CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN BENUE STATE, NIGERIA
Conflict in tertiary institutions in Benue State, Nigeria has become a thing of concern for administrators, staff (academic or non academic), scholars, parents and researchers. This study was designed to investigate conflict management in tertiary institutions in Benue State, Nigeria. The study was prompted by the series of conflicts in tertiary institutions in Benue State which have dampened the morale of administrators, staff (academic and non academic) as well as affected their productivity. The study employed descriptive research design. The population of the study was 2,130 made up staff (academic and non academic), principal officers in tertiary institutions in Benue State Nigeria. A sample of 10% which is 213 was carried out. A four-point scale of Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), disagree (D) and Strongly disagree (SD) were used to answer the six research questions and six hypothesis formulated. In order to establish the reliability of the instrument, Cronbach alpha procedure for testing reliability was used and stood at 82, 67, 93, and 93 respectively while the overall was 96. Mean and standard deviation were used in data analysis and to answer the research questions. The t-test analysis at 0.05 level of significance was used to test the null hypothesis. The major findings of the study were that: keeping staff and students uninformed about institutional policy, poor human relationship between administrators and community, constitute major cause of conflict. The finding also includes among others that, destruction of public and school properties, riots, are natures of conflict manifestations. Major recommendations were made based on the findings of the study. On school administration, administrators should ensure effective communication among staff and students as this will help them improve on their performance among staff and students as this will help them improve on their performance as well as keep them abreast with issues in management. It is also recommended that in resolving conflict, administrators should involve all parties in discussion and how to resolve the crisis when it occurs. Also administrators should maintain adequate provision of hostel accommodation and provide facilities. Principal Officers should ensure free flow of communication and good welfare scheme for all staff so as to prevent conflict. On the current strategies students should be detained in police custody, expel and make them pay reparation fee among others. To resolve conflict, get each side to concede to some demands, and provide an excellent reward programme while people are paid fairly and equitably with bonuses for outstanding performances. Other recommendations are dialogue with students union executive (3.41 + 0.65), academic and non academic (3.36 + 0.54) respectively.