Conflict in the Workplace Essay Paper

This week you continue your exploration of conflict in the workplace. You examine how you might apply evidence-based practices both to a particular conflict, and to encourage a workplace culture of safety and respect.  Conflict in the Workplace Essay Paper

Learning Objectives
Students will:

Analyze situations of conflict in the workplace.
Evaluate approaches to address conflict in the workplace.
Recommend conflict resolution strategies.
Learning Resources
Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Mestas, L., Salas, S., Stockman, R., Thomas P. L., & Roussel, L. (2020). Leading in an era of change and uncertainty: Driving excellence in practice while developing leaders of the future. In L. Roussel, P. L. Thomas, & J. L. Harris (Eds.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (8th ed., 81–98). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Ward-Presson, K. M. (2020). Managing performance. In L. Roussel, P. L. Thomas, & J. L. Harris (Eds.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (8th ed., 227–250). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Clingerman, E., & Thomas, P. L. (2020). Polarity thinking: A lens for embracing wicked problems, conflict, and resistance in health care. In L. Roussel, P. L. Thomas, & J. L. Harris (Eds.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (8th ed., 419–432). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

American Organization for Nursing Leadership. (2015). AONL nurse executive competencies. Retrieved from

Bagnasco, A., Aleo, G., Timmins, F., Catania, G., Zanini, M., & Sasso, L. (2018). Educating our future generation: The role of nurse managers in encouraging civility. Journal of Nursing Management, 26(8), 899–901.

Carmody, C. (2014, February 27). Toward civility. Retrieved from

Clark, C. M., Olender, L., Cardoni, C., Kenski, D. (2011). Fostering civility in nursing education and practice. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(7/8), 324–330.

IHI Multimedia Team. (2017). Move beyond staff satisfaction to measure joy in work. Retrieved from

Perlo, J., Balik, B., Swensen, S., Kabcenell, A., Landsmen, J., & Feely, D. (2017). IHI framework for improving joy in work (IHI White Paper). Cambridge, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Retrieved from

Note: You will need to complete the free registration process at the IHI site in order to access this article.

Module 3 Assignment: Workplace Conflicts
Conflict is inevitable in every profession and organization, and nursing and the broader healthcare field are no exception. Conflict can result from poor communication, jurisdiction issues, low trust, bullying, stress and heavy workloads, and poor leadership. These issues cause not only staff turnover, inefficiency, and expense to the organization but also disruption of care and diminished patient outcomes. Whether at the individual or organizational level, nurse leaders can affect change to improve these outcomes and move teams and organizations toward their mission and values. Conflict in the Workplace Essay Paper

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Consider some of the AONL competencies that stress leadership, professionalism, and the ability to resolve and manage conflict. How might you approach these situations?

In this Assignment, you reflect on a conflict situation you have experienced in the workplace. Considering what you have focused on in this module, how might you approach this same conflict today?
To prepare:


Review Resources related to conflict, violence, and bullying in the workplace as well as effective communication for resolving conflict.
Consider a situation in your workplace in which you experienced a conflict (e.g., bullying, interpersonal conflict between staff members). Reflect on how the situation was handled at that time.
Considering the IHI (2017) and ANA (2015) resources, as well as the AONL competencies, reflect on how you could have been more effective in resolving this conflict situation or avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings in your case example.
Assignment (3–4 pages)
For your selected workplace conflict, write a reflective conflict analysis memo in which you address the following:

Describe the situation and conflict.
Explain how you handled the conflict at the time. Describe strategies you employed to resolve the conflict.
Reflecting on the final outcome, explain how you would approach the conflict differently to improve your effectiveness at managing the situation.
Referencing the IHI (2017) and ANA (2015) resources, and the AONL competencies, explain how you might implement strategies to encourage a culture of safety and respect to decrease conflict and bullying in the workplace in the future.
Support your Assignment with at least two scholarly articles beyond those in the Resources for the module, explaining how the research supports your argument.

Reminder: The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center provides an example of those required elements (available at All papers submitted must use this formatting.

Conflict in the Workplace

Situation and Conflict

In my workplace, a nurse working in a day-evening shift shared with me that a physician had bullied her. According to the nurse, a physician threw equipment across the room, after grabbing it from her hands. The physician was shouting at her saying that in no circumstances would he work with such an incompetent nurse. This incident took place in front of patients because it was at the triage. The nurse was very embarrassed because this happened in front of patients and other nurses, and also because the physician questioned her nursing skills. She was in disbelief by what the physician did. However, the nurse added that this was not the first time the physician had shown indifference towards her, but this was the most extreme mistreatment and humiliating action the physician had done towards her. The nurse informed me regarding the incident but requested my confidentiality regarding the incident because she feared re-victimization by the physician and gossiping by other nurses. On the other hand, I encouraged the nurse to report the incident because the organizational policy supported zero tolerance towards workplace bullying. I acknowledged that there was a bullying problem in the nursing unit and hence it was appropriate for the nurse to report the incident so that I can facilitate conflict resolution. Through my support and with being confident that she would not be victimized, the nurse agreed to report the incident.  Conflict in the Workplace Essay Paper

How the Conflict was Handled & Strategies employed during Resolution

When the nurse reported the bullying incident, I listened to her story in order to assess the situation comprehensively and to determine if the bullying problem existed. I encouraged the nurse to report the incident as per the organizational policy and she agreed. I also sought information and problem-solving strategies from my immediate supervisor and the workplace policy, human resources management department, and the dispute resolution team in the organization. The human resource department supports respectful treatment of all employees without harassment or discrimination and supports the management of workplace differences. Accordingly, I sought support from the respectful workplace specialist in the organization in order to get a solution to the complaint.  The workplace specialist provided confidential advice and coaching and acted as a case manager for the formal complaint regarding bullying. The nurse was able to file the complaint formally. Afterward, a mediation process between the nurse and physician was arranged. Mediation refers to the process of resolving conflicts between individuals privately (Overton & Lowry, 2015). Both the nurse and the physician were willing to meet together and resolve their differences. I was among the mediators and we listened to both the parties. After each party explaining their side of the story, the root cause of the standoff was identified. The physician believed that the nurse was overbearing and was never willing to listen to him whenever they worked together. This made collaboration between the two difficult. Both parties were willing to maintain a future relationship and to resolve behavior issues. The physician apologized to the nurse for overreacting

How the Conflict would be Addressed Differently

During conflict resolution, I future I would ensure that the bullying incident is documented in the file of both parties so that this information can be referenced in case bullying occurs with the same employee. I would also inform the relevant department to monitor the behavior of the physician for some time in order to assess if he will be involved in bullying in the future. This is because sometimes bullies retract and then start bullying all over again. I would also inform both parties regarding the importance of a good work relationship and the possible effects of such incidents. I would promote a team environment and encourage employees to work collaboratively and support one another (Al-Ghabeesh & Qattom, 2019). I would also squash any attempt coworkers make to gossip and spread rumors about such incidences.  Conflict in the Workplace Essay Paper

Strategies to Encourage a Culture of Safety and Respect to Decrease Conflict and Bullying in the Workplace

According to ANA (2015), developing a healthy working atmosphere facilitates the provision of compassionate care and quality care by nurses. One strategy to achieve a healthy work environment is by setting standards of workplace behavior using a workplace policy that stipulates the appropriate behavior and the resulting action in case of unacceptable behavior such as bullying (Jonson, 2015). A policy on workplace bullying should reference the management action that would be taken in case of bullying occurred.

The second strategy is creating productive and respectful relationships within the workplace.  AONL competencies support effective communication and relationship management as strategies to ensure the provision of safe, efficient, and timely patient-centered care (American Organization for Nursing Leadership, 2015). effective communication and relationship management practices are essential in creating a workplace setting that discourages bullying within the workplace (Perlo et al., 2017). Some of the strategies include using leadership styles that mentor and support all staff members, facilitating teamwork, and consulting all employees during decision-making. Effective communication also ensures that nurse charges and other leaders respond timely on any unreasonable behavior such as workplace bullying (Al-Ghabeesh & Qattom, 2019).


Al-Ghabeesh S & Qattom H. (2019). Workplace bullying and its preventive measures and productivity among emergency department nurses. BMC Health Serv Res. 19(445).

American Organization for Nursing Leadership. (2015). AONL nurse executive competencies. Retrieved from

Johnson S. (2015). Workplace Bullying Prevention: A Critical Discourse Analysis. J Adv Nurs, 71(10), 2384–2392

Overton A & Lowry M. (2015). Conflict Management: Difficult Conversations with Difficult People. Clin Colon Rectal Surg, 1(26), 259–264.

Perlo, J., Balik, B., Swensen, S., Kabcenell, A., Landsmen, J., & Feely, D. (2017). IHI framework for improving joy in work (IHI White Paper). Cambridge, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Retrieved from    Conflict in the Workplace Essay Paper




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