Communication And Work Place Conflict Resolutions In Ado-Odo Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material Under Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution

Communication And Work Place Conflict Resolutions In Ado-Odo Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria


Abstract


Effective communication is a crucial element in our lives and it is the basis for the organizational objective achievement. Moreover, as it is known quality of communication has a direct impact on the quality of relationship. This is why effective communication is crucial. The general objective of this study is to assess the role of effective communication in conflict resolution process in Ado-Odo local government area. Both primary and secondary data were obtained and used from top manager and the non- managerial employees of local government area by interview and questionnaire methods of data collection. The secondary data was collected by reviewing records, journals and brochures of the local government area. The study has used stratified sampling technique that is a good way to give equal chance for all departmental employees who had different responses. To analyze the findings of the study and the collected data qualitative analysis method was used. Based on the findings of the study, work over load, communication gap to resolve conflict, less attention given by management for discussion, less response of management for employees’ grievances, less contribution of communication on conflict resolution process, and difference in attitude towards communication were the major problems that affect communication not to achieve its goal (conflict resolution).

Finally, the student researcher recommended that management should understand the source of conflict, stimulate functional conflict, and prevent dysfunctional conflict, giving attention for discussion by management, sufficient response of management for employees’ grievance, using effective communication to resolve conflict and encouraging employees’ positive attitude of communication to resolve conflict can be solutions to resolve the above-mentioned problems.


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 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms
  • 1.9 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 Interpretation of Result

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

Communication is an indispensable tool in interaction among people. It is a means by which relationship is created and fostered among people. Everybody has a way of communicating with people in his workplace. Adequate information is a necessity to profer solution to wrong impression of the people in a workplace and also to prevent conflict. If communication is lost in a work place, it may result in conflict. Therefore communication is required in a workplace to give solution to problems.

Communication is the channel or exchange of information by speaking, writing or using other mediums and it is also the act of conveying meanings from one place or group to another through the use of mutual understanding, signs, symbols and semiotic rules.

M.T Myers and G.E. Myers (2015) refers to communication as a special kind of patterning: a patterning which is expressed in symbolic form. For communication to take place between or among people, two requirements must be met (i) a symbolic system must be shared by the people involved (we need to speak the same language or jargon or dialect) and (ii) the association between the symbols and their referents must be shaped.

Communication is a tool in the resolution of conflicts especially in official workplaces to resolve conflict in a work place. It has been observed that poor communication results in misunderstanding and eventually brings about conflicts. Communication must therefore be clear and precise to avoid conflict.

For an organization or a work place to be stable and reliable, there must be effective communication flow between staff and management. Poor communication in a work place can generate uncertainty and indecision team will not work as a team, instead, they turn into a group of people working under the same roof. Team member must communicate well, and each role must be clear or specified.

Conflict can also be seen as the result of competing desires, or the presence of obstacles that need to be overcome. Problems can be reduced by paying attention to how well you send and receive messages. Both managers and workers are responsible for the outcome of communication in an organization. It can be resolved in a work place through mutual understanding and communication. Conflict resolution can be viewed way by which one, tow or more parties reach a peaceful resolution to a dispute. There can be varieties of conflict in a workplace. Conflict may occur between a service provider and their client or customers between co- workers, subordinate and supervisors.

Conflict may occur in different ways in different organization and could be resolved by using different approaches. Ado-Odo Local Government area in Ogun State is one of the local governments in Ogun State which execute the duties, functions and responsibilities of local government as directed by the 1999 Nigerian constitution.

The Local Government should be sound and honest to earn the people’s confidence, support and respect. There cannot be good local government activities without public awareness.

Local government is a structure which provides for goods and services needed by the people and also brings development and good governance to the local level. Despite the attribute, development has not satisfy public expectations at the grass root level in Ado-Odo Local government area due to lack of accountability, transparency and good communication strategy in the administration of the local government to the public.

Iyeh (2014) stated that traditional institutions are still an integral part of every organized society. Apart from caring for the lowest level of the people’s survival, traditional institutions are custodians of cultural norms and values.

These norms and values have helped in sanitizing various societies. They also form the basis upon which traditional rulers exercise their act of governance, power, authority and influence on their subjects.

The Traditional institutions which include the Oba, chiefs, counselors and among others are valuable support system to the local government because they could influence their subjects at the grass roots positively or negatively to either support a sitting government or rebel against it. In order to have a continous beneficial relationship with the people of Ado-Odo and to be able to communicate any developments with them, it will be necessary to prevent conflict in the local government and allow adequate communication flow and co-operations.
Ado-Odo Ota Local Government requires effective communication to solve conflict issues

Conflict means different thing to different people. It is the presence of hostility or absence of peace. It could also mean disagreement over an issue. Peace and conflict cannot occur at the same time. Conflict in Ado-Odo Local Government is inevitable, but how can it be resolved amicably to prevent it from escalating to crisis. Efforts are being geared towards containing conflicting problems by the administrations of the Local government. These efforts have not yielded the desired results, hence conflicting situations has continually been lingered.

Ado-Odo Local Government is an administrative structure designed to bring government closer to the people. This enable a two way communication to brings about dividends of governance and development. There are arguments since the local government have not lived up to expectation of the public. In spite of the enormous achievements of the state government, the local government and chieftaincy domains operate in the midst of poverty, diseases, lack of good access roads, electricity, pipe-borne water, lack of good health care centre and other infrastructural facilities leading to high rate of rural to urban migration.

Communication as a tool is used for creating awareness, public relations, communication and not conflict resolution and relationship activities in the local government area.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

As long as people in organization work together, conflict is inevitable or unavoidable. This means as people work together the incompatibility of goals, attitudes, emotions or behaviors lead to disagreement or opposition between them. Conflicts occur because people do not agree on goals, issues, perceptions and people inevitably compete for the scare resources (Many Cullinan; 1996: 407).

Same authors say that any organization has no meaning with out communication. To reduce or if possible to avoid the above inevitable conditions, communication have a vital role. Communication is not only used for conflict resolution but also it is the basis for the organizations objectives achievements:- increasing productivity, job satisfaction , getting information about competitors dimension , to cope with modern information technology and any activates in any field of study . Thus, the fact is that communication is the crucial element in our lives.

The factors that motivated the student researcher to study the problem on communication of local government area were poor and not sufficient service that the employees of the local government area provide for their customers as the researcher is one who takes service from them. Moreover, from compliant of other customers, the student researcher thinks that poor and not sufficient service may be from lack of communication on resolving conflict.
Before this study, as the manager of local government area told to the student researcher, there is no study under taken on effective communication in resolving conflict, which is a burning issue to be discussed and solved by the management of the organization.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

This research seeks to realize the following objectives:

  1. To examine communication and work place, conflict resolution in Ado-do local government area, Ogun State, Nigeria.
  2. To analyse medium of communication among staff of Ado Odo Local Government
  3. To analyse areas of conflict that exist among staff

1.4 Research Questions

This study intend to provide answers to the following research questions

  1. What are the channels of communication that exist among the staff
  2. What are the perceived conflict among staff of Ado Odo Local Government
  3. What are the measures of resolutions employed by staff in the resolution of conflict
  4. What are the effect of workplace conflict in the administration of local government activities?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will help the local government to formulate policies to curtail conflict or help to resolve conflict in organization. The study will also serve as a base for further research and reference materials for academic institution.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The research work is restricted to communication and conflict resolution in organization, Ado-Odo Ota Local Government as a case study. It will also examine communication in work place and how conflicts can be resolved in Ado-Odo Local Government Area. The research topic is chosen because of the different administrative reform going on in the local government basically aimed at sustaining peace and to contribute to the healthy promotion of relationship among the people.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

Every human endeavour undergoes limitation due to constraint imposed on human nature. In carrying out this study, some problems are inevitable that invariably serve as limitation to the research work. The problem with timing was the first challenge since the research work was carried on along with normal lectures and school activities. The field work became so tasking. The problem of finance due to transportation cost along with bad roads and stationery materials were quite expensive.


1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

In view of this research, some technical terms will be defined for clear understanding:

Communication is a dispute or disagreement between two or more parties. Local government refers to the governance of the public in the local levels under the state government. It is the lowest tiers of public administration within a sovereign state.

Communication is the process of sharing ideas, information, relationship and interactions messages between two or more people.


1.9 Organizations of the Study

The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.

The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.


Chapter Five


Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation

In this chapter, the researcher tried to summarize and draw a conclusion about the out come of the study, and give some recommendation, which could be important for the company’s future communication role in resolving conflict.


5.1. Summary of findings

Based on the result of the study, summary of findings were presented as follows:-

  1. From the total study population, 29 (64.4%) respondents of Ado-Odo local government area were male while only 16(35.6%) were females.
  2. As we observed from the finding (figure 2), the largest 35 (77.77%) proportion of the study population lied between age group of 18-40.
  3. Item one of table 1 shows that out of the total respondents (45), 35 (77.77%) hold as minimum of diploma.
  4. Item 2 of table 1 indicates that most of employees 31(68.89%) had at least 5 years work experience.
  5. Regarding the information in table 2, the largest part 31(68.89%) of employees face conflict with in employees of their department and /or other department.
  6. 22(71.06%) of respondents were put work over load and communication gap to resolve conflict were the major reasons for conflict among employees of the organization.
  7. From the management side the reason for conflict between management and employees were about various questions such as salary increment, decreasing work over load and timeliness of important materials for the activities delegated.
  8. According to the information observed on the table 3, nearly all 43(95.56%) of employees were think that conflicts within their organization can be resolved.
  9. Item 2 of table 3 implies that the majority 31(71.09%) of respondents gives more value to discussion for resolving conflict while managers tried to resolve conflict based on the rules and regulations of the government.
  10. As indicated in table 4 shows that most 32(71.11%) of employees agreed on non existence of discussion concerning conflict within organization.
  11. Regarding the information in table 4 of item 2 the majority of respondents 8(61.54%) agreed on the existence of discussion at least once in a month.
  12. Item 3 of table 4 indicates that the majority 19(59.38%) of the respondent replied that there was no discussion regarding conflict because of the management’s less attention to the consequence of conflict to the organizational effectiveness.
  13. Information regarding the table 5 indicates that the majority (77.78%) response of respondents, response of management for employees’ grievance or complaint had a problem.
  14. From the result of interview with top manager of local government area, communication between the management and employees is relatively medium.
  15. Item one of table 6, shows that almost all 41(91.11%) of the respondents responded that they in communication role in resolving conflict.
  16. As indicated information on table 6, item 2 shows that the majority 29(64.44%) of the respondents responded that communication in their organization was sufficient.
  17. Item 3, of table 6 indicates that more than half 9(56.25%) of the respondents reason behind not sufficient communication between employees was lack of attention from management and employees.
  18. According to Item 4 of table6, the role of communication in resolving conflict was not as such high regarding the majority (72.42%) of the respondents’ response.
  19. As shown in table 7, item 1 shows that almost half 22(48.89%)of employees were highly interact with there superiors in their day-to-day activity.
  20. From the information, item two of table 7, implies that followed by employees primarily activity of accomplish ordered work, the response of 8(17.78%) respondents were on to resolve conflict.
  21. Item3, of table 7 shows that the majority 30 (66.67%)of employees put attitudinal difference towards communication as a major constraint to communicate effectively.

5.2. Conclusion

Based on the analysis of the workers of local government area conflict condition, communication and application of communication with conflict ,the following important conclusion can be drawn.

  1. The largest part of employees faces conflict with other employees of their organization with the major reasons of work over load and communication gap to resolve conflict. This implies that there were conflict and the sources of conflict were from structural factors.
  2. Employees think on the avoidance of conflict with in their organization and they gave more value for discussion from the resolution technique of communication. There fore, If the manager communicates employees effectively, he may not face obstacle/problem towards employees’ attitude on conflict resolution.
  3. Majority employees agree on non-existence of discussion and they put a major reason for this was management less attention. This indicates that the management was not give attention for the consequence of conflict to the organizational effectiveness.
  4. Less response of manager to employees grievances or complaint had a problem as a majority of respondent response and also from manager answer by interview. Therefore, we can say that management was not given enough value on employees’ grievances or complaint.
  5. Majority of employees believed that communication plays role in resolving conflict. This shows that there was a good awareness of
  6. Employees regarding communication use in resolving conflict in the local government area.
  7. As the response of majority respondents, communication in their organization was sufficient. On other hand, from the large number of respondents answer, the communication role in resolving conflict was less. This shows that even if these were relatively sufficient communication in organization, communication role in resolving conflict is not as such high.
  8. As shown in the study, almost half of employees were highly interact with their supervisors in their day-to-day activity; therefore, they may face conflict with their superiors.
  9. Employees gave more value for resolving conflict from conflict roles followed by their primarily activity, accomplish ordered work this shows that there were conflict in organization.
  10. Difference in attitude towards communication were the major factor that affect communication role to not achieve its goals(resolving conflict) this shows that there were pessimistic employees with in the local government area.

5.3. Recommendations

Communication is essential to the employees of a given organization. Especially for managers to coordinate the human and non human resources of an organization, they require ability to communicate effectively. To coordinate these human resources they should avoid conflict that occurs between employees or between them and employees. To avoid these problems communication is vital.

Based on the findings obtained and the conclusion drawn, in addressing the problems identified the researcher forwarded the following recommendations as a possible solution to be considered by respected body.

The majority of employees face conflict because of different factors that lead to a decline in communication process. So the manager is advised to manage it effectively.

To manage conflict effectively Management should:-

  1. Understand the source of conflict whether it is structural or personal factors.
  2. Use conflict resolution technique such as:

Compromise if there is no clear winner and loser and if conflict takes much time.

Collaboration if the conflicting members are trained in problem solving and if they have common goal.

Arbitration if the conflicting parties are volunteers to accept arbitrator decision.

Punishment if there should be penalty for the purpose of eliminating or correcting undesirable behavior.

  • Nearly all employees believed that conflict can be avoided through discussion and for this, communication plays role. There fore the management is advised to use the positive attitude of employees to communicate effectively on conflict resolution process that is important for positive change of organization.
  • The less attention from management is the major reasons for non-existence of discussion that may leads to conflict. Therefore, the management is advised to give enough attention to discussion and make effective communication.
  • The response of management for employees’ grievances is not appropriate to solve conflict. As a result, management is advised to give enough attention for employees’ criticism and accept employees’ comments and criticism towards organizational activities by implementing effective communication since employees feel less satisfied and lose a sense of belongingness to their organization.
  • Communication with in organization was sufficient. so the management is advised to encourage this sufficient communication in to more effective, that result to organizational productivity.
  • Role of communication in resolving conflict was less in the local government area that may decline the quality of service. For that reasons management is advice to use effective communication, that is the corner stone of strong and healthy relation ship.
  • Difference in attitude of employees to wards communication was the major factor that affect communication role not to achieve its goals (resolving conflict). Thus, the management advised to encourage the employees attitude on positive thinking of communication in conflict resolution by discussion.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Why is conflict resolution important in the workplace?

Effective conflict resolution skills and policies are imperative in the workplace. While a mismanaged conflict can be detrimental to your business, a properly handled conflict can save your business time and money, as well as improve colleague relationships, employee performance, retention rates, communication skills and workplace culture.

What are the communication challenges of conflict resolution?

Most people know that in order to resolve conflicts, we need to communicate about the issue; but negative patterns of communication can often lead to greater frustration and escalation of conflict. Consider the following communication challenges: Communication is more than the words we choose to use.

What skills are used to resolve conflicts?

If handled well, issues provide opportunities for personal and relationship growth. There are many skills that can help individuals seeking to resolve conflicts in a healthy way. One of the greatest skills that aids in conflict resolution is effective communication.

When is accommodating an effective conflict resolution strategy?

Accommodating can be an effective strategy if your argument is not that strong, or if over the course of your conflict resolution process you feel that the other person has a valid point. 

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