designed to prevent or quickly resolve interpersonal problems before they escalate to formal grievances. This initiative provided us a unique opportunity to empirically test key predictions of Integrated Conflict Management System (or ICMS) theory. Analyzing survey and personnel file data from 5,449 individuals from 2003 to 2010, we found that employees whose managers provided high-quality interviews perceived significantly higher participative work climates and had lower turnover rates. However, retention was worse when managers provided poor-quality interviews than when they conducted no interviews at all. Together these findings highlight the critical role that line mangers play in the success of conflict management systems.


Suggested Citation
Dunford, B. B., Mumford, K. J., Boss, R. W., Boss, A. D., & Boss, D. S. (2017, November). Do it right or not at all: A longitudinal evaluation of a conflict management system implementation [Electronic version]. Paper presented at Conflict and its Resolution in the Changing World of Work: A Conference and Special Issue Honoring David B. Lipsky, Ithaca, NY. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright held by the authors.