CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY The word conflict brings to mind images such as antagonism, struggle between parties, opposition processes and threats to co-operation. But not all conflicts come in these forms especially in the construction industry. They come in form of needs to be met or desires to be satisfied, disagreement to be settled and ideas to be shared that eventually leads to the change of attitudes, feelings and perception. Conflict also arises when parties have divergent views toward the best ways of achieving their common goal. Fadipe (2000) sees conflict as a form of disagreement in an establishment between two individuals or groups who have cause to interact formally or informally. Similarly, Muler and King (2005) see it over compatible goal. Conflict is therefore a process of incompatible behaviours. It may involve the interference or disruption by one person or group of persons or in some way or ways which makes another action less likely to be effective. Arc conflict inevitably means that parties are working against each other; in such a manner that one wants is incompatible with that, which another wants. It could bring about competition in the pursuit of goals. What the competitor gets comes at the expense of others or the job. It is therefore counter-productive, disruptive, unnatural and produces a deviation form the free flow of events. A major factor that can throw parties into a state of incompatibility is their perception of the issues at hand or issues of interest. There are other factors that can contribute to the creation of conflict in organization like task independence, scarce resources, goal incompatibility, communication failures, individual difference and poorly designed reward system. Conflict is a necessary and useful part of organization life. It is necessary and useful part of organization life. It is inevitable and an integral part of the process of change. Indeed, it is an aid to co-operation, not an obstacle. There are two sides to conflict, one is destructive and unhealthy and the other has a problem solving base where those involved are willing to sublimate personality differences, to listen to other’ views and to be open and candid to each other, to be supportive and helpful where as the former defeats co-operation. Albert (2001) averd that there are productive and destructive conflicts. According to him “A conflict is said to be positive when it is constructively discussed by the parties amicably and terms for settlement reached’’ constructively managed conflict includes a positive performance while poorly managed conflicts heats up the environment to bring about dislocation of the entire group and polarization, reduced productivity on job performance, psychological and physical injury, emotional distress and inability to sleep, interference with problem activities, escalation of differences into antagonistic position and malice and increased hostility. Through conflict management, a co-operative atmosphere is created for promoting opportunities and movement directed towards non-violent, reconciliation or basic clashing interest to achieve organizational goals. However, no matter one’s view of conflict it is pertinent to realize that conflict is one of the best ways in the world to turn the tide and improve unsatisfactory performance. Sometimes there may be no real dispute to be managed, but there may be need for greater understanding, co-operation and team work to promote interpersonal harmony and good organizational climate for the achievement of organizational goals. Therefore, conflict should not always be seen as something undesirable but rather as a necessary outcome that can bring positive consequences if properly managed. It is against this background that it becomes necessary to examine conflict management and organizational efficiency in First Bank Nigeria Plc, Asaba.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Conflict emerges in an organization when an individual perceives that his goals are threatened or hindered by the activities of another person. Conflict in any organization may not enable the organization to achieve it’s set objective if not properly managed. Successful organization in the future must create the capability to absorb conflict during the organization’s life cycle. The capability here refers to conflict management mechanism in order to minimize the rate of conflict and improve performance. Furthermore, the research will seek to establish any possible impact of conflict management strategies on the efficiency of the company. Profitability and financial strength are the means of assessing the efficiency of companies. The continued existence of a company is dependent of profitable operations. This research work seeks to establish any possible impact of conflict management strategies and leadership style on organizational efficiency. 1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The specific objectives of this study are:
to ascertain the extent to which conflict management has affected the efficiency of the organization
to examine the influence of leadership practices on organizational efficiency
To determine the effect of conflict management to employee performance
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS The following research questions will guide the study
To what extent has conflict management affected the efficiency of the organization?
What is the influence of leadership practices on employee’s performance?
Is there effect of conflict management on employee’s performance
1.4 HYPOTHESES (1) Ho: There is no impact of effective conflict management on organizational efficiency Hi: There is an impact of effective conflict management on organizational efficiency (2) Ho: There is no influence of leadership style and employee’s performance Hi: There is an influence of leadership style and employee’s performance (3) Ho: There is no effect of conflict management on employee’s performance. Hi: There is an effect of conflict management on employee’s performance
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY The scope of the study is the impact of conflict management on organizational efficiency. The study is based on First Bank of Nigeria Plc. The study covers five years; (2009 – 2014). This is to allow the researcher to study the trend in the organization. 1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY The research will be useful in the following ways: It will be useful to both public and private section in identifying some salient causes of conflict and the ways to manage the situation judiciously. The study will also arouse government interest to see the need to provide adequate resources to public in order to maximize the rate of conflicts in organizations. The outcome of the study will serve as a reference material to other researchers.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY The research work is limited to First Bank Plc, Asaba. Time was a major constraint, due to the short time given for the study. Combining jobs and educational activities was not an easy task. As a result of money constraint, the researcher did not have enough money to carry out the study beyond this level. Some respondents refused to give audience and release information holding to the fact that the information is confidential.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS The following terms used for this study are defined thus: CONFLICT: A state of serious disagreement and argument about something perceived to be important by at least one of the parties involved. MANAGEMENT: this is the process of acquiring, developing, protecting and utilizing the resources that allow an organization to be efficient and effective CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: The process of limiting the negative aspects of conflict while increasing the positive aspects of conflict ORGANIZATIONAL EFFICIENCY: This is an organization’s degree of success in utilizing the least positive inputs in order to produce the greatest possible outputs.
REFERENCES Albert, I.O (2001) Introduction to third party intervention in community conflicts. Ibadan John Arches Publishes.
Fadipe, J.O (2006) Efficiency indicators for Quality Control in Nigeria. A journal of NIEPA.
Mba, O.A. (2013) Conflict management and Employee’s performance in Julius Berger Nigeria plc, Bonny Island, International journal of Academic Research in Management, Vol. 2, no 4 pp 125 -139.
Schramm – Nielsen, J. (2002) Conflict Management in Scandinavia. Department of international communication and management, Denmark, Copenhangan Business School.