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constructive controversy, difficult employee, healthy workplace, negative and positive social interdependence, professional practice



  1. Cornett, Patricia A. EdD, MS, RN


All nurse managers deal with difficult employees during their careers. Such employees engage in negative social interdependence, and the ensuing negative conflict they create affect team performance effectiveness, job satisfaction, and turnover intention. This state of affairs is the antithesis of professional practice and healthy workplace environments, where constructive conflict exists. By reframing the difficult employee behavior in a professional practice framework, the necessary prosocial actions of positive interdependence become clear. When role-based professional RNs are supported by managers who value shared leadership and create professional practice environments, positive social interdependence can flourish and negative social interdependence of difficult employees will not.