Dealing with Conflict in Healthcare Settings


Management and organization of work in medical institutions are difficult since it is necessary to combine responsibilities and actions into functional units, determine the lines of communication, and develop coordination models. A rank hierarchy is an effective form of organizing the work in which relations are highly structured in terms of authority and responsibility. However, there are conflict situations in any group of people whose behavior depends on the distribution and knowledge of duties. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the conflict between a radiology manager and a radiology MRI supervisor and to express a personal opinion of the effectiveness of the applied approach.

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Essence and Ways to Avoid

The essence of the conflict is that the radiology manager wants to shorter the exams despite warnings by the MRI supervisor about possible quality deterioration. Even the radiology director’s request not to risk quality does not affect the radiology manager’s actions, and he is fired. The problem is that the manager has the authority to make decisions on changing the MRI machine protocols by himself, although he does not practice MRI exams. I consider the decision to fire the manager is correct, despite his recognition of the mistake. The healthcare sector is not an area in which one can make mistakes and sacrifice quality for the sake of profit.

To improve on the response, the described issue has to be discussed with the supervisor directly involved in the exams, and the radiology director to take into account all possible risks. The set of relations between subordinates and managers should be well established and clearly stated. The authority delegated to the radiology manager must be consistent with the assigned duties and the principle of parity (Liebler & McConnell, 2016). It means that responsibility should not be greater than these powers to fulfill one’s duties without provoking a conflict. Also, changes in the internal and external organizational environment must be monitored to adjust the structure if necessary.


To sum up, management and leadership in healthcare institutions have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the performed work. Solving conflict situations is crucial in providing patients with highly qualified medical care. There are numerous approaches to the organization of work and the interaction between members of staff to achieve mutual understanding. In this regard, it is important healthcare superiors and subordinates to respect and work together to resolve conflicts.


Liebler, G., & McConnell, C. R. (2016). Management principles for health professionals. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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