Conflict Factors In The Implementation Of Administrative Decisions Between Principals And Their Teachers

Conflict Factors In The Implementation Of Administrative Decisions Between Principals And Their Teachers

Conflict Factors In The Implementation Of Administrative Decisions Between Principals And Their Teachers

In Nigeria today as in other parts of the World, education has assumed a paramount position among the tools for nation building.

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Recognizing this prime role of education in the society , education is regarded as no more a private enterprise, but huge government venture that has witnessed a progressive evolution of government’s complete and dynamic intervention and active participation.

As a result, the federal government of Nigeria has adopted education as an instrument for excellence and also for effective national development. This National Education Objectives will be achieve if all those working in the school system are willing to co-operate with each other. The schools are setup, maintained, and depended upon for the education and training of the society.

At the secondary level, students are trained for self actualization and realization of their individual potentials. Also at this level, the principal is the head of affairs and he/she is at the local point o all activities regarding the achievement of the National Objectives at the secondary school level. The principal as an individual can ensure and assure the realization of this objectives with the full co-operation of the members (teachers) of the school as an organization. The old adage has it that “A tree can not make a forest.” To work with the principal are the teachers, the student, the clerical, the staff, and the community in which the school is situated. All must work together for the achievement of the goals for which the school is set up.

Therefore, for the ultimate goals of the school to be realized, there is continued emphasis on personal interactions between the principals and their teachers. This highly needed co-operation among principals and their teachers depends very much on the organizational conductions of the school as it is perceived by these same members of the school setting. The achievement of the set goals is the central purpose of every administrative leadership.

At the secondary school level, the principal provides the expected leadership whose acceptance largely depends on the perception of his/ her teaching staff who are often seen to be at challenging posts. The powers of the school head (principal) can be compared to the sovereign of a state whose powers are limited only by the willingness of his subjects to obey his commands but whose right to give command is both disputed buy his subject (teachers) “ (Easthope, 1978).

The acceptance of the school principals as “the captain of his/her ship” has been under challenges from his/ her tutorial staff (teachers). In many cases, these challenges are attributed to the ways which the school is structured and administered. In some other time, it is also attributed to selfish and und-voted attitudes of the teachers. As a matter of fact, the leadership role of the principal must be accepted by his/her subordinated for effective educational administration. Moyle (1979), perceived leadership as “The behaviour of any member of the group but usually the designated leader. Who influences the other member which help the group reach its goals, maintain itself in good working order and adapt to changes in the environment.”

The way teacher interprets the principals’ authority and power determines their loyalty to the principal and eventually determines the type of principal-teachers relationship in the school. Where there is absence of a warm and cordial relationship, a good learning atmosphere will also be absence. This originated from the fact that many educators accept the assumption that the original characteristics of school, both formal and informal planned and unplanned, deliberate or accidental do have an impact on the administrators. There is the need therefore for cordial relationship among members of the school organization in order to have an atmosphere of approval and security for all in the organisation and this will help in achieving the organisation goals. For where there is internal equilibrium, individuals tend to obtain human satisfaction and be willing to contribute their services to the economic objectives of co-operation.

Statement of the Problem

It is evident that indiscipline among secondary school students have been on the increase since the Nigeria civil war. As a resultant effect, the falling standard of secondary education is constantly and continuously blamed on classroom teachers who are assumed to have become indisciplined themselves. Since indisciplined mind cannot discipline another, the hope bestowed on teachers have been shattered.

The teachers are known to have developed indifferent and “I don’t care” attitude towards their job. These forms of attitude have promptly denied by the public the school administrators, educational planners, parents and even students. This attitude normally manifest it self in the form of neglect of duties. Most attimes, the classroom teachers exhibit negative attitude towards students discipline and otherwise matter regarding the day to day running of the school. Many even fail to attend morning assemblies, staff meetings, Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meetings, others refuse to co-operate in keeping the school diary, submit their lessons notes for supervision and do attimes miss their lessons. Such teachers are usually at challenging posts with their principals especially when called upon to co-operate. The challenges manifest in forms of overt and open quarrels with the principals and others are characterized by insubordination.

From the above expression, there is not always a cordial relationship between teachers and their principals in the execution or implementation of certain decision regarding the daily running of the schools. Confirming this, Mr. George Okoro the principal of Aggrey memorial College (2007), Amannagwu, Arochukwu L.G.A of Abia State laments that: “most teachers who would have helped in no small measure in checking the undesirable behaviours of students rather develop unco-operative attitude regarding the rules governing students conduct. He further expressed that majority of the teachers are always at challenging posts when called upon to co-operate. He finally generalized that from his experience, principals encounter most of their administrative problems with their tutorial staff who on several occasions disagreed with their heads of institutions in implementing administrative decision. The researcher assumed it as a duty to find out why teachers disagree with their principals in implementing decisions and areas where these conflict or disagreement are prevalent.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to identify the conflict factors in the implementation of administrative decisions between principals and their teachers and the areas where they are occurring more.

Specially, this study is designed;

1. To find out whether non-participation of teachers in decision making constitute a factor for conflict in implementing these decision

2. To find out whether teachers disagree with their principals because they (teachers) desire autonomy on certain administrative decisions concerning their job.

3. To find out whether the pursuit of personal interest by teacher constitute a conflict factor between the teachers and their principals.

4. To identify the areas of administrative decisions where conflicts are most prevalent.

Significance of the Study

Everywhere in our society today, there are always complaints from parents, principals, Educational planners, and from all who show concern for education concerning the indifferent and “I don’t care” attitudes of some secondary school teachers towards the achievement of school objectives. These objectives can only be achieved when administrative decisions based on them are carefully carried out or implemented.

The major function of any ministry of Education is to ensure that there are effective and successful administration of all post-primary institutions under it. Neither effective nor-successful administration could result when teachers fail to co-operate in the implementation of decisions. Schools become administratively sound when the interactions are inter-exchange between the principals and their teachers.

In a hostile and conflicting school setting, the overall objectives of secondary education will hardly be achieved.

The findings of this study will go a long way in identifying, the administrative decisional conflict factors between principals and teachers and the area where the conflicts are most prevalent.

Recommendations based on the findings will provide a promising feature for lasting solutions to the problems of disagreement between principals and their teachers.

Finally, these solutions will help to create room for co-operative efforts between principals and their teacher which is very important if the school objectives is to be realized. Conflicts have negative influence on the effectiveness and efficiency of the school organization. Thus, discovering the areas of conflicts will be reflected in the improvement of the school organization and in the satisfaction of teachers’ job.

Scope of Study

There could be conflicts between heads of schools and their teachers in other areas of school management which could colour the climate of the schools.

For the purpose of this study, the researcher restricted this work to the factors of conflict between principals and teachers in the implementation of administrative decisions.

With regard to limitation, it is a fact that every research or academic enterprise must encounter some constraints, such as limitation of finance, time, and the attitude of the respondents.

Many factors have been identified that affects the implementation of administrative decisions in the secondary schools in Arochukwu L.G.A of Abia State


Research Question

1. Does non-participation of teachers in decision-making constitute a conflict factor in the implementation of administrative decision?

2. Does the pursuit of personal interest constitute a factor for conflict in the implementation of decisions?

3. Does teachers’ negligence of duties cause conflict between them and their principals?

4. Does teachers’ desire for authority on their job constitute a factor for conflict in the implementation of administrative decision?



The Concept of Decision Making

All organizations including the school organization make decisions inorder to be effective. In the school context, however, decision making is one of the major functions of educational administration. On this background, Grieder (1967) maintained that “the action dynamics of educational administration clearly seen from decision making, found decision making as therefore the development wise solution to problems.”

For an effective and efficient administration of the schools, the reached decisions must be accepted and implemented or the enterprise fails. Recognizing the importance of decision in school administration, Mille and Spalding (1952) provided school administration as “the making and carrying out of decision about schools. Supporting this, Mcamy (1941)concluded that “the reaching of a decision is the core of administration, all other attribute of the administrative process being dependent on, interwoven with, and existent for the making of decision. A decision, therefore, has been perceived by Nwokafor and Uba (1981) as “the selection of a course of action from various possibilities.” Juriper (1976) sees a decision as “the process by which a person selects from two or more possible choices.”

Contributing, Okeke and Ngodo (1985) see a decision as “a deliberate act that generates commitment on the part of the decision maker towards an envisaged course of action some specificity.” Still on this context, Etzioni (1968) conceived decision making as a conscious choice between two or more alternatives.” While Hicks (1981) perceived of it as selecting the action from a number of alternative course of actions.” From this perception, it does mean that a decision implies a choice from possible alternatives.”

Igwe (1982) perceived decision making as a purposive at intended to achieve a desired outcome and this is necessarily envisage by the decision maker.” Furthermore, Paolo (1973) sees decision making as “the act of choosing among several alternatives in a situation of incomplete information.” Supporting this view, Simon (1957) posted that decision-making includes the selection of goals and behaviours relevant to them.”

In the context of a school however, decision-making is one of the major functions of educational administration. It may simply be perceived as a process by which decisions are made and implemented. Administrative decisions made in the school organizations are those decisions reached concerning the procedures of realizing the overall objectives and standards set by the board. Griffiths (1956) sees decision-making as “a process which one goes through in order to be able to pass judgement and terminate controversy.” From this point of view, it then implies that a critical and logical analysis of all possible alternatives be made before an individual or an organization take final choice of action which at one time or the other helps in solving the emergent problems.

Contributing, in his own view, Belasco (1972) puts decision-making as “the key to understanding organizational structure and administrative process.” Adding to Belaco’s view, Griffiths pointed out that “the process of decision-making is more important than any other variable in understanding the overall actions of an organization.

The act of decision-making is the level of educational administration. For any effective administration, the organizational decision must be effective and must be implemented. Supporting this view, Ukeje (1979) stated that “am effective action is the result of a right decision made.” Decisions are the process of choice which leads to action. To Simon (1957) “Any practical action involves both deciding and doing.” This view is based on the assumption that “any” functional decision must establish the goal of action and the means of achieving such goals in the efforts to implement the reached decisions, administrations vary in the methods adopted. Some are democratic, while others are authocratic. Which ever method adopted by the administrator, helps to determine the organization climate of the school?

Types of Decision

Decisions fall into different categories. Nwaokafor (1981) posited that “there are personal and organizational decisions.”

To them, personal decisions refer to those decisions which the individual makes for himself while organizational decisions are those decisions made concerning the organization and its functioning. They maintained that personal decisions can affect organizational decision (when a teacher personally decides not to participate in certain school activities) as organizational decisions can equally affect personal decisions. Organizational decisions can be delegated while personal decision making vests on the person concerned.

Whether personal or organizational decisions, the act of choosing between two or more alternatives is always involved. In organizational decisions, Heimovics and Zelmelman (1978) asserted that “consensus is reached before the factual and value judgement is entered as a group decision.” They went further to explain that this is possible where individuals in the group are able to accept rankings on the basis of decisions, Barnards (1938) went further to categorize decisions into three different forms, basing his categorization on occasions when decisions are made. To him, there are authoritative communications from superiors, cases referred as decisions by subordinates and cases originating from the initiation of the executive concerned. Each occasion requires a different type of decision and they are-Intermediary decisions, Appelate decisions, and creative decisions respectively.


a. Intermediary Decisions: These are decisions passed down to the administrator from the local (Educational board) for execution. The administrator can equally make subsidiary decisions to others (he can delegate authorities regarding the means of carrying out the board’s decisions or policies).

b. Appelate Decision: These are decisions on issues referred to the administration for approval. As the name implies, it involves an appeal to the administration for approval on issues considered fit for the organization. The handling of appetate cases is the true test of an administrators. He/she needs to determine which case he should let the participants handle.

c. Creative Decisions: The two forms of decisions above reside outside the person or the administrator but creative decision organization from the administrative him/herself. This is where the administrator has the opportunity to initiate changes, to shape an organization, or to implement a philosophy. This distinguishes that truly creative administrator from the ordinary. It is a mark of excellent educational administrator.

Supporting the above categorization, Griffiths (1958) also perceived decisions as falling into three aim types: The intermediary decisions which include those made at Ministry of Education headquarters and is passed down from hierarchy to the implementers. The Appelate decision made at the lower level of hierarchy (could be in the school) and passed upwards to the Ministry of Education of acceptance and approval. And finally, creative decisions made at any of the levels of the hierarchy but stemming from an awareness of the problem situations. This creative make deviation from the policy decisions while at the same time suggesting the alternative programme of action by the organization concerned. In most case, this kind of decision initiates change on existing policies. Orji (1984) citing Hughes), maintained that decisions could be grouped into two major headings.

“Horizontal and vertical decisions.” Here, horizontal decisions refer to those decisions which have their origins from specialists in particular areas or sections of the organizations. Good examples of these are decisions made either by the director studies or the bursar which are based on particular competences, to Hughes, vertical decisions include such decisions like legislative, administrative, and executive decisions which show the movement of decisions in the hierarchy. Orji went on further to state that the legislative decisions are directives taken by the Ministry of Education. Administrative decisions are those made to determine the manner of realizing the overall board objectives and standards set up by the directive decisions. Executive decisions as perceived by him, (Orji), include the day to day management decisions directly associated with the response to immediate local problems of an operating type.

The above classifications so far, showed that decisions quality from the general policy decisions (about objectives and set standards) to individual decisions. The implementation of the policy decisions depend on the decisions made at the school levels which also indirectly include the personal decisions. For proper and final execution of the general policy decisions, they should be based on the assumption that government are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the government, as stated by president Abraham Lincoln of U.S.A. (government of the people , by the people, and for the people.)

Process of Decision Making

There various processes of decision making. Before an organization or an individual arrives at any national decision, those processes must be reasonably passed. Griffiths (1956) asserted that decision-making process is mechanical process which involves size basic stages or steps. They include:

Defining and Limiting the Problem

This implies that there must be problems and they must be defined. They should be viewed from their origins whether from the students, the curriculum, the teachers, etc. Here, the school administrator overcomes his/her blindness by taking the view points of the people. He further suggested that the problems be stated, and woods which have objectives should be given different interpretations and these generates many perceptions.

Analysis and Evaluating the Problem

Problems are analyzed as we see them and evaluated according to our value system. Analysis by any one person is apt to be incomplete and here, Griffiths posited that group analysis may be very helpful.

Establish Criteria of Judgement

This helps to determine whether the solution arrived at is satisfactory or not. This again depends on the individual’s or the organization’s value judgement.

Examining The Consequences Of Each Solution

After weighing the consequences, one or two may suit the individuals or group better and those are normally chosen. He (Griffiths) pointed out here that if more than one appear satisfactory, that they should be tried to see the results.

Implementing the Preferred Solution

According to Griffiths, this is the final stage of any decision-making process. He (Griffiths) pointed out that no decision is complete until it is implemented.

Against this background, Okeke et al (1985) sees the process of decision-making as having two main phases; problem analysis and the actual decision-making. To them, problem analysis aims at finding out the cause of the difficulty or the problem while the actual decision-making involves the selection of a course of action which will eliminate the problem or reduce its negative effects. Continuing, Orji (1984) citing Ukeje concluded that the method of making decision is through the decision-making process and he posited that there are three steps involved in the act of decision-making:

a. Stating the problem

b. Listing the alternatives

c. Selecting the best alternative

In his own view, Simon (1984) sees the process of decision making as constituting of three basic steps or stages which include:

a. The listing of all the alternative strategies.

b. The determination of all the consequences that follow up each of these strategies.

c. The comparative evaluation of these sets of consequences.

It is reasonably clear that the act of decision-making involves two major steps, identifying or studying the problem situation and seeking possible solutions to the problems identified.

All other steps are believed to be subsumed into these two major steps.

Patterns of Decision-Making

All organizations should develop a sound pattern of decision-making in order to achieve the organizational objectives. These pattern of decision-making differ from one organization to the other and are also evident in secondary schools, despite these differences in procedures and compositions, there are certain basic patterns of organization decision-making which include the following:

One-Man Pattern of Decision-Making

This method of decision –making involves only one man taking the decision and this is normally the designated school administrator (the principal). One-man decision could also involve a teacher making a technical decision concerning his instructional activities in the classroom. For this pattern to be effective, there must be conditions calling for it which if not, leads to Chaos, resentment, and disagreement among the group members. When situation call for simple and uncomplicated decisions, the administrator utilizes his/her acquired decision skills to arrive at a conclusion regarding a future rule of action. This pattern of decision-making has its own limitations and shortcomings. Orji (1984) opined that “this mode of decision-making is the least effective in using members resources, obtaining their commitment or in achieving high quality.” On the other hand there are situations when a decision made by a single individual stands the taste. Sharing this view, Kornhaust (1958) stated that a decision made by a single individual or administrator becomes more effective in terms of time saved, and the emergency of solutions to the problems.” In other words, there are situations when there will be the need for administrators to make organizational decisions alone. This depends very much on certain conditions as emphasized by Steffensen 1961) when he argued that “the possibility of permitting” particular individual to make a particular decision will often bring on whether there can be transmitted to him/her the information he/she will need to make a wise decision and whether he/she, in turn, will be able to transmit his/her decision to other members of the organization whose behaviour it is supposed to influence.”

This pattern adopts the system of consultative process. Here, the administrator collects information from several members of his/her organization prior to actually making his/her decision. Each individual in the organization has different and restricted perception of total situation. In most cases, the administration is the only one to see the situation in its totality, Griffiths (1956) advised that “decisions affecting the whole system should be made by the administrator.

Whether the administrator makes the decision solely based on his/her personal value system or after consulting his/her staff for information and evidences, the one-man decision-making pattern has its demerits out weighing its merits in terms of rationality, effectiveness, and efficiency as regards group dynamism and co-operative efforts in the implementation of such decisions which is solely the duty of those outside the maker.

The Minority-Pattern of Decision-Making

This pattern of decision-making utilizes the efforts of few members of the organization while deciding on matters of interest to the whole group members with this pattern of decision-making, Orji (1984) concluded that “the final decision will depend on the limited resources of only these few.” This can only be applied in non-complex problem situations. With the current wave of democracy and equal opportunities in work places, the minority pattern of decision making still has its strengths and weakness like the one-man pattern. In matters of importance and interest to all group members if is ethically that every member of the group voices out his/her personal views. Today organizations are becoming so complex that it makes it impossible at times to have all group members involved. Situations like this calls for the minority-patter-if a quick and urgent decisions must be made.

There are other avenues for using the minority-pattern. Since all members of a given organization with its complexity can not participate in the still organizations in a democratic society like ours should reflect the nature of the society in which they operate, based on this assumption, the interest of a large group of people are considered through representatives from the same group, still the minority-pattern but in a different and mere elaborate form.

In many occasions, the adoption of representative rule does not satisfy the needs and desires of all organization’s members. Sharing the same view, Rice (1963) observed that “the extent to which the representative really represent the rank and file in the organization is highly questionable, the rank and file know little about the work of the representatives and except little from them.” The use of minority in group decision-making ought to avoid such occasions that proposed decision will be confronted with such prospects that if implemented, will destroy group interest for all except those minority members.

Group or participatory Decision

With this pattern of decision-making all members of an organization are given equal opportunities of voicing out their own opinions in matters vital to them as members of the organization.

Strauss (1963) defined participating as “a form of power allocation, a process in which individuals have some influence on decisions which affect them.” Continuing, discussion between super ordinate and sub-ordinates. Ogbodo (1955) asserted that “participation connotes consultation, delegation of authority or group consensus.”

Many writes and administrators have voiced out their opinion and convictions on the participation of workers in general and teachers in the formation of organizational policies and decision-making. From their views, the needs for workers participation and the resultant effect of such participation on productivity becomes evidently clear. Among the multiplicity of views on workers participation includes;

Ezeocha (1985) pointing out “that participation apart from giving a sence of belongingness to the teachers with the school also forces the teachers to help out in the implementation of such decisions which they have been part of.” Contributing, Lischeron (1974) was of the view that “participation is essential in order to achieve social justice, workers’ well being, and organizational efficiency.” He went further and maintained that “participation will enable the organization to make good use of its members knowledge and experience of it members, lower workers resistance, and increased performance.

Blumberg (1966) opined that “the participating worker is an involved worker, for his/her job becomes an extension of himself/herself and by his/her decision, he/she is creating his/her work, modifying and regulating it.” Deducting from Blumberg’s view, it becomes clear that as a worker is more involved in decisions regarding his/her work he/she becomes more committed to it, he/she naturally devices more satisfaction from it. He/she willingly implements all decisions regarding his/her job. He/she will be satisfied participating in the decision making.

Without proper understanding of the decision, implementing them becomes an uphill task. Dorglass (1945) declared that “the chances for better policy making for better legislation, for better curriculum, etc are greater if a group with varying and wide range of backgrounds develops them rather than an individual with no check and balances, relying upon ingenuity and imagination.”

In modern times, organizations are become so complex in activity and operation that decisions made by a single individual hardly fall within the zone of acceptance of all in the organization. Individuals have different abilities and capabilities to be tapped through participation. Sharing a similar view, Zoll (1964) observed that school operation becoming so large and complex in activity that authority can no longer reside in an individual, but must be shared with every one in order to capitalize upon the abilities and ideas of all. Teachers participation in organizational decision-making have been criticized by some countries as being time wasting coupled with inefficiency and low productivity. Refuting this claim, Dufty (1979) found out that “leadership involving a higher degree of participation than is customary in public bureacras were used without any apparent cost in term of effectiveness.

Supporting this finding, Oji (1984) maintained that “only shared decision-making which involves the principal and members of staff would ensure high morale on the part of the teachers, co-operation between principal and members of staff, discipline, efficiency, and high productivity in the secondary school system.” There are other views and findings supporting the participating of workers in the formulation of policies that affect them all. Nwankwo (1982) declared, “that participatory decision-making enhances the spirit of belongingness and morale, it also ensures ease and co-operation in implementing those decisions.

In the reality of situations, participation has a promoting feature for organizational effectiveness and efficiency which results from high productivity and co-operative efforts of all members.

The need for workers to be involved in decision making has so much been echoed by writer, administrator and educationalist. In practical sense, participation vary according to organizational structures and administrative set up. Lischeron (1974) described four different types of degrees of participation which include;

1. A situation where the administrator makes decisions promptly and communicates it to his subordinates clearly and firmly. He/she expects them to carry out the decision loyally without raising difficulties.

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2. A situation where the administrator makes the decisions promptly, then tries to get his/her subordinates’ agreement to it before going ahead. He/she rather than issuing orders.

3. A situation where the administrator does not reach his decisions until he/she has consulted his/her subordinates. He listens to their advice, weigh it and then announcing his/her decisions. He/she then expects all to work loyally to implement if irrespective of whether or not it is in accordance with the advice they gave.

4. A situation where the administrator calls for a meeting with his/her staff whenever there’s an important decision to make. He/she lays the problem before the group and invites discussion. He/she then accepts the majority view point as the decision.

Hence, participation ranges from presentation of view to actual involvement in decision-making. The basic elements in participation are autonomy and recognition. Although different commentators and investigators have adopted definitions and forms of participation, a common theme can be found running through all. The essential aspect of this then centres around the sharing of, or influence in decision-making process. It is seen in its broadcast sense as preferring to the involvement of subordinates in decision-making process which have traditionally been the prerogative and responsibility of administrators. Participation must not isolate the principle of unit which emphasizes on the existence of a single executive. The principal is responsible no matter how many of the teachers that take part in administration. The function of teacher is therefore to give advice, to make recommendations and thereby to aid the principal in coming to the most intelligent decisions.

General Views of Organizational Conflict

The Longman Dictionary of contemporary English gives the meaning of conflict as “War, battle, struggle, meeting of opposing ideas or belief, disagreement, argument, and quarrel.”

The term conflict has been defined in a number of ways. It can be perceived as struggle, a battle, a strong disagreement or clash between contradictory impulses or wishes. Conflicts can be of such grace nature as arms struggle between nations or group of people within the nation. Conflicts with a person may also have a serious adverse effect on the person’s personality. Conflicts can be of less consequences as in disagreement between people in everyday conversation but where it exists in organizations between Chief Executives and their subordinates, the consequences can be very serious. Organizational conflicts could arise as a result of self interest which results to greed, undermining the views and interests of others and excessive show of authority, negligence of duty and often incompetence on the part of the man at the head of affairs. The life blood of any institution is the good human relationship of human resources otherwise the institution is no longer living.

However, from the administrative point if view, the definition of conflict by March and Simon (1958) will be well accepted. They pointed out that most generally the term conflict is applied to a “breakdown in the standard mechanism of decision making so that an individual of group experiences difficulty in selecting an active alternative. Generally conflict is viewed as bad but to most theorists of recent origin, conflict is viewed as functional and dysfunctional. Supporting this claim, Coser (1956) pointed that “no group can be entirely harmonious, for it devoid of process and structure, both positive and negative factors builds group relationships. Conflicts as well as social co-operation has social functions. Far from being dysfunctional, a certain degree of conflicts is an essential element in group formation and the persistence of group life.” Morphet and Rando (1967) posited, that “conflict is destructive when it continues or increases social disorganization or is damaging to individual personalities. Conflict is constructive when it can save as the impetus for growth in human relationship and finding of better solutions for meeting the need of the group.” The existence of conflict many at times result to the adaptation of certain positive or negative transformation Maddock and Hyams (1979) cited Getzels as stressing that “certain types of conflict give rise to productive transformation when a role occupant is faced with incompatible expectations, some strategy of adoption is required. He/she may adopt expedient orientation and resolve the conflict by confirmed to the expectations of those whom he/she perceives as significant.

Conflicts may arise because the individual perceives that others hold different expectations for him/her as the incumbent of a single position. It may also arise when a delegate moves into an area outside his jurisdiction or doesn’t perform his/her duties well (Hagman and Alfred, (1955). Conflicts are based on certain structural arrangements and hence arise when such managements are present. In a school situation, the principal is exposed to conflicting tasks which according to Maddock and Hyams include; the administrator, the evaluation, the teachers, teachers to teacher relationship, policy executor and implementer, a change agent, etc.

According to Edem (1982) Getzel conceived the secondary educational system as having nomothetic and idiographic dimensions. The former refers to the school as an institution with its own set of roles and expectations. The later comprises of the personalities of individuals who hold offices within the institutionalize educational system. These personalities of individuals refers to their characteristics ways of thinking, feeling, and acting which makes them unique and different from others. The administrative behaviour of the members of the institution according to the theory, will be the result of the nature of the interaction between homothetic, (i.e. the demand of the established institutions) and the idiographic, (i.e. the personalities and the need disposition of their members) and based on these, he postulated three types of conflict that may arise from the Union.

Types Of Conflict

(1) Role Personality Conflict

This occurs when a role expectation ascribed to a position is at variance with the need disposition of the membent. He/ she is at twies expected to confirm simultaneously two or more contractor sets of expectations, as a result of which conformity to one infringes on that of another.

(2) Personality Conflict

This is an outcome of opposing demands. For instance, when the administrator tends to be a democratic leader and a situation asks for autocracy.

(3) Role Perception Conflict

This arises depending on how members think they are expected to behave within the organisation and how others actually expected then to behave.

Furthermore, March and Simon (1958) identified three major cases of conflict;

(1) Individual Conflict

This can arise in individual decision-making and can result when the individual cannot compare alternatives being uncertain about their consequences.

(2) Organizational Conflict

This involves members of an organisation that is a disagreement that arises between members of the same organisation.

(3) Inter-Organizational Conflict

This could occur between organisations or groups. Organizational and inter-organisational conflict are replaced with internal and external conflicts respectively by Scoth and Mithiel.

On the other hand, Luthan (1973) rather perceived individual conflict from another perspective. Seeing individual as a member of an organisation, he theorized that “individual conflict could arise as a result of frustration, goal conflict and role conflict”. He further explained that frustration is the source when the drive towards a desired goal is blocked and this situation, the resultant reaction is normally, negative-aggression, rationalization of an individual occurs when two or more goals compete for attention. Within the goal conflict, three types are identified;

(1) Approach-Approach Conflict

This occurs when one wants to approach two or more positive but mutually exclusive goals

(2) Approach-Avoidance Conflict

This arises when one sees both positive and negative features in the same goal as a result, he/she approaches or avoids it.

(3) Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict

This could arise when one wants to avoid two or more negative but mutually exclusive goals.

Perceiving the individual as a member of an organization, Luthans concluded: the approach-avoidance conflict is most relevant because the individual either pursues a goal or avoids it after weighing the positive and negative features of the particular goal in relation to the organization’s welfare.

Deducting from all these views above, organizational internal conflict could arise as a result of blocking the desired goals of the individual members. Conflict occurring in an organization where there is no agreement on basic values tend to be destructive but in a flexible organization where there’s no questioning of basic values, conflict could be useful.

On other occasions, theorists examine the basis for organizational conflict from a structural perspective. Luthans again is of the view that in complex organizations there are four structural areas where conflict is most evident and they include;

(1) Hierarchical Conflict: Occurs between the various organizational levels. For example, the school principal is conflicting situations with his/her immediate subordinates

(2) Functional Conflict: Occurs between various functional units of the organization. For example the instructional division in conflicting condition with the administrative unit

(3) Line-Staff Conflict: Occurs between line personnel and staff personnel. For example, between principal and subject supervisors.

(4) Formal-Informal Conflicts: Occurs between formal and informal groupings. For example, the norms of teacher cliques and demand of the education board.

Previous Research Findings:

A thorough search for related work done in this area revealed that not much has been done and the available researches do not relate directly to the present study.

Working on “teachers’ participation in decision-making in secondary schools in Kano State; Ocho (1981) measured principals’ and teachers’ performances on who was to make certain decisions. He found out that principals and teachers desire increased role in administrative decision-making.

Eze, M.U “problems of staff personnel Administration in co-educational secondary schools in Imo and Anambra States”, discovered that there were some relationship between the members of years of experience a principal has and the member of staff personnel problems he encounters; “the more experience he has the fewer the problem.” In his own study, Oboko Nathaniel investigating into personnel Administration in secondary schools in Aniocha distinct of Asaba Division of mid-West State of Nigeria, found out that the communication channels and procedures between the teachers and the State school management Board are rigid and the relationships between principals and their teachers are not often cordial. Still on the related work done on the area, Oji (1984) discovered among other things, that there was a low teacher participation in making some Administrative decisions, and guessed that it could be the cause of their indifferent attitudes.

Furthermore, Ukaegbu, C.I (1986) worked on power structure and conflict in the Nigeria secondary school system. A case study of study of schools in River State.” Discovering among other things that most school principals considered a greater percentage of their teachers as insubordinates while their teachers saw them (principals) as being too authoritative. Caldwel and Lutz found out participative principals generate few grievances while authoritarian ones generate a higher number of school grievances among their teachers.

Most researches done so far in Nigeria on the area of decision-making seem to have centred on the extent of teachers’ participation. Others concerned themselves with personnel administrative problems. A seemingly related work already carried out in this area was done by Ukaegbu (1986), finding out that principals considered the teachers as unco-operative. This results to the experience had from personnel discussion with a vice-principal (as was stated in chapter one) and the researcher’s experience motivated the present study. It’s believed that the findings of this particular study, factionally analyzed will go along way in helping to solve the problems of unco-operativeness and indifferent attitudes of teachers inputting decision into practical effects.




This chapter presents the various aspects of methodology the researcher used in carrying out the study.

a. Research Design

b. Area of Study

c. Population

d. Sample and Sampling Method

e. Instrument of Data Collection

f. Validation of the Instrument

g. Reliability of the Instrument

h. Method of Data Collection

i. Method of Data Analysis

Research Design

This is a survey research design. It is a survey research because only a part of the population was studied and the results from the findings are to be generated to the entire population.

Area of Study

The areas of this study covers all the 26 (twenty-six) public secondary schools in Arochukwu Local Government, of Abia State.

Population of the Study

The population for this study consists of all the secondary school teachers and principals from the twenty six (26) secondary school in Arochukwu Local Government Areas of Abia State.

Sample and Sampling Techniques

Sixteen (16) secondary schools were randomly selected from, the twenty six (26) secondary schools. Fifteen teachers including the principal was selected from each of the sixteen schools, bringing it to a total of (240), two hundred and fourty teachers and principal. i.e. two hundred and twenty four teachers and sixteen principals.

Instrument for Data Collection

The instrument used for data collection was a self structured questionnaire known as the factors for conflict between Principals and their teachers in the implementation of administrative decisions in secondary schools in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State.

The questionnaire has two sections, A and B. section A consists of the personal data of the respondents while section B consists of the questionnaire items.

Validation of the Instrument

To ensure the validity of the instrument, the questionnaire was constructed and given to three (3) experts in Educational Administration for Validation. Some items were removed, some modified and added before the final draft was made.

Reliability of Instrument

To ascertain the reliability of the instrument, the researcher used the test-retest method. The instrument was administered on 20 (twenty) teachers at three weeks interval. The scores were paved and correlated using the Pearson moment correlation which yielded 0.79, showing that the instrument was highly reliable.

Method of Data Collection

The instrument was distributed to the respondents by the researcher and was collected immediately after completion by the respondents. There was no record of missing copies because it was collected on the spot.

Method of Data Analysis

The data was analysed based on the responses of the respondents. Likert scale was used in answering the items in the questionnaire, the data obtained were pooled together and analysed according to the demand of the research questions, mean was used to analysed the data generated. For example giving numerical values to sealing points:


SA Strongly Agree — 4 points

A Agree — 3 points

D Disagree — 2 points

SD Strongly Disagree — 1 point

The mean

Decision Rule

A mean score of 2.5 and above will be accepted while a mean score of less than 2.5 will be rejected.



In this chapter the findings of this study was presented and analysed. The presentation of the data analysis was organized around the research questions.

Research Question One

Which of the administrative decisional areas are conflicts more prevalent between principals and their teachers in the implementation of administrative decisions?

S/N Items SA A D SD N

Decision Rule

1 Communication between the principal and the teachers in my school is effective.











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2 Some teachers show a laizze-faire attitude towards the school activities.






















3 Teachers are being treated in a colleagueship manner by the Principal in my school.






















4 Principals compel the teachers to do their job 60 70 58 52 240 2.6 Accepted

5 Insubordination and open querels of teachers with the principal in my school.








Grand Mean ( ) = 2.52

In table 1, the total grand mean in items 1 to 5 in the research questionnaire is 2.52. from the same table 1, items 1, 4, and 5 are accepted as some of the areas where conflicts are more prevalent between principals and teachers in the implementation of administrative decisions in secondary schools, while items 2 and 3 were rejected.

Research Question Two

Table 2

Does non-participation of teachers in decision-making constitute a factor for conflict between teachers and principals in the implementation of administrative decision?

S/N Items SA A D SD N

Decision Rule

6 Teachers participate actively in decision making in my school. 47 52 79 62 240 2.4 Rejected

7 Decisions in my school is solely taken by the principal and imposed on the teachers. 60 81 50 49 240 2.6 Accepted

8 The non-participation of teachers in decision-making is a problem in my school 89 60 50 41 240 2.8 Accepted

Grand Mean ( ) = 2.6

Table 2 above shows that item 6 is below the cut off mean of 2.5 and is rejected, showing that teachers don’t have active participation in decision-making. Items 7 and 8 are accepted confirming the non-participation of teachers in decision-making a factor for conflict.

Research Question Three

Does teachers’ desire for full authority on their job constitute a factor for conflict between teachers and principals in the implementation of administrative decisions?

S/N Items SA A D SD N

Decision Rule

9 Teachers in my school are not given the opportunity to exercise their authority by the principal. 70 65 50 45 240 2.8 Accepted

10 The principal in my school abuses the right of the teachers. 75 90 40 35 240 2.9 Accepted

Grand Mean ( ) = 2.85

From table 3 above, items 9 and 10 are above the cut-off mean of 2.5 and are accepted as factors for conflict.


Research Question Four

Does the pursuit of personal interests by the teachers constitute a factor for conflict in the implementation of administrative decision?

S/N Items SA A D SD N

Decision Rule

11 Most teachers abandon their jobs for private business 78 63 49 50 240 2.7 Accepted

12 Most teachers now prefer their private classes to the school classes because of personal gain

70 74 56 40 240 2.7 Accepted

Grand Mean ( ) = 2.7

From table four above, it was seen that items 11 and 12 are above the cut-off point of 2.5 and are accepted as factors for conflict in the implementation of administration decisions.



This chapter presents the discussion of the findings, educational implications, recommendation, conclusion, limitations, and suggestions for further studies.


The discussion in this chapter is based on the summary of findings earlier made in this study.

The presentation and analysis of data relevant to the first research questions revealed that conflicts in the implementation of administration decisions are mostly in the areas of discipline, administration, and communication. This manifests in the form of open quarrels between the principals and teachers especially in the areas of teachers’ laizze faire towards the school activities. An alarming percentage of teachers agreed to have conflict with the principals on decisions bodering the main tenancy of discipline.

Also communication gap between the principals and teachers contribute to the quarrels between the teachers and the principals as some principals do not communicate with their teachers effectively for decisions to be implemented.

On the other hand, majority of the teachers agreed having conflicts with their principals on the areas of colleagueship relationship between them and their principals showing that most principals do not treat their teachers as follow colleagues but always like to exhibit that superiority as a super ordinate with authority. As can be inferred from this revelation, planning and organization of instruction and the maintenance of discipline seem to be the core areas of educational administration.

For the second research question; it was revealed that non-participation of teachers in decision-making is one of the factors why teachers disagree with their principals in the implementation of administrative decisions. This findings also tend to suggest that principals alienate teachers in taking decisions concerning the school activities. From the findings, it is not always successful to rule or administer teachers with ready made decisions. Individuals as it can be understood are more willing to implement decisions which are clear to and understood by them. They will only understand those decisions and policies if they participate in formulating them. Participation as it is shown is closely associated with commitment and involvement which relates to high productivity, low faculty grievances, teachers-job satisfaction, and motivation. A participative leadership is considerate, supportive, trustful and cooperative. The increasing tendencies in teacher-attituded Militancy is at least in part, attribute to the desire of growing members of teachers to be more active in the decision-making processes within their school organizations. It is clear that in the right circumstances, the behaviour of principals can influence the attitude of teachers which directly or indirectly affect the organizational climate of the schools. In view of this, it is safe for one to say that many schools are not peaceful work places-resulting from principals administrative behaviours manifesting in form of teachers’ alienation from administrative decision-making. In some cases, the administrator uses force on his or her subordinates and reaches them to accept his or her decision as we all know it involves regorous inspections, supervision, teachers resentment and grievances. It is of common knowledge, that the individual finds security in a dynamic climate in which he/she shares the responsibility for decision-making. A person will be more secured in implementing goals, policies, and programmes if he/she understands them. He/she will understand them better if he/she helps to formulate them. This in turn creates a sense of proprietorship among the teachers and also ensure that they give such decisions a fair trial and be enthusiastic in their implementations.

The data relevant to the third research question revealed that teachers sense the lack of authority on their job. As specialists in their own fields, teachers would like to have a certain degree of autonomy in exercising their specialized competences, intellectual component, and career based knowledge. Teachers resent outside influence from administrative control. Perhaps, the most crucial fact to be reckoned within the school organization is the contradiction between teachers’ role as subordinates’ employees and their role as professional employees. Teachers hence become virtually concerned about their rights and responsibilities in the development of policies and regulations that affect their work conditions. They (teachers) feel they are being treated as underlings and they are not sufficiently consulted in areas of their specially. The very fact leads to most teachers challenging the existing administrative authority system. Probably, most cases of insubordination don’t involve organized groups but instead it involves the particular teacher(s) in opposition to an administrator on a certain matter. It is not surprising that teachers’ desire for full authority on their jobs is a factor for conflict between teachers and their principals in the implementation of administrative decisions.

For research question four, the data revealed that most teachers abandon their jobs for their private businesses and that contributes immensely to the causes of conflict between them (teachers) and their principals, as this leads to low productivity on the part of the teachers and in attempt to bring back the teacher(s) dedication back to their jobs leads to the emption of conflicts between them (teachers) and their principals. The resultant effect of their private abandoning their jobs for their private business has a terrible adverse effect on both the school system and the students.

The data collected from table five shows that teacher’s negligence of duty is also a major factor for conflict between them (teachers) and their principals as most teachers neglect their duties in their respective schools. Most teachers fail to conduct the normal daily morning assembly when it is signed to them, most of them (teachers) do not go to classes during their periods even when they are with their lesson time table, most of these teachers come to school very late and some don’t even come often to school and so on. Hence, when the principals noticing what has been going on in his/her school frowns at it and tries to employ corrective measures or discipline the concerned teachers, conflicts arises.

Educational Implications of the Findings

From the findings of this study, and the recommendations based on the findings, hence a reaching implications for the development of Education. Considering the fact that principals and teachers must co-operate to ensure effective educational programmes. As was stated in chapter one of this study, the ultimate aim of every board of education is to ensure effective school management. But neither sound nor effective school management could be achieved when teachers and principals do not co-operate.

On the part of board of education, the findings of this study will greatly enable the educational planners and policy makers to redress and reformulate certain educational policies which tends to alienate the teacher from organization decision-making.

For the principals, this findings will help to enlighten them on the reasons behind the indifferent, unco-operative challenging, and militant attitudes of their tutorial staff.

For the public, the findings of this study will help to educate them on the issues regarding the behaviours of teachers towards the administration of schools.

Finally, the organizational climate of schools will be highly, improved if all the recommendations given in this study are adopted.

Limitation of the Study

During the investigation, certain obstacles and difficulties were experienced which restricted the scope of this study. The factors which limited the work of the researcher includes:

1. Un-availability of quality time

2. Financial constraint

3. Attitudinal behaviours of some teachers.


Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made:

1) The rights and responsibilities of teachers and principals in decision-making should be clearly stipulated through an established codes of conduct and all involved be made to understand them.

2) Secondary school principals should provide communicative and participative processes in which individual members of staff will have the opportunities and freedom to express their views and opinions in any kind of administrative decision-making as this will help to ensure effective and degusted instructional programmes.

3) All members of the teaching staff should be allowed to exercise a certain degree of authority on their jobs.

4) As specialists in different fields of study, individual teachers should be consulted in taking decision concerning their particular areas of specialization.

5) The participation of teachers in administrative decision-making should be made compulsory as teachers will be willingly ready to implement those decisions which they are part of.

6) Special management and administrative programmes such as training interests, seminars, and workshop should be designed for principals and teachers as well.

Suggestions for Further Research

The researcher suggests the following for further research:

(1) A repetition of this study on other parts of the country.

(2) A repetition of this study, emphasizing the views of principals as opposed to those of the teachers.

(3) A comparative study of conflicts between teachers and students.

Summary and Conclusion

This research study is concerned with an investigation into the factors for conflicts between principals and teachers in the implementation of administrative decisions in secondary schools in Arochukwu Local government Area of Abia State. In this study, research questions were answered and analysed.

The findings of this study have been based on the data collected from the sixteen sampled secondary schools in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State. The answer to the research questions hence led to the conclusion that there is a great adverse effect of conflicts between principals and teachers on the organizational climate of the schools and the academic achievements of the students. Based on these findings recommendations were made. And it is the belief of the researcher that if the recommendations are carried out, there will be a more conducive and positive achievement.



Section a (Research Data)

Kindly fill in the following items as they pertain to you.

1. Name of school…………………………………………………

2. Sex: Male…………………….. Female…………………………

3. Location Urban ………………… Rural…………………………

4. Type of school: Mixed………………. Single…………….

5. Age: …………………………………………….

6. Academic Qualification………………………………………….

7. Years of teaching experience ………………………………


Tick √ where appropriate

Note: SA- Strongly Agree

A- Agree

D- Disagree

SD- Strongly Disagree

S/N Items SA A D SD

1. Some teachers show laizze fair attitude towards the school activities.

2. Communication between the principal and the teachers in my school is effective.

3. Teachers are treated in a colleagueship manner by the principal.

4. Principals compel teachers to do their job.


S/N Items SA A D SD

5. Teachers participate actively in decision-making in my school.

6. Decisions in my school are solely taken by the principal and imposed on the teachers

7. The non-participation of teacher in decision-making in my school is one of the problems facing my school.

8. Teachers in my school are not being given the opportunity to exercise their authority by the principal.

9. The teacher’s rights in my school are being abused by the principal.

10. Most teachers abandon their jobs for private business.

11. Teachers prefer their private lessons to the school teaching because of personal gain.

12. Principals deny the teachers their fringe benefits.

13. Principals most times tamper with their teachers’ salaries.

14. Principals also in-charge their teachers unnecessarily.

15. Most teachers often come to school late.

16. Most times teaching refuse going to classes for no just reason.

17. Most principals are not capable of handling the school management.

18. Teachers participate in decision-making.

19. The principals appraise the teachers favourably when called upon to do so.

20. Negligence of duty is one of the causes of principal/teachers conflicts.

 Conflict Factors In The Implementation Of Administrative Decisions Between Principals And Their Teachers


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