Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Dustin D. Berna

Second Advisor

Neil H. Katz

Third Advisor

Alexia Georgakopolous


covert behavior, female leaders, gender, gender solidarity bias, healthcare, healthcare conflict research, organizational dissent, relational aggression, social capital, social network, trust


This dissertation is a quantitative study which looks at the ways in which healthcare followers perceive their leaders regarding gender, over the concepts of trust and organizational dissent. The study was open to members of non-clinical healthcare associations, but clinicians were not specifically excluded. Inferential statistics were inconclusive, as they directly contradict literature that directly correlates trust and dissent in the general business world. Reading subtextual, the outcome indicates possible sublimated conflict between and among both genders, for both followers and leaders. Objectively, women showed more trust in their female leaders, but subjectively this was not true. Indicators in the subjective material suggest potential negative social capital use in the social network and potential gender solidarity bias. Further study and ramifications for covert behavior, relational aggression and healthcare conflict research are discussed.