CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN IMO STATE (2009-2015)
The research is on conflict management in local government, with specific focus on local governments in Imo State. The objectives of the study were to: To examine the causes of conflict in local governments in Imo State; to examine the impact of conflict on the performance in local government areas of Imo State; and to examine the measures that can be taken for effective conflict management in local governments in Imo State. The hypotheses that guided this study are: Autocratic leadership and non-payment of salary are the major causes of conflict in Local Governments in Imo State; Conflict hampers performance and productivity in Local Government areas of Imo State; Consultation in decision making has enhanced effective conflict management to improve performance and productivity in Local Governments in Imo State. The research methodology is based on questionnaire. Four hundred and twenty staff of the local government in Imo State, both senior and junior, were selected and administered with a questionnaire to elicit responses from them. Among the sources of staff-management conflicts identified, in their order of importance were structural arrangement of local governments in Nigeria that empower political office holder without adequate bureaucratic procedure, autocratic leadership style, non-payment of salary, communication, personality clash, limited resources, politics of promotion, conflict of interest goal differences, The prevailing strategies for conflict management were found to be both inadequate and ineffective. Based on the above findings some recommendations were made based on how to deal with conflict situations whenever they are arise and finally the study recommended that the ability to manage conflicts and encourage harmonious working relationship in the workplace should become a prerequisite parameter for appointing effective managers or officials in Nigerian local government.