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  1. Grubaugh, Martha L. MS, RN, NE-BC
  2. Flynn, Linda PhD, RN, FAAN


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to examine the relationships among staff nurse perceptions of their nurse manager (NM) leadership ability, conflict management, and team backup on medical-surgical units.


BACKGROUND: Team backup, an important component of teamwork, is crucial to patient safety and outcomes. A threat to successful teamwork is ineffective conflict management. There is scant knowledge, however, about NM conflict management skills and unit teamwork through the concept of team backup.


METHODS: Secondary analyses were conducted utilizing data previously collected from a sample of 257 staff nurses. A series of multiple regressions, including a mediation model, were estimated to determine relationships among variables.


RESULTS: Positive relationships were substantiated among the variables of NM leadership ability, conflict management, and team backup. Staff nurse perceptions of NM leadership ability were a significant predictor of conflict management and team backup.


CONCLUSION: Findings support the importance of the NM demonstrating skilled leadership and the ability to manage conflicts and to develop team backup. This study further highlights the importance of conflict management as a leadership competency.