CONFLICT MANAGEMENT AND TEACHERS JOB PERFORMANCE IN SOME SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ABUJA
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The study investigated conflict management and teachers job performance in some senior secondary schools in Abuja. The research question and null hypotheses were developed to guide the study. The research made use of the following procedures in gathering data: Questionnaire, Interviews and Observations. Self-designed structured questionnaire was used to collect data from respondents. The participants were drawn randomly from different few school in Abuja. Conflict Management Strategies Utilization Questionnaire and Secondary School Teachers’ Job performance Questionnaire were used, as instruments for data collection. The hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance using Population t-test, and chi-square. Findings revealed that, teachers’ job effectiveness level in Abuja secondary school is significantly high. The findings also revealed among others that; the utilization of the three conflict management strategies (arbitration, dialogue, and effective communication) had a joint significant influence on secondary school teachers’ job effectiveness. Based on these findings, it was recommended among others that; secondary school principal should not rely wholly on one conflict management strategy, instead they should learn how to use various conflict management strategies and apply them based on the nature of conflict.
In school organization, the task of providing effective leadership and peaceful set environment is dependent on personality traits and disposition of the school principal. This often comes into play through the leader’s general attitude, behavior and character and the way he reacts to issues and situation in the school. School principals are often confronted with some challenges and difficulties which often and sometimes lead to conflicts which invariably affect school administration and programme either adversely or otherwise. Conflict in this context is an opposition or competition between two or more forces arising either from the pursuit of incompatible goals or clash of rival opinion (Chaturved, 2006).Conflict is also seen as a process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another (Wall and Robert, 2011). Conflict in this direction is a social problem that may result in disagreement, controversy, opposition and resistance between one person and another or group of persons in an organization as it affects the will or goals of each party. For Griffin, (1997) conflict is more observable and potentially noticed in formal bureaucratic setting than the less formal bureaucracy. Griffin (1990) reported that conflict consist of level of potentialities, dispositions and manifestations. As a manifestation, it means that conflict has the capability of appearing in different dimensions and situations. Conflict manifestations are the different ways in which disagreements and disputes appear in an organization. Conflict shows up in many ways such as disputes, competitions, low morale, sabotage, and withholding of information (Nwite, 2007). The manifestation in school system may be psychological, philosophical and socio-cultural which by extension may be inter-personal, intra-personal, ethnocentric and group types among others (Griffin, 1997).
In an ideal condition, teachers were supposed to maintain good attitudes towards the teaching and instruction of learners. They were supposed to do this with all amount of effectiveness in terms of having a positive attitude, development of a pleasant social /psychological climate in the classroom, having high expectations of what students can achieve, lesson clarity, effective time management, strong lesson structuring, the use of different teaching methods, using and incorporating pupil ideas, using appropriate and varied questioning, proper classroom management, good chalkboard management, use of good disciplinary approaches, proper classroom sitting arrangement, understanding individual differences of learners, proper teaching, high level of punctuality, proper note writing/records keeping and many other such good attitudes. Such effectiveness was also expected to yield positive results in terms of improved academic performance of student and the attainment of set goals.
Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case in some secondary school in Abuja, where many secondary school teachers have been observed to be ineffective in performing their duties as manifested in their lateness to school, irregular attendance to classes, lack of self-discipline, poor attitudes towards writing notes of lesson, improper marking of students’ attendance register, and several other unacceptable attitudes that cannot contribute to the attainment of set objectives. In the past, many teachers have attributed their ineffectiveness to be a product of poor motivation, poor facilities/infrastructural supply, poor/late payment of salaries by the government, and so on.
However, in recent times, the Government and other NGOs have made attempts to improve teachers’ effectiveness, by organizing retraining and development workshops for teachers. The government has also improved in terms of quick payment of secondary school teachers’ salaries. Despite all these efforts made by the government and other NGOs to improve teachers’ effectiveness, coupled with the efforts made by external supervisors and inspectors to check schools at regular intervals, many teachers in some secondary school in Abuja are still adamant and unwilling to change.
It is as a result of this, that the researcher wonders whether teachers’ ineffectiveness in Abuja, could be as a result of poor conflict management. The problem of this study put in question form is: how does conflict management relate to secondary school teachers’ job effectiveness in Abuja? An attempt to provide answer to this question, made carrying out this study germane.