Industrial Conflicts In Nigerian Deposit Money Banks: Benefits And Challenges

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ABSTRACT

Conflict can either result to positive or negative outcomes in a firm based on how it is managed. Only when the source is known, can it be properly managed. This study examined the challenges that could possibly lead to industrial conflict and the benefits of a well-managed conflict. Five (5) bank branches within Ota were used in collecting data through the administration of questionnaire and a total of 50 questionnaires were administered and collected. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics generated using the SPSS statistical package. The result showed that the major challenges faced by banks are the challenge of handling difficult persons and situation, as well as the challenge of personality differences. The major benefits derived from industrial conflict are enhanced communication among groups and development of new ideas and motivation. The study recommended that these challenges be recognised and a framework provided to effectively manage these challenges to improve the firm’s performance. 

 

Chapter One

1.1         INTRODUCTION

Conflicts in banks are inevitable as the bank is made up of individuals from different backgrounds, with different beliefs and social values. Conflict can occur between employees and employers, top management and subordinates and also between employees of banks. Organizational conflict arises when the target, welfare or principles of different persons or teams are unsuited and they block or tend to aggravate each other’s attempt to accomplish their goals. These actions and reactions make conflict an unavoidable part of an organisation (Jones et al, 2013). Schramm-Nielsen (2002) defines conflict as a situation of severe divergence and disagreement about something alleged to be important by at least one of the parties involved. Arguments or misunderstandings are common in the workplace but the management and effect of such misunderstanding on the firm is very important.

Handling employee misconduct is a very critical task to be performed by the senior managers. Misconduct and other offensive behaviors often lead to decreased levels of productivity as they affect the individual performance of the employees. The causes of industrial disputes can be broadly classified into two categories: economic and non-economic causes. The economic causes will include issues relating to compensation like wages, bonus, allowances, and conditions for work, working hours, leave and holidays without pay, unjust layoffs and retrenchments. The non economic factors will include victimization of workers, ill treatment by staff members, sympathetic strikes, political factors, indiscipline etc.

 Conflict has been in existence for a long time and cannot be erased; it can only be well managed to bring about positive changes in the firm. Fadipe (2000) define conflict as a type of disagreement in a firm between two persons (or teams) who have reasons to interact officially or unofficially. Conflict can affect a banking firm positively or negatively. When it is a positive conflict, it will enhance the performance of the banks and amongst other benefits, create mutual understanding among individuals and groups but where the effect is negative, it will deter bank performance.

Nigerian banks have been faced with issues of casual employment amongst indigenous employees, unrealistic deposit target given to new employees, personality differences, adapting to changing environment such as globalisation and technology, challenge of different faith and culture, challenge faced in handling difficult people and situation etc. These often resulted in conflict and trade union had to call out its staff on strike where collective bargaining failed. The research questions addressed in this study are as follows: Are there issues personality differences, changing environment, challenge of different faith and culture that affects employees? The research questions also looked at the challenges faced by Nigerian deposit money banks due to conflict and what are the benefits enjoyed by deposit money banks in Nigeria as a result of conflict? This study reviews the benefits and challenges of conflict in Nigerian deposit money banks using employees of five banks (UBA, Union bank, First bank, Heritage bank, and GT Bank) as case study. The study will add to the body of previous knowledge and assist bank management in handling industrial relations issues in the banking industry. The remaining part of this paper is divided into four sections. Section two and three dwells on literature review and methodology. Section four dwells on discussion of finding while Section five ends the paper with conclusion and recommendations.

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