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Abstract

This study is focused on conflict management an impetus for effective performance in an organization. (Case study of UWAISE dispute resolution). We live in a society whereby different view, values and interest coexist; it is therefore expected that there will be differences between such individuals.  The objectives aimed to determine the relationship between conflict management strategies (negotiation, joint consultation, collective bargaining and alternative dispute resolution) and organizational performance. The study reviewed relevant theoretical and empirical literatures. A formal questionnaire was constructed and survey method was used to collect data from a target group of respondents. Descriptive analytical techniques such as frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation & variance and factor analysis were applied to analyze and interpret the data. Ratio Analysis is used to analyze UWAISE dispute resolution. The major findings are that Education does not have any effect on the opinion of respondents on Conflict Management Strategies. Similarly, there is no significant difference between the opinion of male and female respondents regarding the causes of conflict. However, there is a significant effect of conflict on organizational performance. We suggest that Management must adopt Conflict Management strategies that improve the Performance of the Organization, besides ensuring a free flow of communication between the management and the employee as well as promote interpersonal relationships among co-workers to boost their morale. The study revealed that all the conflict management strategies studied namely negotiation, collective bargaining, joint consultation and alternative dispute resolution were found to have significant positive relationship with organizational performance. The study concludes that conflict management has significant positive relationship with organizational performance. The study recommends that managers should adopt the conflict management strategies above since they are found to be effective in managing conflicts in organization.

Key Words: Conflict management, Negotiation, joint consultation, alternative and dispute resolution, Conflict, conflict management, conflict management strategies, organizational performance

 

Chapter One

Introduction

 

  • Background of the Study

Increasing uncertainty and complexity in the operating environment of organizations provide fertile ground for the onset of conflict in the workplace. Workplaces are breeding grounds for conflict, including those arising out of harassment, discrimination and personality clashes (between employees, employees and their managers, particularly recently assigned managers). Conflict among workers in an organization is inevitable. If it is managed properly, it will bring catalyst for change and can have a positive impact on employee satisfaction and performance of the organization. Conversely, unmanaged conflict negatively impacts both employee satisfaction and job performance. When organizational leaders ignore workplace conflict, they send a message that unsatisfactory job performance and inappropriate behavior are acceptable (Abdul and Sehar, 2015). Conflict is a part of organizational life and may occur between individuals, between the individual and the group, and between groups (Weihrich, 1992). While conflict is generally 2 perceived as dysfunctional, it can also be beneficial because it may cause an issue to be presented in different perspectives. Conflict has both positive and negative effects (Rusell and Jerome cited in Hotepo, Asokere, Abdul-Azeez1 and Ajemunigbohun, 2010). It can be positive when it encourages creativity, new looks at old conditions, the clarification of points of view, and the development of human capabilities to handle interpersonal differences. Conflict can be negative when it creates resistance to change, establishes turmoil in organization or interpersonal relations, fosters distrust, builds a feeling of defeat, or widens the chasm of misunderstanding. Conflict is described as the presence of discord that occurs when goals, interests or values of different individuals or groups are incompatible and frustrate each others‘ attempt to achieve objectives in an organization (Kazimoto, 2013). It is a communication process and an inevitable consequence of transactional relationship 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 a positive performance, while destructively managed conflict heats up the work environment to bring about dislocation and polarization of the entire group with 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 the organizational decision-making are exposed which may prompt the establishment to effect changes and search for positive solutions. Hence, management are 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 increase corporate productivity (Obasan, 2011). Empirical research findings have provided insights into causative factors of workplace conflict. Hotepo, Asokere, Abdul – Azeez and Ajemunigbohun (2010) found lack of resources, different expectation, competition, lack of cooperation, interdependence and communication problems as factors that have caused conflicts in the Nigerian service industry. Relatedly, in the banking sector in Nigeria, Obasan (2011) identified unacceptable terms of employment, poor human relations between management and workers, non – consultation with employees before making key decisions affecting them, anti-union posture of management and lack of effective mechanism for prevention of conflict as multiple causal factors of workplace conflict. A Philippian study also conducted in the banking industry by Tsevendorj (2008) rated communication failure, perception, values and culture problems as moderately serious sources of conflict. Thus, most organizational conflicts have economic and goal incompatibility orientations in the workplace. In many organizations in Nigeria today especially brewery companies, 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 (Ojielo, 2002). 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 3 financial management systems. Instead, conflict is viewed and handled in piecemeal and is considered as local events. The inability to view and manage workplace conflicts systematically has therefore rendered conflict dysfunctional in some organizations. This is evidenced by the high frequency of strike action, unhealthy rivalry between and among sub-units and individuals within an organization, sabotage at workplace, slow work, labour turnover, absenteeism, lack of productivity, general inefficiency, high rate of industrial accident, low morale, withholding of vital knowledge and a host of others that are being perpetrated by workers in workplaces (Ojielo, 2002). This study therefore, will examine conflict management and organizational performance in Nigerian Breweries using evidence from selected breweries in South-East zone of Nigeria.

  • Statement of the Problem

Conflict in an employment relationship has been an issue of continuing interest and debate. Dealing with conflicts in organisations has over the years been seen as the sole responsibility of the managers who often times took a rigid stand on how to deal with it; organisations that address conflicts in this manner failed to recognize that conflict is natural in organisational life and has its own both benefits and costs (Ebe and Osibanjo, 2014). 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 (Ojielo, 2002). 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 in piecemeal and is considered as local events. The inability to view and manage workplace conflicts systematically has therefore rendered conflict dysfunctional in some organizations. 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 (Buss, 2009). Mismanaged conflict affects productivity (Cram and MacWilliams, 2009). Mishandled conflict affects employees health and wellbeing, which in turn results in absenteeism. It is a habitual pattern of absence from duty or obligation (Jung, 2003). Mismanaged and unresolved conflict causes stress, reduces confidence levels, makes employees anxious, and frustrated. All these lead to lesser job satisfaction, humiliation, embarrassment, and stressed; these induce psychological and physical diseases. Escalated conflict leads parties to shun contact, end communication, withheld information or provide wrong information (Cram and McWilliams, 2009) Empirically, conflicting findings abound on the relationship between conflict management and organizational performance. Olukayode (2015) empirical tests showed a significant positive relationship between conflict management strategies (collective bargaining, compromise, and accommodation) and organizational performance. Abdul and Sehar (2015) and Mba (2013) studies found that conflict management has a significant effect on organizational performance. Whereas, Muhammad & Maria (2013) found that conflict management has a negative effect on organizational performance. Hotepo, Asokere, Abdul-Azeez1 and Ajemunigbohun (2010) found that conflicts have both negative and positive effects on organization.

This conflicting findings 4 show that the relationship between conflict management and organizational performance have not been resolved, hence this study is hypothesized to solve this problem.

  • Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine conflict management an impetus for effective performance in an organization; Case study of UWAISE dispute resolution.

The main research objectives are given below:

  1. To determine the extent of relationship between negotiation and organizational performance.
  2. To ascertain how conflict will be managed effectively.
  3. To determine the extent of relationship between collective bargaining and organizational performance.
  4. To ascertain the major causes of conflict.

1.4  Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to provide direction to this research work.

  1. Is there any significant relationship between negotiation and organizational performance?
  2. How significant is the relationship between collective bargaining and organizational performance?
  • Research Gap and Rationale of the Study

We have found the research gap that there is little study has been conducted in Nigeria and those studies that has been conducted in the dispute resolution sector in Nigeria was limited to the few variables and now I have conducted study on “conflict management an impetus for effective performance in an organization; Case study of UWAISE dispute resolution.”  The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between performance of the firms and effective conflict management The research objectives of study are to ascertain how conflict will be managed effectively; to ascertain the major causes of conflict; to access the effect of organizational conflict on performance; to understand which leadership style is the most effective in addressing conflict and finally to make recommendations for the stated problem based on the finding’s from the study. Unfortunately, there appears to be a gap in the research identifying which leadership styles or skills are more effective in dealing with conflict between individuals before the dispute escalates to more extreme behavior requiring disciplinary action.

  • Distinction of the Study

We have used the variables which is divided into three section, firstly causes of conflicts in which factors characterizing poor communication/miscommunication, poor organizational structure, poor performance, repetitive negative behavior, strong negative misperceptions, perceived breach of faith & trust between individual, personality clashes/ego problem, differences in value, goal differences, unresolved disagreement that was escalated to an emotional level, issues of wages and salaries, unfavorable government policies, lack of cordial relationship between labor and management. Secondly effects of conflicts which including communication breakdown, low morale, low quality, low productivity, lack of direction, lack of new ideas, competitive among conflicting parties, insubordination and fragmentation, And finally last section is conflicts management techniques which characterizing improvement in communication, constant dialogue, accommodating, compromising, avoidance, solving the problems, re-orientation and dominating by force on other party respectively. We have applied descriptive and factor analysis to conclude the results that there is a significant effect of Conflict on organizational performance. We intend to find out the extent to which the impact of conflicts on organizational performance. The research findings will be useful for service sectors to improve their performances by adopting the techniques of conflicts resolution. The findings from this study will inspire mangers in various organizations to develop best strategies on how to resolve conflicts in their organizations: specifically managers should be in the position to understand the causes of organization conflicts in their sphere of management and then develop appropriate strategies to resolve conflicts at the infancy stage. Earlier studies have used few variables to enumerate organizational performance.  On the other hand, I improved the number of variables to judge and resolve the conflicts and that possible ways of handling conflict situation in an organization is by constant dialogue whereas no organization can adopt one strategy under different situations. Strategy should be changed according to the demands of the situation and time.

 

  • Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses guided this study.

Hypotheses 1: There is no significant positive relationship between negotiation and organizational performance.

Hypotheses 2: Collective Bargaining has no significant positive relationship with organizational performance.

Finally, this study will provide researchers especially student research theoretical and empirical foundation for further research on the area relating to conflict management and organizational performance.

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