Research Examines How Role Conflict Impacts Job Satisfaction Among Nurses

August 10, 2021by Noah Shaw

Summary of:

Naseer, T., Ahmad, F., Bano, A, Kausar, N., Mahmood, S., & Ali, F. (2021). Impact of role conflict and workload on job satisfaction: Moderating role of perceived organizational support. Psychology and Education, 58(5), 4656-4677.

Background & Theory:

Workplace conflict is a common occurrence across many industries that can impact employees in various ways. The healthcare industry is no exception, with conflict spurring due to several reasons.

A recent study suggests that role conflict is particularly salient among degree-holding nurses in Pakistan because while they are highly educated and well-paid, they receive less organizational recognition compared to other roles. This study examines role conflict’s impact on job satisfaction and suggests how organizational support can impact this relationship.


Research was conducted by Tahira Naseer et al. to answer the following questions:

    1. How does role conflict impact job satisfaction for degree-holding nurses?
    2. How does workload impact job satisfaction for degree-holding nurses?
    3. Does perceived organizational support moderate the relationships between role conflict/workload and job satisfaction?


300 degree-holding nurses filled out a Likert-style questionnaire that measured role conflict, workplace incivility, workload, job satisfaction, and perceived organizational support. Each of these variables’ questions were adopted from previous studies. All participants were female, between the ages of 25-50, with a bachelor’s degree (245 participants) or a Master’s degree (29 participants).


The authors found that both role conflict and workload negatively impacted nurses’ job satisfaction. Further, they found that perceived organizational support moderates the negative impact of role conflict on job satisfaction. However, perceived organizational support did not moderate the relationship between workload and job satisfaction.

What We Can Learn:

Looking over this research, we can take away the following key insight:

  • As in any organization, organizational support through recognition and rewards can positively impact nurses experiencing role conflict. Such recognition can offset the negative impact of role conflict, leading to greater job satisfaction.

Final Takeaways

For Consultants: Role conflict is defined by a lack of clarity around one’s role which leads to conflict with others. This study suggests that organizational support can bolster an employee’s understanding that they are doing their job well. This points to the reality that recognition and rewards can be helpful for handling workplace conflict.

For Everyone: Nurses have demanding and stressful jobs, factors which by themselves can lead to job dissatisfaction. Role conflict can exacerbate this reality, indicating a need for organizational assessment and training around conflict resolution. If you work in the healthcare industry, Pollack Peacebuilding offers peacemaking and training services to help boost job satisfaction and help your organization thrive.

Noah Shaw

Noah is the Peace Operations Coordinator at Pollack Peacebuilding Systems and holds a Master's in Dispute Resolution from the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law.

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