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2019 International Association for Conflict Management Conference

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Giving Information Technology a Check Up: How HIT Shapes Conflict & Collaboration in Healthcare

Keywords: conflict, relational coordination, healthcare, information technology

Abstract: This study explores how information and communication technology (ICT)—specifically health information technology (HIT)—affects employee conflict and collaboration. Using survey data, I demonstrate that—despite no improvement within units—HIT increases relational coordination between units. However, I also link degree of HIT adoption to higher levels of conflict within units; between units; between employees and their supervisors; and between employees and patients. Utilizing the distinctions between task, relationship, status, and process conflict, I delineate the differential impacts of HIT on the relationships of these stakeholder groups. My results point to how organizations—increasingly using ICT and HIT—must address employee interactions in order to best leverage these technologies. Additionally, my findings contribute to our current limited knowledge of conflict antecedents, emphasize the need to address conflict and collaboration as co-occurring phenomena, and underscore the benefits of assessing them in ways that add nuance to the traditional climate measure approach.

Phoebe Strom, Cornell University

Ariel Avgar, Cornell University

Harry Katz, Cornell University


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