Organizational Conflict Management Techniques and Employee Performance in Selected Public Universities in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Mwaniki, Gertrude Muthoni
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Employee performance is an integral part of any organization without which attainment of organizational goals may not be realized. Similarly, organizational conflicts are inevitable in any work-organization. However, there is contestation as to whether management of organizational conflicts enhances or deteriorates employee performance. This study sought to investigate the effect of organizational conflict management techniques on employee performance in selected public universities in Nairobi City County, Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to establish the effect of negotiation, mediation, collaboration and avoidance as conflict management techniques on employees’ performance in selected public universities in Nairobi City County, Kenya. The study was based on the human relations, human capital and contingency theories. The study adopted descriptive research design. The study site was selected public universities in Nairobi City County, Kenya which included University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, JKUAT, Moi University and Egerton University. The study population was 1,600 low, middle and top management level employees drawn from the selected public universities in Nairobi City County, Kenya. A sample of 160 participants was chosen using stratified and simple random sampling methods. The research tool for the study was a questionnaire whose reliability was estimated using Cronbach’s Alpha Coefficient, with a set reliability threshold of at least 0.70 at 5% significance level. Validity of the questionnaire was ascertained through content expert review. The analysis of the gathered data was done using descriptive and inferential statistics with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The research findings were presented in form of frequencies, means, percentages and standard deviation. Association between the study variables analysis was achieved using correlation and multiple linear regression analysis. Confidentiality of information obtained, anonymity in processing and reporting of study data, voluntary participation and using the study data for research purposes only, formed this study’s ethical considerations. The study established that there was a strong positive and significant relationship between negotiation and employees’ performance (a=0.707, p=.000); a strong positive and significant relationship between mediation and employees’ performance (a=0.621, p=.001) and a strong positive and significant relationship between collaboration and employees’ performance (a=0.736, p=.000). However, avoidance as a conflict management technique was found to have a negative and significant relationship with employees’ performance in the selected public universities in Nairobi City County, Kenya (a=-0.469, p=.027). The study concluded that negotiation, mediation and collaboration as organizational conflict management techniques positively influenced employees’ performance while avoidance as an organizational conflict management technique adversely affected employees’ performance. It was recommended that the managements/administrators of Kenya’s public universities should institute regular evaluations on how work disputes impact employees’ performance within the institutions in the country. This could be helpful in guiding management decisions and choices as to the most effective organizational conflict management techniques to apply to resolve existing workplace conflicts.