An Investigation into the Role of Employer and Management Representatives during Collective Conciliation: Empirical Evidence from Nigeria

Adejoke Yemisi Ige

Abstract


The International Labour Organisation describes ADR as a set of processes that comprise of negotiation, conciliation, mediation and arbitration. This description includes a set of approaches to settling disputes, which in practice vary significantly in terms of their nature and use from one institutional context to another. ADR has been analysed by some scholars as a means of bringing workplace justice to more people at lower cost and with greater speed than conventional government channels. Within the context of ADR, conciliation is seen as one of the most common and important forms of dispute resolution. Although there is a rising interest in the extent of and outcomes of conciliation, its nature in some contexts remains underexplored. This study presents empirical evidence collated among employer, management and trade union representatives as well as other stakeholders that have a role to play in collective conciliation in Nigeria. The study is qualitative due to its suitability for generating data and gathering rich and robust information. A total of twenty-three interviews were conducted between May 2015 and March 2016. The findings of this study reveal the impact of the independence and objectivity of ADR institutions while carrying out their responsibilities. It establishes that management and trade union interactions during conciliation are characterised by lack of trust, lack of confidence, fear and anxiety. It demonstrates how the attitude of management during negotiation can be attributed to their perception of the behaviour and demeanour of trade unions and conciliators. Lastly, the study affirms the link between the mind-set and approaches of the actors and highlights its connection to the actions and behaviour of trade union and management representatives during their interactions as evident within the Nigerian context.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jmr.v9i4.11802

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