Conflict Resolution in Public Sector

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1.1Background to the Study
Conflict is inevitable in organizations because, they function by means of adjustment and compromises among competitive elements in their structure and membership. Conflict also arises when there is change because, it may be seen as a threat to be challenged or resisted, or when there is frustration, this may produce an aggressive reaction, fight rather than flight. Conflict is not to be deplored, it is an inevitable result of progress and change and it can be used constructively. Conflict between individuals raises fewer problems than conflict between groups. Individuals cannot act independently and resolve their differences; members of group may have to accept the norms, goals and values of their group. The individual’s loyalty will usually be to his or her own group if it is in conflict with others.

When the climate of the organization is not conducive to the needs of the personnel, conflict can result. In the past this conflict was regarded as inherently bad. Managers believed it was generated by trouble makers trying to disrupt the organization. Today, this stereotype view is no longer accepted. Conflict is currently regarded as inevitable and, if properly managed, a source of increased organizational effectiveness.

The federal civil service commission is an organization of individuals and groups pursuing various goals. The federal civil service commission is established under section 153 (ii) of the 199 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. Specifically, part I (d), paragraph II of the third schedule to the constitution vests the commission with power to: (i)Appoint and promote persons to offices in the federal civil service, and. (ii)Dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding such offices”.

More so, in discharge of the above functions, the commission works in close operation with the ministries, departments and agencies (MDA’s) of the federal government.
In area of recruitment and appointment, the commission relies on the MDA to provide it with vacancy positions and make a formal request that the commission should fill the vacancies. The MDA’s stipulate what should be the requisite qualifications for particular positions if they are not provided for by the scheme of service. The commission also invites experts from MDA’s, making a request for recruitment to participate in the interview as resource persons. MDA’s can also reject any particular selected candidate(s) if they convince the commission that he or she does not have the requisite qualifications. Promotion exercise is carried out only on the basis of vacancies provided by the MDA’s and all candidates for promotion must be recommended by the MDA’s. Resource persons from the MDA’s participate in the conduct of promotion examinations. The commission can dismiss and exercise disciplinary control only on the recommendation of the MDA’s.

Section 170 of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria empowers the commission to delegate any of its functions as it deems fit. The commission has therefore delegated the following functions to federal ministries and extra – ministerial departments in order to speed up action on appointment, promotion and disciplinary control of officers in salary grade levels 03-06. However, the disciplinary control of officers on salary grade levels 07-13 after being considered by the senior staff committees (SSC) in the ministries. In order to monitor the effective utilization of the delegated powers, participation of commissioners from the commission in the meetings of SSCs is mandatory. Indeed, without the participation of members of the commission, decisions reached at such meetings would be null and void. Moreover, returns on all appointments, promotions and disciplinary cases considered in the meetings should be rendered to the commission within two weeks of concluding such matters.

In this research conflicts that arises...
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