THE ROLE OF COMMUNICATION IN ENHANCING LABOUR MANAGEMENT RELATIONS
This research project it titled “the Role of Communication in Enhancing labour-Management Relations (A case study of Academic Pres Plc, Lagos). The study has assessed the role of communication within the context of labour-management relationship, practice, but with special focus on the employees of Academic Press Plc. Lagos, as a case. Communication is household word which tends to facilitate understanding and co-operation in the conduct of human activities. Furthermore, communication is a vital tool in achieving organizational goods and enhancing industrial harmony. Management needs to communicate effectively with workers in order to get the desired results from their efforts. Also, workers have to understand the policies and objectives of management, if they must be efficient and effective in the fulfillment of their job responsibilities. Hence, workers expect to be informed at all-time about issues that generally affect them. This study was primarily embarked upon to discover how communication can be sued to create a better atmosphere for labour and management to co-exist and operate peacefully and profitably in the purist of the set goals and objectives of the organization. In addition, the study also sought to find out the extent to which any existence of communication gap would do good or harm to the operations of various organizations, using Academic Press Plc, as a case example. The copious literature was reviewed to analyze the views of different scholars and researchers on the definition, role and application of communication in labour management. This historical background of the study organization was also particularly studies to familiarizes both the researcher and readers with the mode of operation, origin and the human resources policy of that organization. The details of these are provided in chapter two of this Research Report. The substantive issues of methodology and data processes are fully elaborated in Chapter Three. In Chapter Four, the research data are presented, analyzed and interpreted. In the analysis of data, particular use was made of the chi-square(x2) statistic, in the testing of research hypotheses and the determination of statistical relationship among the research variables. Essentially, the questionnaires instrument, and the associated social interviews had served well the needs of data gathering and research objectively. The usage of a combination of research methods, that is, pure survey strategies (e.g standard questionnaires and interviewing) along with documentary analysis and extended observation of employee behavior, as well as other industrial phenomena, had increased the robustness of data collected and the overall quality of these data. Thus, the adopted research techniques for this research had represented the best possible in the field circumstances. Finally, various recommendations are made in chapter five for further research and for policy implementation for mutual benefits that are derivable by the corporate organization, the workforces and both the employee – based associations, and the employers groups in Nigeria.
1.1 General Backdrop of the Research Problem
Maurice Cumming (1980) describes communication as the process of conveying messages, facts, ideals, attitudes, opinions from one person to another so that they are understood. Communication is a household word which brings about understanding and co-operation in all aspects of human activity. This fact is supported by McCauley (1981) who states that men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely. The word “communication” is derived from the Latin word “communicare” meaning ‘to share’, and from the French word “communs” meaning ‘common’. Communication is a vital tool in achieving organizational goals and enhancing industrial peace. Management must communicate effectively with workers, in order to get eth desired results from their efforts. Also workers have to understand the policies and objective of management if they must be efficient and effective in carryout their duties. Workers expects to be informed at all times on the issues that is affecting them, to secure their loyalty and co—operation, their views must be communicated on the issues that affecting their interest either as a group or individual.
Management must also communicate among themselves, if there must be cohesion in the overall implementation of managerial polices within the organization. There is no doubt that without communication, human interaction will be impossible. It will result in the paralysis of social, economic and political activities in the societies. Through communication, we have been able to share knowledge and combine efforts. This ability has enabled us to develop and expand our store of knowledge as well as our technology and culture. Without the capacity to communicate at an advanced ‘level, mankind would never have progressed beyond the primal state.
Communication is important in all facets of human endeavour. To this end,Stoner and Wankel (1988) have asserted that communication is the process by which people express themselves, and through which an individual gets others to understand what he feels, thinks, wants, and needs, as well as accept them and take action, if necessary. As a matter of fact, there can be no business transaction’s or daily activities without the necessary need to pass on or exchange information between the sender and the receiver of that information. Communication can, therefore, beregarded as the ‘locomotive of management. In most indusial organization, two principal actors are identified. These are the management or employers and the union or workers. The government thus acts as the third pity in the industrial relations system, and their roles, influence the economic growth of nay organization and the nation in general.
Therefore, the achievement of organizational objectives can only be realized through team work efforts of the three actors, not by sole efforts of any of three actors which necessitates human interactions and sharing or ideals. Thus, in these situation that warrant human interaction, there is the possibility of group differences based on varying emotions,’ misconceptions, negative perception of ideas, opinions, views, etc. There is need to harmonize the apparent conflict of interests of both the employers and employees. Thus, it is paramount that healthy labour-management relations should be based on the spirit of reciprocity and on the existence of adequate and effective communication. It is against this background that an in achieving understanding and co-operation in the work place.
Meanwhile, there is the recent belief that the key to industrial peace and harmony is “understanding” among the employers of labour and their employers.However, people still wonder how this important objective can be fully realized in a society characterized by frequent industrial crisis or disputes. Consequently, every responsible organization should set up a network of effective communication as a tool of informing, persuading, understanding, instructing, entertaining and stimulating actions to enhance industrial harmony. More so, communication is social activity, which can be formed or informed, without the organization and outside, essentially because of the increasing complexity of production and distribution network is our commercial and industrial establishments (Nnamdi Okeke, 1985).
Communication is the action of people taking, listening, seeing, feeling and reacting to each other, their experience and environment. Recent and past events indicate that most industrial disharmony as manifested in the form of strikes, lockout, picketing, inter-trade union squabbles, inability of managers to het along with people, frustrations low productivity, lack of co-operation, grievances, low morale distrust, disloyalty and so on, could be attributed to faulty or poor Communication or Communication gap (Appleby, 1977). Communication is the coordinating force though which managerial functions of planning, forecasting, of organizing etc and other operational function, such as recruitment of staff, motivation and maintenance, are being organized. Communication, whether written or oral, when neglected, can cause more harm than good. Psychologists also experiment with the use of communication as a therapy for curing and finding out causes of mental normal condition. Communication reduces tension in the working environment and causes once hidden conflicts to surface for possible restoring psychotics to normal condition.
Communication reduces tension in the working environment and causes one hidden conflict to surface for possible resolution. Hence, the importance of Communication fosters motivation by clarifying to employees what is to be done, how well they are doing, and what can be done to improve performance (Aremo, 2002). For many employees, their work group is a primary source for social interaction. The communication that takes place within the group is a fundamental mechanism by which members shows their frustrations and feelings of satisfaction. Communication, therefore, provide a releases for the emotional expression of feelings and for fulfillment of social need. (Aremon, 2002) Thus, it is hoped that this study will discover and suggest new areas in which communication can help in reducing man’s inhumanity to man in an organization and how communication can be used as vehicle for industrial growth.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
The study problem stems from, the existing unhealthy relationship between labour and management in most small and large organizations. Relationships between many employers of labour and their employees sometimes remain strained. The labour situation in this country is more of the practice of ‘take it or leave it’; it is also antagonism from the union or labour. The two parties often see each other as gaining or winning when and where the other loses, rather than as partners working towards the success of not only the organization but of themselves.
Occasionally, what organization expect from their employees is not easily achieved. One manor reason for this shortcoming is the market and the employees. This situation arises because workers who are sellers of labour power enter the labour market in order to obtain the wherewithal to subsist, hence the price of labour power is of vital importance to them. The communication gap between the industrial actors (lavour and management) is so wide that a minor problem which could be resolved through joint consultation or collective bargaining often results in industrial disputes. Even though the buyers of labour power enter the market because they own the means of production, the price of labour is, to them an important cost factor which should be minimized as much as possible, in order to make production profitable. Given this type of relationship, conflict appears inevitable.
Consequently, it is the intention of the researcher to look into communication as a major concern, which should be given the attention it deserves. Poor communication is a problem, which has given rise to many sad and unfortunate situations. This had led to situations whereby management and workers purses diametrically opposed objectives. While management may be working towards realizing the objective of increased productivity, maximum efficiency and expansion, workers are often committed to a different objective of finding and solidifying social alignment in the work group in the event of any possible threat from management.
At a particular time, it may be struggle for job security, while turning a deaf ear to organizational production targets. Although some organization have good communication policies to enhance better understanding among the labour force, communication problems sill persist in many others because of one or more of the following reason. Often deliberately or accidentally. Inadequate or misleading information about the company’s labour policies are given to immediate or line supervisors for transmission to subordinates. Important information improperly communicated, while neglecting the sue of workers representative, often causes rancor between union members and management.
In addition, Fajana (1995) discusses the importance of communication, thus, that is, Nigeria’s management and labour individually take decisions which should have been decided jointly. Also management other often feels reluctant to release information, for example, accounting information may be misused. The unions on the other hand, do claim they should know their employer’s policy as regards human resources and general management. Also, perhaps due to poor communication network, management’s deliberations and resolutions on future matter affecting employees carelessly, leak through the grape vine or rumour. This often results to rumour mongering, distortion of information and possible causes of industrial disharmony. Improper communication methods can be seen in some organization where “tale severs” (i.e those who act as spies in an office) are used to get or give out information resulting to rumour mongering and discontentment in working environment. They are many other problems related to communication are to be consider in this study.
1.3 THE PURPOSE OF THE RESEARCH STUDY
The purpose of the study is to discuss how communication can be used to create a better atmosphere for labour and management to operate peace fully and profitably while pursuing the same organization set goals and objectives, furthermore, it intends to find to the operations of an organisation like academy press Plc. Also in order to reduce factors which can bring disharmony in labour relations, this study intends to identify how communication can help management and labour to approach each other as partners in the production business rather than a mere master-servant. It is also designed to examine that extent to which communication can minimize worker’s confrontational attitude to management. Most importantly is how communication can reduce labour turn over and stabilize the labour force and evaluate its roles one reducing accidents and thereby stimulating increased efficiency of productivity.
1.4 RELEVANCE OF THE RESEARCH STUDY
Man6 organization do not seen to recognize communicator as a tool for achieving organizational goals and enhancing industrial peace. Often times, are discovers that communication is taken for granted by some organization in their corporate planning strategies. With this development and because of the import role constant and effective communication plays in an organization, it is envisaged that data collection from there will provide a basis for sold argument in providing or disproving any assumption or hypothesis formulated for the purpose of a debate. This study will assist managers, supervisors and all the staff in apprising the role of communication in an organization.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE RESEARCH STUDY
The scope of this research is restricted to Academy press Plc, Ilupeju. It will also cover various channels of communication, types of relationship between the labour and management in this organization and an examination of the environment that distorts or influence free flow of communication.
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Three hypotheses are earmarked for testing in this research.
1. That, effective communication will tend to promote/increase
2. That, constant communication may not prevent poor working relations and increase mutual trust. (i.e. that, there is no significant relationship between constant communications and good working condition and mutual trust).
3. That, establishing a good rapport between -labour and management may not avert possible strikes and lockouts.
HI: That increased productivity and efficiency may be fully achieved with the aid of communication
HO: That increased productivity and efficiency may not be fully achieved with the aid communication.