Conflict with less distress: Promoting team effectiveness

By Valerie I. Sessa
Center for Creative Leadership

Jo Anne Bennett
Pace University

Carole Birdsall
Rutgers University


As nurses increasingly turn to teamwork as a viable option for accomplishing a myriad of duties and responsibilities, they are discovering that teamwork can also be a source of conflict. This article suggests that conflict is both inevitable and necessary within a team. A model is presented that aims not at reducing conflict but at making it more effective. The author traces the influence of preconflict conditions and perspective-taking on conflict and ultimately team effectiveness. Finally, to aid in applying the model to practice, two examples are presented, demonstrating both an ineffective and an effective use of conflict.


Sessa, V. I., Bennett, J. A., & Birdsall, C. (1993). Conflict with less distress: Promoting team effectiveness. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 18(1), 57–65.


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