Describe the types of conflict and provide examples of each in a health care environment. For each of the types of conflict, provide a type of negotiation that can be utilized effectively for resolution. Explain why you feel that each is the best type of negotiation in relation to the given conflict. Provide supporting references for your response. PLEASE INCLUDE IN-TEXT CITATION AND REFERENCE

Types of Conflict and Negotiation Strategies in a Healthcare Environment


Conflict is an inherent part of human interactions, and healthcare environments are no exception. In healthcare settings, conflicts can arise between healthcare professionals, patients and their families, or different departments within an organization. These conflicts can adversely affect patient care and the overall functioning of the healthcare system. Therefore, it is essential to understand the different types of conflict and identify appropriate negotiation strategies to resolve them effectively. This paper aims to discuss the types of conflict commonly found in healthcare environments and provide examples of each, along with the corresponding negotiation strategy that can be utilized for resolution.

Types of Conflict

1. Interpersonal Conflict:
Interpersonal conflict occurs when there is a disagreement or clash of interests between two or more individuals. In healthcare settings, examples of interpersonal conflict can include conflicts between healthcare professionals, such as nurses and physicians, or conflicts between patients and healthcare providers. These conflicts can arise due to differences in opinion, power dynamics, or conflicting goals.

2. Intrapersonal Conflict:
Intrapersonal conflict refers to the internal struggle an individual experiences when faced with conflicting desires, values, or needs. In a healthcare environment, intrapersonal conflict can occur when healthcare professionals face ethical dilemmas or personal conflicts between their professional duties and personal beliefs.

3. Intergroup Conflict:
Intergroup conflict occurs between different groups or departments within a healthcare organization. It can arise due to differences in goals, resources, or communication breakdowns. Examples of intergroup conflict include conflicts between nursing and administration or conflicts between different clinical departments, such as the emergency department and the radiology department.

4. Intrainstitutional Conflict:
Intrainstitutional conflict refers to conflicts that occur within the larger institutional framework of healthcare organizations. It can involve conflicts between departments, teams, or even between management and employees. Intrainstitutional conflicts can arise due to power struggles, organizational changes, or competing priorities.

Negotiation Strategies for Conflict Resolution

1. Collaborative Negotiation:
In collaborative negotiation, all parties involved work together to find a mutually acceptable solution. This type of negotiation strategy encourages open communication, active listening, and a focus on win-win outcomes. Collaborative negotiation is particularly useful in resolving interpersonal conflicts in healthcare settings. For example, if there is a conflict between a nurse and a physician regarding patient care, collaborative negotiation can help in finding a solution that considers the expertise and perspectives of both parties. Open dialogue and joint problem-solving can lead to improved patient outcomes and enhanced professional relationships.

2. Integrative Negotiation:
Integrative negotiation is a strategy where parties involved in the conflict seek creative solutions that meet the needs and interests of all parties. This type of negotiation is particularly effective in resolving intergroup conflicts in healthcare environments. For instance, if there is a conflict between the nursing department and the administration regarding resource allocation, integrative negotiation can help in finding a solution that optimizes resource utilization while considering the needs of all parties involved. By focusing on common goals and exploring innovative options, integrative negotiation can promote collaboration and improve intergroup relationships.

3. Mediation:
Mediation involves the intervention of a neutral third party to facilitate the resolution of conflicts. This third party, known as a mediator, assists in communication, helps identify common ground, and guides the parties towards mutually agreed-upon solutions. Mediation is useful in situations where there is a high level of emotional tension or when the conflicting parties are unable to reach a resolution on their own. In healthcare settings, mediation can be effective in resolving conflicts between patients or their families and healthcare providers. For example, if there is a disagreement concerning treatment options, a mediator can help facilitate a constructive dialogue and support the parties in reaching a shared decision that aligns with the patient’s best interests.

4. Arbitration:
Arbitration involves the submission of a conflict to a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator, who reviews the evidence and makes a binding decision. This negotiation strategy is particularly useful when there is a deadlock in conflicts that cannot be resolved through collaborative or integrative negotiations. In healthcare environments, arbitration can be used to resolve conflicts between healthcare professionals or conflicts involving patient safety concerns. By providing a final decision, arbitration can help in achieving closure and ensuring a fair resolution.


Conflict is an inevitable part of healthcare environments, and its effective resolution is essential for the well-being of patients and the functioning of the healthcare system. Understanding the different types of conflict and employing appropriate negotiation strategies can help promote collaboration, improve relationships, and lead to constructive resolutions. Collaborative negotiation, integrative negotiation, mediation, and arbitration are negotiation strategies that can be utilized effectively in healthcare settings, depending on the nature of the conflict. By choosing the most appropriate negotiation strategy, healthcare professionals can foster a culture of communication, respect, and collaboration, resulting in improved patient care outcomes and a harmonious work environment.


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