CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN MODERN DAY ORGANIZATION (A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY OF BENIN CITY, EDO STATE

Abstract
The general objective of this study was to assess the conflict management practice of University of Benin. a qualitative method was employed to achieve the research objective. A sample of is 157 employees. A questionnaire was administered. Data were analyzed by using frequency, percentage; mean, qualitative analysis. The result of these studies indicates that the company uses a moderate level of integrating style than other styles. The employee response on the company there was functional conflict than dysfunctional conflict. The company uses to the prevention of conflict management by moderate level prevention in the use of providing stable, well-structured tasks and Avoiding win-lose situations. While there was a low level of practice in the use of emphasizing organization-wide goals and effectiveness and facilitating intergroup communication. The organization more use for the prevention of conflict management by avoiding the win-lose situation and providing stable, well-structured tasks.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1. Background of the study
Conflict is a natural and inevitable phenomenon in human society. The theme of conflict has attracted the attention of the human mind from time immemorial. Over the years, the issue of conflict has been treated by authors in all of the social sciences. But it received different degrees of emphasis from social scientists during various periods of history (Rahim, 2001). According to Schellenberg (1996), most of the contributions to the study of social conflict came from philosophy and sociology, while a few contributions came from other disciplines, such as biological science.

In recent years, there have been renewed interest and significant changes in the study of conflict in social and organizational contexts. According to Thompson (1998), the formation of the "International Association of Conflict Management" to encourage research, teaching, and training and development on organizational conflict and the publication of the "International Journal of Management" confirms this renewed interest. Furthermore, in the recent past, several universities across the globe have shown great interest in teaching and research on social and organizational conflicts (Rahim, 2001).

Despite the long acquaintance with and the growing interest of people towards conflict, scholars of social and organizational conflict did not come up with a single and clear definition for the term conflict. There is a variety of definitions provided by different authors at different times. For example, Bisno (1988) described conflict as a process of social interaction involving a struggle over claims to resources, power, status, beliefs, and other preferences and desires. Another definition would be the one presented by Thompson (1998). According to Thompson conflict is a perception of differences of interests among people. Similarly, Pondy (1967) described the organizational conflict as a dynamic process underlying organizational behavior.

Sociologists and philosophers have been studying social conflict for years. However, the study of conflict about organizational contexts has been a recent phenomenon. Taylor

(1911) as cited in Rahim (2001) was the pioneer to associate conflict with organizations. In the recent past, there has been a growing interest in the study of conflict in organizations. Currently, conflict in organizations is being considered one of the most important factors that influence organizational performance. For instance, Pondy (1967) stresses that organizational theories designed to address problems of organizational efficiency need to accept conflict as one of the major organizational phenomena. He argued that each problem in an organization is closely related to conflicts within the organization. Hocker and Wilmot (1991) also noted that organizational conflict is an important factor in the study of organizational behavior, development, and process.

According to David J. Cherrington (1989) conflicts are classified as either functional or dysfunctional. Functional conflict is a confrontation between groups that enhances and benefits the organization's performance. Those conflicts which refer to a confrontation or interaction between groups that harm the organization or hinder the achievement of organizational goals are dysfunctional. To this end, the managers of the organization are supposed to avoid those dysfunctional and motivate the functional ones.

Because of the unavoidable nature of conflicts in all institutions, there is therefore the need for institutions to learn to deal with them effectively to minimize their negative impact and maximize their positive impact on institutions (Almost, 2006). The incompatibilities which lead to the conflict could bring about both negative and positive outcomes. However, the positive or negative impact of conflict on the individual and institution would depend on how it is managed. Managing conflict may require the adaptation of certain practices known as conflict management practices.

Conflict management practices have become one of the major areas of concern to many human resource managers over time. They are simply the activities or remedies put in place to manage disagreements and incompatibilities in institutions to maintain peace, stability and also achieve greater output (Kantek and Gezer, 2009).

From the perspective of conflicts, organizations of developing countries are no different from those found in developed nations. Of course, they may require much more learning and investigation to exploit organizational conflicts functionally. One important question may arise at this point. Are there some organizations in developing countries that are more worth the effort of research activities than others? Developing countries are characterized by their low level of human resource development. On the other hand, human resource development plays the most important role in the building of a nation, while educational institutions are primarily charged with the duty of human development works. In his publication "State and The University in Ethiopia under Three Regimes", Balsvik (2007) suggests that the development of human resources is important for interpretation and understanding of reality, for discussion and thinking, and leadership training to find peaceful solutions based on local conditions. Furthermore, Balsvik (2007) states that universities are beacons of modernization and nation-building, producing competent professionals to meet the development needs of nations.

1.2. Statement of the problem
As an organization, it has a group of individuals who have different interests and unique characteristics shaped by culture, social and biological background under the same goal and objectives of the organization. This situation with other conflicting factors puts interaction among individuals and groups within the organization in danger and consequently, it affects an organization's overall personality, performance, and productivity.

Robert and James (2001) also examined „Conflict Across Organizational Boundaries‟ specifically the nexus between managed care organizations and health care providers using boundary-spanning theory as a framework. The result of the study revealed that organizational power affects behavioral responses whereas status differences and negative interactions affect emotions. Mosha, (2006) Studies focusing on conflicts show that working with peoples in organizations involves dealing with many different kinds of problems.

Albert (2005) averred 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 and amicable terms for the settlement reached". Constructively managed conflict induces a positive performance while poorly managed conflict heats 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 cooperative atmosphere is created for promoting opportunities and movement directed towards non-violent, reconciliation, or basic clashing interest.

These two dimensions were later combined into five distinct styles of handling interpersonal conflict. These five styles were integrating, obliging, dominating, avoiding, and compromising (Rahim and Bonoma,1979).

Conflict management also plays the role of enhancing organizational learning, according to Rahim (2002). It helps employees and managers to obtain a deeper understanding of problems and apportion the appropriate measures to deal with them effectively. For example, the conflict management process allows managers to learn new things such as the new causes of conflicts, the nature of conflicts, and the appropriate remedies to deal with them. Organizational learning comprises of acquisition and distribution as well as preservation of information for future use.

Because, if the organization fails to apply an appropriate style or mechanism of conflict management to solve the conflicts, the employees of an organization will be less committed to their responsibilities, there will be also an increasing rate of turnover, low level of worker's job satisfaction. This in turn creates some gap in quality service provision and the overall effectiveness of the organization (Mulatu, 2007).

The studies reviewed above focused on conflict management styles (Mulatu, 2007; Berhanu 2014) and factors of conflict (Gonie, 1998; Gebretensay, 2002), while Fekru (1993) tried to assess types of conflict and styles of conflict management. None of these studies assessed conflict management strategies separately from conflict management styles.

Before describing the research gap intended to be filled by this research, it seems necessary to refer to two conflict situations, one at a global and the other at a national level. At a global level, it has been stated that organizational conflict is still an area that needs further investigation for managers are still tending to reduce or terminate conflicts instead of exploiting them as an opportunity whenever possible (Rahim, 2001). This situation by itself is a gap that invites researchers. At a national level, the case of an Ethiopian manager is no different from its global counterparts, and thus organizational conflict is an issue to be studied. Without referring to this common global research gap regarding the conflict in organizations, the researcher of this study feels that there are a limited number of researches on organizational conflict, particularly on conflicts in educational institution both at a national and regional level or at local levels. So this study has been designed to fill this research gap.

1.3. Research questions
• What is the prevention of conflict management in Uniben?

• What is the outcome of conflict in Uniben?

• Which conflict management styles is practiced in Uniben?

• What is the strength and weakness has Uniben in conflict management practice?

1.4. Objective of the study
1.4.1 General objective
The general objective of the study was Assessing the conflict management practice of University of Benin.

1.3.1. Specific objective

• To identify the prevention of conflict management in Uniben

• To identify the outcome of conflict in Uniben.

• To identify conflict management styles of Uniben

• To identify the strength and weakness has Uniben in conflict management practice

1.5. Significance of the study
This research is believed to will have had the following significances for parties who have a direct or indirect interest in it; It will give feedback to the organization about the practice they have, prevention of conflict, the strength and weakness of the organization .The output from the research can help the organization to take some remedial actions or corrective measures on the conflict management practice. This research can serve as a potential reference for those individuals who want to conduct further studies on the same or related areas. It enables the researcher to acquire basic experiences regarding several issues in areas of conflict management and related aspects.

1.6. Limitation of the study
While conducting this thesis paper the researcher faced different constraints. Some respondents did not return the questionnaire. The insufficiency of time that is provided to conduct this research is also one potential limitation of the study. Finally, because of COVID19, it is hard to collect more data.

1.7. Scope of the study
• Geographical
This research was conducted on University of Benin. Uniben general businesses both factory and company, the factory is located in Edo state they produced tin can used for paint manufacture and the company located in Benin they import pharmacy products. With a specific area of conflict management.

• Conceptual
This study was focused on the conflicts that the organization's permanent employees face. To this end, the required information was gathered only from the workers of the organization (not from other parties like students, and other customers in the community) for the manageability of the study. Moreover, since the study will give due attention to the conflict management aspect, it is believed that information from permanent employees of the organization is valuable because they participate in conflict management. This study is also confined itself to the area of conflict management only. So, several organizational matters beyond this area were not incorporated for sake of specificity.

1.8. Organization of the study
This research report will have five major chapters. The first chapter will be an introductory chapter which consists of the Background of the study, the background of the organization, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, significance of the study, the scope of the study, limitation of the study, the research methodology, and organization of the study. A review of the related literature will be given in the second chapter. The research methodology will be in the third chapter. The Analysis and presentation of the data collected from respondents will constitute the four chapters. The last chapter will be the summary, conclusion, and recommendation.

1.9. Definition of Key Terms
Conflict: is an interactive state manifested in incompatibility, disagreement, or difference within or between social entities.

Conflict Management: is a way in which principals or others take an active role and intervene in the conflict episode in secondary schools.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 67 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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