IMPACT OF CONFLICT MANAGEMENT ON EMPLOYEES’ PERFORMANCE IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR.
1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Conflict is inevitable. The dominant rum of management is to maximize profits, while labour's main concern is to secure and maintain the highest level of wages with the best condition". Obisi (1996) argued that despite this fact, peace forms one of the fundamental factors to enhance productivity with .resultant benefit both to labour and management as well as for the economic development of the country. It will not be out of place therefore, to consider conflict as an inevitable and desirable factor in the work place.
Conflict could be viewed as a situation of competition in which the parties are aware of the incomparability of potential future position in which each party wishes to occupy a position that is incompatible with the wishes of the other.
Oxford Dictionary. (2000) sees conflict as a situation in which people, group or countries are involved in a serious disagreement or argument.
Since industrial relations basically rums at the relationship among various actors in the workplace, it then becomes necessary to examine the causes and effects of conflict and to provide insights into how such relationship could be adequately performed.
Programmed or non programmed decision, a programmed decision follows standard operating procedures. There is no need to explore alternatives solutions because the optimal solution has been identified and documented in the past. In contrast, new, complex, or ill-defined problems require non programmed decisions. In these cases, decision makers must search for alternatives and possibly develop a unique solution. As problems reappear, however, programmed decision routine are formed. In this respect, programmed decisions drive out non programmed decisions because we strive for predicable, routine situation. Conflict could arise because of the employee quest to maximize profit while workers representatives are out to ensure continuous improved condition of living for their member. Conflict could also arise as a result of failure to honour agreed items on collective bargaining.
Damachi (1999), emphasized that if those workers rights and employee prerogative are trampled upon, could also cause conflict. These include pay condition of service, etc.
Indirect participation is used to refer to those forms of participation where representatives or delegates to the main body of employees participate in a variety of ways in the decision making process within the organization. Indirect forms, such as joint consultation, widening the content of collective bargaining and worker; are associated with the boarder's notion of ‘industrial democracy' (Barman et., 1976; Bullock, 1977).
1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Poor motivation of workers reduces their output, and this results in low profit to the organization. Employees are also being affected.in the area of poor interpersonal relationship, loss of payment, and dismissal from employment or eventual loss of life and time constraint. The effect of such problem is like ill winds that blow nobody any good and it affects organizational performance. All organization stakeholders are usually affected.
Industrial conflict have the potency of social disorder; instability and mass unemployment could affect the government's ability to fulfill it's obligation to the citizenry.
Otobo (1987) writing on effects of strikes and lockouts examined resultant effects of industrial conflict at three levels namely psychological, political and economic. In all, every party to industrial action is affected. The need for an effective conflict management to ameliorate the problems emanating from conflict and assist organization in their struggle for the attainment of corporate objective cannot be over-emphasized. The 'industrial relation climate in power holding company of Nigeria (PHCN) will be the focus on this study.
1.2 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The main objective of this research study is to identify and assess the effect of conflict management on employee performance in the public sector the specific objectives are to
a) Identify the causes and consequences of conflicts
b) Examine the method by which conflict can be prevented from degenerating into strikes and lockout of the employee
c) Examine the relevance of conflict management on employee performance
d) Examine how effective conflict management can bring about harmonious and peaceful co-existence among various interest groups in the work place with particular reference to PHCN.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study will attempt to proffer answer to the question as exhaustively as possible.
1. What is the impact of conflict management on employee performance in Power Holding Company of Nigeria?
2. To what extent does conflicts management system have an effect on reduction in labour turnover?
3. To what extent does conflict management system influence employee commitment in an organization?
4. What type of conflict management method would minimize workers loss of interest on the job?
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Hi: The conflict management system adopted by PHCN affects employee performance in the company
Ho: The conflict management system adopted by PHCN does not affect employee performance.
Hi: The conflict management system influence employee commitment in an organization
Ho: Conflict management system does not influence employee performance in an organization.
Hi: The conflict management system will minimize workers loss of interest in the job
Ho: The conflict management system will not minimize workers loss of interest on the job.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will attempt to examine the conflict management situation in Power Holding Company of Nigeria. There will be a general review of the theoretical foundation of the study and the historical background of PHCN will also be analyzed.
1.6 RELEVANCE OF THE STUDY
The important of an organization to achieve stated objectives depends on the quality of its workforce. It is therefore necessary to examine· the impact of conflict management system on employee performance in the public sector.
The study is relevant and important because of the impression on both workers and management of a public organization usually have that "this is a government work" and as such anything goes. Now that the economy is embracing more of economic deregulation and Power Holding Company has been commercialized, it is imperative to study how conflict is being handled now. It is hoped that the result of this study would be a reference point for other erstwhile public enterprises now commercialized or privatized to know how to handle conflict in their organizations so that their main objective of being in business will not be jeopardized. The study will also add to the existing literatures in the field.
1.7 HISTORY OF POWER HOLDING COMPANY OF NIGERIA (PHCN)
Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) is a government aimed business organization set up by Decree with the aim of maximizing public welfare. Service .usually provided by PHCN is essential. To ensure even distribution of facilities and social service, the government establishes NEPA. NEPA helps to control private monopoly of power and also helps to combat the unhealthy rural urban drift of the population.
The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was established by the Decree 24 of 1st April, 1972 with the amalgamation of Electricity Cooperation of Nigeria (ECN) and Niger Dams Authority (NBA). PHCN was therefore empowered to maintain an efficient coordinates and economic system of electricity supply-to all the nooks and crannies of the nation.
It started with a humble but steady beginning with only four major power stations namely: Ijora, Delta, A Fam Turmal Power Stations and Kanji Dam Hydro Power Station servicing more than two million customers nationwide. This propelled the nation's technological and industrial growth. PHCN has become the fastest and biggest electricity industry in Africa and indeed with developing world with a customer population of about five million. The table below is a comparative status of the electricity supply systems from the inception of PH CN of the electricity
supply systems since 1972 and 1997. Conflict management therefore, could be taken as the indispensable tools or method by which disagreement are resolve if and when they arise. This is very important and could be considered as an art as it has the potency of including or reducing industrial crisis..