CONFLICT MANAGEMENT FOR EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE IN AN ORGANIZATION (A CASE STUDY OF AKWA IBOM STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In any organization conflicts arising cannot be ruled out, the need for the study on conflicts and the management of conflicts that may arise in an organization. For any organization to succeed and grow, meeting its goals and objectives for setting it up, the issue of conflicts arising should not be overlooked just as the management of these conflicts should be seen as important in order to bring about the attainment of organizations goals and objectives.
Firstly, conflicts can be defined as a disagreement in which parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interest or concerns. Conflicts tend to be accompanied by significant levels of misunderstandings that exaggerate the perceived disagreements considerably.
Another simple definition to the word conflict may mean a situation in which people perceive a threat that could be emotional, physical, power, status etc to their well being. Conflicts are normal experiences within the work environment. They are also, to a large extent predictable and expectable situations that may arise as we go about managing complex and stressful projects in which we are involved in. as such, if we develop procedures for identifying conflicts likely to arise, as well as systems through which we can constructively manage conflicts, we may be able to discover new opportunities to transform conflicts into a productive learning experience.
In understanding conflicts, there are a level of difference in the positions of the two or more parities involved in the conflict, but the true disagreement versus the perceived disagreement may be quite different from one another, if we can understand the true areas of disagreement this will help us solve the right problems and manage the true needs of the parties involved. In further understanding conflicts, there are often disparities in our sense of who is involved in the conflict. Sometimes people are surprised to learn they are a party to the conflict, while other times we are shocked to learn we are not included in the disagreement. On many occasions, people who are seen as part of the social system (e.g’ workplace, team, family etc) are influenced to participate in the dispute, whether they would personally define the situation in that way or not. People readily take sides based on current perceptions of the issues, past issues and relationships, robs within an organization and other factors.
People respond to perceived threats, rather than the true threat facing them. Thus, while perception doesn’t become reality parse, people behaviour feelings and ongoing responses become modified by that evolving seems of the threat they confront. If we can work to understand the true threat (issues) and develop strategies (solutions) that manage conflicts, we are acting constructively in managing the conflict.
Conclusively however, workplace and organizational conflicts tend to be more complex, for they involve ongoing relationship with complex emotional components. Stating simply, there are always procedural needs and psychological needs to be addressed within the conflict in addition to the substantive needs that are generally presented. It is therefore pertinent to state that conflicts in an organization cannot be ruled out, the need therefore for this study, and the possible ways in which some of these conflicts in an organization can be managed for the effective performance of the organization so that the goals and objectives of the organization are attained.
To shed light on the case study of this project work, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, it is important to state the history of the assembly. The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly was created on the 20th day of January, 1992. Following the re-introduction of democratic rule in Nigeria, on that date, 48 honourable members who represented 48 state constituencies at that time were sworn in. the party representation at that time in the house were as follows: The National republican convention (NRC) with 33 members and the social democratic party (SDP) with 15 members making up the 48 members. It had three speakers, namely: Hon Jimmy Jimmy Ntuen, Hon. (Barr.) Nse Ben Ekanem and Hon. (Barr.) Henry Afang.
The current situation of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly took different turn on the 21stday of December, 2015 when the court of appeal sitting in Abuja presided over three Justices in a lead Judgment delivered by Justice Moshoo Oredola Abdulahman nullified the election of the speaker Hon. Aniekan Uko on substantial non-compliance with the electoral act.
The nullification affected other principal affairs chosen by the speaker and other house members. Those affected by the nullification wear the deputy speaker of the house Hon. Udo, the house majority leader Hon. Akpan Udo, house minority leader Hon. Aniefiok Akpan, the chief whip of the housed Hon. Emmanuel Ekpeyongas well as the deputy chief whip of the state assembly Hon. Nse Essien.
Following the nullification of the speaker Akwa Ibom State house of assembly by the appeal court, a new leadership has since emerged. A new Speaker of the state assembly was elected in person of Hon. Onofiok Luke representing Nsit Ubium state constituency. Shortly after, a new deputy speaker emerged in person of Hon. Princess Felicia Bassey representing Okobo State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. Activities in the house of assembly has since resumed normally with plenary sessions on going.
Finally, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly as at January 2016 is comprised of a staff strength of one hundred and ninety (190) workers with one hundred and thirty five (135) representing 71% being make, while fifty five (55) representing 29% were female. The rest of the population given as twenty six (26) is accrued to the elected house members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, bringing the entire population to two hundred and sixteen (216) persons.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The object to this study is as follows: To assess the importance of conflict management in propelling organization to achieve its goals and objectives.
Another objective to this study is to identify what may sometimes lead to conflicts in an organization and avoiding them.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The statement of the problem of this study is why conflicts arise within an organization, what the causative elements of conflicts are as well the strategies that can be employed to effectively manage the conflict within the organization.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study: