Conflict management: importance and implications

Laurie McKibben

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Conflict is a consistent and unavoidable issue within healthcare teams, despite training of nurse leaders and managers around areas of conflict resolution the problem of staff relations, stress, sickness and retention remain. Conflict arises from issues with interpersonal relationships, change and poor leadership. New members of staff entering an already established healthcare team should be supported and integrated, to encourage mutual role respect between all team members and establish positive working relationships, in order to maximise patient care. This paper explores the concept of conflict, the importance of addressing causes of conflict, effective management, and the relevance of positive approaches to conflict resolution. Good leadership, nurturing positive team dynamics and communication, encourages shared problem solving and acceptance of change. Furthermore mutual respect fosters a more positive working environment for those in healthcare teams. As conflict has direct implications for patients, positive resolution is essential, to promote safe and effective delivery of care, whilst encouraging therapeutic relationships between colleagues and managers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-5
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number02
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2017


  • Conflict
  • Patient Care Team
  • Work performance
  • Leadership
  • Nursing
  • Morale


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