Workplace Conflicts and Perception of Quality Higher Education in Ghana

  • Peter Yidana Division of Academic affairs, C. K. Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Navrongo.
Keywords: Workplace conflicts, Perception of quality, Higher education, Interpersonal conflicts, Structural conflicts


Conflicts as a complex reality are common in higher education settings. Unfortunately, little is known about their impact on perceptions of the quality of higher education. This study assessed the impact of structural and interpersonal conflicts on the perception of quality higher education. To obtain the data, the study used a cross-sectional survey research design. The study sampled 310 academic and administrative staff from three universities in Northern Ghana using a multi-stage sampling technique. The questionnaire was the primary data-gathering tool. The prevalence of conflicts and perception of quality in higher education were assessed using simple frequencies and percentages, while the structural equation modelling technique was used to investigate the complex relationship among structural conflicts, interpersonal conflicts, and perception of higher education quality. The results indicate that most workplace conflicts in higher education are structural in nature, arising from jurisdictional uncertainties, interdependence, and authority relationships. The findings further indicate that structural and interpersonal conflicts have little influence on perceptions of quality higher education. Nevertheless, in terms of direction, structural conflicts have a positive link with the perception of quality higher education, whereas interpersonal conflicts have a negative relationship. It is hereby recommended that a cross-sectional survey on the influence of conflicts on effective teaching and learning in public universities in Ghana should be conducted.


Metrics Loading ...


Adeyemi, T. O., & Adu, T. E. (2011). Head teachers’ leadership styles and teachers job satisfaction in primary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria. International Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences, 2 (2), 68-79.

Alan, J., Clarke, K., & Jopling, M. (2009). Effective teaching in higher education: perceptions of first-year undergraduate students. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 21 (3), 362-371.

Amason, A. C. (1996). Distinguishing the effects of functional and dysfunctional conflict on strategic decision making: resolving a paradox for top management teams. The Academy of Management Journal, 39, 123-148.

Anderson, G. M. (2002). Building a People‟s University in South Africa: Race, Compensatory Education, and the Limits of Democratic Reform. Peter Lang Publishing.

Arthur, J. (2012). Research methods and methodologies in education. Sage Publishing

Barmao, C. (2012). Causes and effects of conflict on teacher morale in public primary schools in Eldoret Municipality, Kenya. Journal of Education and Human Development 1(1), 22-29.

Bolton, J. K. (2016). A Qualitative study to discover and describe conflict strategies used by exemplar community college presidents to proactively transform and resolve conflict as they attempt to shape the future. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Brandman.

Bruçaj, S. (2018). Quality Management in higher education; Challenges of private universities in Albania. European Journal of Education, 1, (3), 194 -202.

Comte, A. (1856). The positive philosophy of Auguste Comte. Calvin Blanchard Publishing.

Ciuladiene, G., & Kairiene, B. (2017). The resolution of the conflict between teacher and student: Students narrative. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 19(2), 107-115.

Dana, D, (2001). Conflict resolution: Mediation tools for everyday work life. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Da Silva, M. T. (2003). A Key question for higher education: Who are the customers? Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Production and Operations Management Society, POM-2003, April, 4-7, 2003, Atlanta, GE.

Ewell, P. T. (1993). The Role of States and Accreditors in Shaping Assessment Practice. In T. W. Banta and Associates, Making a Difference, 339-356. Jossey-Bass.

Fadhel, K. (2002). Positivist and Hermeneutic Paradigm, a critical evaluation under their structure of scientific. International Journal of Higher Education, 6, (5), 21-28.

Flanagan, K., Uyarra, E., & Laranga, M. (2011). Reconceptualisating the policy mix for innovation. Research Policy, 40 (5), 702-713.

Gall, M., Gall, J., & Borg, R. (2007). Educational research: An introduction, (8th Ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education.

Ghaffar, A. (2019). Conflict in schools: Its causes & management strategies. Journal of Managerial Sciences, III (1I), 211-237.

Gmelch, W. H., & Carroll, J. B. (1991). The three of conflict management for department chairs and faculty. Paper presented at the Third National Conference on Personal and Professional Renewal for Faculty, Atlanta, Georgia. April 18-20, 1991.

Holton, S. A. (2000). It’s nothing new! A History of conflict in higher education. New Directions in Higher Education, 92, 11-18.

Helms, S., & Key, C. H. (1994) Are Students more than customers in the classroom? Quality Progress, 27, 97-99.

Hoodbhoy, P. (Ed.) (1998). Education and the State: Fifty-Five Years of Pakistan. Oxford University Press.

Ho, S.K., & Wearn, K. (1995). A TQM model for higher education and training. Training for Quality, 3(2), 25–33.

Hussein, A. F. & Al-Mamary, Y. H.S. (2019). Conflicts: their types, and their negative and positive effects on organisations. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 8(08), 10-13.

Hearn, J. C., Anderson, M. S. (2002). Conflict in Academic Departments: An Analysis of Disputes over Faculty Promotion and Tenure. Research in Higher Education 43, 503–529.

Islam, Z., & Siengthai, S. (2016). Conflicts in higher education and perceived quality of education: empirical evidence from Pakistan. Research in Higher Education Journal, 14(2), 104-112.

Karapetrovic, S., Rajamani, D., & Willborn, W. (1997). The University Manufacturing System: ISO 9000and accreditation issues. International Journal of Engineering Education 13(3), 180 -189

Kreitner, R. & Kinicki, A. (2008). Organisational Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill International Edition.

Kivunja, C., & Kuyini, A. B. (2017). Understanding and Applying Research Paradigms in Educational Contexts. International Journal of Higher Education, 6 (5), 26-41.

Kagondu, R. S., & Marwa, M. (2017). Quality Issues in Kenya’s Higher Education Institutions. Journal of Higher Education in Africa 15(1), 23–42., Accessed 29 May 2021.

Lunenburg, F. C., & Ornstein, A. C. (2008). Education administration: Concepts & practices, (5th ed.). Thompson Higher Education.

Mackenzie, N., & Sally, K. S. (2006). Research dilemmas: Paradigms, methods and methodology. Issues in Educational Research, 16, 1-11.

Miklas, E. J., & Kleiner, B. H. (2003) New developments concerning academic grievances. Management Research News, 26 (2/3/4) 141-147.

Musah, Y. I. (2007). Administrative conflicts between school community agencies and heads of selected educational institutions in the Volta region of Ghana. Unpublished M. Phil Dissertation, Institute for Educational Planning and Administration, Faculty Education, University of Cape Coast.

Okoth, E. O & Yambo, J. M. O., J. (2016). Determining causes of conflicts in secondary schools and their influence on students’ academic achievement in Kisumu city, Kenya. Res. Mgmt. 2(2), 135-142.

Omodan, B. I. (2019). Defacing Machiavellianism in university politics: A discourse to reconstruct leadership through Ubuntu. African Renaissance, 16(4), 33-51.

Omodan, B. I. (2021). Kenimani-Kenimatoni organisational practice: An Africanised construct of superordinate-subordinate relationships. African Journal of Development Studies, 11(1), 107-125.

Opoku-Asare, N. A. A., Takyi H., & Owusu-Mensah, M., (2015). Conflict prevalence in primary school and how it is understood to affect teaching and learning in Ghana. SAGE Open

Owlia, M. S. & Aspinwall, E. M. (1997), ‘Total quality management in higher education – a review. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management1 4 (5), 527–543.

du Plessis, A., & Cain, G. (2017). Exploring perceived sources of conflict among educators in three Eastern Cape schools. Journal of Education, 70, 1-23.

Pham, H.T., & Starkey, L. (2016). Perception of higher education quality at three universities in Vietnam. Quality Assurance in Education, 24 (3), 369 – 393.

Quinn, A., Lemay, G., Larsen, P. and Johnson, D.M. (2009). Service Quality in Higher Education. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 20, 139-152.

Rahim, M. A. (1986). Referent Role and Styles of Handling Interpersonal Conflict. The Journal of Social Psychology, 126 (1), 79-86.

Razavi, S. M., Safari, H., Shafie, H. (2012). Relationships, among service quality, customer satisfaction, and customer perceived value: Evidence from Iran’s software industry. Journal of Management and Strategy, 3(3), 28-37.

Robbins, S. P. (2005). Essentials of Organizational Behavior. 8th Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.

Rubin, J. Z. (1994). Models of conflict management. Journal of Social Issues, 50(1), 33-45.

Sarpkayaa, P. Y. (2012). Types and causes of conflict experienced instructors. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 46, 4349 – 4355.

Sahney, S., Banwet, D. K., & Karunes, S. (2004). Conceptualising total quality management in higher education. The TQM magazine, 16(2), 145-159.‏

Sumera, S. L. Sumera, C. (2017). Conflicts and resolutions of school administrators: basis for innovative administrative program. Asia Pacific Journal of Contemporary Education and Communication Technology, 3(1), 3304-3315.

Stukalina, Y. (2012). Addressing service quality issues in higher education: the educational environment evaluation from the students’ perspective. Technological and Economic Development of Economy. 18(1) 84–98.

Tetteh, G. A. (2018). Quality in higher education system: use of the quality function deployment tool. Quality Approaches in Education, 9 (1), 17 – 30.

Thapa, T. B. (2015). Impact of conflict on teaching learning process in schools. Academic Voices: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 5, 73-78.

Wall, J. A., & Callister, R. R. (1995). Conflict and its management. Journal of Management, 21(3), 515–558.

How to Cite
Yidana, P. (2022). Workplace Conflicts and Perception of Quality Higher Education in Ghana. Interdisciplinary Journal of Education Research , 4, 1-14.