Conflict Handling Styles
For each of the five scenarios described below, determine what is the most appropriate conflict handling style. See Attachment on conflict handling styles.
A radiologist on the staff of a large community hospital was stopped after a staff meeting by a colleague in internal medicine. On Monday of the previous week, the internist referred an elderly man with chronic, productive cough for chest X-ray, with a clinical diagnosis of bronchitis. Thursday morning the internist received the radiologist’s written X-ray report with a diagnosis of “probable bronchogenic carcinoma.” The internist expressed his dismay that the radiologist had not called him much earlier with a verbal report. Visibly upset, the internist raised his voice but did not use abusive language.
How should the radiologist handle this conflict with the internist?
The family and community medicine division of a large staff model HMO serves a population that is ethnically diverse. The senior management team of the HMO, spurred by repeated complaints from representatives of one racial group, has encouraged the division, all of whose physicians are white, to diversify. Several black and hispanic physicians with strong credentials apply for the open positions but none are hired Weeks later, a young woman family physician learns from several colleagues that the division director has identified her as racist and the obstructionist to recruiting. The comments attributed to her are not only false but are typical of discriminatory statements that she has heard the division chief utter The rumors about her “behavior” have circulated widely in the division.
How should the young female family physician handle this conflict with the division chief.
A manager who reports to the Vice President for Clinical Affairs (VPCA) of a tertiary care hospital hired a young woman to supervise development of a large community outreach program. During the first four months of her employment, several behavioral problems come to the VPCA’s attention: (1) complaints from community physicians that the coordinator criticizes other physicians in public; (2) concerns from two community leaders that the coordinator is not truthful; and (3) written reports about the project that label and blame others, sometimes in language that is disrespectful. The VPCA spoke several times to the manager about these problems. The manager reported other dissatisfactions with the coordinator’s performance, but he shows no sign of dealing with the behavior. Two more complaints come in, one from an influential community leader.
How should the VPCA handle this conflict with the manager?
The medical school in an academic health center recently implemented a problem-based curriculum, dramatically reducing the number of lectures given and substituting small group learning that focuses on actual patient cases. Both clinical and basic science faculty are feeling stretched in their new roles. In the past, dental students took the basic course in microanatomy with medical students. The core lectures are still given but at different times that do not match with the dental curriculum schedule. The anatomists insist that they don’t have time to teach another course specifically for dental students. The dean has informed the chair of the department of anatomy and cell biology that some educational revenues will be redirected to the dental school if the faculty do not meet this need.
How should the dean handle this conflict with the chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology?
The partners in a group practice are in formed by the clinic manager that one member of the group has been repeatedly upcoding procedures for a specific diagnosis. This issue first came to light six months ago. At that time the partners met with him, clarified the Medicare guidelines and outlined the threat to the practice for non-compliance. He argued with their view but ultimately agreed to code appropriately. There were no infractions for several months but now he has submitted several erroneous codes. One member of the office staff has asked whether Medicare would consider this behavior “fraudulent.”
How should the partners handle the situation with the other physician partner?