Sample Paper on Interpersonal Team Conflicts

Interpersonal Team Conflicts


In every organization, the performance level of individual members is based on undisputed decisions, processes and proper application of developed execution plans. In most cases, individuals working as a team fall into conflicts which may be classified as either major or minor ones. Ideological indifferences, power assumption and entire control of the group, disproportional sharing of idea and favoritism in work place are some of the recorded instances that may cause a well-built team to fall out of control. However, the basic understanding of team conflicts revolves around conducting proper investigations and analysis of the work environment. Certain emerging issues as far as team compatibility is concerned retain aspects willingness to belong and inclusively work with other team members. Team conflicts are inevitable and on the positive side, they help strengthen individual performance level. However, conflicts may demoralize team members and thus resulting into lower performance contrary to the expectations of the organization.


The purpose of this study is to identify the various types of conflicts and their causes, identify the impact conflicts have as far as team progress is concerned and finally propose possible solutions as a mitigation or resolution processes. It becomes ideal that interpersonal team conflicts be resolved earlier enough to allow time for rebuilding the lost relationship within the work environment. For a greater output to be realized, team members must integrate and cohesively work as a unit driven by one objective. The general idea presented under conflict and therefore the strategic plan to create a strong base for resolution is the fact that the conflicting team members must accept the reasons for the existence of misunderstanding and be willing to take part in the resolution process with their minds focused on settling such disputes.


Interpersonal team conflict in nursing may be a conflict between nurses and clients or among nurses themselves. The conflicts between nurses and clients may arise due to poor administration of drugs, sluggishness in performance of duty or poor response to emergency issues. On the other hand conflict between nurses may result from conflicting ideas, time of operation or from complete negligence and work delegation. The parties involved in conflict are said to be interdependent since any work performed by one party completely affects the second individual.

Types of conflicts

Conflicts may be categorized based on cause and impact on team members and the entire nursing unit. The main types of conflicts noted in this case include destructive conflicts, constructive conflicts and disruptive conflicts. The destructive conflict has no benefit to any party involve and in most cases destroys the interpersonal relationships between team members. The constructive conflict results into value addition after the resolution process. The final goal is achieved under constructive conflict since interpersonal relationship between nursing units is improves. On the other hand, disruptive conflict results into slowness in performance within the entire system. In majority of cases, disruptive conflict is a managerial issues and causes a halt is regular operations of the organization.

Causes of conflicts

Personality differences, beliefs, values, age, race and gender: this is where an individual feels superior to the other conflicting party and is not ready to fall into discussion or work under combined efforts with other members he or she considers inferior. Personality differences are creations of personal beliefs and values driven by aspects of individualism within the work environment. Other aspects such as race and gender are only supplements and may at times result into job classifications, not on the basis of professionalism but with an intention to humiliate and cause harm. Is such a case, conflict arises when the alienated group feels their right to belong and work as team members infringed.

Disruption of working schedules and lack of enough resources: in most cases, employees have proven resistance to unplanned changes within the work environment. Disruption of working schedule unless done in a planned and organized way may result into conflict among team members since the activities will be colliding. Other than disruption of working schedules, resources that are shared among employees if not adequately supplied may result into conflict more especially where every individual feels that he or she is the right person to use the resource and particular time.

Misunderstanding among the team members: team members may fail to disagree in various stages of policy creation. People have different opinions as far as production is concerned and usually present different discussions. Significantly, team members may fail to agree on a proposed process that will lead to the final product. This may result into dispute within the working environment.

Effects of conflict on a nursing care

Effects of conflicts on a nursing care can either be generative of degenerative depending on the natures and intentions of the conflicting group. A generative effect will result into growth, expansion and improvement in service delivery. This will happen because the team members give a competitive approach to prove each other wrong. On the other hand, the effect becomes degenerative if the organization experiences lower performance levels, limited growth and constant wrangles between team members. In this case the client will not obtain the required level of treatment since the administration process either forcefully done or neglected. The entire system becomes disadvantaged and may at time collapse.

Possible solutions

Collaboration: under collaboration, the concept of dual agreement is revealed and every individual involved in the conflict jointly accepts the reasons for occurrence and tries to face the situation as a group. In this way, the parties in conflict tries to recognize various issues put across and aims at solving them in the best way possible. The collaboration process starts from proper identification and defining the problem at hand, analyzing current situations and circumstance involved in resolution process, obtaining temporary solutions, initiating proper analysis of the proposed solutions and developing a framework that has the best solution for the conflict. Therefore, the best way to solve a conflict entails proper collaboration within the conflicting team members with an objective of identifying the course of conflict, the deviation processes and the best settlement procedure

Competition: under competition, one party builds a unique character of recognizing his or her stand as the most applicable in the resolution process. One of the conflicting parties overrides the other party and tends to command the situation without caring to listen to the opinions as raised by his or her counterpart.  The inferior party in the conflict remains a participant throughout and fully takes up the final decision made by the superior party. Even though this is one of the solution processes, the method seems to be baseless and may not provide that mutual understanding after the conflict is solved.

Compromise: in this case, instances of group interest fulfillment overrides partial interests as the parties in conflict look for partial satisfaction of interests is overshadowed by the urge to create good relationship within the work environment. The parties under conflict sacrifice their personality and ego in exchange for group interests. The parties involved in conflict decide to engage in some actions that may not be appealing just to make up for each other and solve the conflict. In other words, one has to sacrifice for the sake of solving the stated conflict.

Avoidance: under the concept of avoidance, the conflicting parties seem to be less committed in ending the conflict, the parties avoids each other and may not be in a position to meet by any means under the pretense that by not meeting, the issue will fade and things will turn back to normal. Other than the two parties avoiding each other, one party may completely decide to refuse to participate in the resolution process. Such a process only seems important if the basis for meeting may not be fruitful. That is to say, the conflicting groups feel that their meeting may lead to more complicated issues. This method of solving a conflict may not be the most appropriate for a team. In such cases, the organization interest should override personal interest and compel the two conflicting members to meet face to face and solve their issues amicably.

Accommodation: from the perspectives of conflict solution, the conflicting parties must learn to accommodate their own feelings and relate to the interest of the other party. Accommodation in conflict solution is one of the best methods that are applicable for team mates that feel important as a unit than when divided. Under this concept, one of the parties involved in conflict overlooks his or her importance, stand and wellbeing with an aim of fulfilling the objectives of the proposed method of resolution.