Effect of conflict management on organization growth and development
1.1 Background of Study
Conflict is a recurring decimal in all human relationships, be it in the family, institution or organization. The school, like any other modern institution is not without potential negative features, incompatible behaviours and conflicts which might be counter-productive and give rise to inefficiency, ineffectiveness or dysfunctional consequences in the achievement of goals and objectives. The school as a bureaucratic organization with division of labour, line of authority in terms of teacher-principal, subordinate-super ordinate relationships, rules and regulations, communication flow – upward, downward, horizontal, etc is bound to have conflicts.
The conflict may be between staff and staff, staff and student or staff and the school administrator resulting in teacher-teacher conflict (TTC), teacher-student conflict (TSC) and principal-teacher conflict (PTC). Given that conflict is inevitable in any organization and the school is not an exception, the crucial question is, how to react to, respond to and manage conflicts so that positive changes will be realized and negative effects minimized. Poor management of conflict in school administration may result in deficiencies in the performance of the school both in terms of discipline and academic proficiency.
The word conflict brings to mind images such as antagonism, struggles between parties, opposition processes and threats to cooperation. But not all conflicts come in these forms especially in the school system. They come in form of needs to be met or desires to be satisfied, disagreements to be settled and ideas to be shared that eventually lead to change of attitudes, feelings and perceptions. 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, Miller and King (2005), see it as basically a disagreement between two or more individuals or groups over goals. Conflict therefore is 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 make another action less likely to be effective. According to Deutsch (1973), conflict inevitably means that people are working against each other, in such a manner that what 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, the job or programme. It is therefore counter-productive, disruptive and unnatural and produces a deviation from the free flow of events.
Conflicts are inevitable part of organizational life since the goals of different stakeholders such as managers and staff are often incompatible (Jones, George, Hill 2000). Conflict is an unpleasant fact in any organization as longer as people compete for jobs, resources, power, recognition and security. Organizational conflict can be regarded as a dispute that occurs when interests, goals or values of different individuals or groups are incompatible with each other (Henry O. 2009). This results into a situation whereby they frustrate each other in an attempt to achieve their objectives. Conflict arises in groups because of the scarcity of freedom, position, and resources. People who value independence tend to resist the need for interdependence and, to some extent, conformity within a group. People who seek power therefore struggle with others for position or status within the group.
Hence, this paper reviews the sources, types, causes and consequential effects of conflict management on organizational growth and development with the aim of suggesting a valid, objective and transferable conclusion to the educational sector using Ebonyi state university secondary school.
1.2 Statement of problem
Ways of managing organizational conflict are as varied as its causes, origins and contexts. The purpose of conflict management, whether undertaken by the parties in conflict or whether involving the intervention of an outside party, is to affect the entire structure of a conflict situation so as to contain the destructive components in the conflict process (e.g. hostility, use of violence) and help the parties possessing incompatible goals to find some solution to their conflict. Effective conflict management succeeds in (1) minimizing disruption stemming from the existence of a conflict, and (2) providing a solution that is satisfactory and acceptable. We describe efforts directed towards containing or limiting some aspects of behaviour as strategies of conflict settlement and efforts directed towards the parties’ attitudes, situations as well as behaviour as strategies of conflict resolution. Skilled administrators are aware of these methods and techniques and know how to utilize them effectively.
All organizations, however simple or complex, possess a range of mechanisms or procedures for managing conflict. These are built into the organizational structure and are consciously employed by administrators to influence the course and development of a conflict. The success or effectiveness of such procedures can be gauged by the extent to which they limit conflict behaviour and the extent to which they help to achieve a satisfactory solution.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to analyze the effect of conflict management on organization growth and development. The following specific objectives would be considered
- To determined if minimizing disruption stemming from the existence of a conflict have an effect on growth and development of Ebonyi state university secondary school.
- To determine if providing a solution that is satisfactory and acceptable to the parties in conflict has an effect on growth and development of Ebonyi state university secondary school.
1.4 Research Questions
- Does minimizing disruption stemming from the existence of a conflict have an effect on growth and development of Ebonyi state university secondary school?
- Does providing of solution that is satisfactory and acceptable to the parties in conflict affect the growth and development of Ebonyi state university secondary school?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H0: Minimizing disruption stemming from the existence of a conflict does not affect the growth and development of Ebonyi state university secondary school.
H1: Minimizing disruption stemming from the existence of a conflict affect the growth and development of Ebonyi state university secondary school.
H0: Providing of solution that is satisfactory and acceptable to the parties in conflict does not affect the growth and development of Ebonyi state university secondary school
H1: Providing of solution that is satisfactory and acceptable to the parties in conflict affect the growth and development of Ebonyi state university secondary school.
1.6: Significance of the Study
This project work is a very important study as it provides insight into effects of conflict management in organizational growth and development. It provides information on conflict management and implication on government, educators, the media and the concerned teachers. To also ascertain the truthfulness weather conflict impacts negatively or positively on economic development and proffer solutions and recommendations for right policy formulations in solving conflict problems. This study will also serve as a reference research work for the society’s further studies.
1.7: Scope of the Study
The research work is the effect of conflict management on organizational growth and development in the educational sector with focus on EBSU secondary school. The study specifically goes in depth into Ebonyi state secondary school.
1.8: Limitations of the Study
This study is has its inherent limitation as a result of insufficient information and data. This study is also limited by time considering that the researcher had to attend to other aspects of her study other than the research work since both the research work and academic studies have to be done at the same time.