Conflict management and job satisfaction in paediatric hospitals in Greece
Aim To assess the major causes of conflict and to identify choices of strategy in handling conflicts. Background Conflict is inherent to hospitals as in all complex organizations, and health personnel deal with internal and external conflicts daily. Methods The sample consisted of 286 participants. A five-part questionnaire, specific for conflicts in hospitals, was administered to health personnel. Results Of the participants 37% were physicians and 63% were nurses and nursing assistants. As far as choice of strategy in conflict management is concerned, avoidance was found to be the most frequent mode chosen while accommodation was the least frequent mode. Organizational problems were the main issue creating conflicts since 52% of nurses and 45% of physicians agreed that receiving direction from more than one manager may lead to conflicts (P = 0.02). Educational differences and communication gaps were reported as another cause of conflicts, with nurses supporting this statement more than the other groups (P = 0.006). Conclusion To become effective in conflict management nurses and physicians must understand causes and strategies in handling conflicts. Implications for nursing management Major changes are needed regarding human resource management, work incentives and dynamics of teamwork in order to improve working conditions in Greek public hospitals.