The play is in a hospital setting that is about a patient (Martha), the hospital manager (Bob), and the two new nurses (Candies and Taj). The two nurses are oriented in their first day at work and then they are assigned to a patient. Martha, as portrayed by her character, is grumpy from the moment the two nurses walk into her room. She is rude to them both, but Candies seem to let the grumpiness bother. However, Taj appears to be affected by how the patient treats her and complains to the manager, Bob who does not seem to be listening to her, so she just goes on with her work.
Nurse Candies is reassigned to another patient, thus, leaving Nurse Taj alone to take care of Martha. She is determined to make her situation work, but when she offers Martha help to shower, Martha dismisses her and calls her little fool, which demotivates Nurse Taj more. The nurse gives up and goes outside the room where she meets Nurse Candies and tries to explain the situation. At that moment, the manager overhears the conversation and calls Nurse Taj in his office where he asks her what the problem could be.
At that point, Nurse Taj explains her situation and expresses what she feels about how the patient is treating her. She believes that the patient is treating her differently because she is from a different culture. She also attributes the lack of attention by the manager to the same. However, the manager explains to her that she should not feel that since she was employed as a nurse and that she is good at her work. In addition, the manager tells her that the hospital needs someone like her. All this makes Nurse Taj’s frustrations go away, and she is ready to work again.
Effects of the Conflict
Clashes in any organization have both positive and adverse effects, which affects both individuals involved in the conflict and the organization itself. In the scenario of Nurse Taj’s case, the conflict had its effects. A list of the effects and examples from the case explaining each situation has been included below (Akinbobola, 2011).
Individually the conflict has effects on the person involved and causes job stress to them. Job stress is the feeling of anxiety caused by various stimuli in a workplace. The stimulus may include the feeling of not being appreciated or wanted in the job. For example, in this situation, Nurse Taj felt that the patient does not want her to assist. The case made Taj feel helpless and not in control of the situation, which led to her withdrawal and gave up on the patient. It could have had diverse effects because she was on the verge of giving up her job. However, the manager showed her that she was an important part of the team.
Conflicts can make an individual have negative emotions. The negative emotions are the feelings and the unpleasant emotions, which result to a person expressing them negatively about a situation. The expressions may range from anger, regret, sadness, jealousy, envy, and shame among others. Nurse Taj reveals the feeling of anger and frustration when she is called into the manager’s office. She would express a sense of helplessness when she says she is tired and that she cannot take it anymore.
Negative views of others can be another effect of conflict (Mind Tools, 2016). A conflict if left unresolved may cause an individual to develop negative views, for example towards a superior. Taj explains herself to the manager that due to him not paying attention to her complaints, she resolved to thinking that the hospital is up to no good, and they just want her life in the institution miserable. She views her situation as difficult, and nobody in the hospital has the capability to understand her.
Team-wise, conflict can result in avoidance (Mind Tools, 2016). Avoidance is when someone does not solve a conflict, thus, making him or her to avoid the situation and the people involved in the conflict. Taj had complained previously to the manager, but the manager had chosen to avoid the whole situation of helping Taj cope with it, which led to undesirable situations like frustration that Nurse Taj experienced.
Hostility is another effect of conflict, which is a situation where someone is not accommodating. Martha in the play is not hospitable at all especially to Nurse Taj. She throws her out of the room and even calls her little fool yet Nurse Taj was only doing her work. The hostility in the situation is the cause of the whole conflict.
To the organization, the
disagreement resulted in the reduction of the productivity (Mind Tools, 2016).
For the reduced productivity, the conflict caused various people to stop their
designated jobs to come and resolve the dispute. Candies had to stop by and
check what the problem was with Taj while Bob had to come and resolve the
conflict (Avgar, 2010). The time used of this would have been spent on other
productive things in the hospital.
However, the conflict had positive effects in some way, through the conflict resolution process; the nurse (Taj) was able to know that the hospital values her and she is a part of the team. She was also able to learn that her work was being recognized, which would act as a boost for her she would want to continue to work here where she is valued. Therefore, conflicts can be used as a platform to correct or appreciate work done by the team players in an organization. It also provides a chance for the team to know where it is at fault since people express what they feel in a situation like this when they are angry.
A conflict might instill innovation and creativity in an employee or anyone in the team (Adams, 2016). Through the conflict, nurse Taj was able to create a way of dealing with her problem with Martha. It is evident in that she did not insist on changing assignment, she decided to go back to her work which was to go back to her patient.
Conflicts also instill confidence in people. For the case of nurse Taj, after the conflict, she was able to go back to her work because she had the confidence that the hospital entrusts her with the work.
Conflict Resolution Process
In resolving this dispute, collaboration approach was used. Collaboration method is when the parties involved agree to work together to solve the issue. The manager called Taj in his office where they talk about the issue that brought the conflict. After finding out the problem, they worked through. The manager explained to Taj why they had decided to put him to care for Martha, and she has to understand. In his explanation, the manager tells Taj the reason why they entrusted her in charge of Martha is that they knew she was capable of the job. Taj after listening to the manager realizes that she had been taking the whole situation wrong and she immediately apologized and she left to continue with her work (Cross, 2016).
Compromise approach was also used, which involves both parties in a conflict having to settle for lower than what they expected to be the outcome of the resolution. For them to get what they want, they have to give up something. However, in this situation, Nurse Taj was the only one to compromise since the conflict involved the patient and her. She was the nurse and had to be patient and create understanding with the patient. Taj accepted to do so, which meant that she was ready to stomach whatever Martha was going to say to her. As a result, it implies that Taj compromised just to please other people and stomach her wishes (Cross, 2016).
The approaches used in this conflict were the most appropriate because the conflict involved an employee who needed reassurance that she was valued. The problems caused by the conflict and how the conflict was handled before the resolution, determined the approach. Reason being, if the employee’s problems were heard when she complained first, the problems could not have escalated to the point of the employee giving up. Therefore, it was only appropriate to use an approach that was used to come to an agreeable resolution.
The use of compromise was acceptable, in that, the employee had to put herself in the patient's shoes and try to understand the situation that is making the patient grumpy. Again, the employee had to reflect on the role that she is supposed to play in the case, therefore, compromising her feeling to be able to perform her tasks as required.
In conclusion, from the conflict and turn of events, it would be appropriate to handle a situation as it arises. Avoidance can lead to an escalation of events and, which might be hard to resolve a conflict that would have been resolved when it was still a small issue. As seen in the conflict, the manager would have handled the problem when the nurse first complained. It would have saved the organization’s time and could have prevented the problems associated with conflicts (avoidance, negative emotions, and reduced productivity among others) (Mind Tools, 2016).
The application of contemporary theory instead of the traditional theory would have been the most appropriate in this case of nurse Taj. This would have avoided the escalation of problems as they did. Contemporary theory suggests that conflicts are good and are helpful because they bring to light the problems underlying in an organization. Traditional theory on the other hand suggests that conflicts are bad and should be avoided by all means. In the case of Taj, the manager would have been avoiding the confrontation because he probably believes in traditional theory where trouble makers are avoided by all means ("Session 5. Conflict management", 2016).
Keeping the problem within the team is a good way of controlling the issue from getting out of hand and becoming damaging. When there is a conflict, it is better to handle it within the people involved. When it comes to resolving, few people are involved, and it will prevent harsh confrontations from the opposing side. It is easy to manage an issue when it involves a few individuals that are demonstrated by some conflicts. An example is when a group of people takes to streets their complaints; the authorities ask to speak to the leaders because it would be easier to reason when it is a small group of individuals (Mind Tools, 2016).
Practicing clear communication and active listening is critical in any organization. In any organization, there is always going to be conflicts (Rhinehart Neas, 2014). Leaders or Supervisors need to be keen in listening to the complaints, communicate effectively to prevent escalation of the conflict, which may be damaging to the reputation of the organization if not carefully handled (Fishwick, 2014).
Encouraging different point of view is also important. Using this helps the employees air their ideas, complaints, and compliments. The results of the openness in the organization are that it helps in communication and resolution of issues if there are any (Mind Tools, 2016).
Akinbobola, O. (2011). Conflict in Human Capital Relationships: the Impact of Job Satisfaction
on Job Involvement in a Workplace. International Journal Of Social Science And
Humanity, 1(2): 92-95. DOI: 10.7763/ijssh.2011.v1.16
Avgar, A. (2010). Negotiated capital: conflict, its resolution, and workplace social capital. Int Jnl
of Conflict Management, 21(3): 236-259. DOI: 10.1108/10444061011063162
Cross, V. (2016). Five Approaches to Conflict Resolution. Retrieved 25 June 2016, from
Fishwick, A. (2014). Book review: Workplace Conflict: Mobilization and Solidarity in
Argentina, by Maurizio Atzeni. Capital & Class, 38(3): 639-641. DOI:
Mind Tools. (2016). Resolving Team Conflict: Building Stronger Teams by Facing Your
Differences. Retrieved 25 June 2016, from
Rhinehart Neas, L. M. (2014). What is Cultural Indifference? Middle School Lesson Plan. Bright
Hub Education. Retrieved 25 June 2016, from
Adams, D. (2016). Positive & Negative Consequences of Conflict in Organizations.
Smallbusiness.chron.com. Retrieved 27 June 2016, from
PERSONAL AND TEAM EFFECTIVENESS 9
Session 5. Conflict management. (2016). Fao.org. Retrieved 27 June 2016, from
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