Effect of Employee-employer Conflict on Organizational Performance

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Conflict in an employment relationship has been an issue of continuing interest and debate. Over the years, dealing with conflicts in an organization has been viewed as the sole responsibility of managers, who frequently take a rigid stance on how to deal with them. Organizations that address conflicts in this manner have failed to recognize that conflict is natural in organizational life and has its own benefits, as well as costs.In many organizations in Nigeria today, internal (intrapersonal) and interpersonal conflicts are consuming so much organizational time and attention that organizations are starting to look as though conflict is their primary business. This development is largely due to the inability of leaders in Nigerian work organizations to view the management of conflict as systematically as they view information, human resources, and financial management systems. Instead, conflict is viewed and handled piecemeal and is considered as a local event. The inability to view and manage workplace conflicts systematically has therefore rendered conflicts dysfunctional in some organizations.

Conflict is described as the presence of discord that occurs when the goals, interests or values of different individuals or groups are incompatible and frustrate each other’s attempts to achieve objectives in an organization. It is a communication process and an inevitable consequence of transactional relationships, manifesting in disagreement and dissonance with and between individuals and groups in the work-environment. In this context, workplace conflict is a fact of life in any organization as long as people will compete for jobs, power, recognition and security (Adomie and Anie, 2005).

Therefore, the task of management is not to suppress or resolve all conflicts, but to manage them in order to enhance and not to detract from organizational performance. A constructively managed conflict induces positive performance, while a destructively managed conflict heats up the work environment to bring about dislocation and polarization of the entire group with a reduction in productivity and job performance (Akanji, 2005). This is suggestive that a well-managed conflict aims at the improvement of organizations for the purpose of stimulating performance in the work-situation. Through good conflict management strategies, weaknesses in organizational decision-making are exposed, which may prompt the establishment to effect changes and search for positive solutions. Hence, management is duty bound to resolve conflict properly for the sake of increasing organizational performance, because the outcome of such action will result in good communication, time management, good cooperation and increased corporate productivity.

1.2 Statement of the problem

As organizations strive to achieve their goals, they are often met with challenges they must overcome as a team. Challenges leave room for conflict between members, other organizations, communities and other parties involved in the organization’s mission. While “conflict” often has a negative connotation, the effects of conflict within an organization can be positive and negative. Conflict within an organization can cause members to become frustrated if they feel as if there’s no solution in sight, or if they feel that their opinions go unrecognized by other group members. As a result, members become stressed, which adversely affects their professional and personal lives. When an organization spends much of its time dealing with conflict, members take time away from focusing on the core goals they are tasked with achieving. Conflict causes members to focus less on the project at hand and more on gossiping about conflict or venting about frustrations. As a result, organizations can lose money, donors and access to essential resources.When conflict escalates without mediation, intense situations may arise between organization members. It’s unfortunate, but organizational conflicts may cause violence among members, resulting in legal problems for members and possibly the organization.Unresolved conflict in the organization generates many serious consequences involving high financial and human costs. Conflict may lead to frustration, tension, low morale, missing meeting deadlines, lack of self-confidence, low trust level, communication problems, absenteeism, and legal proceedings. Hence, the study seeks to examine the effect of employee-employer conflict on organizational performance.

1.3       Objective of the study

The main objective of this study it to examine the effect of employee-employer conflict on organizational performance. Specifically the study seeks:

  1. To examine the nature of conflict in organization
  2. To examine investigate the effect of organizational conflict on employee productivity
  3. To investigate the effect of employee-employer conflict on organizational performance

1.4       Research hypotheses

The research is guided by the following hypothesis:

HO1: There is no significance effect of organizational conflicts on employee performance

HO2The effect of employee-employer conflict on organizational performance

1.5       Significance of the study

The study’s findings will be useful to managers, employees, and business owners. managers, the study will enlighten them on the need to adopt the conflict management strategies studied, since they are found to be effective in managing conflicts in an organization. Employees believe the study will enable them to be on their best behavior while working for a company in order to reduce the occurrence of conflict.More so, this study will contribute to existing literature, serving as a reference material for both students and academia in related studies and creating opportunities for further studies in related fields.

1.6       Scope of the study

The scope of this study borders on the the effect of employee-employer conflict and its effect on organizational performance. The study is however limited to selected company in Abuja.

1.7       Limitation of the study

The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8       Definition of terms

Organizational Conflict: Organizational conflict, or workplace conflict, is a state of discord caused by the actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests between people working together.

Organizational performance: Organizational performance comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs. According to Richard et al. organizational performance encompasses three specific areas of firm outcomes: financial performance; product market performance; and shareholder return.

Employee-Employer conflict: An employer and employee will be in conflict when the compensation paid to the worker is not sufficient to meet what are considered basic needs.

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