Conflict at work and individual well-being

Carsten K.W. De Dreu*, Dirk Van Dierendonck, Maria T.M. Dijkstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Conflict theory and research largely ignored the possible relationships between conflict at work, and individual health, well-being, and job satisfaction. We present a model that argues that poor health and well-being can trigger conflict in the workplace, and reduce the extent to which conflict is managed in a constructive, problem solving way. The model further proposes that conflict, especially when managed poorly, can have negative long-term consequences for individual health and well-being, producing psychosomatic complaints and feelings of burnout. We review research evidence and conclude, among other things, that the model is more likely to hold up when conflict involves relationships and socio-emotional, rather than task-related issues. Avenues for future research and implications for policy and organizational design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-26
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Burnout
  • Conflict
  • Conflict management
  • Health
  • Organizations
  • Personality
  • Well-being


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