Assessment Of Principal Strategies In Managing Conflict In Selected Secondary Schools

Educational Management Project and Seminar Material

Assessment Of Principal Strategies In Managing Conflict In Selected Secondary Schools


Abstarct


This study was carried out to examine the principal strategies in managing conflict in selected secondary schools in Etche Local Government Area, Rivers State. The study was specifically set to identify the factors responsible for conflict in secondary schools, ascertain the effects of conflicts which arises in public secondary schools, examine strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in secondary schools, and assess the effectiveness of the strategies used by principals in managing conflicts in secondary schools. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of principals and teachers in selected secondary school in Etche Local Government Area, Rivers State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 119 respondents while 110 were received and 100 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency table and mean scores, while the hypotheses was tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the factors responsible for conflict in secondary schools includes: violation of collective agreement, poor communication skills, background diversity, and condition of employment. Furthermore, the study showed that the strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in secondary schools includes: avoidance conflict management strategy, collaborative conflict management strategy, collective bargaining conflict management strategy, and compromise conflict management strategy. The study recommends that Principals and teachers should try to keep communication channels open between them. Where communication flows freely,it is easier to detect conflict before it erupts into unsafe proportions. Furthermore, open communication is one way to safeguard trust and clarify misperceptions, even during conflicts. However, both principals and teachers need to develop schools as communities and strive for a climate of team spirit with students. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

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

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Education system in Nigeria runs a continuum from primary to tertiary and in between can be found the secondary level of education. It can therefore be seen as the bridge interconnecting primary education and tertiary education. It also has the function of producing artisans who desire to improve their lot through technical knowledge and vocational skills that could be acquired from comprehensive high schools and technical colleges. The public secondary schools under study like other schools in the same category in Nigeria are established to carry out these specialized tasks and in order to achieve these objectives of establishment there are offices for different positions, such as principals, bursars, subject teachers, typists, librarians etc and these offices are filled by qualified and competent personnel. Each occupant of these positions is expected to perform a set of specialized functions and such stable patterns of individual behaviors are called roles, which is a part that one plays within a system.

Staff conflict as expressed by various organizations is not an empirical phenomenon; rather it can be seen as an engine of change and a product of change. The occurrence of conflict in educational institutions especially in public secondary schools is largely attributable to the way such schools are structured and the behavior of the individuals within these structures as they relate with one another and the community around them. Conflict management as a phenomenon is an integral part of the administration of any given organization. The school as an organization consists of people with different background with regard to their competences, needs, values, skills, aspirations and psychological make-ups. Thus no organization can successfully accomplish its set objectives without having to deal with organizational conflicts as Ejiogu (1990) posited that conflicts are bound to occur from time to time in all human interactions and organizational behaviors. Conflict therefore is an inevitable part of school life; since we agree to the fact that where there are people, there is bound to be conflict. Though some of these conflicts are healthy and if viewed positively can be change drivers, some can be detrimental to the achievement of school goals. Corwin (1996) stated that unhealthy conflict if it raises its head repeatedly, pose the potential risk of causing negative business consequences. Since conflict is an organizational behavior we therefore cannot dispute the fact that there is a positive relationship between Organizational behavior and organizational output. Since conflict is a change driver, individuals that generate conflict can as well generate change thus Dip Paola and Hoy (2001, pp. 238-244) in their study found that militant personnel were not only conflict-oriented but also engines of change.

In line with the above, Secondary school heads need to take conflict management as a very important aspect of school administration because conflicts and attempts at conflict management is very vital in shaping organizational behavior towards achievement of set objectives. Therefore since conflict is an integral aspect of all organizational behavioral system due to the diversities inherent in men and women who work in these organizations as well as the structure of these organizations and being one of the most frequently reoccurring issues in many institutions and organizations, education managers and school heads need to give more attention to the principles or strategies of managing these conflicts. Corwin (1996) argues that there is the need to analyze conflicts in public schools in order to increase our capacity to understand the teaching profession and the challenges it faces. Therefore, conflict management in the school system is an issue that every school administrator and employees within the school system have to deal with at one time or the other. The basics of conflict management include teamwork, communication and a systematic approach to solving the disagreement. Van Slyck and Stem (1991) believed that competence in conflict resolution skills can lead to increased social and academic achievement in the short run and a more harmonious world in the long run.

Interpersonal conflict is an inevitable consequence of human interaction. Schools are not immune to this and it can have deleterious impacts on the environment and on school success (Sompa, 2015; Kalagbor and Nnokam, 2015). Of all the conflicts that might exist in a school, those between principals and teachers can be the most debilitating. Interpersonal conflict between principals and teachers, can severely damage school climate, erode a good school culture, and eventually affect student achievement. Effective management of interpersonal conflict is important to ensure that the limited time and scarce resources available to schools are not absorbed in resolving destructive interpersonal conflicts. In most secondary schools, much of the principal’s time is spent addressing interpersonal conflicts among principals and staff. Most conflicts in schools are addressed by using traditional grievance procedures, which rather than removing the conditions that caused the conflict, without compromise, leaves one party feeling shafted. This procedure can severely affect the interpersonal relationships in schools.

To devise appropriate strategies for effective management of school conflict to enhance school effectiveness. But the developing an effective strategy for conflict management in secondary schools require the involvement of corporate level of management, which stipulates strategies to cope with any hazardous situation when happens in the education enterprise working in harmony and unity and with some measurable similarities in patterns of conflict management strategy that means all stakeholders in the education industry should have common purpose and focus on strategies for conflict management in the school (Leithwood & Hallinger 2002). Depicted that there is an increase of productivity and school effectiveness in institutions whereby there is countable organizational conflict among board members, heads, teachers and students.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria today, there exist basically a national system of education. Despite this, schools are diverse in their organizational structure with attendant emerging conflicts arising therefrom. To enhance goal achievement, school officials (Principal and teachers) operate on formal organizational structures which enable them in the performance of their institutional daily activities. In spite of these operational guidelines, school officials are observed to engage on diversified approaches on general school administration which invariably breeds conflicts. Nevertheless, the impact of these diversities in the management of these schools leads to certain conflicts arising within the administration as a result of nomothetic dimension which stresses institutional roles, rules, regulations and procedures for getting things done to achieve institutional goals; and the ideographic dimension, which stresses social interaction of individual’s need. Therefore, conflicts create serious administrative problems particularly in the school system, and need to be addressed, with a view to resolving them as they arises


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study is to assess the principal strategies in managing conflict in secondary schools, specifically the study intends to:

  1. Identify the factors responsible for conflict in secondary schools.
  2. Ascertain the effects of conflicts which arises in public secondary schools.
  3. Examine strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in secondary schools
  4. Assess the effectiveness of the strategies used by principals in managing conflicts in secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the factors responsible for conflict in secondary schools?
  2. What are the effects of conflicts which arises in public secondary schools.
  3. What are strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in secondary schools?
  4. What is the effectiveness of the strategies used by principals in managing conflicts in secondary schools?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: The strategies used by principals in managing conflicts are not effective
  • Ha: The strategies used by principals in managing conflicts are effective.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will be significant in that the findings may be useful to education researchers, educational planners and other scholars of educational administration as it will hopefully increase their awareness of the values of conflict as well as conflict management methods which are constructive and benefit the school. The findings will principals and other education stakeholders to adopt measures to minimize conflicts. The results of the study will help policy makers and educational planners to make adequate adjustments that enhance performance in management and administration of secondary schools. The study also contributes knowledge on existing literature related to conflicts in school contexts. Lastly, the study will lay foundations for further studies in the field of education management.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on the principal strategies in managing conflict in selected secondary schools.however the study will be delimited to principals and teachers of some selected secondary schools in Etche Local Government Area, Rivers State.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

The researcher encountered minor obstacles when conducting the study, as with any human endeavor. The significant constraint was the scarcity of literature on the subject due to the nature of the discourse, so the researcher incurred more financial expenses and spent more time sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information and in the data collection process, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Furthermore, the researcher did this investigation alongside other academic activities. Furthermore, the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to answer the research instrument, therefore the results cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the state. Despite the constraints encountered during the research, all elements were minimized in order to provide the best results and make the research effective.


1.9 Definition of Terms

School Principals:

School principals are the school heads in charge of the secondary schools administration.

Classroom Teachers:

These are persons who are employed and in this instance, to teach in secondary schools.

Conflicts:

This refers to a state of crisis or disagreement between principals and teachers in schools.

Conflicts Management Strategies:

Techniques that principal will adopt in solving problems or management styles that would be employed in resolving crises in schools.


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on principal strategies in managing conflict in selected secondary schools in Etche Local Government Area, Rivers State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the principal strategies in managing conflict in selected secondary schools in Etche Local Government Area, Rivers State. The study was specifically set to identify the factors responsible for conflict in secondary schools, ascertain the effects of conflicts which arises in public secondary schools, examine strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in secondary schools, and assess the effectiveness of the strategies used by principals in managing conflicts in secondary schools.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 100 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are principals and teachers in selected secondary school in Etche Local Government Area, Rivers State.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. The factors responsible for conflict in secondary schools includes: violation of collective agreement, poor communication skills, background diversity, and condition of employment.
  2. The effects of conflicts which arises in secondary schools includes: it reduces the effectiveness and efficiency of staffs, it reduces the level of staff commitment, it reduces staff moral, and it affects the standard of educational output in secondary schools.
  3. The strategies employed by principals in managing school conflicts in secondary schools includes: avoidance conflict management strategy, collaborative conflict management strategy, collective bargaining conflict management strategy, and compromise conflict management strategy.
  4. The strategies used by principals in managing conflicts in secondary schools is very effective.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings the researcher recommends that;

  1. Principals and teachers should try to keep communication channels open between them. Where communication flows freely,it is easier to detect conflict before it erupts into unsafe proportions. Furthermore, open communication is one way to safeguard trust and clarify misperceptions, even during conflicts. However, both principals and teachers need to develop schools as communities and strive for a climate of team spirit with students.
  2. As part of staff development, principals and teachers should develop a wider range of methods for solving problems which give rise to conflicts. Methods such as consensus, interest based bargaining, negotiation and integrative decision making are critical examples.
  3. Prompt payment of salaries, training and retraining of principals and teachers, regular seminars, conferences and workshops should be organized for principals, teachers and staff on modern strategies in conflicts management.
  4. Participatory approach, collective bargaining and democratic style of leadership should be engaged regularly in order to create peace and tranquility in the secondary schools.
  5. There should be free flow of information, because, it is the live wire of any organization and once it is poorly delivered or hoarded there will be problem. Free access to information brings uniformity, awareness and quick delivery of services.

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