Religion – related discrimination and interpersonal conflict as impediments to employees’ performance in selected universities in South-South, Nigeria
Keywords:Religion - Related Discrimination,, Interpersonal Conflicts, Employees’ Performance, South-South
Nigeria is a nation with an extensive history of rivalries and tensions exacerbated by religious identities and diversities. Expectedly, these tensions have infiltrated workplaces, thereby replicating the cleavages, discriminatory practices and interpersonal conflicts prevalent in the wider society with attendant negative consequences on individual and organisational outcomes. As a result, this study tried to examine how religion – related discrimination and interpersonal conflict impedes employees’ performance in selected universities in south – south, Nigeria. The cross – sectional survey design was adopted. The study participants (n=879) comprising academic and non-academic staff were chosen from four universities in the south-south region through the multi stage sampling technique. The structured questionnaire schedule was used for the data collection. The data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics with the aid of Software for Statistics and Data Science (STATA 13.0). The findings indicated that religion – related discrimination (F=1, 877 = 109.48; Prob. > F = 0.0000< 0.05) and interpersonal conflict (F=1, 877 = 566.03; Prob. > F = 0.0000< 0.05) have the potential to inhibit employees’ performance in the selected universities. In addition, the t-values of religious discrimination (t= 10.46; P>/t/ = 0.0000 < 0.005) and religion – related interpersonal conflicts (t= 23.79; P>/t/ = 0.0000 < 0.005) showed that both variables were negatively correlated with employees’ performance. The study concluded that the presence and expression of different religious identities in workplaces can fuel religion – related discrimination and interpersonal conflict, which can contribute to performance deficits among employees. Thus, there is need for Government and managements to formulate strategies, policies and interventions aimed at ensuring that employees are fairly treated, and that religious freedom does not translate to acrimony and enmity in the workplace.