abuse, nursing home conflict, organizational conflict



  1. Nelson, H. Wayne PhD, FGSA
  2. Cox, Donna M. PhD


Interpersonal conflict, often spiraling to violence and abuse, is one of the most daunting challenges facing nursing home administrators and their departmental heads. Mounting evidence documents how they spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with angry families, adversarial ombudsmen, regulators, and other hostile parties as well as handling the aftermath of the ubiquitous conflict between the residents and their direct caregivers. All this is in addition to coping with the normal interdepartmental and line staff forms of conflict that typify any organization. This paper details the special dynamics that accelerate dysfunctional conflict in nursing homes and presents strategies, tactics, and style recommendations that will help nursing home leaders build more collaborative work cultures to minimize the effects of dysfunctional conflict.