An Assessment Of Conflict Management In An Organization

Project and Seminar Material for Human Resource Management (HRM)

An Assessment Of Conflict Management In An Organization


Abstract


This research work aimed at investigating the assessment of managing conflict in organization especially that of non-profit making organization. The objective of the study is to provide necessary strategies to manage conflict and to make appropriate recommendation, for effective conflict resolution, and to ensure development, productivity and societal growth. Our study shows that Conflict stems from incompatibility of goals and interest and if it continued it will destroy the Organization. Conflict affects the Organization in several ways such as decreased employee satisfaction, insubordination, decreased productivity, economic loss, fragmentation, and poor performance. 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 Hartland construction limited’s performance.

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.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Approval Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abstracts
  • Table of Contents

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the study
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Hypothesis of the study
  • 1.6 Significance of the study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitations of the Study
  • 1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organization of the study

Chapter Two:

Review Of Related Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual review
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Sample of Research
  • 3.3 Estimation Techniques
  • 3.4 Proposed Model of Study
  • 3.5 Data Analysis

Chapter Four:

Results And Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five:

Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the study

The study of conflict management as it is aimed in this work is to investigate how conflict can be managed among organization personnel in Hartland Construction Nigerian Limited, here in Auchi head office, and other zonal offices in the federation. Many organizations has faced different conflicts in the organization of both material and personnel, but the ability to manage these conflicts lead to the organizational effectiveness and improve efficiency, but when not properly handled, it results to loss of man hour, waste of resources and low productivity.

Basically, conflict is inevitable in organization. It can be negative or positive in an organization depending on the way it is handled asserted by Mr. Victor Umoru. There is no meaningful development that can take place in a state of rancor and prevailing issues in the world today in general and since it cannot be eliminated entirely and one must live with it, the best attitude on effective and efficient execution should be developed towards it. That suggest that the inevitable in the industrial setting should be recognized and developed and understanding of the ways of managing, minimizing as well as resolving it.

An organizations needs to create a peaceful environment where high degree of compromise and better understanding will be reached between the Administrators, union, employees in civil services where all this exist. There’s always a high degree of productivity and great commitment when provision of welfare services are made that in turn lead to organizational development.

Awan andAnjum (2015) argued that properly managed conflict promotes open communication, collaborative decision making, regular feedback, and timely resolution of conflict. Open communication and collaboration enhance the flow of new ideas and strengthen work relationship, which can have a positive effect on employee morale. Regular feedback and timely resolution of conflict has the potential of improving employee satisfaction and job performance.

Awan and Anjum (2015) argued that a negative work environment that does not promote conflict resolution can result in poor employee behavior and job performance. Unmanaged conflict promotes dysfunctional communication and poor behavior among staff. Poor behavior on the part of one employee has the power to affect overall employee morale, which results in lower productivity. According to Dana (2000), “conflict is not just an annoyance. It costs money and those costs can be calculated, in terms of wasted time, bad decision, lost employees.” In the health care industry, patients’ health and even their lives can be affected by unmanaged conflict.

Awan and Ibrahim (2015) contend that if the individuals do not have the communication or interpersonal skills to resolve their disputes, the conflict can grow and spread to others, eventually affecting their job performance, which, in turn, affects the job satisfaction of others, as well in addition to the staff not having the communication skills to address their disputes, their leaders often lack the necessary skills to be effective in conflict resolution. Once human resources personnel are involved, the process becomes punitive and results in disciplinary action, which contributes to an even greater reduction in employee morale and employee satisfaction.

Within any organization, there are usually different positions and jobs. People occupying thesepositions have different perceptions, goals, thought and concerns. It is difficult to conceptualize society or an organization without inherent differences and contradictions and these leads to conflict. In organization a serious problem can be conflicts that are very serious. This is the bad practice that will be impossible for the workers to at the same place for work.

It is the management major responsibility to device strategies in bringing down conflict as low as possible, which will enable the organization to still function to succeed (Robbins &Sanghi, 2006) against this background the study was being carried out on the negative effect of conflict.

Conflicts in Nigeria organizations are disastrous especially when it is negative, thereby creating unnecessary economic lost to both institutions (Society and the organization). This at times results to industrial action such as strike, lockout, street protest, seat tight, go slow etc which results to loss of production, loss of man hour, and waste of resources. This survey tends to deal on the conflict management in an organization to ensure organizational developmental efficiency with high productivity to the societal growth (Coser, 2006).


1.2 Statement of Problem

Without much doubt, one of the greatest problems in Nigeria today is that of handling dwindling performance of workers and the management of conflicts. The manufacturing firm like any other business concern is established, organized and operated primarily to produce goods and services and make profit. Conflict makes the organizations’ climate not to be conducive for both workers and management thereby generating low morale and performance.
In view of numerous pressures resulting from harsh economic conditions, industrial conflicts tend to be on the high side. This is because workers are always demanding for higher wages and better welfare in order to meet up with the increasing cost of living, and until this issue is addressed, there cannot be genuine conviction that all efforts put in place to resolve/manage conflict may achieve the desired objective.

Effective conflict resolution systems, even in very small organizations, create opportunities for conflicts to be identified and addressed early and constructively.

The researcher is well aware that there has been various studies on this topic but this study is being undertaken mainly due to the large concentration of industries in Edo state and also the entrepreneurial spirit of the people, constant conflict therefore reduces the performance and hence the economic activities of the state.

There are various causes of conflicts, in an organization as a result of people with divergent views coming together to work, these could be: unmet expectations, unreasonable or unclear policies, interdependent tasks, organizational complexity incompatible personalities, unclear job boundaries, limited resources, time pressure.


1.3 Objectives of Study

The main research objectives are given below:

  1. To ascertain how conflict will be managed effectively.
  2. To ascertain the major causes of conflict.
  3. To assess the effect of organizational conflict on performance of employees..
  4. To understand which leadership style is the most effective in addressing conflict.
  5. To make recommendations for solution of problem of problem in the light of the findings of this study.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How can conflict be managed effectively in the organization?
  2. What are the major causes of conflict?
  3. What are the effects of organizational conflict on performance of employees?
  4. Which leadership style is the most effective in addressing conflict?

1.5 Hypothesis of the study

Ho1: Conflict cannot be managed in an organization.

Ho2: There is no effect of organizational conflict on performance of employees.


1.6 Significance of the study

The significance of the study cannot be overemphasised; it is believed that the study will go a long way towards identifying and examining the immediate causes, effects and procedures for resolving conflicts in Nigeria, it is also significant because data so generated from the study is sufficient in expanding further field knowledge of this topic from many other dimensions. It is significant to the existing body of knowledge; the study also presents sufficient challenges for academics and practitioners to increase their research interest in their field of knowledge of this topic. The government and also policy makers will also benefit from this in that they will learn how to apply the best and most effective and adequate industrial relation strategies to manage/resolve whatever kind of crises may likely occur. There is also the need to undertake the study of industrial dispute because the researcher stands to benefit from the study, such benefit could be seen in her application of the immense knowledge gathered from this work to organizations and the larger society.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is operationally restricted to Hartland Construction Nigeria Limited. Which personal interviews and questionnaires where conducted and administered to both junior and senior staff of Hartland Construction Nigeria Limited, Auchi Edo State Head Office. And the response will be used to make generalization, conclusions and recommendation base on this work.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

Although business and other social sciences investigation strive to employ scientific tools and methods, even the very attempt is itself bedevilled by various kinds of problems; such problems limit the level of accuracy and reliability that the social scientist can achieve in any specific research endeavour.

A work of this nature will certainly have numerous set back and obstacles on its way, these include:

1. Time constraint:

A study of this type would normally require years to put together, the luxury of such time was not there for the researcher, this certainly was a major constraint.

2. Cost:

The financial involvement for a study like this was a challenging one.

3. Human Complexities:

Also since there were complexities inherent in human nature, there is a limit to approximating scientific methods towards eliciting accurate response from people.

4. Negative attitude of some corporate bodies:

Some Nigerian corporate bodies have not fully developed a culture of providing relevant information on their activities for research purpose. Officials that are to give relevant details and information have not been forthcoming because of their attitudinal disposition to research work. Also some of the questionnaires distributed were not properly filled while some were not filled at all.

5. Dearth of materials:

Though the topic is not a new one in the broad area of management, getting recent textbooks and other research materials like journals and periodicals that addressed the issue are extremely difficult, based on this, the researcher sought solace in internet research which also had its attendant problems.


1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

For the purpose of clarification and understanding of this study, some concepts require operational definition.

1. Conflict:

Conflict is a breakdown in the standard mechanism of decision making so that an individual or group experiences difficulty in selecting an alternative action.

2. Management:

It is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively.

3. Motivation:

Motivation is a general term applying to the entire class of drives, desires, needs, wishes and effort to satisfy a want or goal.

4. Mediation:

This is an amicable settlement of dispute under the chairmanship of a person mutually agreed upon by both management and worker’s representative.

5. Human Relation:

Is defined as the area of management practice that is concerned with the integration of people into work situation.

6. Trade Union:

This is an association of staff aimed at protecting and promoting the interest of workers.

7. Personality:

Personality is the stable psychological structure and processes that organize human experience and shape a person’s action and reaction to his environment.

8. Performance:

Is usually defined as a ratio of output produced per unit of resources. It can be looked at as how well resources have been used in producing a given level of output over a period of time.

9. Organization:

A group of people brought together for the purpose of achieving certain objective. An entity designed to achieve a common goal.

10. Organizational Performance:

The degree of how well or badly the organization achieved its set goal.

11. Leadership:

A process of guiding and directing people and influencing their behaviours positively for the benefit of the group to which they belong.

12. Conflict Management:

To regulate a conflict and to reduce its negative effects

13. Conflict Resolution:

To address the underlying issues of a conflict and to focus on the relationship and communication between parties

14. Conflict Transformation:

To overcome the root and structural causes of conflict and to strengthen conflict solving capacities in individuals, communities and society.

15. Dispute:

Short- term disagreement that are visible on the surface and relatively easy to resolve because they involve interests that are negotiable. Dispute often exist within a larger, longer and more deep-rooted conflict

16. Conflict Prevention:

To prevent a conflict from escalating violently or to take action before a violent outbreak of a conflict emerges.

17. Conflict Settlement:

The imposition of a settlement by a third party, for example through a judge or an arbitrator.


1.10 Organization of the study

The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Conclusions

From the findings the study concluded that the conflict management strategies are crucial for the attainment and achievement of organizational goals and objectives. In other words, if the management is not knowledgeable in conflict resolution strategies, it will affect the performance of organizations negatively but if conflict is constructively managed, it will enhance organizational performance.

From the data gathered an analyzed by the researcher and following the major research finding above, the researcher drew the following conclusions:

  1. That management strategies adopted in handling Conflict will not be affected by differences in Educational Qualification of the respondents
  2. That the causes of Conflict in an Organization will not have any difference whether it came from the male or female respondents.
  3. That Conflict has an adverse effect on Organizational Performance.
  4. That Poor Communication is a major cause of Conflict.
  5. That low Morale is amongst the most ranked in the effects of Conflict.
  6. That possible ways of handling Conflict situation in an Organization is by Constant dialogue.

5.2 Recommendations

Although conflicts have both negative and positive effects, the management and the employees should work towards achieving the positive effects rather than the negative. According to Adomi and Anie (2005), managers should develop appropriate strategies to resolve conflicts as they arise in their organizations.In the light of the research findings and conclusions above, the researcher hereby recommends the following suggestions:

  1. That Management must adopt Conflict Management strategies that will improve on the Performance of the Organization.
  2. That management should ensure a free flow of communication between the management and the employee.
  3. Management should encourage and promote interpersonal relationships among co-workers to improve on their morale
  4. There is need for constant dialogue between management and the employees to clarify issues and exchange ideas.
  5. Management should re-orient employees on the effect of conflict on organizational performance.
  6. Group interaction and activities should be followed up so as to ensure a degree of functionality compatible to conflicts. Positive conflicts will only be possible if particularities of the organization are analyzed.
  7. Efforts should be made by the management to organize seminars/workshops on organizational conflict management from time to time for the employees. This will enable employees learn about conflict and how it can be effectively managed for individual and organization effectiveness.
  8. Finally, good leadership on the part of management and employee representatives can be a strategy for preventing conflicts.

An Assessment Of Conflict Management In An Organization


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