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This study is on the effect of conflict management on organizational performance. The total population for the study is 200 staff of bottling company of Nigeria, Onitsha, Anambra state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made technicians, plant managers, shift maintenance controllers and trade managers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
1.1 Background of the study
In the early 1900’s, conflict was seen as an indicator of poor organizational management which needed to be avoided, in the mid 1950’s, it was accepted passively and perceived as normal and expected; manager focused on resolving conflict, while in the 1970’s, conflict was viewed necessary as not good or bad but could be used to promote growth, in the 1990’s, managers needed to confront and manage conflict appropriately (Algert and Watson, 2002). Organizational conflict has historically been viewed as unpleasant, undesirable, something to be avoided by all and sundry (Oseremen and Osemeke, 2015). Perceptions about conflict changed with the emergence of social systems and open system theory. According to the social system theories, conflict is one of the central forms of interaction. Conflict is normal and positive as well as negative. This view was supported by Emile Durkheim that conflict is normal and functional because it brings about positive changes in an organization. Conflict, however, becomes negative if it is not managed and allows reaching a dysfunctional stage (Ajike, Akinlabi and Magaji, 2015). When people work and interact together, things do not always turn the way people want it to be. There are always misunderstandings and things do not always go smoothly. Indeed, conflict is an inevitable element of relationships in organizations. Conflict is a natural occurrence in all businesses, may it be a small organization or a big corporation. What makes them only different is how management views and addresses conflicts in their respective organizations (Garcia, 2013). The role of conflict management in the life of an organization cannot be overemphasized. The establishment and continuous existence of organisation through the realization of its set goals and objectives requires the continuous and effective functioning of its material input with the human element being indispensable. However, the human elements required to facilitate goals attainment often engage in disagreement and variance over factors such as interest, views, style of management among others. The reactionary effect is due to the perceived incompatibilities resulting typically from some form of interference or opposition is term conflict (Obasan, 2011;Mughal and Khan, 2013). Conflict in organization is a state of friction caused by the actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests between people working together. Conflict takes many forms in organizations. There is the foreseeable clash between formal authority and power and those individuals and groups affected. There are disputes over how revenues should be divided, how the work should be done and how long and hard people should work. There are jurisdictional disagreements among individuals,departments, and between unions and management (Oseremen and Osemeke, 2015).
For people to progress at work and other aspect of life, there must be cooperation which is essential to ensure task attainment and stability in life. However, it would be wrong to reach the conclusion that cooperation is good while conflict is bad, this is because both concepts are pervasive and co-exist in our social life. Industrial conflict is inevitable given the wide range of goals for the different stakeholder in the organization and its absence signifies management emphasizes conformity and stifles innovation (Obasan, 2011). Esquivel (1997) argued that conflict is unpleasant, undesirable, something to be avoided. On the contrary, Azamosa (2004) countered that conflicts can help strengthened the organisation and enable the organisation to improve its performance. Moreover, Olu and Dupe (2008) submitted that there is growing recognition of the importance of conflict in an organization. Whether in fact conflict is negative or positive to organizational performance is an issue that remained opened to empirical studies.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Conflict emerges in an organization when an individual perceives that his goals are threatened or hindered by the activities of another person. Most conflicts in Nigeria Bottling Company arises from the inability of the company to fulfill its collective agreement with its employees resulting in employees embarking on industrial action which may be work-to-rule or total strike. Employees’ industrial action usually results in loss of man-hours, machine-hours, output, skilled personnel, employees’ morale, blackmailing of organizational reputation and retardation of corporate performance. Though, Nigeria Bottling Company has not been experiencing incessant labour unrest of lately, it becomes pertinent to examine its conflict management strategies and employees performance from the perception of the managerial and non-managerial employees of the company There are other factors that can contribute to the creation of conflict in organizations like task interdependence, scarce resources, goal incompatibility, communication failures, individual differences and poorly designed reward system (Mgbekem, 2004). Many of the studies on the impact of conflict management on organizational performance were done outside Nigeria. These studies particularly focus on educational institutions. Research on conflict management and process organizational performance are very few. In Nigeria, most of the available studies about conflict management such as Adebile and Ojo (2012), Osisioma, Osisioma and Chukwuemeka (2012), Bankole and Lawal (2012), Fatile and Adejuwon (2011) investigated causes of conflicts across various organizational settings. These researches were also theoretical studies whose findings were subjectively based on researchers’ personal opinions. It is noted that the past studies did not give attention to the impact of conflict management on organizational performance, as well as highlighting effective conflict management strategy that can stimulate better organization performance. Hence, the undertaking of this research work will fill in the gap by critically exploring the effect of conflict management on organizational performance with a special reference to Nigeria Bottling Company.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The major objective of this study will be to investigate the effects of industrial conflict on organizational performance. While other specific objectives of the study include:
i.To investigate if there is any significant relationship between industrial conflict and organizational performance.
ii.To determine the effect of labour unrest on organizational productivity.
iii.To find out if conflict management has any significant effect on employee performance.
iv.To examine the effect of industrial conflict on organizational growth and survival.
v.To find out if labour unrest and agitation has effect on organizational reputation.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: There is no significant relationship between industrial conflict and organizational performance.
H1: There is significant relationship between industrial conflict and organizational performance.
H02: There is no significant relationship between conflict management and employee performance.
H2: There is significant relationship between conflict management and employee performance.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of the study is to look at the impact of conflict management in the organization. It is hope that the findings and recommendations would be useful to both public and private organizations. This study will help managers in exploring the benefits realization that conflict can bring to any organization. The study will serve as a reference to other researchers
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers effect of conflict management on organizational performance. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: Conflict management is the process of limiting the negative aspects of conflict while increasing the positive aspects of conflict. The aim of conflict management is to enhance learning and group outcomes, including effectiveness or performance in an organizational setting
ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE: Organizational performance comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs. According to Richard et al. organizational performance encompasses three specific areas of firm outcomes: financial performance; product market performance; and shareholder return.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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