CONFLICT MANAGEMENT FOR EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE IN AN ORGANIZATION
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Most organizations seek to gain optimal level of performance from employees.
Job performance is the level of productivity of an individual employee relative to his or her peers, on several job related behaviors and outcomes.
The purpose of this study was the effects of conflict management on the performance of service firms in Cameroon.
Using questionnaires the study obtained data from 35 workers and customers of the BICEC bank.Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis.
Based on the result of this study.
Credit risk management has a positive effect on the performance of BICEC and it is therefore recommended that many firms or organizations in Cameroon are faced with conflict management system issues as depicted by the significant positive relationship between them.
1.1 Background to the study
Conflict refers to a disagreement in interest between two parties. The word conflict has its Greek origin ‘agon’ which means the act of conflict; it is also referred to as “conxious” in Latin which means the lack of ability to maintain proper affiliation among others.
Conflict among employees in an organization is not simply inevitable; rather it is the nature of complex organizations (Putnam & Krone, 2006). However, if managed properly, it can have a positive impact on employee satisfaction and performance (Dana, 2000).
Research indicates that management executives are spending twice as much time settling employees’ disputes than they did a decade ago (Accountemps, 2006). If conflicts are managed properly by applying the best course of action, the organization can increase it is performance in terms of utilizing the scarce resources and achieving the organizational objectives. (Awan&Anjum 2015).
Conversely, unmanaged conflict negatively impacts both employee satisfaction and performance. Timely management of conflict has the potential of improving employee satisfaction and job performance (Awan&Anjum 2015).
Management should therefore resolve conflicts so that organizational performance can be increased (Song, 2000).
The Human relations view, emerged in the late 1940s and held sway through the 1970s. It argues that conflict is natural and inevitable in all organizations and that it may have either a positive or a negative effect, depending on how the conflict is handled. Performance may increase with conflict, but only up to a certain level, and then decline if conflict is allowed to increase further or is left unresolved.
This approach advocates acceptance of conflict and
Rationalizes its existence.
Because of the potential benefits from conflict, project managers should focus on managing it effectively rather than suppressing or eliminating it. There basically 4 basics types of fiction that exist: man against man, man against nature, man against self and man against society.
Man against man deals with the differences in character that usually conflict
. Man against nature is not universally accepted as most believe that the nature has no choice on its own, hence has no free will
. Still some scholars believe there is a friction between man and nature as most at times man’s activities are being disrupted by nature. Man against society here involves unrighteous activities usually undertaken by man which affect the society for example slave trade.
Man against self here involves the pressure faced by individuals in an attempt to make a rational decision.
The establishment and continuous existence of organization through the realization of 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.
Azamosa (2004) observed that conflicts involve the total range of behaviours and attitudes that is in opposition between owners/managers on the one hand and working people on the other.
It is a state of disagreement over issues of substance or emotional antagonism and may arise due to anger, mistrust or personality clashes. Conflict are inevitable part of organisational life since the goals of different stakeholders such as managers and staff are often incompatible (Jones et al 2003). In addition, it is argue that Conflict is an ever-present process in human relations.
That is why various companies have changed their approaches to enable them to manage their organisations effectively to avoid conflicts at all costs. Conflict is a fact of life in any organisations as longer as people compete for jobs, resources, power, recognition and security.
In addition, dealing with conflicts is a great challenge to management (Adomi and Anie, 2005). Conflicts commonly arise when employees interact in workplace and compete for scarce resources.
Employees in various organizations are organized into manageable groups in order to achieve common goal, therefore, the probability of conflicts to arise is very high. Nowadays, most serious conflicts make headlines in the newspapers, which might affect the public image of the company.
In most organizations, conflicts increase as employees assert their demands for an increased share in organizational rewards, such as position, acknowledgment, appreciation, monetary benefits and independence.
Even management faces conflict with many forces from outside the organization, such as government, unions and other coercive groups which may impose restrictions on managerial activities.
In organizations there are two type of conflict, conflict over right and conflict over interest. Conflict over right deals with employee-employee relationship usually conflict arising here can be settle by collective bargaining and grievance handling.
On the other hand, conflict over interest deals with the perception, opinions and attitudes that differ from one person to another.
Conflicts have both negative and positive outcomes to the individual employees and the organization at large.
In social life, conflicts do occur but they are managed by family members, friends and relatives.
The same case applies to organisations. Irrespective of the factors resulting in conflict, it has been observed that industrial conflicts produce considerable effects on organisations and should be consciously managed as much as possible.
Employees occupy a very strategic place in an organization because of their centrality to the production process. They contribute a very indefinable role both in the achievement of various organization goals and objectives as well as the government economic programme.
However, for employees to perform their crucial role effectively and efficiently there must exist a strong cordial relationship between the employer and employee of such organizations. Although conflict in an organization is inevitable, it must however be noted that friction between employer and the employee must be reduced through a vibrant collective bargaining process to ensure smooth operation in the business of the organization.
Conflicts are inevitable in every organization.
There will always be conflicts and disagreements between employers and employees, either on wages or on the general condition of service of the workers.
Conflict in Cameroon industries has become perennial and disturbing so much that it has hampered the growth of some organizations in Cameroon. In many organizations in Cameroon today, internal (intrapersonal) and interpersonal conflicts are consuming so much organizational time and attention that organizations are starting to look as though conflict is their primary business (Ojielo, 2003).
This development is largely due to the inability of leaders in Nigerian work organizations to view the management of conflict as systematically as they view information, human resources, and financial management systems.
Instead, conflict is viewed and handled in piecemeal and is considered as local events
. The inability to view and manage workplace conflicts systematically has therefore rendered conflict dysfunctional in some organizations.
This is evidenced by the high frequency of strike action, unhealthy rivalry between and among sub-units and individuals within an organization, sabotage at workplace, slow work, labour turnover, absenteeism, lack of productivity, general inefficiency, high rate of industrial accident, low morale, withholding of vital knowledge and a host of others that are being perpetrated by workers in workplaces.
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 a conclusion that cooperation is good while conflict is bad; this is because both concepts do co-exist in our social life.
Hence conflict could be term inevitable given the wide range of goals for the different stakeholders in the organization
. It’s is worth noting that conflict does not only affect the organization it also has an effect on the individuals.
This is seen as signs such as stress, headache and loss of appetite are often the case with individuals after a conflict.
BICEC is an organization that is not excluded from conflict situation as long as the human element is part of its resources.
They may disagree over issues in the workplace which can trigger conflict that need to be managed for improve performance and to enhance productivity in the organization. To this effect, this study seeks to explain further and identify the effect and problems of industrial conflict in Cameroon companies particularly BICEC
1.2 Problem statement
There has been a growing interest in conflict management in recent years.
First, research has stimulated interest in strategies and approaches to handling conflict which in the past may have involved litigation through the courts, Second, there is increased legalization of the workplace, particularly in the areas of occupational health and safety, discrimination, and harassment, Third, there has been heightened interest in the need for organizations to move to high performance work systems (Awan&Anjum 2015).
Traditional workplace practices and systems with their hierarchical structures, tight divisions of labor, narrowly defined jobs, detailed rules, limit employee involvement, and managerial decision making, authority, and control are no longer adequate since they foster conflict (Dreu, 2006).
The high-performance workplace emphasizes conflict management as a cornerstone of the effective high-performance workplace. Due to frequent organizational conflict, performance in most organizations has taken a comparatively nosedive sequence (Babin& Boles, 2000).
The frequent agitation by workers for improved working conditions and other interests have led to a down toll which eventually affects Corporateperformance (Babin& Boles, 2000). Key indicators such as sales return on investment and profit margins have reduced due to poor conflict management.
This shows that organizational performance is enhanced through effective conflict management (Perez et al 2007)
A few studies have been done on the same topic of conflict management with reference to the Kenyan context. Mwangi (2010), carried out a study on the effects of workplace conflicts on performance of teachers in secondary schools in Kenya and concluded that conflicts had an impact on the performance.
Similarly, a report on the findings of a survey done on the educational institutions in Kenya (2011) revealed that most educational institutions have been less successful in management of conflicts in spite of the Government policies put in place including arbitration, communication, third party intervention and negotiation (Ministry of Education report, 2008). Many of the unmanaged conflicts were characterized by teacher’s strikes characterized by violence and wanton destruction of property.
This had a trickledown effect on the institutional academic performance. This study sought to establish the effect of conflict management on corporate performance with a specific focus on BICEC
- What is the relationship between conflict and corporate performance?
- To what extend does conflict management system influence employee commitment in an organization?
1.3 Objectives of the study
The main objective of the study is to find the effects of conflict management on the performance of BICEC. The following specific objectives will be invested.
- To assess the conflict management strategies used by BICEC
- To determine the challenges faced in managing conflict
- To assess the effect of organizational conflict on the performance of BICEC.