Conflict Resolution at General Hospital

Conflicts are bound to pop up whenever two or more humans are involved in any form of contact. Conflict arises when two or more people are engaged in a common task but driven by different interests. One of the common places where conflicts keep emerging is in the cooperate world. At the general Hospital is one of such conflicts that has emerged and therefore, it is necessary to take a conflict resolution procedure. In such a period of conflict, a conflict resolution ought to be called to settle the issue. It is important to note that in the process of conflict resolution, regardless of the conflict resolution method chosen, each party involved need to understand that it is bound to for go an amount of its interest in order to reach a resolution.

The Conflict

The General Hospital founded in 1968 has operated well through the years but some issues have risen recently. Hammer, the General Hospital CEO has had to take measures to settle the issues arising. It was alleged that the Hospital was operating at high costs. In efforts to curb and cover for the rising costs, the hospital increased its fees charged to customers. Upon the increase of customer fees, the hospital patient occupancy dropped drastically by at least 35%. Hammer, the company CEO tried his methods to solve the crisis which failed. Due to the mounting pressure of undesirable operation of the hospital, the Hospital CEO had to take yet another step I ensuring that the Hospitals does not loose its vision and reputation of existence. In this view, Hammer hired the services of a Chief Operations Officer (COO) Ms. Harding.

As it is expected, any newly hired officer especially in the executive of management brings radical change to prove of his or her competence as well as mark a new beginning. Ms. Harding was not in any way different. Upon her entry into the organization, she made instant changes in the hospital which only seem to have caused more of chaos. Ms. Harding and Hammer the CEO’s strategy at this level was to play the “good cop-bad cop” trick to coerce the physicians and make them feel the power of authority.

To begin with, Ms. Harding, the COO identified that physicians in the hospital were scooping a huge amount of salary which drove the hospital costs too high. In her initial steps to cut down on the physician’s salary docket, she computerized the EKG reading. She then fired the cardiologist who had been manually reading the EKG results. The cardiologist has been being paid highly and even taking flights to her holiday at the cost of the hospital. By this move, Ms. Harding projected that the company would save $100,000 annually.

However, the plan did not seem to work as within one week of operation of the machine, the machine as said to be reading at least 25% of all the EKG results given wrongly. The physicians have complained about this but their cries seem to be falling on deaf ears as Hammer and Harding have chosen to stick to the computerized EKG reader. For these reasons, the physicians working in the hospital have been filled with fury and indeed, there is a serious need for conflict resolution.

The Conflict Management Styles in the Case

In order to solve the existing conflict in this case, there are several conflict management styles that have been used (Piepenburg 2011). First of all, when hammer worked as the sole operations officer, he used the collaborating style to solve issues. In this method, the leader or authority in charge takes to meet the team he is working with to discuss on the issue at hand. The leader lets the team be involved in the decision making process. The collaborating style of conflict management is largely applicable where the team at hand has considerable experience within the workplace and therefore can be trusted to provide sound insight in addressing the issues at hand.

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A second style is seen when Hammers brings in Harding to help in solving the hospital’s operation issues. As mentioned earlier, the duo uses a “bad cop-good cop” trick to enforce their strategies. This is called the forcing style of conflict management. In this strategy, the team is forced by authority to follow the leadership’s opinion without necessarily consulting the team members. This strategy seemingly plays the “hard ruler” who only dictates what he or she feels is right and most suitable to settle a case. The strategy compromises the working relationship that exists between management and the workforce. Therefore, the steps taken by Hammer together with Ms. Harding did no better than just make the conflict in the hospital worse.

Third and last, is the avoiding style which Hammer and Harding have resolved to use after the physicians got furious about the firing of one of them as well as the unreliable use of the computerized EKG reader. Hammer and Harding have chosen to go silent on the grievances being raised by the workers. This is a failing style because it makes a leader appear uncaring and inhuman. The method alienates the workforce from management.

How General Hospital Can Use Teams to Address the Cost Reductions

A good way for Hammer to resolve the conflict in the general hospital is by using the team. By addressing the issues as a team, the management together with the workforce develops common goals and objectives. Each member of the team is then obliged with a responsibility to play their role in ensuring that the set objectives are attained (Mohan 2006). In the team spirit, information is communicated and each member is expected to be understanding of prevailing circumstances. In the team, members express positive expectations of others and credit is publicly given to exemplary performance from. In this way, each member of the team feels encouraged and motivated. In this view, team is a sure way to address the conflict in the General Hospital.

How Hammer Can Use Negotiation Skills

To bring the alleged conflict to resolution through teams, Hammer needs to take up negotiation. Since it appears that the conflict existing in General Hospital is driven by personal interests of the organization workers, it is necessary that a negotiation be initiated to ensure that a deal which provides a win-win situation for parties involved is reached. Since the hospital is a place where relationship between employees and management is expected to run for a long time, then the best strategy to use for negotiation is the honest and openness approach. Through this approach, each party is meant to come to an understanding leading to a mutual agreement to end the conflict (Johann 2008).

A Strategy to Resolve the Problem

The efforts that were initially taken by management to address the existing conflict failed. A better strategy would be to begin by reviewing all hospital expenses and costs and not just employee salaries. Second, the newly employed COO should put away personal interest to becoming CEO and purpose to serve to the benefit of the hospital as a whole. Third, there is need to review the services of the computerized EKG interpreter and consider technical advice in the credibility of the new technology. Moreover, the executive management should consider involving the employees in solving the issue, since avoiding them only alienates the team from management, an undesirable situation. By observing the recommendations of the paper, General Hospital under the leadership of Hammer and Harding will sure resolve the existing conflict in its operations.

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