Interpersonal Conflict at Work ICAWS

Interpersonal conflict in the workplace has been shown to be one of the most frequently reported job stressors (e.g., Keenan & Newton, 1985). The ICAWS is a four item, summated rating scale designed to assess this construct. Its items ask about how well the employee gets along with others at work, specifically getting into arguments with others and how often others act nasty to the respondent. Five response choices are given, ranging from less than once per month or never, coded 1, to several times per day, coded 5. High scores represent frequent conflicts with others, with a possible range from 4 to 20. Internal consistency reliability (coefficient alpha) was reported by Spector and Jex (1998) to average .74 across 13 studies.

The ICAWS is often used with the Organizational Constraints Scale, the Quantitative Workload Inventory, and the Physical Symptoms Inventory, so information about all four scales is found in the same documents. Keenan, A., & Newton, T. J. (1985). Stressful events, stressors, and psychological strains in young professional engineers. Journal of Occupational Behavior, 6, 151-156.


The ICAWS is scored by summing responses to the 4 items. You can use the sum or divide by 4 to get the mean response. It will affect means and standard deviations, but does not affect correlations or analyses based on correlations.


Spector, P. E., & Jex, S. M. (1998). Development of Four Self-Report Measures of Job Stressors and Strain: Interpersonal Conflict at Work Scale, Organizational Constraints Scale, Quantitative Workload Inventory, and Physical Symptoms Inventory. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 3, 356-367.

ICAWS bibliography Combined with the OCS, QWI, and PSI

Conditions for Using the ICAWS

ICAWS norms

ICAWS English version

ICAWS translations

Note: The ICAWS is copyright © 1997, Paul E. Spector and Steve M. Jex, All rights reserved.