Causes and Management of Conflict in Nursing

Causes and Management of Conflict in Nursing. Every workplace has conflicts, and it is considered normal when there is some form of disagreement between two parties. Grossman and Valiga (2016) explain well that conflict arises when the interests, goals, needs, and values of the involved parties interfere with one another. Because of this reason, the nurse manager should develop skills that include rational decision-making, the capacity to analyze the conflict, incentive creating, and proper channels of conflict resolution when conflict arises in a healthcare system. 

When the healthcare system perceives change, conflict is likely to emerge because not all people are change agents.
Causes and Management of Conflict in Nursing
Among the factors that can lead to conflict in healthcare, nursing setup is a failure to involve employees in decision-making. It becomes impossible for the workers to trust the actions of the manager when they are left out. Panic situations are created in the workplace, and as it calms down, the assumptions created evoke conflict.

Previous experiences in the nursing career or even the life of the workers can influence the reaction of people. Managers use different styles of leadership, and if the previous management regime was not good, it becomes hard for the employees to adjust to the new leadership. Conflict arises as people behave differently. Personality clashes form the basic causes of conflict in a workplace (Porter-O’Grady and Malloch, 2016). Therefore, the different behaviors can be in direct conflict with the new management in the health sector. The last cause of conflict is pressure points. Everybody has pressure points and triggering those points leads to an unpleasant reaction causing conflict. In most cases, the use of particular words triggers strong emotions and behaviors. For example: regarding someone as lazy can evoke emotions.

Causes and Management of Conflict in Nursing
As a nurse manager, the first step in conflict management is dealing with the situation rather than avoiding it. Identification of the problem and provision of amicable solution ends the conflict (Grossman and Valiga, 2016). Secondly, mediation can serve to rectify the error by the use of a neutral party such as director of another department. A dialogue between the conflicting parties is a strategy that the nurse manager can use to end conflicts. The new director can sit down with the nurses and discuss how they can work together without much conflict.


Porter-O’Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2016). Leadership in nursing practice: Changing the landscape of health care.

Grossman, S., & Valiga, T. (2016). The New Leadership Challenge, 5e: Creating the Future of Nursing. Pennsylvania: F.A. Davis Company.

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