Conflict management in a privately owned trucking business.
In its broadest sense, conflict refers to circumstances in which the interests of different parties are not aligned. This can lead to open hostilities between the parties which have potential to negatively affect the organisational environment if let uncontrolled. However, if managed constructively, conflict can offer positive value in ensuring effective performance within the organisation. This study focussed on conflict related issues within a privately owned trucking business based in Durban. Senior management of this company has indicated the ever increasing prevalence and occurrence of conflict related issues within the company which is negatively affecting the business. Therefore, this study was deemed highly appropriate for this specific company. The objectives of the study were to identify the sources of conflict within the company, evaluate the frequency and extent of conflict within the company, and identify conflict inducing work related procedures as well as the contribution of internal communication processes towards conflict within the organisation. The quantitative method as well as qualitative research methodology was used for this study. The research instrument was distributed to all staff members within the company. Information was gathered from the sample (n=78) by means of a questionnaire comprising 3 demographic questions, 22 closed ended likert scale type questions and 2 open ended questions. The simple random sampling technique was employed in this study which was then statistically analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program. The findings outlined source problem areas of conflict within the company, frequency and extent of conflict within the company and certain pitfalls of existing work related practices and procedures that contribute to conflict within the company. The conclusions and recommendations of this study are bound to positively contribute and add value to the company. Though this study was too small to generalise to the entire trucking industry, pertinent recommendations made will certainly contribute to substantially reduce the occurrence of negative conflict within the organisation.