CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES AND PERFORMANCE IN ABI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF CROSS RIVER STATE
1.0 Background of the study
Understanding the right strategies Abi local government area of Cross River State will apply to manage intra and interstate conflict is very essential to its administrative responsibilities, because this is one sector any administration in the area will want to put more interest by deploying all available resources, in other to improve his performance towards socio-economic development. Applying the right strategies in conflict management is important because of the numerous challenges it brings to the growth and development of any society or organization (Olakunle, 2008).
According to Olakunle, (2008), with a basic understanding of the conflict management strategies, small organizations and societies can better deal with conflicts before they escalate beyond repair. Estes & Wang, (2008) further identified the following; accommodating, avoidance, Collaborating, compromising, and competing methods as the best strategies in managing conflicts in any organization or society. Management of conflict is very essential for development to prevail in an organization, but considerations on the high costs of managing conflict and the consequences it may bring to any organization or society cannot be pre-determine, hence the need for adopting the above mentioned strategies becomes very imperative (Bartlett, 2010).
According to Cross River State report on conflict resolution in 2010, different categories of conflicts have been recorded in several communities of Abi local government area with their neighboring communities both within the state and neighboring Ebonyi and Abia state respectively. Some of these conflicts include; the conflict between Igbo Imabana and Assiga community in Neighboring Yakurr L.G.A, the conflict between Anong and Ekori community in neighboring Yakurr local government Area, and other interstate cases of conflicts too numerous to mention. Other cases of conflicts that have been identified as interstate conflicts in Abi local government area of Cross River State which seem to be the most recent conflict is the conflict between Adadama community and Amagu communities in Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi. Eyewitnesses said the crisis arose from a renewed land dispute between Adadama and Amagu communities.
The study on conflict management strategies and performance in Abi Local government area of Cross River state, indicates that how conflict is managed in the society impacts the process and outcomes of conflict, both for individuals and for organizations. Poorly managed organizational conflicts affects the level and frequency of future conflicts and has a negative effect on learning, productivity, and job performance (Meyer, 2004).