AbstractsSocial Work

Interprofessional conflict management study in a hospital setting

by Leslie Merrill

Institution: California State University – Sacramento
Department: Social Work
Degree: MSW
Year: 2015
Keywords: Conflict; Conflict management; Social work; Medical social work; Hospital social work; Interprofessional; Team conflict
Record ID: 2058347
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/138622


When professionals work together as a team, conflict is inevitable. This study aims to explore interprofessional conflict in a hospital setting from physician, nursing, and social work viewpoints. The goal of this thesis study is to inform healthcare providers in effective conflict management skills. Currently conflict management training is not a priority in healthcare education. We wish our study to be the first step in developing a curriculum that will be implemented in healthcare professional educational programs. The original study was conducted by Dr. Michael Wilkes of the University of California, Davis (UCD) to examine the issues of incorporating conflict management into professional education. Participants in the original study (N=225) came from the School of Medicine at UCD, the Betty Irene School of Nursing (UCD), and the Division of Social Work at California State University, Sacramento. Utilizing secondary data, we assessed narrative responses that resulted in seven central themes of conflict and three primary conflict management styles. The seven central themes include: relationships; interests, values & ethics; systems; role confusion; hierarchy & power; personality & style; and communication. The three conflict management styles were: avoidance, forcing, and problem solving. We found that social workers have a unique perspective and a higher confidence in managing conflict when compared to the other professions.