Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Dustin D. Berna

Second Advisor

Urszula Strawinska-Zanko

Third Advisor

Neil Katz


Conflict resolution, Dual agency, Hospitals, Interprofessional conflict, Medical imaging professionals, Professional dissonance


Workplace interprofessional conflict in hospitals presented serious concerns regardingpatient care delivery and hospital efficiency at the systemic level. Literature evaluating conflict in hospitals inconsistently defined interprofessional conflict and oversampled nurses and physicians in research studies. An unknown systemic factor was likely influencing interprofessional conflict between healthcare professionals. Complex systems theory, the theory of professions, and social conflict theories were utilized to organize the literature review and guide research design targeting allied health professionals and their lived experiences with interprofessional conflict. Medical imaging professionals were selected as a purposeful sample within the larger population of allied health. Interpretive phenomenology was used as the research method exploring the lived experiences of ten medical imaging professionals through semi-structured interviews. Interprofessional conflict was present in the sample and emerged in four experiential themes: Territoriality, professional abuse, systemic disruptions, and demoralization. The meaning underlying these themes was a phenomenon called dual agency, also referred to as professional dissonance, indicating conflicting values between medical imaging professionals and their employers. Conflicting values between medical imaging professionals and the hospital system undermined the system’s purpose and potentially influenced patient care delivery.