Identifying and resolving conflict in the workplace

Robert E. Suter, Jennifer R. Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Key learning points Recognize conflict within the workplace. Employ proven theories and strategies to resolve the conflict. Turn the conflict into positive, productive gain. Introduction It is inevitable that conflict will occur in any workplace, including the hectic environment of the emergency department (ED). The reasons for conflict are varied and often quite complex. In addition, there are significant cultural differences in the level of acceptance of open conflict. Tolerance for conflict can even vary between regions or groups of people within the same country. Regardless of the culture, if it is not addressed, true conflict can do serious damage to a workplace. Low morale and discontent can lead to loss of experienced employees, resulting in higher expenses and staffing costs. Conflict also affects productivity, as attention that is paid to conflict detracts from job duties, and may lower efficiency and productivity. Leadership should have some training on conflict resolution that includes identifying it, addressing it with proven strategies, and finally following up to ensure that the conflict has been resolved. Doing so improves financial success and employee health, and in the healthcare setting can have a positive impact on the quality of patient care. Minimizing conflict in the ED should therefore be viewed as an ethical imperative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmergency Department Leadership and Management: Best Principles and Practice
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781139030557, 9781107007390
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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