A Critical Assessment Of Industrial Conflict And Its Management In Nigerian Tertiary Institutions (A Study Of Imo State University)

Educational Management Project and Seminar Material

A Critical Assessment Of Industrial Conflict And Its Management In Nigerian Tertiary Institutions (A Study Of Imo State University)


Abstract


This study was carried out to assess industrial conflict and its management in Nigerian tertiary institutions using Imo State University as a case study. The study was specifically carried out to determine the causes of industrial conflict in Imo state University, identify the consequences of industrial dispute in Imo state university, and assess the strategies adopted by Imo state university in managing industrial conflicts. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of academic and non-academic staff of Imo State University. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 57 respondents and 50 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. While the hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the causes of industrial conflict in Imo state University includes; poor and inconsistent payment of salaries, refusal of union recognition, poor conditions of service, political interference in education, poor funding of the education sector, and dissatisfaction with the policies of the government. The study also revealed that the consequences of industrial dispute in Imo state university includes: disruption of academic calendar, closure of all forms of classes and lectures, delay in students academic progress and graduation, poor performance of students, low productivity by workers. Therefore, it is recommended that there should be proactive and corrective mechanisms put in place. Proactive actions should be able to detect and prevent the possibility of an industrial conflict, and corrective actions should quickly resolve the conflict when it arises. One of such mechanisms is the institutionalisation of industrial democracy. 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 of the Study

In employee-employer relationships, conflict is a common occurrence. There will always be dispute between the employer and employees in every organization, whether it is unionized or non-unionized, whether it is about pay or general working conditions. This can be seen in all institutions and organizations all around the world, but especially in Africa. Because of the intricate structure of organizations, conflict is unavoidable in the workplace. In addition, the pursuit of conflicting goals by management and employees sometimes results in labor disputes. Industrial disputes are prevalent in both the private and public sectors, according to Dahida and Adekeye (2013), since the aims and objectives of workers and management in every given firm differ. Employees may demand greater benefits, but management may desire low turnover and more production. Equally, as a social organization, the educational environment is not immune to conflicts between the various associations and the management.

Industrial conflict has become a key notion in the industrial relations system, according to Igbaji (2009). While strike threats cannot be completely avoided, the tensions and misconceptions that often result from them can be effectively addressed. Tertiary institutions, such as universities, tertiary institutions, and colleges of education, have been closed indefinitely, and many students have dropped out as a result of an unresolved industrial dispute over minimum wage, inadequate funding of tertiary institutions, and the government’s failure to implement a deal reached with unions. Tetiary institutions, like other contemporary institutions, are not without disagreements and conflicting goals and responses to employee welfare concerns, which can be a source of conflict. If not managed properly, this might escalate to larger industrial activities; it can also be counterproductive, resulting in inefficiency, ineffectiveness, or emotional stress in achieving stated corporate goals and objectives. According to Nwankwo (2000), Nigerian educational institutions have been subjected to untold negative political meddling and a seemingly planned attempt to bury them in a torrent of irrelevancies due to military participation in government. He went on to say that people in power saw tertiary institutions as a burden, as institutions to be abused and abandoned. Cultism, brain drain, underfunding by the government, loss of academic freedom, general insecurity, decrepit structures, and non-payment of staff wages are some of the symptoms.

Disagreement and incompatibility of interests and goals between the employer and the employee, which includes management’s refusal to honor the employee’s agreement, issues with staff allowances and emoluments, management’s highhandedness, corruption and mismanagement of the institution’s resources, and management’s victimization of staff. According to Ajewole (2014), this manifests itself in the constant closure of tertiary institutions in Nigeria, the disruption of the academic calendar, the lengthening of academic sessions, and a decline in the expected turnout of students in a given year, as well as the quality of students produced.

According to Arikewuyo (2006), the relationship between higher education authorities and staff unions, particularly academic unions, has not always been pleasant. Administrators of Nigerian institutions have frequently clashed with labor unions on a variety of problems, ranging from funding allocation to the administration’s heavy-handedness. The funding of different polytechnic initiatives, the awarding of contracts, the payment of outstanding allowances and wages, the acquisition of buildings, library and laboratory supplies, and other issues have all created discord within the polytechnic system at times. As a consequence of the inconsistency in the polytechnic system, which includes strikes and other industrial activities that take academic staff members away from the academic environment, disrupting the academic calendar, and mocking the quality of polytechnic education in Nigeria? As a result, it lowers staff morale, attention, and dedication to academic exercise, which has an impact on staff performance owing to a lack of upgrading of people personal attributes.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Every work involves conflict; even the most capable, knowledgeable, and ethical people may differ on topics from time to time. Industrial disputes have become a recurring problem at Nigerian tertiary institutions, according to Adebile and Ojo (2012), as a result of policies, political overtones, and management and finance of the polytechnic system. Industrial conflict is unavoidable in academic settings since various parties/unions pursue distinct interests, and there is rarely agreement among the participants: administration, academic staff, and non-academic employees, on the norms that govern the institution. In almost every choice that management must make, there is the possibility of a disagreement. One of the most essential components of a managerial role in an organization is the ability to deal with prospective and identified conflict efficiently and effectively. In Nigeria, a dispute between unions and polytechnic administration has harmed the polytechnic system, causing disruptions in academic activities, poor academic performance, brain drain, and a low international ranking for the country’s tetiary institutions, among other things (Ogonor, 1996). However, it is self-evident that during labor conflicts, management will lose production, the cost of which will be determined by the severity and duration of the strike. As a result, these issues have hampered and slowed the creation of tertiary institutions in Nigeria (F.M.E, 2004).


1.3 Objective of the Study

The primary aim of this study is to assess industrial conflict and how it’s managed in Nigerian tertiary institutions.

Thus, below are specific objectives;

  1. To determine the causes of industrial conflict in Imo state University.
  2. To identify the consequences of industrial dispute in Imo state university.
  3. To assess the strategies adopted by Imo state university in managing industrial conflicts.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions guide this study;

  1. What are the causes of industrial conflict in Imo state University?
  2. What are the consequences of industrial dispute in Imo state university?
  3. What are the strategies adopted by Imo state university in managing industrial conflicts?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: Industrial conflict has no significant negative implications on Nigerian tertiary institutions.
  • Ha: Industrial conflict has significant negative implications on Nigerian tertiary institutions.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be significant not just to Imo state university but also other tertiary institutions as it will bring to the fore various causes of industrial conflicts in Imo state university and the various strategies they adopt in managing these conflicts. This study will also be beneficial to the academic world as it will be an addition to materials on this same subject matter.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study will only cover industrial conflicts and the strategies adopted in managing them in Imo state university, with specific focus on determining the causes of industrial conflict in Imo state University, identifying the consequences of industrial dispute in Imo state university, and assessing the strategies adopted by Imo state university in managing industrial conflicts.. This study will hence be delimited to only Imo state university.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

During the course of this study, the researcher was faced with insufficient funds and not enough time to fully delve deeper into various concepts of this study.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Industrial Conflicts:

Refers to all expressions of dissatisfaction within the employment relationship, especially those pertaining to the employment contract, and the effort bargain.

Grievance:

Grievance is a complaint against an organization that has been formulated and is handled through the systematic procedure established by collective bargaining. Grievance may be grouped into two, namely: individual grievance and collective grievance. Grievances involving an individual are over his rights, what he thinks he is entitled to as a workman in his place of work.

Collective grievances are concerned mainly with economic matters except in cases where individual grievances develop into collective grievances. The economic matters that cause collective grievances are those that relate to collective bargaining.

Conflict/Dispute:

Conflict and dispute is said to exist between two or more individuals or work groups; when they disagree on a significant issue(s) and clash over the issues. Although generally viewed in a negative light, conflict can be of some value to the enterprise. It provides opportunities for new leaders to merge and for the enterprise to change it’s objectives in order to respond to changing environment. Franklin Roosevelt felt that conflict was necessary for effective policy making by appointing advisers who would clash and then assuming the role of an arbitrator in their disagreement, he was able to weed the bias out of the opinion they offered. Conflict is an essential aspect of social system and its component parts, and conflict can create room for a thorough analysis resulting to better decision.


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 the assessment of industrial conflict and its management in Nigerian tertiary institutions using Imo State University as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to assess industrial conflict and its management in Nigerian tertiary institutions using Imo State University as a case study. The study was specifically carried out to determine the causes of industrial conflict in Imo state University, identify the consequences of industrial dispute in Imo state university, and assess the strategies adopted by Imo state university in managing industrial conflicts.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were academic and non-academic staff of Imo State University.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. The causes of industrial conflict in Imo state University includes; poor and inconsistent payment of salaries, refusal of union recognition, poor conditions of service, political interference in education, poor funding of the education sector, and dissatisfaction with the policies of the government.
  2. The consequences of industrial dispute in Imo state university includes: disruption of academic calendar, closure of all forms of classes and lectures, delay in students academic progress and graduation, poor performance of students, low productivity by workers.
  3. Among the various strategies adopted by Imo state university in managing industrial conflicts includes; through mediation, through conciliation, through arbitration through the industrial court, and through collective bargaining.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. There should be proactive and corrective mechanisms put in place. Proactive actions should be able to detect and prevent the possibility of an industrial conflict, and corrective actions should quickly resolve the conflict when it arises. One of such mechanisms is the institutionalisation of industrial democracy.
  2. There is the need for a legislation which will give legal backing to collective agreement. Such legislation would give statutory recognition to collective agreement, and make it enforceable within a legal framework. This will go a long way in containing the propensity to default in honouring collective agreement.
  3. Better and effective dispute settlement machineries should be introduced within the institution. The management should be ready to accept challenges and suggestions from the staff through the open forum.
  4. Appointment and recruitment of university heads and staff should be based on professionalism and competence devoid of political and ethnic consideration.
  5. There is need for orientation and re-orientation of staff of tertiary institutions on the need for alternative ways of expressing their grievances.
  6. Joint consultation committee that would comprise government representative and other relevant stakeholders in the educational sector should be set up and meet on periodic intervals to discuss impending matter that could generate dispute proactively.

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