conflict management, Turkey, Turkish hospitals



  1. Tengilimoglu, Dilaver PhD
  2. Kisa, Adnan PhD


By nature, hospitals are extremely complex organizations, combining many different professional groups within an intricate administrative structure. Conflicts therefore expectedly arise between individuals, groups, and departments. It is in the interest of health care administrators to periodically assess the major factors giving rise to these conflicts. In this study, a questionnaire designed to measure sources of conflict in the workplace was completed by 204 staff members at Gazi University Hospital. Of the participants, 30.9% were physicians, and 12.5% were administrators at various levels; 61.5% were female, and 38.5% were male. In terms of work experience, 52.6% of participants had worked less than 5 years at the hospital. The results of the study show that educational differences among the hospital staff were a major barrier to good communication and information flow between groups. Professionals in the same specialties experienced fewer conflicts. Another source of conflict was that resource allocation was considered unfair across departments. Although the hospital management provided an ombudsman for staff concerns, staff rarely resorted to the ombudsman because of the stigma associated with complaining. A lack of opportunity for career advancement was mentioned by 52% of the participants as a source of conflict. At present, job performance and rewards are not closely related in public university hospitals in Turkey because promotions and pay raises are strictly limited by law. Bureaucracy was also perceived to be a source of conflict, with 48.4% of participants saying that their performance was less than optimal because of the presence of multiple supervisors. This pilot study suggests that in Turkey, legislative reform is needed to give public university hospitals more flexibility regarding work incentives, open-door policies at the administrative level, and social interactions to improve teamwork among hospital staff.