THE EFFECT OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION ON ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY

ABSTRACT

The study examines the effect of conflict resolution (avoidance, accommodating and competitive) on employee’s productively in terms of employees’ effectiveness, productivity and organizational commitment amongst workers in Zenith bank.

The research design used in this study is a survey research design, the primary source data was generated by administering copies of questionnaires which provided personal responses from respondents to the research question. The total number of employees was retrieved from the Human resource department; this was done to get the accurate number of employees in both companies. The research adopt the probability sampling where the individuals have the chances of being selected. further more the Taro Yamane formula was used to select 248 respondents from the total population.

 Three null hypotheses were stated in which hypothesis one agreed with the stated hypothesis while hypothesis two and three go in contrary with the stated hypothesis..

The stuudy conclude that; there is no significant effect of Avoidance conflict resolution on Employee Effectiveness in Zenith bank Plc.

The study suggested that; The study identified conflict resolutions and how it was able to predict employee’s productivity and organizational commitment; accommodating conflict resolution and competitive conflict resolution should be used by the employer to proffer solutions to organization commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background to the Study

Globally, the issue of conflict has destroyed many organizations in recent times. The globalization of trade has led to brain circulation and the spread of working class citizens of the world from their place of origin to other places to work and earn a living. This has ensured that the modern day employee base all over the world is diverse and has a multicultural blend to it. This has led to conflict between employees. Therefore, conflict management has been a human resource management topic has gained importance and value to organizational sustainability.

Furthermore, in Nigeria conflict is a big theme at the table of discussion among Human Resource Management experts. Nigeria is a diverse multicultural country consisting of over 371 tribes (Vanguard, 2017). This has made many workforce and employee based in Nigeria full of various people with different backgrounds, beliefs, value system and motivations. This many times lead to culture clashes amongst employees especially when there is miscommunication due to the sender not clearly stating his intent or the receiver not properly interpreting the message. Therefore, organizations are beginning to see the need for conflict management especially in multinational companies in Nigeria.

It is no secret that in order for an organization to attain its goals and objectives, its human resources must be properly harnessed and directed towards achieving those goals. Organizations’ human resources will usually consist of different people with different attitude, beliefs, abilities and personality.  This variation in styles, attitude, beliefs, abilities and personality can cause clashes and in-fighting within the organization. This is termed conflict.

        Conflict is not always a negative thing if handled constructively, it can help people to channel disagreement to produce constructive argument and in the end work together to achieve a mutually satisfactory solution. Bacal (2012) noted that there is a need to encourage some level of conflict in organizations in order to enhance creativity. However, when an organizational conflict spirals out of control it can create an extremely negative atmosphere, division, anger and hurt. According to Utleg (2012), workplace conflict is the presence of discord which occurs when goals, interests or values of different individuals or groups are incompatible and frustrate each others’ attempt to achieve objectives in an organization. Faure (2005) noted that conflicts are the total range of behaviors and attitudes that is in opposition between owners/managers on the one hand and working people/employee on the other. Workplace conflict is cancerous which can undermine even the best of management practices in organizations and manifests in various forms as an intrinsic and unavoidable feature of employment relationship (Longe, 2015). Hence there is a need for them to be properly managed or resolved.  This is called conflict resolution.

Conflict Management is defined by the American Management Association (2010) as spotting the potential value of conflict for driving change and innovation. This implies the knowledge of when to confront, and to avoid a conflict and gaining an understanding the issues around which conflict revolve. Robbins and Langton (2001) defined conflict management as the usage of resolution and stimulating techniques to achieve the appropriate level of conflict. Conflict management is the process of restricting the negative impact of conflict while increasing the positivity of its impact of conflict. The aim of conflict management is to enhance learning and group outcome including performance in the organization setting (Rahim, 2002). Properly managed conflict can improve group outcomes (Alper, Tjosvold & Law, 2000).  

The need for conflict management in the finance sector is even more important in Nigeria as finance is a sensitive subject that can get emotions running high. Many finance organizations have drawn up codes of conducts that state how conflicts should be addressed and handled. Therefore the intent of this study is to find out of these conflict management strategies and how successful they are in ensuring Organizational Productivity.

1.2  Statement of the Problem

Though little bit conflict has been encouraged among employees, it still represents great danger to any organization if not managed properly. There have been cases of organizations who have destroyed just because of conflicts that was not managed properly.

Furthermore, some conflict resolution experts have suggested various conflict resolution styles. Some studies have suggested the avoidance conflict resolution as a method of resolving organizational conflict in the hope that overtime the conflict will die down (Richardson, 1995). However, many critics have called it out as a bad strategy as it allows a lot of “enmity” between the involved parties and to continue can escalate to bigger problem (Bear, 2012).

Furthermore, other conflict resolution strategists have suggested accommodating conflict resolution strategies where one of the aggrieved parties decides to let go of the issue (Burton, 1991; Baddar, 2016). However, many critics has pronounced that the egos of employees today may suggest that the accommodating conflict resolution strategy is unrealistic and therefore would not be effective (Kinnandar, 2011).

Additionally, some studies have suggested the use of Competitive conflict resolution strategy (Cobham, 2013). This has had a lot of criticism with conflict resolution strategies viewing it as a strategy that can notoriously make the situation “boil over”. They lecture that it can lead to escalation of tensions and the result might be a lack organizational commitment on the part of the employees hence affect the productivity of the organization (Lather, 2010; Kinnander, 2011).

This has left many managers and leaders in organization like Zenith bank confused as to what do when there is a conflict. Therefore, the study will aim to solve this dilemma and find out the effect of each style of conflict resolution on organizational productivity.

1.3  Research Objectives

The broad objective of the research is to determine the effect of conflict resolution on organizational productivity. The specific objective of the study are:

  1. To determine the effect of Avoidance conflict resolution on Employee Effectiveness in Zenith bank
  2. To determine the effect of Accommodating conflict resolution on Employee Productivity in Zenith bank  
  3. To determine the effect of competitive conflict resolution on Organizational Commitment in Zenith bank

1.4  Research Questions

The research will look to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the effect of Avoidance conflict resolution on Employee Effectiveness in Zenith bank?   .
  2. What is the effect of Accommodating conflict resolution on Employee Productivity in Zenith bank?  
  3. What is the effect of competitive conflict resolution on Organizational Commitment in Zenith bank?

 

1.5  Research Hypothesis

The following hypotheses are formulated for testing:

H0(1):There is no significant effect of Avoidance conflict resolution on Employee Effectiveness in Zenith bankPlc.  

       H0(2): There is no significant effect of Accommodating conflict resolution on Employee

       Productivity in Zenith bankPlc.  

H0(3):There is no significant effect of competitive conflict resolution on Organizational Commitment in Zenith bankPlc

1.6 Operationalization of Variables

The variables adopted by this study are: Conflict Resolution and Organizational Productivity. The study will seek to investigate the influence of conflict resolution; the independent variable, on the dependent variable; organizational productivity.

The variables for this research are consequently operationalized as follows: 

Y = f(X)

Y = Organizational Productivity

X = Conflict Resolution

where Y = Dependent variable

            X = Independent variable

y = f (x1, x2, x3…xn)

x1 = Avoidance conflict resolution

x2= Accommodating conflict resolution

x3= Competitive conflict resolution

 

y = (y1, y2, y3)

y1= Employee Effectiveness

y2 = Employee Productivity

y3 = Organizational Commitment

y= f(x1) __________________ (1)

y = f(x2) __________________ (2)

y = f(x3) __________________ (3)

            The study will focus on equation (4) above.

            Based on regression, we have

y1 = α0 + β1x1 + μ…. (1)

y2 = α0 + β2x2 + μ…. (2)

y3 = α0 + β3x3 + μ…. (3)

Where, α is the constant of the equation, β is the coefficient of X the independent variable where μ is the error or stochastic term in the equation.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study will focus on the effect of conflict resolution on organizational productivity in Zenith bank. The geographical location of the study will be Zenith bank, Victoria island, Lagos state. The population of the workers of Zenith bank is 650 . Finally, the study would be carried out between September 2017 and April 2018 (8 months).

1.8 Significance of the Study

The study will be significant to the management of Zenith bank it will show them the best strategy in handling conflicts hence improve their productivity.

It will also be significant to the finance industry as it will show them the causes of conflict in the finance industry and how it can be avoided and resolved to aid maximum productivity.

The study will also be useful to the government as they can also apply the findings to public sector employees.

Finally, the study will be significant to society as it will teach them how to live amicably with their fellow beings and the best way of resolving conflict that arise amongst them.

 

1.9 Definition of Terms

Assertiveness: This refers to the extent to which people focus on resolving the conflict to satisfy their concerns.

Conflict :This is an overt behavior that result when an individual or group of individuals think a perceived need of the individual or group has been  blocked or is about to be blocked. It is simply the disagreement over team goal, motives and policies between team members

Dysfunctional conflict: This is a form of conflict that arises from confrontation or interaction among teams that have negative effect or hinder the teams and organizations actions.

Efficiency: This is the ratio of input resources to output. It is the ability to make the best use of resources to achieve set goals.

Functional conflict: This is an incompatible and opposition between groups which enhances and benefits the group and organizations effort towards the attainment of goals

Intra organizational conflict: These conflict occur between employees or teams and the organization itself

 Inter organizational conflict: This forms of conflict exists among organizations that interact with one another in the operations.

Organization effectiveness: Effectiveness is the ability to select the right goals and achieve them. Organization effectiveness refers to when a manager does the right thing by choosing the appropriate goals and accomplishing them.

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