Conflict Resolution By: Carla Sutton

Conflicts are frequent in the real world, there can be interpersonal conflicts like domestic violence to inter group conflicts like civil conflicts. There are many different definitions of conflict. However one common definition of conflict is when "...individuals (or groups) have divergent interests in such a way that they could be negatively affected by another individual" (Masclet & Puppe, 2015).

In the nursing profession, conflict will arise between other staff members. The textbook expains "In these situations, staff members may attack one another by asserting their position or by criticizing ideas. In some cases, they attack one another personally" (Finkleman, 2016 pg. 324).

  • 1. How would you respond to the medical director’s question? I would let the medical director know that, I thought I could handle the situation at a lower level, but at this point there needs to be intervention at a higher level
  • 2. What do you and the medical director need to do? Need to get together staff and hear each position.
  • 3. How can you avoid this being a we/they situation? Allow each staff member to voice his or her concern and come up with solutions
  • 4. How will you involve all staff? We will have every staff member give suggestions and come to a compromise
  • 5. What can you do about the powerlessness the nurses feel? A shared governance, group can address the needs of the nurses and meet with the medical director periodically to come up with solutions.

Causes of Conflict: Two predictors of conflict are in adequate resources and lack of communication. Major change on a unit or in a health care organization often results in competition for resources (staff, financial, space, supplies), as a result conflicts arise between units or between those who may or may not receive the resources or may lose resources (Finkelman, 2016 pg. 325).

Stages of Conflict: Felt, Latent, perceived and manifested: Latent conflict occurs when there is change or competing resources . Staff may recognize this and verbalize, “We know this is going to be a problem,” or may feel this internally. Felt Conflict occurs when people start to have feelings about the conflict like, anxiety or anger. Staff feel stress at this time. Avoidance may be used at this time, and may prevent the conflict from moving to the next stage. Perceived conflict requires recognition or awareness that conflict exists at a certain time. It may not be discussed but only felt. Manifest conflict is overt conflict. At this time the conflict can be constructive or destructive (Finkelman, 2016).

Prevent Conflict: Conflict can be prevented sometimes, take measures to prevent conflict whenever possible and to correct a problem before it develops into a conflict (Finkelman, 2016).

Conflict management is important in any health care organization. When conflicts arise, managers and staff need to understand conflict management issues and strategies (Finkelman, 2016).

Strategies to Avoid Conflict:

  • To eliminate or decrease the conflict
  • To meet the needs of the patient, family/significant others, and the organization
  • To ensure that all parties feel positive about the resolution so future work together can be productive (Finkelman, 2016).

Spirituality and Conflict

Research suggest that there is a positive correlation between job satisfaction and creating an inclusive workplace where spirituality is embraced. The article Faith and Job satisfaction explains, "...understanding an employee's spirituality helps minimize misunderstanding and creates a healthy, accepting workplace" (Ghazzawi & Smith, 2016).

As a Christian, sometimes conflict is inevitable. But the way we respond must reflect the character of Christ. The Bible states that we should pursue peace with everyone, "Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy..." (Hebrews 12:14, New International Version)


  1. Finkelman, A. (2016). Leadership and management for nurse: Core competencies for quality care (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


Created with images by Thomas Leuthard - "Lisboa #15" • Martin Pettitt - "Warthogs Fighting" • MCAD Library - "Serious Business" • Picography - "pyramid steps stone" • cobblucas - "Stop" • Fuzzy Gerdes - "SOLVE RIP" • smasia - "gateway sport football" • waldryano - "woman praying prayer faith" • AgnieszkaMonk - "book bible text"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.