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Workplace conflict and employee well‐being: The moderating role of detachment from work during off‐job time

Sabine Sonnentag (Department of Psychology, University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany)
Dana Unger (Department of Psychology, University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany)
Inga J. Nägel (Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 19 April 2013

11498

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to address the relation between task and relationship conflicts at work and employee well‐being. It seeks to examine psychological detachment from work during off‐job time as a moderator in the relation between conflicts and well‐being.

Design/methodology/approach

In a field study, 291 white‐collar employees completed survey measures of task conflicts, relationship conflicts, psychological detachment from work during off‐job time, and well‐being. Control variables included workload and job control.

Findings

Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that employees experiencing high levels of task conflicts and high levels of relationship conflicts report poorer well‐being. As predicted, psychological detachment from work mitigated the negative relation between relationship conflicts and well‐being. Contrary to expectations, psychological detachment failed to moderate the relation between task conflicts and well‐being.

Practical implications

The study suggests that employees should be encouraged to disengage mentally from work during leisure time.

Originality/value

This study links research on workplace conflicts with research on recovery processes. It tests the moderator effect of psychological detachment from work on the association between workplace conflicts and well‐being.

Keywords

Citation

Sonnentag, S., Unger, D. and Nägel, I.J. (2013), "Workplace conflict and employee well‐being: The moderating role of detachment from work during off‐job time", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 166-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/10444061311316780

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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