Healthcare management policymakers are cur- rently concerned about tackling the deteriorating doctor-patient relationship (DPR). The tension of DPR has contributed to an increased turnover intention among Chinese doctors (Lin et al. 2014). A solution may reside in the growing evidence that human resource management (HRM) is an important tool for improving employee well-being and delivering high-quality patient care in China (Cooke and Bartram 2015). Especially commitment HRM should be given priority because they may positively impact DPR and lower turnover (Ma et al. 2016).
However, previous findings might not always be replicated in Chinese healthcare contexts due to the cultural value of pragmatism, because in a pragmatism-based situation, decision-making is mostly of a transactional nature, a situation common in current Chinese hospital settings (Cooke and Bartram 2015). This study challenges this assumption by testing a boundary condition of commitment HRM policies in healthcare set- tings in China. Using a sample of 508 doctors from 33 tertiary public hospitals in Guangdong, China, this study examines the moderator effect of pragmatism on the relationship between commitment HRM policies and turnover intention via DPR. The study reveals that commitment HR practices are positively associated with the DPR and that overall DPR is negatively related with turnover intention. Furthermore, our results suggest that pragmatism moderates the association between DPR and turnover intention in the model.