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|Title: ||Statistical analysis of conflict management styles of health service executives in greater China|
|Other Titles: ||Da Zhonghua qu yi wu xing zheng ren yuan zhi chong tu guan li fang fa|
|Authors: ||Lo, Wai Leung Colin ( 羅偉樑)|
|Department: ||Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management|
|Degree: ||Engineering Doctorate|
|Issue Date: ||2011|
|Publisher: ||City University of Hong Kong|
|Subjects: ||Conflict management -- China.|
Health services administrators -- China.
|Notes: ||CityU Call Number: HD42 .L6 2011|
xii, 207 leaves : ill. 30 cm.
Thesis (Eng.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2011.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 183-203)
|Abstract: ||Conflict has historically been viewed as undesirable and something to be avoided.
However, conflict is inevitable and a natural part of interacting with others. It
frequently occurs in workplace when people have different opinions about
procedures, expectations or values. Especially, in the life-threatening, highly stressful
and rapidly changing healthcare environment, poorly managed conflict can damage
relationship, demoralize staff, increase turnover, and alienate patients.
It is a common belief that because of a culture and value that has been greatly
influenced by Confucianism, Chinese generally show a passive way of handling
conflict. Previous studies on conflict management in Chinese society revealed that
Chinese culture promoted an indirect, avoiding style of handling conflict (Bond &
Wang, 1983; Tang & Kirkbride, 1986; Ting-Toomey, 1994; Jehn & Weldon, 1997).
During the last decade, conflict management has received more attention in China due
to a shift in attitudes toward conflict (Yu, 2002; Chen, Tjosvold, & Fang, 2005).
Chinese managers are said to be more open to facing and dealing with conflicts and
making use of them as part of the powerful management repertoire.
The diversity of staff perspectives and experiences create challenges in healthcare
facilities. Researchers claimed that conflict management is especially difficult for
health service executives to embrace, because many of them are highly adverse to
confrontation, limited emotional expressiveness, and significant communication
deficits (Sotie & Sotie, 1999; Andrew, 1999). They often make critical decisions with
incomplete or ambiguous information under severe time constraints. Competitive
rather than cooperative behaviours tend to be reinforced, causing severe stress and
emotional distancing from their co-workers and patients. On the other hand,
healthcare professionals are noted to be commonly using avoidance as a technique to
deal with conflicts (Andrew, 1999; Aschenbrener & Siders, 1999; Pinosky, 2003).
In the literature of conflict management, very few attempts have been made to study
its importance and tendency in Greater China, especially in healthcare section. The
project aims to determine which conflict management styles health service executives in the region preferred to use. Besides, it aims to provide some practical
recommendation and training for technical staff, in order to optimize their conflict
management skill. They should thus understand, be aware of and able to reduce or
resolve conflict more easily in workplace.
Five conflict management styles of this study were measured by items adopted from
the Rahim's Organizational Conflict Inventory-II. A newly designed questionnaire
with thirty five questions was prepared with respect to some possible conflictive
situations happened in healthcare facilities. Participants were requested to answer
accordingly to how they would usually act when dealing with particular type of
conflicts against certain parties. Hence, the variables chosen for this purpose were the
authority position of corresponding parties and sources of conflict. The former refers
to respondent's peer, subordinate, or service provider. Sources of conflict are refined
as totally seven items, namely, quality, performance, operation, technology,
communication, management and safety.
The study recruited a hundred and fifty executives from thirty healthcare institutions
located in Shanghai, Taipei and Hong Kong respectively. Random samples of five
executives were chosen at each institute which was equipped with our medical
equipment. Totally ten institutes were selected at each city by means of convenience
sampling. Based on these one hundred and fifty sets of the questionnaire collected, the
results indicated that Chinese have different perspectives on diverse conflict sources
and various corresponding parties.
Statistical analysis was employed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences
(SPSS 15.0 for Windows). Validity was checked by Exploratory Factor Analysis and
the results showed that the validity of all factors were acceptable. To check the
internal consistency reliability, Cronbach's alpha (α) coefficient for reliability was
computed. The alphas for all items were higher than .70, which indicated that the
reliability coefficients were acceptable with good internal consistency. Based on the
scores obtained from the questionnaires, assertiveness index and cooperativeness
index were calculated. The data analysis demonstrated that Hong Kong health service executives had the highest assertiveness index and lowest cooperativeness index,
which was opposed to the results of Shanghai participants. There is also significantly
difference between these indices among Shanghai participants and Hong Kong
participants, but no significantly difference among Taipei participants.
Preferred conflict management styles, regarding corresponding parties and sources of
conflict, were analyzed by One-way ANOVA and Tukey honestly significant
difference (HSD) test if the F-ratio of ANOVA was significant. The comparative
analysis in the study indicated that health service executives commonly prefer having
collaboration style for managing conflict, but not avoidance or compromising. The
results also showed that participants tend to use the same style when dealing with
different conflicting parties.
On the other hand, some sources of conflict had considerable influence and correlated
with specified conflict management styles. For instance, technology had significant
and positive relationships with avoidance, accommodation and compromising styles.
In Taipei and Hong Kong, health service executives with collaboration style or
forcing style were more assertive to handle issues related to safety, quality, and
technology. Therefore, the project successfully identified the major conflict sources
which may affect the relations between healthcare professionals and their service
The results were valuable for developing a conflict management training programme.
During the one-day training, some practical recommendations and application tools
were introduced, as well as open discussions, case studies and role-playing. Thus,
frontline technical staff should be rewarded for understanding of how customers are
likely to approach conflicts, and for preparing themselves well.
To evaluate the training effectiveness, a follow-up exercise was performed by
interviewing totally six participants individually about six months later. Certain
participants believed that they had behaviour changed upon completion of the
training, or felt more comfortable when facing workforce conflicts.|
|Online Catalog Link: ||http://lib.cityu.edu.hk/record=b4086936|
|Appears in Collections:||SEEM - Doctor of Engineering|
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