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These chapters start with research background to give an idea about areas of the thesis to the reader. This will be followed by the statement of problem, overall objectives of the study, main hypothesis, in addition to illustration for the significance of the study and the limitation, historical background of the case study.
1.1 Background of the Study
Conflict is generally regarded as a disagreement regarding interests or ideas (Esquivel and Kleiner, 1997). Organizational conflict is the discord that occurs when the goals, interests or values of different individuals or groups are incompatible and those individuals or groups block or tend to frustrate each other’s attempt to achieve their objectives. These actions and reactions make conflict an inevitable part of organizational life since the goals of different stakeholders such as managers and staff are often incompatible (Jones et al, 2000).
Conflict in the work environment has generated a lot of attention and has
become an important issue in organizations across the globe. Its inevitability in the workplace anchors on the inherent differences in needs, roles and responsibilities, goals, desires, ideas and values which characterize environments in which there is significant interaction and interdependence.
Growing concerns about the potential harmful effects of unresolved or poorly managed conflict on individuals, groups and organizations in the work environment spark renewed interest on the issue with a bid to develop more effective approaches to deal with it. Conflict occurs between people in all kinds of human relationships and in all social settings. Because of the wide range of potential differences among people, the absence of conflict usually signals the absence of meaningful interaction. Conflict by itself is neither good nor bad.
However, the manner in which conflict is handled determines whether it is constructive or destructive (Deutsch and Coleman, 2000). Therefore, it is essential to understand the basic processes of conflict so that; we can work to  maximize productive outcomes and minimize destructive ones.
Effective conflict management is the concept of how an organization is
achieving planned objectives by harnessing the individual’s and groups’ efforts
(Ahmadian, 2012). Conflicts arise naturally in every arena of our daily life.
Every organization encounters conflict on a daily basis. It is something that cannot be avoided. It happens on the job, between groups, in our society, within families and right in the middle of our most personal relationships. But it is possible to manage them when we recognize them on time. It is necessary to continuously track the organizational signals which point to their existence. If we do not react duly, this can lead to the situation that the conflict will negatively affect the organization (Deutsch and Coleman, 2000).
Conflict management involves acquiring skills related to conflict resolution, self-awareness about conflict modes, conflict communication skills and establishing a structure for management of conflict in our environment.
Conflict management also involves implementing strategies to limit the
negative aspects of conflict and to increase the positive aspects of conflict at level, equal to, or higher than where the conflict is taking place. Furthermore, the aim of conflict management is to enhance learning and group outcomes that is the effectiveness or performance in organizational setting it is not concerned with eliminating all conflict or avoiding conflict. Conflict can be valuable to groups and organizations (Rahim, 2002).
Conflict management enhance creative problem solving, enabling people to turn conflict situations into constructive learning opportunities, developing creative and more appropriate solutions, preserving relationships, saving time and money, empowering people to resolve their own disputes and creations of more durable outcomes. In Pennsylvania (USA), for example, the concept of conflict management was employed by the Board of Central Rail Road to avert the negative impact of poor decisions of the company’s management, Stephen (1990:591-605). The concept of conflict management
was also used in Omega, a Swiss Company, to improve their organizational structure in a way that fostered collaboration and enhance the company’s continued success, (Henry, 2009:16-24). Other benefits according to the integrationist view as cited by Sev (2002) claims that conflicts enhance organization’s effectiveness by stimulating change and improving decision making. Conflict is functional when it initiates search for new and better ways of doing things. Conflict is a discord that connotes with its negative aspect that will hamper productivity, lower morale, and hinder group performance, or create competing coalitions or reduce productivity (Hocker & Wilmot, 2001).
Some instances of organizational responses to conflicts would suffice at this juncture. There was the nationwide ASUU strike in 1996. Rather than address the staff agitation for improved welfare and salary structure, the Federal Government ordered them to resume work or face penalty. Such fiat compliance were the common practices in traditional industrial and managerial behaviours, but the trend has consistently shifted in contemporary times.
In Nigeria, the concept of conflict management and resolution has been
employed in diverse organizations as reported by Hotepo et al (2010), diverse view of conflicts and conflict management practices were discussed. Their study focused on service organizations in Nigeria from which they developed ways of improving organizational performance and productivity. However, many perceived conflict as dysfunctional, destructive, and unpleasant fact in an organization (Henry, 2009). Notwithstanding, it has been proved that conflict can also be beneficial as it tend to encourage creativity, new looks at old condition, better clarification of points of view, and the development of management capabilities to resolve differences (Russell, 1976:13-21).
The purpose of this case study is to enlighten the researcher on how conflict is being managed in organizations. The research aims to investigate the extent to which hospitals manage conflict in their organizations when it arises and also the negative impact it has on organization.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Cases of industrial disputes abound in Nigerian work situations. Usually, they are between the management of the various organizations and their respective workers unions. Dispute constitutes a drag on the process of industrial peace and economic activities. Industrial disputes between employee and employers have, no doubt, led so many unfavourable situations, that are losses to both parties (management and employees). It is, however, obvious that during industrial disputes, management surely lose production which its cost depends on the strength and periods which the workers will indulge in strike. The loss in productivity constitutes one of the most significant quantifiable costs to the management of the Hospitals. The significance of these losses is more worrisome because it often leads to chain of events in other establishments.
Such losses includes: manpower loss, loss in income to the organization, such as consultancy fees, drugs, laboratory test fees and bed space fee, and in some cases, loss of life.
Most organizations find it difficult to arrive at a compromise peacefully each time they engage in negotiation as a result of industrial disputes. Although some organizations have avoided dealing with dispute, the result of this avoidance has often led to unnecessary financial costs or harm to employee morale and productivity. It would be pertinent to enquire into the causes of the industrial disputes between the management of Hospitals and staffs, with a view to designing a conflict management system for resolving and promoting industrial relations in the work environment. It is also pertinent to evaluate the effect of industrial dispute on the organization and the society in general.
1.3 Research Questions
This will seek answers to the following research questions:
i What are the causes of conflict between staff and Management of
Specialist Hospital?
ii. What types of conflict arises in Specialist hospital, Sokoto?
iii. What style of conflict management system would be workable for
resolving conflict and promoting industrial harmony among staff
and management of the Hospital?
1.4 The Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine how conflict is managed in
Hospitals. Other specific objectives include:
i. To identify the causes of conflict between the staff and the
management of Specialist Hospital Sokoto;
ii. To identify the types of conflict that arises in Specialist Hospital
ii. To examine the roles style of conflict management system used in
resolving conflict and promoting industrial harmony among staff
members of Specialist Hospital, Sokoto.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
For speedy and successfully executions of the study, the following hypotheses are derived from the objectives of the study;
HO1. Leadership problem, Management style, deteriorating facilities,
lack of role definition, poor communication and poor organisational structure in Hospital represent the major causes of conflict between staff and the management.
HO2. Leadership problem, Management style, deteriorating facilities,
lack of role definition, poor communication and poor
organisational structure in Hospital does not represent the major
causes of conflict between staff and the management.
HO3. Inter-personal and intra-personal conflicts represent the major
types of conflict arises among the staff of specialist hospital
HO4. Inter-personal and intra-personal conflicts do not represent the
major types of conflict that arises among the staff of specialist
hospital sokoto.
HO5. A compromising conflict management system will promote
industrial harmony between staff and Management of hospitals;
HO6. A compromising conflict management system will not promote
industrial harmony between staff and Management of hospitals;
1.6 Significance of the Study
As an academic exercise it will afford us the opportunity to contribute
knowledge, improve upon our research experience and provide a basis for
further research. The study will be beneficial to human resource managers in recognizing the need to develop a common language that helps people to think effectively and communicate clearly about the conflict and its management.
This study will also be of value to organizations both public and private in
order for them to identify some silent causes of conflict in Health care
organisations with a view to designing a conflict management system for
resolving and promoting industrial relations in the work environment.
1.7 Scope of the Study
Since this research work is a semester work, the researcher intends limit
to Specialist Hospital Sokoto alone and placed much emphasis on the
influence of conflict management. Organizational performance was also
brought in to know how effective an organization can be if organizational
conflict are properly managed.
1.8 limitations of the Study
This study was inevitably limited by some factors such as follows:
1. Difficulties with accessing full texts of some relevant scientific papers
for literature review.
2. Some databases which could also generate relevant scientific papers
might have been missed out for the literature search.



  1. Jones

    good job admin

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