The Project File Details
- Name: MANAGEMENT OF INDUSTRIAL CONFLICT IN NIGERIAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS (A STUDY OF INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY, ENUGU
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The broad objective of this work is to Appraise Industrial conflict in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions with a particular reference to Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu. The study investigated the causes and management of Industrial conflict in the institution and how such conflicts are managed by labour and management. The study employed the survey research method, which was adopted in eliciting information through questionnaire. The population used for the study comprised academic and non-academic staff of the institute totaling four hundred and sixty-eight (468). The sample size was two hundred and sixteen (216) staff out of 468, which was drawn using Yaro Yamani’s formular for determining sample size. Questionnaire and interview were the main research techniques adopted for data collection. Three hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. Data were also collected from both primary and secondary sources. The data collected were analysed using percentage distribution and chi-square at 0.05 level of significance were used to test the hypotheses. The major findings of the study revealed that the causes of industrial conflicts are mostly as a result of poor remunerative structure, poor communication network between the labour and the management, denial of promotions, poor working conditions and management interference in the union activities. Others are dispute arising from non-payment of salary and fringe benefits. It was concluded that conflicts of interest are inevitable between management and labour. Thus, there is need to pay serious attention to the causes of industrial conflicts to prevent the occurrence. Based on the findings, the study recommends that both the management and labour unions should be partners in progress for better understanding and smooth administration of the institution. Thus, there should be improvement of communication network between labour and management. Staff welfare and other necessary staff demands should be unanimously tackled by the management and labour unions and dialogue should be adopted while resolving conflict in the institution. Finally, management is advised not to involve themselves in the activities of the labour union in the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title ———————————————————————– i
Certification ————————————————————– ii
Dedication —————————————————————- iii
Acknowledgement —————————————————— iv
Abstract ——————————————————————- vi
Table of Contents ——————————————————- vii
List of Tables ————————————————————
List of Figures ————————————————————
1.0 Introduction —————————————————— 1
1.1 Background of the study ————————————— 1
1.2 Statement of the problem ————————————– 6
1.3 Objectives of the study —————————————– 8
1.4 Hypotheses ——————————————————- 9
1.5 Significance of the study ————————————— 9
1.6 Theoretical framework —————————————– 11
1.7 Scope/Delimitation of the study —————————— 15
1.8 Limitations of the study —————————————- 15
1.9 Definition of Terms ——————————————— 16
2.0 Review of Related Literature ———————————— 21
2.1 Introduction ——————————————————– 21
2.2 Meaning of Industrial Conflicts ———————————- 22
2.3 Stages and Models of Conflict ———————————- 25
2.4 Models of Conflicts ———————————————— 26
2.5 Types of Industrial Conflicts ————————————- 29
2.6 Theories of Labour Conflict ————————————-
2.7 Causes of Industrial Conflicts ———————————— 31
2.8 Sources of Industrial Conflicts ———————————- 34
2.9 Resolution of Industrial Conflicts ——————————- 37
2.10 Collective Bargaining ——————————————- 43
2.11 Functions of Collective Bargaining ————————— 47
2.12 Forms of Industrial Action ————————————– 49
2.13 Historical Development of Labour movement in Nigeria – 52
2.14 Objectives and Function of Trade Unions ——————- 59
2.15 Government Intervention in the Labour Movement ——– 61
2.16 Effects of Industrial Conflicts in Nigeria ——————– 63
2.17 Appraisal of a the Conflict Management Technique/ Collective bargaining technique ——————————– 67
2.18 Summary of Literature Review ——————————– 70
3.0 Research Design and Methodology —————————- `72
3.1 Research Design ———————————————— 72
3.2 Area of study —————————————————- 72
3.3 Population of the study —————————————– 73
3.4 Sample and sampling techniques —————————– 73
3.5 Sources of Data ————————————————– 75
3.6 Instrument for Data collection ——————————– 75
3.7 Validity and Reliability of the Research Instrument —— 76
3.8 Methods of Data Collection ———————————– 76
3.9 Methods of Data Analysis ————————————- 77
4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis ——————————— 79
4.1 Test of Hypotheses ——————————————— 97
4.2 Discussion of Findings —————————————– 103
4.3 Summary of Major Findings ———————————- 105
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation ————– 107
5.1 Summary of findings ——————————————- 107
5.2 Conclusion ——————————————————- 108
5.3 Recommendation ———————————————— 108
5.4 Suggestions for further study ——————————— 111
References ——————————————————– 112
Appendices ——————————————————- 118
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
An organisation can achieve its objectives only if its members
cooperate and coordinate their efforts toward a common goal. For this to
occur, everyone must subordinate a degree of individual and personal
freedom to the organisation. Such behaviour is not achieved, however
without a struggle and therefore the possibility of conflict and conflict
Life generally is full of conflict. Conflict cannot be ruled out in
people’s life. Conflicts are found in families, organistions, nations,
market places and even along the streets.
Conflict is widely seen as one of the persistent problems in
organisational life. The fact of its centrality is indicated by the fact that
even in organisations where it appears to have been eliminated like
Japanese firms and ‘high tech’ companies, there still exists high level of
work pressure and a tendency for conflict and tensions to be internalized
within employees, rather than being expressed as open disputes between
management/leadership and the worker (Eze, 1997). Thus, people who
claim that conflict can be eliminated misunderstand how organisations
A conflict arises within an organisation when one or more of its
members (individuals, groups or network of groups) covertly or overtly
oppose another member or group. Their goals, desire and interests are
not only unharmonious; they may also be incompatible (Akpala, 1990).
The history of the colonial state and industrial conflicts and
industrial relations dates back to the period of the European rivalries
before and during the 1884/85 Berlin West African Conference, which
consequently led to the well known scramble for African territories.
Thus in 1860 and 1910 Lagos was cease by Britain, by 1862 most of
Africa and Nigeria were in military occupation following the
pacification exercise (Otobo, 1992). As a result of this, indigenous
political authorities lost their sovereignties and were subjected to
colonial administration. This occupation greatly accelerated the creation
of Nigeria Wage Labour Force and Conflicts. Thereafter as a result of
the conscription of workers to be engaged in the construction of
infrastructural facilities mostly in the building of houses, construction of
roads, bridges, ports, railways and other works of public importance
(Ejiofor and Aniagbo, 1984).
The colonial Industrial Relations policies in Nigeria implied the
attempt by the colonial administration to regulate employment and
establish control over work processes. The creation of Wage Labour
Force was to meet the commercial needs of both local and European
interest. The creation of Labour Force and the creation of various
indigenous communities to official policies along with the activities of
the private employers and also the pressure from the White Hall in
London instigated the colonial government to promulgate colonial
labour policies for dealing with employers operating in various
communities in the colonies, and hence the development of industries
relations and conflicts management techniques in the colonial territories.
The basis of the colonial state labour policies was laid after Lagos
became a colony in 1900. Labour became a reserved problem to the
colonial office in several ways. As a result of widespread slave trading
which made it difficult to create a labour market and to develop a stable
labour force to secure a ready market for imported consumer goods and
wares to generate conditions favourable for colonial trade and other
commercial activities of increasing importance to both the metropolitan
business circle and the European national rivalries.
Military approach was adopted for the conscription of people into
labour gangs, army platoons and battalions (Akpala, 1990). The
immediate objective was for the construction of roads and rail lines.
This class of labour was officially regarded as casual, temporary with no
wage paid; accommodation was not provided, work was regarded as a
duty despite element of compulsion in the recruitment of labourers, such
labourers were expected to return to their houses at the end of the day.
Such a system could not cope with laying of lines across the country,
and other activities for the colonial government across the far
uninhabited land. This tendency produced mass desertions, agitation and
often open revolt which forced the colonial government into the
introduction of wages, such wages were too low but upsetting to the
colonial officials who had grown used to utilizing forced indigenous
labour without pay. This was the genesis of labour conflict in the
colonial labour circle Halimatu (2002) also stated that little was known
about specific policies of consultation or negotiation inside and outside
the public administration at the time of such processes as existed seemed
to have been related with European affairs whose condition of service
and terms were settled by the council office in London.
This condition contrasted sharply with those of the indigenous
African public servants. Ubeku (1975) accounts that the procedures
adopted surprisingly sophisticated in the colonial territory suited the
colonial officials as it was intensively administered, was the beginning
source of labour conflict in the colony.
Other factors that promoted labour conflict are the issues of how
the general population of Africans lived in slums, including the few
African civil servants, thus differentials in housing policy, fringe
benefits that provide strong grounds for agitation by the press,
professional classes and the nationalist of every kind between the
colonial officials, government, Africans and nationalist.
The most celebrated case was the 1891 strike by the staff of the
Public Works Department (PWD) whose salary was unceremoniously
slashed over night by the Governor who considered the low wage still
high (Ubeku, 1975). This low wages were systematically rationalized in
respect of labourers and forced labour, when mass desertions, compelled
private and state authorities to pay token wages.
Labour conflict began as communal protests by temporary
stoppages of work embarked upon by identified group of workers, such
as the labourers.
Fajana (1995) noted that these strikes escalated and generalized
into African protest against colonial administration and European private
employers; for instance, the eminent strikes of 1897 and 1947 by
employees of United African Company in Burutu. In 1945 local coal
miners’ protests in Enugu were good examples. Another type of conflict
resulted from the nature of work and manner of recruitment of labour to
the highhandedness of physical supervision, which was induced by the
forced labour policy all over the colony.
Labour conflict moved from 30 cases in 1956/57 to 49 cases in
1957/58 and further to 53 in 1958/59 with corresponding increase in loss
of resources (Imaga, 1990). Demachi (1989) contends that disputes
between 1955/56 and 1958/59 led to the loss of a total of 974, 095 man
days to strike in Nigeria.
In 1982, a total of 8,221, 761man days were lost to strikes
involving 756,394 workers. Respectively, Academic Staff Union of
University (ASUU) went on strike for four and six months in 1993 and
1994 to push government to implement the 1992 ASUU Federal
Government Agreement (Egbokhare, 2001).
Industrial conflict in Nigerian tertiary institutions are not peculiar
to Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu but such that
bedeviled the management and administrative set up of other tertiary
institutions in Nigeria.
These problems were envisaged at University of Nigeria Nsukka
between the management and students over increase in school fees from
2009-2010, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede 2001-2002 between the Student
Union Government and Management on the welfare of students and
Federal Polytechnic, Idah 2002-2004 over the issue of staff welfare and
In the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu, we
discovered during the pilot study that some of the problems of industrial
conflicts, which was discussed verbally by the staff of the institution
were as follows:
* State interference in education
* Overbearing influence of government in the appointment of
Rector and Council Chairman and management interference in
These and other allied factors culminated into investigating the
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Tertiary institutions are formal organizations with special goals of
channeling and shaping the destiny of mankind. Through teaching,
research and public service (Obani, 1995), they produce individuals who
through their intellectual contributions to society better the lots of
mankind (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2000). These goals are
accomplished through human cooperative action (Onah, 2005), between
management and staff (academic and non-academic). Some shared and
opposed interests are found when workers and management work
together. Those shared enhance industrial harmony and peace, while
those opposed generate industrial conflict (Crouch, 1977). Differences
between workers and management in terms of goals, needs, talents,
skills, status, competencies, perception, aggressiveness and other diverse
features of members of organization makes conflict inevitable (Umoren,
2001, Jaja and Umezuruike, 2004).
The failure in management is attributable to poor management of
industrial conflicts within the organization. We are in ever-changing
economic, technology, social and political era in which conflict has
become inevitable in a dynamic organization.
Change and economic growth bring opportunity but they also
bring risk particularly in an era of world wide rivalry for market
resources and influence.
In Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, the causes of
industrial conflict is as a result of non-payment of salaries and fringe
benefits as and when due, strikes, lay-offs, denial of promotion, dispute
settlement procedures and so on. It is therefore the task of management
and labour to minimize risk involved in conflicts while taking advantage
of the opportunities they provide.
The central questions that will, therefore forms, the basis of this
1. What are the immediate causes of poor management approach on
industrial conflict between the workers (labour) and management
(organisation) in Institute of Management and Technology,
2. How were the conflicts managed by the labour on one hand and
the management on the other hand?
3. To what extent has the management of these conflicts affected the
morale of workers needed in enhancing their performances.
Attempts to provide answers to these questions and suggest
measures for possible solutions for any future conflicts constitute the
basic research problems of the study.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to find out how industrial
conflicts are managed in Nigerian tertiary institutions with emphasis on
Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu.
The specific objectives of the study are, therefore:
1. To examine the causes of industrial conflict between the workers
and management in the Institute of Management and Technology,
2. To appraise the management of conflict as it affect the morale of
3. To investigate how conflicts are managed between the two bodies
labour and management;
4. To suggest remedies to the problems emanating from the research
findings and make appropriate recommendations.
This research work was directed toward testing of the following
hypotheses. Therefore, the following hypotheses were formulated to
guide the study;
Ho: The management of labour conflicts in the Institute of
Management and Technology, Enugu is not as a result of the
management’s refusal to meet up with the workers welfare needs.
Hi: The management of labour conflicts in the Institute of
Management and Technology, Enugu is as a result of the
management’s refusal to meet up with the workers welfare needs.
Ho: The labour leaders and top management’s handling of the labour
management conflicts do not reduce conflicts.
Hi: The labour leaders and top management’s handling of the labour
management conflicts reduces conflicts.
Ho: Improper management of conflicts does not result to low morale
of the workers.
Hi: Improper management of conflicts result to low morale of the
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
With the rising wave of industrial conflicts in the country in recent
times and its attendant negative effects, an in-dept study of the problems
becomes necessary. It is therefore hoped that the results of the study
will have the potentiality of redirecting management’s attention to some
of its rigid features with a view to correcting some of its inherent
deficiencies in them, which contributed to and constituted the
labour/management conflicts in the study area.
The evaluation of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in relation
to its employers will in essence be useful, as it will reveal areas of
weaknesses that should be improved as well as areas of power or
strength that should be encouraged for effective and efficient
management of an impending danger that may result to conflicts in the
areas of work.
The findings and recommendations of the study will also be
significant as they will contribute and generate further research interest
in the areas of labour/management conflicts and conflicts as a whole.
Finally, an effective research into this area of work and
consequent prescriptions for the problems that may be made in the
research findings will not only improve the proper handling of industrial
conflicts in the federation, but will also help to reduce the numerous
problems which create the gap between labour and the management in
carrying out their responsibilities. It will also stimulate further
researches into conflict and its management not only in tertiary
institutions but also in other government and non-governmental
1.6 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
Kaplan, (1980) contends that a theory is a systematically
organized knowledge of varying levels of generalization with a view to
the eventual specification or relationships among empirical tests.
According to him, the test of a theory is the degree to which its
formulation seems congruent with our own perception of the real world
situation. Therefore a theory equips us with a way of looking at reality.
In the light of the forgoing, we can define theoretical framework
as a broad umbrella made up of theoretical postulations (theories,
perspective, models or paradigms) that researchers or writers can utilize
as guides for understanding or analyzing a reality or phenomenon under
study. For the purpose of this study, the general systems approach was
adopted. Systems analysis is a part of the behaviouralist movement in
political science, which had been growing in various America
universities, starting with the University of Chicago-as a reaction to the
traditionalist approach. It was in this search for theory-building that
scholars like David Easton, Ludwig Von Bertanaffy, a Biologist,
Morton, Kaplan, Karl Deutsch, Stanley Holfmann, Charles McClelland
to quote a few developed the system model (Verma, 1975). System
theory was popularized in political science by David Easton (a Political
Scientist). In recent times, the systems theory has become as
increasingly useful framework for thinking about organizations and
managerial functions. Organizations, like the Institute of Management
and Technology, Enugu are open systems with certain boundaries that
differentiate it from other systems. It must constantly receive multitude
of inputs from its external environment (people, form, input,
information) in order to achieve its objectives.
Therefore, to survive and prosper, an organization must be
productive. It must return to its external environment certain outputs in
order to justify its existence and get the support it needs.
The system theory is an analytical tool, which enables theorists
and researchers to study key elements of organizations in terms of their
interaction with one another and with their external environment. Social
systems are always open systems with inputs, outputs, and conversion
process. In relation to an organization, inputs refer to people, materials,
information and finance. These inputs are organized and activated so as
to convert human skills and raw materials into products, services and
other outputs, which are discharged into the environment.
It is important to state here that the research, which is focused on
“Management of Industrial Conflict in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions” is
of vital importance in the study of the relationship between labour
conflict and management. The institution is an organization, a system
within a larger system of its environment. The workers, the sub-units
and labour union within the organization constitute the internal
environment of the organization.
The system theory as a framework for the study of management of
industrial conflict in Nigerian tertiary institutions enables us to
understand and explain how environmental factors (like conflict) affect
the internal working of the Institute of Management and Technology,
Enugu and how this could bring about the collapse of the system.
The System Approach to Organization
Input Conversion Output
Source: Chike Nwizu (1997) p. 182
The political system accepts input – the total of outputs from other
domestic sub-systems (social, economic, cultural, ecological, etc).
These outputs from the domestic subsystems are articulated by the
various publics and are aggregated by the intermediary gate keepers
(pressure groups, labour unions, opinion leaders, mass media, political
parties, ruling elites) from where they pass into political system as input.
The activities of these intermediary gatekeepers are known as “Structural
Mechanism”. “Structural Mechanisms” refer to norms, which regulate
To ensure the maintenance of the systems there are three levels of
(1) Public support in the form of payment of taxes, participation in
voting, obedience to law and acceptance of certain values.
(2) Regime: this refers to formal political links between certain
entities in the political system executive, parliament, judiciary,
(3) Authorities: This refers to actual role payers, authoritative
positions, such as members of the institution and senior staff of
Conversion is the process by which demands are: (a) articulated
and aggregated (b) converted into authoritative decisions, rules etc.
Output drives from the political systems after conversion as
authoritative actions and decisions. There are four kinds of output.
(a) Extractive (tax collection)
(b) Regulative (laws)
(c) Adoration- activities such as allotting public funds between
(d) Judicial decisions, treaties, executive orders and administrative
Feedback is the response from those who made the original
demands and this helps to determine such succeeding round of input.
Environment is the masses (which include the institution workers)
that make demands from the political system.
The political system is subject to stress which may be due to lack
of support, excess demands or outputs which produce adverse effect in
the environment (like conflict).
As of now one can say that the tertiary institutions in Nigeria have
various sources of conflict as a result of their struggle to meet up with
their set goals and objectives.
1.7 SCOPE / DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study focuses on the management of industrial conflicts in
Nigerian tertiary institutions with particular reference to the Institute of
Management and Technology, Enugu. To achieve this, the study looks
at the background of the Institute, causes of conflicts, how conflicts were
managed, and to determine the extent these conflicts have gone in
shaping the economy and life of the workers within the institution. The
research covers the public sector of the country. It is believed that the
outcome of the finding will be applicable to similar institutions within
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The researcher was faced with a number of problems in the
process of carrying out this research study and as a result the research
admits its shortcomings. As Nwana (1981:32) aptly observes, it is a
mark of intellectual honesty to admit that limitations did exist in a
research undertaking and to give an account of the way they have been
manifested. This will enable future investigators to have an idea of what
militating factors to look out for and possibly to take care of them. The
limiting factors are explained below:
First the researcher found it difficult to gather indepth information
on the area of study. In most cases, some of the information gathered
was stale. Also some of the information was insufficient due to the
attitude of some of the library users by pilfering library materials.
The unwillingness of some personnel officers of Institute of
Managmeent and Technology, Enugu to disclose some pieces of
information that are vital to this study which they classified as being
“secret” posed some problems.
Due to fluctuation in power supply, the researcher had to visit
interment severally in order to retrieve the required information. Besides,
because of poor quality of floppy disc and flash drive both storage and
retrieval of information were difficult.
In addition to the above problems, the researcher also encountered
the problem of time and financial factors because the research was
carried out within a given time frame in an environment where the
researcher had to attend to her official assignments in her place of work,
battle with lectures, class work and sourcing of materials.
In spite of all these shortcomings the researcher did her best.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The term organization implies three basic things as used in this work
(a) A group of persons working together for a common purpose
e.g. companies. School, institutions.
(b) A network of relationships among individuals and activities.
This implies the structural and strategic arrangement of persons
position and roles
(c) A process of executive function aimed at ensuring that
resources, activities and authority relationship are so co
ordinated to achieve specific goals
Industrial conflict is a disagreement between two or more
members of an organization over means/manner of achieving certain
goals within the establishment (Szilagyi, 1981).
Industrial conflict can be described as the existence of not only
grievances in the workplace, but also grievance that result to strike, work
stoppage, lockout or any other labour actions that are unfavourable to the
Grievance is a complaint against an organization that has been
formulated and is handled through the systematic procedure established
by collective bargaining. Grievance may be grouped into two, namely:
individual grievance and collective grievance. Grievances involving an
individual are over his rights, what he thinks he is entitled to as a
workman in his place of work.
Collective grievances are concerned mainly with economic
matters except in cases where individual grievances develop into
collective grievances. The economic matters that cause collective
grievances are those that relate to collective bargaining.
This refers to the level of confidence and positive feelings among
Conflict and dispute is said to exist between two or more
individuals or work groups; when they disagree on a significant issue(s)
and clash over the issues. Although generally viewed in a negative light,
conflict can be of some value to the enterprise. It provides opportunities
for new leaders to merge and for the enterprise to change it’s objectives
in order to respond to changing environment. Franklin Roosevelt felt
that conflict was necessary for effective policy making by appointing
advisers who would clash and then assuming the role of an arbitrator in
their disagreement, he was able to weed the bias out of the opinion they
Conflict is an essential aspect of social system and its component
parts, and conflict can create room for a thorough analysis resulting to
In the course of this work, management will be looked at in two
a. Management in terms of the work of a manager-planning,
organizing, directing, co-ordinating and controlling the affairs of
an organization. It includes the total system of an organization,
which involves getting organizational personnel to accomplish
their work so as to achieve the organizational goals.
b. Management in terms of people who are placed in-charge of the
affairs of others.
An employee or worker is “Any person who enters into a contract
with another (the employer), to perform work under the control of the
employer or another of that employer’s employees, and as part of this
organization run by the employer in return for wages or salary or some
other valuable consideration”.
A strike is defined in the Trade Dispute Act of 1976 as “a
cessation of work by a body of persons employed, acting in combination
or concerted refusal or a refusal under a common understanding on any
member or person employed to continue to work for an employer in
consequence of a dispute, done as a means of compelling their employer
or any person or body of persons employed or to aid other workers
accept or not to accept terms of employment and physical conditions of
Section 3 (8) of the Trade Union Act of 1973, defined trade union as
“Any combination of workers or employees whether temporary or
permanent, the purpose of which is to regulate the terms and conditions
of employment of workers, whether the combination in question would
or would not apart from this act, be an unlawful combination by reason
of any of its purpose being in restraint of trade and whether it’s purpose
do or do not include the provision of benefits for its members”.
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