Conflict Resolution in General Hospitals

Conflict that is occurring at General Hospital

In most of the organizations, there are conflicts due to the distinct personalities among the employees and the employers. Conflict is either beneficial or disastrous in an organization depending on the issue. Therefore the conflicting parties ought to resolve it in time so as to enable the organization move on with its activities successfully. Just like any other organization, the General Hospital has its share of conflicts. Therefore, this paper explores the conflict resolution in the hospital.

The general hospital was established in 1968, but for the first years, the number of patients has declined to 65%. The management is trying to come up with ways of improve the hospital’s efficiency. The hospital efficiency has gone down due to the cost issues. Though the hospital’s chief executive officer, Hammer, focused on the staff as the main factor, they demonstrated little interest in costs as determinants of the hospital’s productivity (Dana, 2001).

In his attempts to control the doctors-driven costs, Hammer did not succeed; hence he resolved into employing a new chief operating officer, Mrs. Marge Herding.  The hiring of Harding was to cut the costs in the hospital and thus they are working together with the doctors to achieve this objective. Nonetheless, the new operating officer has a biased objective about the doctors’ part in the hospital. This is because she aims at becoming the Chief Executive officer of the general hospital in five years time.

Consequently, Harding’s first strategy was to introduce a computerized interpretation of EKG reading. This plan would save the hospital $100,000 of the physicians’ wages within the next three years and give almost instant results. Signing a year’s contract, she hired new doctors without researching on the issue. Consequently, Harding fired a cardiologist that was in charge of the reading and interpretation and left for her vacation (Hauss, 2010).

Nevertheless, shortly after the departure of Harding, the new EKG reading and interpretation in the hospitals the 25% of the reports indicate that the device is inaccurate. This anomaly is likely to cause the hospital many liabilities, an issue that Harding overlooked.  Therefore, the conflict resulted from Harding’s and Hammer’s decision to keep the device, while the staff disagreed as it demanded the return of the cardiologist who was fired without their consent.

Conflict management styles that are evident in the case

For every business’ success, there is need to select appropriate management styles. Every business or organizational manger should choose conflict management styles that will enable them settle disputes in the workplace amicably (Hauss, 2010). At General Hospital, Hammer applied the collaboration style as a way of managing conflict. In this strategy, hammer involved all the physicians in making decisions by meeting them and listening to their opinions on the issues at hand. This style allowed the staff to air their grievances, and then the management would look for solutions to the issues. The solutions provided had to be favorable for both parties and best for the organization (Fattorusso & Quinn, 2004).

After some time, Hammer changed the strategy into a coercive style in the management of conflict. As the manager, he would listen to the doctors’ grievances, but makes his decisions without consulting them. The strategy was inappropriate as it did not care for the physicians and hence always left them unhappy. This is because the manager made decisions that pleased him at the expense of the staff and the hospital at large. The style also made the employees feel lowly regarded in the organizations because their views were not considered (Dana, 2001).

In the process of firing Mr. Boyer, the Cardiologist and EKG reader, the physicians felt hat Harding had used the avoiding approach. This means that she ignored the conflict in the hospital. Therefore, ignoring the issue at hand meant that Hammer could not eliminate it from the organization. Therefore, the hospitals reduced because of the poor conflict management styles as the staff felt that the management did not have their best interests at heart.

How General Hospital could have used teams to address the cost reductions needed to stay competitive

In order to realize success in any organization, it is important to focus on team work and collaboration. Effective teamwork is possible when the members have a common goal for the organization and have clearly defined and understood roles. At General Hospital, Hammer could have used teams to achieve it objectives by encouraging team members to exchange information, work together, encourage each other and have positive opinions and expectations among each other.

Hammer should have also used the teams to empower one another by giving good credit on their workmates that had demonstrated good performance. Team members could be used to stimulate and encourage each other in order to achieve the best results. Moreover, teams can used to boost morale and safeguard their members’ reputation in the organization (Dana, 2001). Lastly, teams are instrumental in handing different views and facilitate conflict resolutions.

How Hammer can use negotiation skills to get buy-in for the cost reductions

Hammer can apply conflict negotiation skills to manage conflict in the hospital, especially under circumstances that both parties do not agree on a certain issue. In this situation, Hammer should use the win-win strategy so as to make the conflicting parties feel like they have won. Using strategies such as tricks, hardball and gamesmanship is inappropriate as both parties are not considered. Therefore, Hammer should use openness and honesty in his attempt to reduce conflict in the hospital. Negotiation involves considering both parties and settling on a mutual compromise that offers them their needs (Hauss, 2010).

Recommend a strategy for Hammer to resolve the problem

On contrast with Harding’s strategy of the “good cop-bad cop”, Hammer should use another strategy in order to resolve conflicts in the hospital. He should involve all the members of staff any decision making process so that he can get their views, suggestions and interest (Fattorusso & Quinn, 2004). All these are high indispensable for an organization that wants to achieve its set objectives. The use of personal interest in settling organization matters is detrimental to its performance, just like what Harding did. Therefore, Hammer should employ a democratic strategy in his leadership because it involves all the employees in decision making process.

Hammer should also ensure that adequate research is done before implementing any plan in the organization. For instance, the EKG reader and interpreter should not have been fired without finding out on the effectiveness of the new device. This way the hospital would have experienced the errors and conflicts that arose from the implementation. Additionally, it is explicit that the party that suggested the use of that alternative was not knowledgeable in that it could have checked on its efficiency. To avoid the recurrence of such an incidence, Hammer should then employ the most competent personnel to handle the hospital’s operations.

Furthermore, Hammer should not ignore the doctors’ team as it is a very essential component in the organization. Instead, he should involve them in the situation and give them a clear explanation to the issues in the hospital. Authoritarianism in an organization is unsuitable because it creates a lot of tensions and conflicts that, in turn, affect the company operations (Hauss, 2010). Therefore, Hammer should apply teamwork and democracy in order to resolve the conflict at General hospital.