Gender-Related Differences in Attitudinal Disposition of University Workers to Resolving Conflict through Mediation

By Gesinde, Abiodun M; Akujobi, Remi | Gender & Behaviour, December 2011 | Go to article overview

Gender-Related Differences in Attitudinal Disposition of University Workers to Resolving Conflict through Mediation


Gesinde, Abiodun M, Akujobi, Remi, Gender & Behaviour


Abstract

Human beings have innate tendencies to work in groups or relate with objects and people in their environment. The intra and inter relationships with people, at times, generate conflict which negatively affect psychosocial functioning. Conflicts can be resolved through diverse methods of which mediation occupies central position. The attitudinal disposition of an individual towards mediation tends to dictate whether an individual would mediate to resolve conflicts. Consequently, this paper examined the attitudinal disposition of two hundred and fifty-five (males=152 and females=103) universities workers randomly selected from two private universities in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria towards using mediation to resolve conflict. An attitudinal scale tagged "Attitude towards Mediation Scale" (a =0.88) developed by the researchers was used to generate data. Two research hypotheses were posed and tested using t-test statistic. The results indicated that there were no significant gender differences in the participants' attitudinal disposition to using mediation process to resolving conflict (t-cal =2.76; t-cri =1.96; df =253, P>0.05) and in their preference to resolving only conflict within their gender type (t-cal =.273; t-cri =1.96; df =253, P>0.05). It is therefore recommended that university workers should be adequately trained in the procedures of using mediation so as to build their capacity in resolving conflict at home and workplace.

Key Words: Gender, differences, attitudinal disposition, university workers, conflict resolution, mediation.

We live in a world of conflict. How to arbitrate in and through the myriad conflicts that characterize our times is a multi-layered challenge, one that many of you, as lawyers, are all too familiar with... and I want to focus on the role of women in conflict resolution from the perspective of a European Commissioner in charge of External Relations.

A Speech by the Rt Hon Chris Patten, CH. World Women Lawyers Conference, on the 30th June 2003

Introduction

Human beings have been variously labelled as homo sapiens, higher animals and social beings by philosophers, educationists, psychologists, and sociologists. As social beings, they have innate tendencies to work in groups or relate with objects and people in their environment. The intra and inter relationships with people, at times, generate conflict which negatively affect psychosocial functioning. The term 'conflict' is synonymously used as dispute, fight, war, battle, disagreement, and clash. It is described by American Heritage Dictionary of English Language (2004) as a state of open often prolonged fighting; a battle for war or a state of battle, disharmony between incompatible or antithetical persons, ideas, or interests; a clash. Wikipedia (2010) defined conflict as actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interest or existence of clash. Psychologically speaking, conflict is a psychic struggle, often unconscious timing of mutually exclusive impulses, desires, or tendencies. It occurs when the reduction of one motivating stimulus in an area lead to an increase in another in such a way that an individual will need to make adjustment. Conflict as observed is inevitable in that wherever one finds people, there must be disagreement. Conflict develops in society because one must interact; deal with people's lives, jobs, children, pride, self-concept, ego and sense of mission. Since no man is an island, and since man must mingle with others, meddle in other people's business, conflict must occur. (Akujobi, 2009)

There are different types of conflicts. However, scholars' opinion differs on the exact number of such being confronted by human beings. For instance, there are five typology proposed by Elliot (2010) which include man vs man, man vs himself, man vs nature, man vs society, and man vs technology. Livestrong (2010) listed seven types of conflict which included relationships, interests, values, leaderships, personality, styles, and ethics. …

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