Study Examines Nurses’ Use of Conflict Management in the Workplace

September 7, 2021by Elise Sanchez0

Summary Of:

Başoğul, C., (2020). Conflict management and teamwork in workplace from the perspective of nurses. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 57(2). 610-619.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ppc.12584

Background & Theory

To improve the workplace atmosphere within patient care facilities, the conflict management between nurses was studied to better understand workplace disruptions. The different strategies that are used when conflicts occur were studied to determine which conflict styles were most often used and how this data will be able to resolve further conflicts to create better workplace environments and safer spaces for patients.

Research Question(s)

Research was conducted by Ceyda Başoğul in “Conflict management and teamwork in workplace from the perspective of nurses” to answer the following questions:

    1. What is the level of nurses’ teamwork attitudes?
    2. What is the level of their conflict management strategies?
    3. Is there a significant relationship between teamwork attitudes and conflict management strategies?
    4. Do socioeconomic and professional characteristics affect teamwork attitudes and conflict management strategies?

Methods

A study was conducted with 228 nurses in a Turkish training and research hospital. Data was collected through TeamSTEPPS Teamwork Attitudes Questionnaire and the Rahim Organizational Inventory-II for a cross-sectional, descriptive, and relational study. The research found was from nurses working in internal, surgical services, and intensive care units in a south-eastern part of Turkey with specific circumstances, making the results of this research limited to other nurses in other hospitals struggling with conflict management issues.

Results

91.2% of the nurses in the study were found to be in or have had a workplace conflict. Most nurses who participated in these conflicts were using either compromising and integrating methods of conflict resolution to resolve this workplace conflict. The type of style that was used varied on the education, gender, and years of experience of the nurses. Additionally, it was found that nurses who experienced workplace conflict were often in the same teams.

Ultimately, teamwork attitudes and constructive conflict management strategies were the main findings that needed to be worked on within the participating nurses. This indicated that the nurses had not received proper conflict management training to equip them with skills to deal with workplace conflict. Greater leadership involvement in providing these trainings and guiding the nurses out of conflict was also indicated by researchers.

What This Means

  • This study indicates that within the healthcare industry and particularly within the nursing profession, workplace conflict is prevalent. Therefore, managers and head nurses need to hold workshops that teach their employees basic conflict resolution information. This training can include identifying one’s own conflict style, understanding others’ ways of dealing with conflict, and strategies on how to resolve workplace conflict.

Final Takeaway

For consultants: Understanding the areas of improvement in any team and department is crucial for an organization. Coaching on conflict styles and getting resources for a team aids in future conflicts and work disruptions.

For everyone: Conflict within a team causes workplace disruption that can lead to causing other issues within an organization. Teaching people the importance of resolving conflict and coaching on strategies to handle conflict themselves creates a healthier and more cohesive working environment.

Elise Sanchez

Élise Sanchez is a double alumnus from Pepperdine University where she holds a Masters in Dispute Resolution from the Caruso School of Law and a Bachelors in both International Relations and French from Seaver College. During her time in her studies she found her passion for being an advocate for those who need help amplifying their voices. After finishing her International Relations degree, she decided to go on for her MDR to learn how to be a better advocate and peacekeeper.

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