Zeowa Richard Ndubuisi; Onukwube Emeka; Modestus Ogunjiofor , pp. 43. MAM/Sektionen för Management, 2010.
Ways of managing organizational conflict are as varied as its causes, origins and contexts. The purpose of conflict management, whether undertaken by the parties in conflict or whether involving the intervention of an outside party, is to affect the entire structure of a conflict situation so as to contain the destructive components in the conflict process (e.g. hostility, use of violence) and help the parties possessing incompatible goals to find some solution to their conflict. Effective conflict management succeeds in (1) minimizing disruption stemming from the existence of a conflict, and (2) providing a solution that is satisfactory and acceptable.
In line with Ikechukwu Eze (1999), the culture of the people has a strong influence on the behaviours exhibited by such people in the organizations which they work. No wonder then why we took the cultural perspective in trying to understand the best ways of managing the dysfunctional Organizational Conflict.
In this work we looked at the background of study and stated the problems from where the objectives of the study were derived. The relevant research question and significance of the study were also postulated.
The researchers went ahead to lay the theoretical foundation of the study by reviewing some related and relevant literature on the topic. In chapter three, we presented a methodological framework which put in place the various methods, procedures and techniques through which the study was conducted, these include: the source of data collection, methods of data collection, population of the study, sample of the study, and method of data analysis.
The data collected were analyzed and the following results emerged:
i) Swedish bosses are democratic, always using their intuition and striving for consensus in their organizations. On the other hand, Nigerian bosses are autocratic, assertive and decisive.
ii) In Sweden, the wide in salary between the top and bottom of the organization is very narrow. The reverse is the case in Nigerian organizations where the wide in salary between the top and bottom of the organization is very high.
iii) In Swedish organizations, privileges and status symbols for managers are frowned at, task prevails over relationship, and hierarchy in their organizations means an inequality of roles established for convenience. On the contrary, in Nigerian organizations, privileges and status symbols for managers are popularized, relationship prevails over task, and hierarchy in their organizations reflects the existential inequality between higher-ups and lower-downs these.
iv) In Swedish organizations, management is seen as management of individuals. The reverse is the case in Nigerian organizations where management is mainly seen as management of group.
v) In Swedish organizations, conflicts are resolved by compromise and negotiation. But in Nigerian organizations, conflicts are basically resolved by: fighting them out; avoidance and smoothing.
vi) Swedish employees have emotional need to be busy, an inner urge to work hard. They as well have a natural drive for precision and punctuality. In comparison, the Nigerian employees feel comfortable when lazy, or hard-working only when needed. They try to learn being precise and punctual.
vii) Finally Swedish employees have average tolerance of deviant and innovative ideas and behaviour, through this way functional conflict and the gains that come with it are in check. However, Nigerian employees have high tolerance of deviant and innovative ideas and behaviour. In as much as this is good for the growth of the organization, but the functional conflict that comes with it if not properly harnessed can lead to dysfunction conflict.
Based on the findings highlighted above, the following are the recommendations proffered by the researchers:-
Since it is almost impossible, to manage conflicts without taking into cognizance the culture in which they emanate, Nigerians on the long run should embark on cultural transformation which should gradually permeate into their organizations, this they do by borrowing a leaf from their Swedish counterparts. By so doing, this will radically reduce the incidence of conflicts in the Nigerian organizations.
In addition, Nigerian employees/managers and bosses should continually encourage settling conflicts arising in their organizations through compromise and negotiation.