THE EFFECT OF INDUSTRIAL CONFLICT ON WORKER’S PRODUCTIVITY
Background of the study
Overtime, Industrial conflict is a canker worm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of most organizations both government and private.In other to achieve organizational productivity, enhance growth and profitability in any organization, a lot has to be done in ensuring that workers or employees are in the right frame of mind in other to give their best to the cause of any firm or organization. Overtime, a lot of scholars have actually observed a striking relationship between employees’ frame of mind and their productive capacity. If operational performance and productivity is to be achieved, then workers/employees have to be provided with the best possible condition to give their best and enhance productivity. In achieving organizational aims and objectives, the workers inputs constitute over 70 percent to achieving profitability (Schlep 2010).
Industrial or organizational conflicts are one inevitable act that takes place in organizations or firms which is capable of ruining an establishment if no properly handled. Misunderstandings are inevitable but the way it is handled in an organization goes a long way of determining the eventual success of such organizations. In an organization where there are people from different background and ideologies industrial conflict is bound to occur. It take quite a lot of professional and ethical ways of ensuring that these industrial conflicts when they do occur can be effectively managed so that it doesn’t have a negative stamp on the organization.Aindustrial crises can be as a result of several factors which ranges from wages/salary, poor working condition, selective punishments just to mention but a few. Nigeria as a country has witnessed its fair share of industrial crises; in 1964, there was a general industrial action/strike carried out by the United Labour Union over the non-implementation of the revised salary structure in Nigeria. Workers demonstrated their grievances in the streets of major cities in Nigeria and some labour leaders were tortured in the process by the police. In 1994 during the regime of late General SaniAbacha, the academic staff union of universities (ASUU) carried out a strike action throughout the federation which lasted for more than a year over poor working conditions. Also in 2002 ASUU also embarked on six months old indutrial action over the better working conditions promised earlier.
In 2010, the academic staff union of universities particularly in the south Eastern States of Nigeria embarked on a five months strike over the non-implementation of the 2009 FG-ASUU agreement.
However, considering the past history of Nigerian industrial relations, one may conclude that industrial conflict is a dominant factor in the Nigerian Labour Relations and could affect the nations productive capacity if neglected.
Statement of the problem
Industrial crises have been a reoccurring decimal in Nigeria’s labour relations. This has grossly lead to economic hardship now evident in the country as the gross domestic product has steadily depleted which has led to job retrenchment. There have been many disputes and disagreement between the Nigerian workers and their employers, this disagreement usually lead to industrial actions, crises and its pathetic result is the poor performance of the economy as millions of naira is lost each time Nigerian workers embark on strike or industrial actions.
However, one would begin to ask why is industrial conflict a dominant factor in the Nigerian Labourhistory? What could be the cause of these actions, the effects as well as possible alternatives to the problem of industrial conflict in Nigeria?
Objectives of the study
The following would serve as our aims and objectives of engaging in this study
To examine the causes of industrial conflicts in Nigeria.
To know the effect of industrial conflict on the Nigerian workers.
To know if industrial conflict affects workers moral/productivity.
To know if industrial conflicts affect the socio economic development of Nigeria.
To examine the relationship between industrial conflict and workers’ productivity.
To know the solutions to industrial conflict in Nigeria.
The following questions would guide us on the course of the study
1. What are the causes of industrial conflicts in Nigeria?
2. What are the effects of industrial conflicts on the Nigerian workers?
3. Does industrial conflicteconomy affect the socio economic development of Nigeria?
4. Does industrial conflict kill workers moral to be productive?
5. What are the possible answers to the consistent industrial crises?
6. Is there a relationship between industrial conflict and workers productivity?
H0: there is no significant relationship between industrial conflict and workers’ productivity.
H1: there is a significant relationship between industrial conflict and workers’ productivity.
Significance of the study
The study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, this study will be useful to both students and scholars who wish to advance their knowledge on the meaning, causes, effects and possible alternatives to industrial conflict in higher institution of learning and Nigeria at large.
On the other hand, it also has a practical significance to the management of the Nigerian government and its employees, as it will help them improve their industrial relations, economic bargaining and collective understanding among them as actors in Industrial Relations. Significantly, it will also provide practicing industrial personnel managers with knowledge on the causes, effects and possible alternatives to industrial conflicts in Nigeria.
Scope/Limitation of the study
This study is majorly focused on the effect of industrial conflict on workers’ productivity with a case study of industries inAkwaIbom state
Limitations of study
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection through the internet, questionnaire and interview.
Time constraint- The researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. This consequently cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Definition of terms
Conflict: This is a situation in which people, groups, or countries are involved in a serious disagreement or argument due to clash of interest.
Industrial conflict: This refers to as the dissatisfaction arising from the interaction between the labour and management in the work place.
Negotiation: This is the formal discussion between people who are trying to reach an agreement.
Strike: This is temporary refusal by workers to work in accordance to the prevailing employment contract or other conditions that may have been specified or implied in the contract of employment.
Industrial action: This is the reaction of either party to conflict in any attempt to make the other party succumb to its demand.
Poor performance: This refers to a situation whereby an employee failed to meet up with his or her expected target in any task assigned to him in an organization.
Addison,J.T. &P.Teixeira (2009), ‗Are Good Industrial Relations Good for the Economy?, German Economic Review 10(3):253-69.
Schlep (2010), ‗Industrial Conflict and its Expressions‘, Employee Relations 15(1):46-62.
Barling,J. &J.Milligan (1987), ‗Some Psychological Consequences of Striking: A Six Month, Longitudinal Study‘, Journal of Occupational Behaviour. 8(2):127-137. Biggs, M. (2002), ‗Strikes as Sequences of Interaction: The American Strike Wave of 1886‘ Social Science History 26 (2), 297-300.