Conflict Narratives from the Health Care Frontline: A Conceptual Model

Sara Kim, Elizabeth Buttrick, Isaac Bohannon, Ryan Fehr, Elise Frans, Sarah E. Shannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We examined health care conflicts through interviews with health care leaders, providers, and patients. Ninety-two medical providers, nurses, technologists, hospital leaders, and patients/families shared 156 conflict stories. We identified individual, interpersonal, and organizational factors contributing to interprofessional conflicts. Individual contributors included resource depletion (i.e., stress and fatigue), perceptions of others' seemingly selfish motives, and judgment toward colleagues' competence. Interpersonal conflicts involved prior unresolved conflicts, dehumanization, power differentials, or communication breakdown. Organizational factors included navigating within complex organizational structures and noncompliance with group norms. Conflicts resulted in negative consequences for patients (safety, satisfaction), providers (career, relationships, satisfaction, morale), and organizations (performance, staff turnover).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-277
Number of pages23
JournalConflict Resolution Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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