The Impact of Conflict Management on Managerial Performance ( A Case Study of GTB Bank

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ABSTRACT

The purpose for carrying out this research is to find out the impact of conflict management on managerial performance a study of GT Bank. This study will reveal that individual worker’s response to directive towards achievement of organizational goals is a complex factor.

Conflict management forms the bedrock for peaceful coexistence between employer and employees. The facts remain that conflict is inevitable in any organization. Therefore, the extent to which an organization is able to forge ahead in spite of this necessary unavoidable constraint will depend much on the style of human resources managers, on whose onus rests the arduous ask of conflict management. GT Bank is not an exception in is regard since it has been established that prevention of crisis is better than managing and or resolving them.

The survey research redesigned was employed in this study and the questionnaire was the major research instrument used in this study. Various statistical tools were used in analyzing the collected data, such as, simple percentage analysis for data presentation and Chi-square for testing hypothesis.

Results of the statistical analysis provide solution to the research objectives, questions and the research hypothesis. Thus, conflict management has effect in managerial performance in GT Bank.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

In every aspect of human society and endeavor, conflict is seen as a natural phenomenon that is, inevitable as long as human relationships are involved. It is a process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected or is about to negatively affect something that the first party cares about (Robbins, Judge & Vohra, 2012). At home and at work, conflict is very common and in some cases unavoidable (Mughal & Khan, 2013). As a result of people interacting with each other, friction, disagreements or arguments may arise resulting from actual or perceived differences or incompatibilities, thereby escalating to conflict. Thus, conflicts in organisations can take many forms such as interpersonal conflict, task conflict and process conflict which give rise to diverse approaches to conflict management (Budd & colvin, 2013).

Nigerian Government over the years however has set up various techniques that will guide organisations in the management of conflicts. Some of these management techniques are available in the provision of Labour/Employment Act, 1971; Workmen’s Compensation Act, 2010, Trade Dispute Amendment Decree, 1988, No 39 and Trade Dispute Act 18, 2004 which provided five steps for legal management of conflict in organisations in the country (Akinwale, 2011). According to Akinwale, 2011, these policies are voluntary settlements of conflict with the use of internal machinery of grievance procedures and also with the use of external machinery comprising of mediator, conciliator, and reference of disputes to industrial arbitration panel, national industrial court and the constitution of a board of enquiry. In the resolution of conflict, the judgment of the national industrial court is final and binding on the employers and employees from the date of the judgment in the country. Longe (2015) identified that the Trade Union Act, 2005 is also used for managing union-management conflict in organisations and has been adopted by some multinational firms in the country.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc with a new name Guaranty Trust Holding Company PLC also known as GTCO PLC is a multinational financial services group, that offers retail and investment banking, pension management, asset management and payments services, headquartered in Victoria Island, Lagos. The organization is often faced with the issue of employees‟ welfare. Employee welfare is an important source of motivation to employees and the lack of it has led to employees having grievances against management which has most times resulted into conflict between both parties and the resulting effect has affected not only the performance of the employees but the organisation. Managing the organisational conflict became necessary so as to improve its performance.

Conflict management involves doing things to limit the negative aspects of conflict and to increase the positive aspects of conflict with the aim of enhancing learning and group outcomes, including effectiveness or performance in managerial settings (Rahim, 2011). Conflict management is something that managers need to deal with as conflict significantly affects employee morale and turnover, which affects the prosperity of an organisation, either constructively or destructively. Therefore, the effectiveness or otherwise of the management of conflict is largely dependent on how well the causes of the conflict have been understood.

When conflict is well managed, it can bring enormous benefits to people and organisations as conflict management is often one of the biggest drivers of change in any organisational set up. If properly handled, it can create stronger bonds, help people to be more innovative, build effective teams, establish strong working relationship and eventually improve individual as well as managerial performance. The key is to openly face an issue and negotiate a win-win outcome from those parties involved (Garcia, 2013).

Robbins, Judge, Millett and Waters-Marsh (2008); Robbins, Judge, and Vohra (2012) identified five major strategies for managing conflict in organisations based on assertiveness and cooperativeness which, according to Adeyemi & Ademilua as cited in Lazarus (2014), are the internal mechanisms used by the various authorities in resolving conflict. Assertiveness means the degree to which one party attempts to satisfy his or her own concerns while cooperativeness means the degree to which one party attempts to satisfy the other party’s concerns. They include: collaboration, compromise, accommodation, competition/domination and avoidance. In the context of this work, collaboration, compromise and avoidance strategies will be considered. This is because the three conflict management strategies provide a satisfactory balance for both parties involved in conflict in terms of assertiveness and cooperativeness. The accommodation and domination strategies will not be considered in the study because they do not provide satisfactory balance to the parties involved in conflict. This is because it leads to one party benefiting at the expense of the other.

Collaboration strategy refers to assertiveness and cooperativeness as it allows both parties‟ goals to be completely achieved by putting the concerns of both parties into consideration. Mughal and Khan (2013) assumed that collaboration strategy enables people take time to listen to others in order to find the best solution to handle the conflict. Compromise strategy refers to mid-range assertiveness and mid-range cooperativeness as it requires parties to conflict to give up something in order to settle the conflicting problem, as such there is no clear winner or loser. This usually happens when employees get a sense of fear to lose any relationship with their colleagues or with their managers. Avoidance strategy refers to unassertiveness and uncooperativeness and occurs when parties to conflict recognize that conflict exists and want to withdraw from it or suppress it by trying to ignore it. Each of the above techniques is unique in its own way and will be considered with a view to ascertaining the performance level of the organisation.

Managerial performance is seen as the result of an activity which has been achieved by an organisation related to its authority and responsibility in achieving the goal legally, not against the law, and conforming to the morale and ethics of the organisation (Almajali, Alamro & Al-Soub, 2012). Managerial or organisational performance can either be measured financially (earnings per share, return on equity, return on asset) or non-financially (market share, customer satisfaction, employee morale). The appropriate measure selected to assess managerial performance (financial or non-financial) is considered to depend on the type of organisation to be evaluated, and the objectives to be achieved through that evaluation. However, improved managerial performance is dependent on the appropriate conflict management strategy (s) such as, collaboration strategy, compromise strategy and avoidance strategy adopted by the organisation in managing conflict. Applying the appropriate strategy will improve employees‟ performance resulting to an improved managerial performance. On the other hand, the inability of the organisation to apply the appropriate conflict management strategy(s) will lead to a decline in employees‟ performance which in turn will result in a decline in managerial performance.

1.2 Statement of the Problem          

Managers spend approximately twenty percent of their time dealing with conflict situations due to the growing complexity of organisations, use of teams and group decision making, and globalization (Mullins, 2005). This proved the fact that conflict cannot be totally eliminated within an organisation because wherever you find human beings interacting at whatever levels, there is bound to be conflict. What is however important is the way conflicts are managed to forestall future occurrence.

The existence of conflict is an issue of concern in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. The organisation is confronted with the issue of negotiation of staff bonuses, usually at the end of the year. The lingering issue results into conflict between management and employees of the organisation which manifested in form of employees nursing grievances against management, change of attitude or behaviuor, decrease in effort towards work, physical confrontation between both parties and stoppage of production activities as employees refuse to work. This affected the effectiveness and performance of the individual employees and the organisation as a whole. Attempt by management to resolve the conflict has only led to conflict suppression. This is because management made use of domination strategy which is of benefit to them at the expense of the employees. As a result, there is a need for Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to devise an effective means of resolving the organisational conflict.

1.3 Aims and Objective of the Study

The main aim and objective of this study is to examine the impact of conflict management on managerial performance, a case study of GT Bank. The challenges encounter in an organization because of either success of failure to management conflict, as the efficiency of challenges of conflict management on organization growth cannot be overemphasizing. The following objectives are relevant.

  • To examine the effect of conflict management on organization growth.
  • To determine the effect of conflict management on managerial performance.
  • To examine the effect of conflict management on long-term survival of the organization.

1.4 Research Question

  • To what extent does conflict management affect organization growth?
  • To what extent does conflict management affect managerial performance?
  • To what extent does conflict management affect long tern survival of the organization?

1.5 Formulation of Hypothesis

The following simple hypothesis is formulated to enhance the research.

HYPOTHESIS 1

Ho: There is no significant relationship between conflict management and organization growth.

HI: there is significant relationship between conflict management and organization growth.

HYPOTHESIS 2

Ho: Conflict management has no significance effect on managerial performance.

HI: Conflict management has significance effect on managerial performance.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study is of great benefit to the management of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, other researchers, general public and lastly, it contributes to the existing body of knowledge on conflict management.

This study is of importance to the management of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in understanding the company’s conflict management strategies which have an important role in determining the success and failure of the organisation and also enlighten them on the strategies to adopt in the management of conflict so as to improve the performance of the organisation. The research findings and recommendations of this study formed a base to be consulted by other researchers who may wish to make further inquiries into the subject matter. The study is of benefit to the general public as it provides them with adequate information concerning the activities of the organisation as it relates to conflict management in the private sector. This study also contributes to the existing body of knowledge on conflict management by examining the effect of conflict management strategies on organizational and managerial performance.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study was carried out on the impact of Conflict Management on managerial Performance in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. The study was carried out on a cross-sectional basis and focus was on the conflict management strategies that contributed to managerial performance. Conflict management being the independent construct was operationalised by the following dimensions: collaboration strategy, compromise strategy and avoidance strategy; while the dependent variable was managerial performance.

1.8 Definition of Terms

ARBITRATION: This is the process whereby the parties in a dispute present their causes to an impartial umpire who sits on the case and determines it.

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: The trade union representative and management resolve their differences trough joint negotiation by this process.

INDUSTRIAL CONFLICT: This occurs when there is any disagreement between labour and management. Management dispute may arise if negotiation the harmful aspect and maximizing the beneficial aspect (clegg, 1979). Stoner and wankel schematically capture the land scale in the evolution of view on conflicts.     

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