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Internal conflict in the workplace

02 September 2022
9 mins read
Volume 13 · Issue 7


Conflict in a veterinary practice is generally perceived as between animal owner and veterinary staff, however this is limited research on the internal conflict within practice. This article provides a high level overview of the different styles of conflict and also what strategies may be available in order to improve the working relationship from an employer and employee perspective.

In the healthcare industry, conflict is likely to be inevitable because of the nature of the work under-taken and the scope of the working environment. In the veterinary profession, veterinary staff and animal owners generally have the same goal and outcomes around animal health and welfare, however there is often the likelihood for a difference of opinion of how to achieve these outcomes, which adds to the complexity and nature of conflict.

Although there appears to be significant research around the conflict between the relationship of veterinarians and animal owners, there is minimal research around the conflict that occurs internally between the veterinary practice staff and/or with their employers. It is also common in veterinary practice where the head veterinarian or ‘employer’ title is interchangeable. This can make conflict in the veterinary profession more complicated because of the natural power imbalance that this affords and the inability to be the neutral party resolving conflicts, specifically if they are at the source of it.

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