Conflict management styles and employee performance in public hospitals in Nyeri County, Kenya
Jaden, Sarah Francis
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In this changing society, it’s been noticeable that conflicts are inescapable especially among individuals, groups and organisations. The conflicts can be managed through a procedure, styles and having the right skills known as conflict management. Once the conflicts are not resolved, employee performances are affected which leads to industrial action sometimes which affects the services offered. Conflicts within public hospitals are on the rise leading to industrial actions and have an effect on the public. The management of conflicts in hospitals should be vital to ensure employee performance is not affected. The study was on conflict management styles and employee performance in public hospitals in Nyeri County which include; Nyeri Provincial General Hospital, Othaya District Hospital, Mukurweni District Hospital and Karatina District Hospital because of the alarming rate of industrial actions taking place. The general objective of the study was to examine the effect of conflict management styles on employee performances in the public hospitals. The specific objectives of the study were; to determine the effect of compromising style on employee performance, the effect of dominating style on employee performance, the influence of avoiding style on employee performance, the effect of accommodating style on employee performance and the effect of integrating style on employee performance in the Public Hospitals. The study was guided by following theories; expectancy theory, human relations theory and the Thomas Kilmann conflict model instrument. The research design used in this study was descriptive research. The target population of 555 was from the four Public Hospitals in Nyeri County targeting the doctors, nurses and clinical officers. The sampling design used was stratified random sampling. The sample size was 166 in number which was 30% of the target population. The validity and reliability of the research instrument were tested. The data collection instrument was a semi-structured questionnaire based on the objectives of the study. The data collected was primary data. Data was analysed using the descriptive statistics, correlation statistics and inferential statistics and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences software. The analysed data was presented in tabular form. The analysed data showed that 119 responded thus 72% of the response rate. The findings of the study showed that the public hospitals mainly use compromising style, avoiding style and dominating style because of their advantageous side. The findings revealed integrating style and accommodating style as the styles hardly used among the respondents. The findings indicated that the compromising style, dominating style and avoiding style have a significant relationship with employee performance in the work environment and employee performance is affected when conflicts are not managed. From the findings, it’s recommended that the management of public hospitals take particular interest on conflict management styles used. More so, it’s recommended that management could use compromising, avoiding and dominating styles to solve conflicts and also sensitize trainings on conflict management styles is carried out in the hospitals. The study concluded that the hospitals should use style that suits the organisation best.