Arch Hellen Med, 35(1), January-February 2018, 81-89
Organizational factors and occupational expectations as the main causes of conflict
Ε. Lahana,1 Κ. Tsaras,1 Κ. Kalaitzidou,1 P. Galanis,2 D. Kaitelidou,2 P. Sarafis3
OBJECTIVE To explore the main causes and characteristics of conflict among nurses in public hospitals, and their suggestions for conflict management.
METHOD The study population consisted of 100 nurses and nursing assistants in a Greek public hospital in Thessaloniki. A specially designed, reliable questionnaire on conflict in hospitals was completed voluntarily by nursing professionals working in the medical and surgical wards. Statistical analysis, including Chi-square and t-testing, was performed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM SPSS), version 19, with statistical significance set at 0.05.
RESULTS The response rate was 70%, with the majority of the participants (79%) being female; 77% had a university education, 91% had no postgraduate studies and 63% had no training in conflict management. Regarding their working conditions, 69% considered that their work load was greater than that of other professionals and 73% that their wages were not in accordance with their work load. In addition, 58% reported that their job conditions were far from ideal, and that all of the above factors are important causes of conflict. Most of the participants reported unfair distribution of rewards across the various different professional groups and according to job performance (55% and 64%, respectively). The educational level and work experience appeared to be significant determinants of conflict. Suggestions of the participants as a good approach to conflict resolution included better distinction of roles and responsibilities (21%), followed by early detection of conflict sources (15%), institution of better communication (13%), and a fair approach by management to rewards and benefits (13%).
CONCLUSIONS Organizational factors and unmet work expectations of the nurses lead to work-related conflict in the hospital setting. Staff training in conflict management, along with organizational and managerial reform may lead to creative and productive resolution of work conflict among nurses working in hospitals.
Key words: Conflicts management, Expectations, Job satisfaction, Nursing staff.