ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION FOR THE management OF WORKPLACE CONFLICTS IN A business ENVIRONMENT
1.1 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
Today, workplace conflict receives little attention in the literature on people management, but there is a strong consensus that businesses are likely to pay a significant price if workplace conflicts are not efficiently resolved (Ury et al. 1988). Industrial action can result in lost days, but it is more likely that sickness and absenteeism rates will rise and management-employee relations would become strained, if not sour. Discord in the workplace may prevent firms from developing the adaptive structures necessary to thrive in today's competitive business environment. While there is widespread agreement on the destructive potential of conflict, there is no consensus on what constitutes an efficient conflict management system (Bingham & Chachere 1999).
Conflict is an inherent aspect of organizational life because it is tied to the fundamental processes of people and their relationships with their surroundings (Jones & George, 2003). Several variables have been attributed to organizational conflicts. Over the years, dealing with conflicts in organizations has been viewed as the sole responsibility of managers, who often take a rigid stance on how to handle them. Organizations that address conflicts in this manner fail to recognize that conflict is a normal part of organizational life and has its own benefits and costs. Organizational conflicts are said to arise when routine activities become so disrupted that achieving organizational goals and objectives becomes challenging (More & Wegener, 1992).
Specifically, organizations face a variety of interpersonal disputes that might impede the achievement of corporate objectives. Additionally, as a result of workplace diversity, conflict is on the rise. Dumaine (1991) and Nohria (1991) argue that as organizations experiment with flatter, more decentralized organizational structures, their employees become increasingly reliant and accountable for more decisions. These changes will result in the emergence of new sorts of conflicts between diverse groups of employees, as compared to those experienced in bureaucratically structured organizations (Morrill, 1995). As more minorities, women, foreign nationals, and individuals with varying levels of experience and education enter the workforce. This variability inevitably results in conflicts that are distinct from those faced by a workforce that is more standardized (Fiol, 1994; Williams & O'Riley, 1998).
Conflict in the workplace can become a complex issue with detrimental repercussions on the physical, emotional, and mental welfare of an organization's personnel, growing to unsustainable heights, thereby threatening the mission and objectives of an organization (Caudron, 1998). However, conflict does not have to be a harmful factor; when handled appropriately, disagreement can be extremely beneficial to both employees and the business. In an effort to explain the nature of conflict, numerous scholars have proposed ideas to aid in their comprehension. Among the proposed theories is the conventional idea, which views disagreement as detrimental to the organization and, as such, as something to be avoided.
However, modern thought acknowledges that interpersonal disputes are unavoidable and, if managed effectively, can yield positive outcomes for the organization. Tillett and French (2006) assert that conflict encourages communication dialogue and contributes to individual and organizational growth by providing opportunities for problem-solving and advancing the organization, whereas Eunson (2007) contends that conflict can assist in altering complacency through productive means.
Unresolved workplace issues can sometimes lead to litigation and its attendant challenges, and the readiness of employees to sue their employer has exposed virtually all companies to an escalating number of lawsuits relating to workplace behaviour or daily human resource decisions. Understanding conflict and how to manage or resolve it should be an intrinsic element of what and how managers learn; such understanding is essential for the well-being and success of both individuals and organizations over the long term (Singleton, Toombs, Taneja, Larkin, & Pryor, 2011). This paper explored the use of these less costly and appropriate methods, such as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approaches, in the management of workplace conflicts.
There is a rising awareness among industry participants that this procedure is time consuming, expensive, and may cause permanent harm to employer-employee relationships. In other words, it is in the best overall interests of the disputants to resolve the conflicts as soon as possible before they escalate into formal litigation, as this can lead to unfavorable financial and non-financial consequences such as work stoppage, increased operational costs, negative image, loss of goodwill, and negative employee-employer relations (Gibbons, 2007). Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a method for avoiding this by settling conflicts in a non-adversarial manner, outside of the judicial system, and its use has increased, particularly in non-union companies (Colvin, Klaas & Mahony, 2006). Nations have proved that ADR have been a successful as a first step to resolve disputes (Van Gramberg, 2006). (Van Gramberg, 2006). In light of this, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) strategies have gained popularity as an alternative to litigation (Eden, 2011). According to Mackie et al. (1995), ADR involves a planned process with third-party intervention that does not result in a legally binding decision imposed on the parties.
1.2 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM
Organizational disagreement in the workplace can have harmful effects on relationships (individual and group). Failure to handle it correctly can result in a significant loss of time and effort. However, if it is handled honestly, impartially, and smoothly, it can occasionally create fresh opportunities for relationship-building. In addition, conflict management strengthens relationships between groups and individuals in the workplace and indeed in all spheres of life (Eunson, 2007).
Workplace conflicts can result in organizational and institutional failure. It can have detrimental long-term effects on sustaining a productive work atmosphere. This investigation seeks to explain the origins of organizational, institutional, and workplace conflicts. It also attempts to concentrate on conflict management techniques (Colvin, Klaas & Mahony, 2006).
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a method for resolving conflicts in a manner that is not confrontational. Disagreements are unavoidable in a typical workplace due to the diversity of the workforce, not only in terms of demographics, but also in terms of work behavior, career objectives, etc. However, arguments are controllable so long as they are kept discreet and do not threaten the working partnership. The objective is to identify the root causes of conflicts and to develop peaceful, speedy resolutions that benefit all parties. Unresolved conflicts have a tendency to grow, resulting in a hostile work environment and ultimately harming performance.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study's overarching purpose is to investigate the management of workplace conflicts in a commercial environment through alternative dispute resolution. Among the specific aims of the study are the following:
Determine the prevalence of workplace dispute among Delins insurance business Ikeja employees.
Determine the sources of workplace friction at the Delins insurance company in Ikeja.
Determine the effects of workplace dispute at Ikeja's Delins insurance company.
To explore the relationship between workplace conflict and job happiness.
Examining the strategies for utilizing alternative dispute resolution in the management of workplace issues.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF WORKPLACE CONFLICTS IN A BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT