Saturday, February 29, 2020

Change and Conflict Management in Nursing

Change and Conflict Management in Nursing Jon Teegardin Change and Conflict Change and conflict occur in all aspects of our society. In nursing, it is important to identify and embrace change, address and resolve conflict, and do so in an effective and efficient manner. This paper will present descriptions of change theories, conflict theories, and how a nurse’s ability to handle both can enhance or hinder effective leadership. Additionally, the leader as a change agent will be discussed. Change Theories While there are numerous theories of change that exist, in the profession of nursing there are three main theories that are consistently seen throughout the healthcare industry. These theories are Lewins theory of change, Rogers change theory, and Spradley’s change theory. Lewins change theory Probably the most recognizable theory of change is that presented by Kurt Lewin. His theory involves three stages to change: unfreezing, moving, and refreezing (Stolley, 2005). Two forces are present in this theory, the driving force, or those pushing for a particular change, and the resistant force, those who are resistant to the change. For change to occur the driving force or agents for change, must be stronger than the resistant force. In the unfreezing stage, the driving force develops a method that allows people to let go of the current, unproductive way of doing something. By finding this method, individual resistance to the change is overcome. In the moving phase, individuals are encouraged to change their way of thinking, feeling, or behavior to the new method. Finally, in the refreezing stage, this change becomes the new habit and ultimately the standard operating procedure. Lewins theory is also referred to as the force field theory that states an organization attempts to maintain a state of equilibrium between change forces and restraining forces (Swanson, & Creed, 2014). Change agents are the forces for change and must overcome the restraining forces to make the change successful. Rogers change theory Everette Rogers’s theory is a modification of Lewin’s change theory and involves five stages. The stages are awareness, interest, evaluation, implementation and adoption (Boston University School of Health, 2013). Roger’s theory is typically applied to long term projects. In the awareness stage, individuals are exposed to the new idea or process but lack all of the information about it. In the interest stage, the individual is interested in the new idea and seeks out additional information. The next stage is the evaluation stage where the individual determines how to apply the idea or process to their situation and decides whether or not they want to try it. The implementation stage occurs when the individual decides to make full use of the idea or process. Finally, in the adoption stage, the individual decides to continue to use the new idea or process. Roger’s theory is an example of social cognitive theory. Change does not occur im mediately among all those presented with the change. There are actually five groups of people that implement the change over time. These groups are innovators who are leaders that embrace the change immediately, early adopters who are also leaders but will follow innovators, the early majority who are the bulk of the followers, the late majority who include skeptics of the change, and finally laggards who are resistant to change (Kaminski, 2011).

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