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Abstract

This study focuses on conflict resolution and organizational efficiency; a study of food industry in Ogun state, Nigeria. A proper research was carried out to find out the causes of conflict and how it affect organizational efficiency, examine the role of overtime in a workplace and how it causes conflict in an organization, find out how lack of equal opportunities influence organizational conflict, analyze the effect of conflict resolution on organizational efficiency, and assess the effect of organizational conflict on performance of employees.

In carrying out the research, one of the traditional methods of gathering information, i.e. both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources used is descriptive analysis (archival materials). A sizeable percentage of secondary sources that is used came from published and unpublished works which include materials extracted from: Archives, Newspapers on general elections, discussions, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals. One of the conclusions derived from this study is that the causes of conflict and organizational efficiency are Unacceptable terms of employment such as poor hours of work cause organizational conflict, Collection of poor salary by the employee, Lack of  collection of fringe benefits, Poor human relations between management and employees, and Poor decentralization of decision making and workers.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Conflict occurs between people in all kinds of human relationships and in all social settings. It is an organizational reality everyone faced when working with others. It is inherently neither good nor bad in itself. According to Robbins and Judge (2009) and Spaho (2013), conflict has been defined variously by many authors but common to all these definitions is that conflict is a perception. Conflict is a process which begins anytime a person (A) perceives that another person (s) has/have or is capable of affecting anything of value to A. Irene (2014) also stated that since conflict can also bring about positive consequences, managers can stimulate conflict through introduction of change, increasing task ambiguity and creating interdependence or competition. She also suggest that conflict should be encouraged in organizations because any organization which is harmonious, peaceful, tranquil, or cooperative is prone to become static and unresponsive to change.  There is a need to encourage some level of conflict in organizations to enhance creativity. Advocates of the resolution focused view hold the idea that conflict is inevitable but we should focus on productive conflict resolution. Conflict could be functional but in other instances, it is rather not productive (Irene 2014).

Due to the wide range of potential differences among people (which could be cultural, ethical, educational etc), the absence of conflict usually signals the absence of meaningful interaction.  Three different views on conflict have evolved over time, interactionism, traditional (the belief that conflict is disruptive and must be avoided) and resolution focused view (Robbins & Judge, 2011). According to (Irene 2014) conflict resolution or prevention can use the behavioral or attitudinal approach to manage conflicts. Behavioral conflict resolution and prevention methods include enforcing rules, separating employees, assigning clear tasks, having a common enemy, outside competition, increasing resources and rewarding cooperation. Attitudinal conflict resolution methods include, having a common enemy, rotating employees, increasing resources, team building and organizational development.

Boateng (2014), also defines conflict resolution as the use of resolution and stimulating techniques to achieve the desired level of conflict. she however identified the resolution technique as problem solving (face – face meeting), expansion of resource, avoidance, altering the structural variable, that is changing the formal organizational structure and interaction patterns of conflicting parties through job design and transfer, also identified the stimulation techniques as communication where threatening messages are used to increase positive conflict level, appointment of devil’s advocate and restructuring of the organization. (Debra and Campbell 2005) cited by Boateng (2014), indicate that for effective resolution of conflict, measures or techniques such as appealing to subordinate goals, expanding resources, changing personnel, changing structure, confronting and negotiation could be put into effect. They also stated that in negotiation, managers can use variety of conflict resolution styles including avoiding, accommodating, competing, compromising and collaborating. In addition, managers should strive to create a conflict – positive organization that is one that values diversity empowers employees and seeks win – win solution to conflicts.

Therefore this research is aimed to study conflict resolution and the influence it has on organization efficiency using De-United Food industry as a case study. 

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Traditional workplace practices and systems with organization hierarchical structures, tight divisions of labor, narrowly defined jobs, detailed rules, limited employee involvement, managerial decision making, authority, and control are no longer adequate since organizations now foster conflict.

Due to frequent organizational conflict, performance in most organizations has taken a comparatively nosedive sequence. The frequent agitation by workers for improved working conditions and other interests have led to a down toll which eventually affects organizations performance. Key indicators such as sales return on investment and profit margins have reduced due to poor conflict resolution skill. Managerial decision making, authority, and control of organizations are no longer adequate since they foster conflict, however because of this this research is aimed to make investigations on conflict resolution and organizational efficiency using a food industry in Ogun state.

1.3       Aim and Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to find out the effect of conflict resolution on organization efficiency, specifically the study intends to

1.      Find out the causes of conflict and how it affect organizational efficiency

2.      Examine the role of overtime in a workplace and how it causes conflict in an organization

3.      Find out how lack of equal opportunities influence organizational conflict

4.      Analyze the effect of conflict resolution on organizational efficiency

5.      Assess the effect of organizational conflict on performance of employees

1.4       Relevant Research Questions

The following questions are formulated from the objectives to guide the study

1.      What are the causes of conflict and how does it affect organizational efficiency?

2.      What is the role of overtime in a workplace and how it causes conflict in an organization?

3.      Does lack of equal opportunities influence organizational conflict?

4.      Is there any significant effect of conflict resolution on organizational efficiency?

5.      Is there any effect of organizational conflict on performance of employees?

1.5       Relevant Research Hypothesis

Ho: there is no significant effect of conflict resolution on organizational efficiency Hi: there is a significant effect of conflict resolution on organizational efficiency

1.6       Scope of the Study

This study will focus on conflict and conflict resolution in food industries in Ogun state, however as it will be practically difficult to cover many industry, hence, the proposed industry for this study is De-United Foods Industries, makers of Indomie in Ado-Odo Otta, Ogun State.

1.7       Significance of the Study

This study will be very important in several respects. Firstly, it will be beneficial to management in all corporate organizations. This is because conflict has become a regular and frequent feature of corporate organizations. By investigating the causes of organizational conflicts the study will be able to find out how the conflicts will be minimized since they cannot be completely avoided. Besides, in examining the causes of conflicts, the study will be able to determine why they reoccur. Furthermore, by examining how conflicts are managed, the study will be able to find out the limitation of the strategies. All these will provide the basis on which recommendation s will be made for the benefit of management. Secondly the government will also benefit from the study.

As conflicts occur at organizational level so do they occur in the public sector level, so therefore the findings of this study will be very useful to the government in formulating effective strategies for managing conflicts in the public sector? Thirdly, employees in both the private and public sector organizations will also benefit from this study. This is because it will show how their intra and inter-relationships bring about conflict and how they can accommodate one another or what approach to adoption order to avoid conflicts.

1.8       Delimitation of the Study

The issue of finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Inability to gather most recent academic materials will be a major limitation of this study. However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly hoped that despite this constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.

1.9       Definition of Terms

Conflict: This is a struggle or contest between people with opposing needs, ideas, values, or goals

Organization: According to Robinson (2008), organization is an establishment set aside to provide services to members of the public.

Conflict Resolution:  is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution

Organizational Conflict:  Organizational conflict, or workplace conflict, is a state of discord caused by the actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests between people working together. 


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