Intergroup Relations and Conflict Resolution

Intergroup Relations and Conflict Resolution

MGT 415: Group Behavior in Organizations

Intergroup Relations and Conflict Resolution

For one reason or another the hospital industry has forgotten its roots. One reason that healthcare professionals reasoned to obtain a role in their current field is the drive to improve the quality of life for all patients. Allow this doctrine to serve as a resolution for returning hospitality to the hospitable industry. Leadership in current healthcare setting will need to adapt to more modern leadership styles in order to foster a more inclusive and productive workplace.

According to a business dictionary, the healthcare industry is comprised of, “…providers of diagnostic, preventive, remedial, and therapeutic services such as doctors, nurses, hospitals and other private, public, and voluntary organizations. It also includes medical equipment and pharmaceutical manufacturers and health insurance firms.” ( This completely encompassing network of providers helps to create a complete solution for each patient. While the healthcare industry seems large and vast this paper will focus on the hospital niche of the industry.

Many things can inhibit group productivity. Role conflicts, Communication inconsistencies, Lack of cohesiveness within diverse groups, and excessive intergroup conflict are major factors to inhibiting team productivity and can easily be remedied with closer speculation. It is important to consider that a leader must always be adaptable and ready to overcome hesitation.

Many types of leadership theories exist to help explain and classify different approaches to leadership. Starting at the end of the 1970s, many ideas on leadership focused on the relational piece. How followers and leaders influence and interact with each other is detrimental to creating a foundation for the development of all parties involved. “Executive coaches have a responsibility to help leaders realize they need to give up some of their decision-making power to their followers.” (Darwish 2017) Another important personal quality that leaders need to possess is emotional intelligence. Behavior complexity may also be used in shifting paradigms between leader and servant leader. Servant leadership can be used in many different settings and all types of organizations. Holly Hall, a registered nurse with over 34 years of experience, describes in detail that no matter if you are in a board meeting or working bedside as a nurse servant leadership always has a place. Holly also list the common traits in servant leadership among her different job titles. Collaboration, empower others, and Leading with moral authority are a few of the characteristics she describes in her paper. (Hall 2017)

Role conflict occurs when, “…when there are contradictions between different roles that a person takes on or plays in their everyday life.” (Crossman 2019) To understandable role conflict better it is also imperative to understand what the role is. Sociologists define the term role as, “ a set of expected behaviors and obligations a person has based on his or her position in life and relative to others.” (Crossman 2019) Role conflict occurs in hospital settings when patient care services overlap, and a sense of redundancy is created. Role differentiation is crucial in mitigating role conflict within the workplace since it creates work habits that enable the team to succeed. Servant leadership also enables autocorrection of role conflict as Teamwork plays a heavy role in this style of leadership. Leaders can increase employee participation though employee suggestion programs, and participation groups. “Studies indicate that around 70 percent of the largest U.S. corporations have adopted some kind of employee participation program or shifted to a team design.” (Daft Ch.6-4) This style is similar to authoritarian in a sense, that the leader still determines the goals, make final decisions, and the rewards. Employees are encouraged to work together in a team setting and to make suggestions for overall improvements to the business.

Effective communication is a strong indicator that the team works well together. Well a team that exists with communication problems buys a deeper issue within lack of cohesiveness. Communicating the wrong message or communicating a message that is improper can lead to destructive communication. Destructive communication takes many forms in and out of the workplace. Many employees have experienced first hand how destructive communication can bring negative results to a team. While some friendly competition can be positive; bottling negative emotions, lashing out unexpectedly, engaging in personal insults rather than addressing the problem, can seriously affect the teams progress towards the goal. A textbook on Group Behavior within organizations states, “communication is a process by which we convey meaning and manage interrelations it is a major factor in shaping, mitigating, and resolving conflict.” (Coget & Losh, 2018 Ch. 3.4) Destructive communication occurs when, “… Uncooperative and aggressive attitudes in which members engage in communications and behavior that are counterproductive to cooperation, teamwork, and conflict resolution.” (Coget & Losh, 2018 Ch 3.4) Bottling negative emotions and lashing out unexpectedly is when a person does not communicate their feelings effectively and instead internalizes all of the anger and frustration until I breaking point is reached at which point any people express their anger and inappropriate and harmful ways including anger explosions and anger repression. Anger explosions occur when, “… people have very little control over their anger and tend to explode and rages. Raging anger may lead to physical abuse or violence.” ( Anger repression occurs when someone may consider that anger is an “…inappropriate or bad emotions and chooses to suppress it however, bottled anger often turns into depression and anxiety.” ( A person, especially a leader would need to be able to effectively manage anger in order to lead a group to success.

Lack of cohesiveness in groups with diverse members is a common issue among when you work places. a servant leader would first need to identify the hang-ups between members based on cultural normatives. All groups must have some degree of cohesiveness or they would fall apart. All groups are composed of, “members with individual qualities, interests, and needs.” (Coget Ch. 1.2) A servant leader can help increase cohesiveness by, “balancing group diversity and size helps members take advantage of the potential benefits offered by complementary diversity. (Coget Ch. 1.2) By redistributing the power this allows the followers to learn how to lead and govern themselves which creates development into leadership. The leader benefits from this style because he learns how to react in different situations, and gain experience in emotional intelligence. Servant leadership, “Represents a stage beyond stewardship, where leaders give up control and make a choice to serve employees.” (Daft 2018 Ch.6-4) Servant leadership is a drastic change from the typical model, where the leader sits atop the pyramid giving orders and delegating down to the followers. Servant leadership provides the best opportunity for everyone in an organization to grow and develop.

Intergroup relations between two or more groups and their respective members is often necessary to complete the work required for each patient in a hospital. Groups can interrelate many times to accomplish organizational goals and objectives, and conflict can occur. “Some conflict, called functional conflict, is considered positive, because it enhances performance and identifies weaknesses. Dysfunctional conflict, however, is confrontation or interaction between groups that harms the organization or hinders attainment of goals or objectives.”( intergroup conflict has many suggested solutions, although all may not apply since each instance is situational. The numerous suggestions for intergroup conflict include, “…simple avoidance where possible, problem solving, changing certain variables in the workplace, and in-house alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs.” ( While collaborative processes such as servant leadership that are intended to address and manage intergroup conflict should focus on building trust, bring a collaborative attitude to the table, address cultural differences and imbalances, build accountability and organizational commitment, and promote good communication skills.

Based on the knowledge I have gained from this class in group dynamics, when considering a mass training. I think it would be important to recognize the weakness that need to be addressed during the training. I think a culturally sensitive training for all employees would be relevant just in the workplace setting. This would help create more understanding from individuals whom belong to a norm category while creating conflict with more diverse employees.

In conclusion this paper discussed the hospital industry as a whole. Issues that face the current industry such as, Role conflicts, Communication inconsistencies, Lack of cohesiveness within diverse groups, and excessive intergroup conflict. I also discussed potential resolutions to each issue as well as an inflection on servant leadership. The paper was ended with my input on a Suggestion, based on your knowledge of group dynamics, for a company-wide training program on best practices for group productivity.


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