The impact of team conflicts on the performance of project based organizations: the case study of youth empowerment project in Njombe district, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The objective of this study was to assess the impact of project team conflicts on the performance of Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) in Njombe district. The specific objectives of the study were to investigate types and source of conflicts the effects of project team conflicts in YEP and lastly, examine strategies and styles employed in managing project team conflicts in YEP. Through qualitative case study, data were collected using documents review, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions from 52 respondents. Study respondents included project manager, heads of project sections, wards' representatives and project officers. Purposive and convenience sampling techniques were used in selecting respondents. Data collected were analyzed qualitatively through content analysis. The study has revealed that competition over scarce resources; work place interdependence, poor communication and individual differences like cultural and educational backgrounds are common sources of conflicts in the project. Moreover, the study revealed that intrapersonal, interpersonal and interdepartmental conflicts were the kinds of conflicts occurring in the project team. Performance wise, conflict was found to be constructive at the time it inspired great work and commitments of project officers towards project efficiency. On the other side, it was destructive when project officers were engaging in misunderstandings that were emotional and personal in nature and hence reducing their commitment and teamwork toward project efficiency. Furthermore, avoidance, accommodation, collaboration and compromise were revealed to be the used styles in managing conflicts in YEP. Clearly defined roles and priorities, effective communication, good governance and leadership as well as proper utilization of resources were proactive strategies for conflict management. Joint discussion with parties in conflict and issuing of warnings to parties in conflict were reactive strategies in managing conflict. Conclusively, the study concluded that conflicts are inevitable among individuals forming a team in a project. Conflict situation and behavior of those in conflicts influence largely the effect of conflicts on performance, that is, can be either constructive or destructive. Also styles and strategies to be used in managing conflict depend on the situation and individuals in conflicts. The study recommends that, members in project need to embrace that they differ in backgrounds, culture, interest and perceptions. Therefore, interpersonal relationship should be encouraged among them. Moreover, project managers should ensure that the available scare resources are utilized wisely and effectively in a project for the benefit of project organization. Project officers should struggle working towards achieving functional conflicts rather than the dysfunctional conflicts. Lastly, project manager should develop and encourage the use of appropriate conflict management strategies and styles as conflict can be constructive and destructive at the same time. In addition, the study recommends a similar study to be done by using both qualitative and quantitative approach for comparative purposes.
Available in print form, EAF collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, class mark ( THS EAF HF5549.5C75.T34J636
Conflict generation in workplace, Performance, Youth empowerment, Njombe district, Tanzania
John, M ( 2019 ) The impact of team conflicts on the performance of project based organizations: the case study of youth empowerment project in Njombe district, Tanzania, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.