Curing Conflict in the Health Care Industry - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 54, No. 2
Tia Schneider Denenberg
Richard V. Denenberg
Tia Schneider Denenberg is a mediator and arbitrator and Richard V. Denenberg is an author. They are the co-directors of Workplace Solutions, a nonprofit violence prevention project based in upstate New York. A book based on the project’s work, The Violence-Prone Workplace: A New Approach to Dealing With Hostile, Threatening and Uncivil Behavior, written by Richard Denenberg and Mark Braverman, will soon be published by Cornell University Press.
The growing pattern of violence in the American workplace has had a far greater effect on the general working environment than is apparent from the immediate outcome of a single senseless act. It has contributed to what Tia and Richard Denenberg call a “debilitating pathology” that “leaves the workforce vulnerable to aggression and plagued by poor morale.” The solution, they say, may be a multidisciplinary approach to dispute resolution with mediation as its centerpiece.
Hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes are dedicated to caring for the sick and enfeebled, but many health care facilities suffer from a debilitating pathology of their own—a climate of conflict that leaves the workforce vulnerable to aggression and plagued by poor morale. One such institution is Senior City, a nursing home in an urban setting.1 But unlike most of the others, Senior City has chosen to confront its problems directly, using a dispute resolution approach to dispel the negative climate, improve safety, and enhance productivity.