Abstract and Figures

Some recent observers noticed that employee productivity nearly on all kind of organizations is diminishing on a day-today basis, particularly in the field of education. The researchers found a number of factors that affected the productivity of employees. One of the major factor contributing to the productivity of employees is workplace conflicts. Therefore, the main goal of this study was to examine the workplace conflicts and its effect on the employee productivity. This research also examined a mediating role of workplace politics between the workplace conflicts and employee productivity among the members of the faculty of general public universities of Rural Sindh. Stratified sampling technique was used to collect the data from concerned population by using structured questionnaire. To achieve the goals of study different statistical techniques were used by using SPSS. Reliability test was used to check the data reliability. Furthermore, regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between workplace conflicts and employee productivity. The finding of this test showed that the relationship between workplace conflicts and employee productivity is negative. For regression analysis, macro process tool was used to investigate that whether workplace politics mediates the relationship between workplace conflicts and employee productivity. The finding of this test showed that workplace politics significantly mediates the relationship between workplace conflicts and employee productivity.
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International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Vol. 24, Issue 03, 2020
ISSN: 1475-7192
DOI: 10.37200/IJPR/V24I3/PR2020313 Received: 20 Feb 2020 | Revised: 28 Feb 2020 | Accepted: 14 Mar 2020 2774
Abstract--- Some recent observers noticed that employee productivity nearly on all kind of organizations is
diminishing on a day-to-day basis, particularly in the field of education. The researchers found a number of factors
that affected the productivity of employees. One of the major factor contributing to the productivity of employees is
workplace conflicts. Therefore, the main goal of this study was to examine the workplace conflicts and its effect on
the employee productivity. This research also examined a mediating role of workplace politics between the
workplace conflicts and employee productivity among the members of the faculty of general public universities of
Rural Sindh. Stratified sampling technique was used to collect the data from concerned population by using
structured questionnaire. To achieve the goals of study different statistical techniques were used by using SPSS.
Reliability test was used to check the data reliability. Furthermore, regression analysis was used to investigate the
relationship between workplace conflicts and employee productivity. The finding of this test showed that the
relationship between workplace conflicts and employee productivity is negative. For regression analysis, macro
process tool was used to investigate that whether workplace politics mediates the relationship between workplace
conflicts and employee productivity. The finding of this test showed that workplace politics significantly mediates
the relationship between workplace conflicts and employee productivity.
Keywords--- Workplace Conflict, Workplace Politics, Employee Productivity.
I. INTRODUCTION
In the developing world today, the problem of workplace conflicts and its effect on employee productivity has
become a significant point to be discussed. Each employee faces a number of conflicts that needs to be solved or
accepted. It is understood that time is known to be as valuable as money because for everyone it never stops. Thus,
if an employee fails and thinks he or she cannot handle the conflicts, the employee has to face several difficulties in
the workplace.
Education is the second field of work in which conflicts mostly occur after the government field (Bakker,
Albrecht & Leiter, 2011). When two or more people, countries, nations and groups disagree with some topics then
conflicts may occur because of the difference in ideas, behaviors, perceptions, interests, attitudes, politics (Afzal,
Khan and Ali, 2009). Therefore, as per (Moily, 2008) conflict occurs because of tensions between individuals and
society, poor governance, historical background, and socioeconomic condition. It was also stated by (Agwu, 2013)
Rabia Shakoor, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Shaheed Benazirabad, Pakistan.
Muhammad Hafeez, Department of Business Administration & Putra Business School, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Shaheed
Benazirabad, Pakistan & University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia. E-mail: mhafeezsaim@yahoo.com
Maeenuddin*, Putra Business School, University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia. E-mail: moin.karim7744@gmail.com
Lenny Yusrini, Akademi Pariwisata Indonesia (AKPINDO) Jakarta, Indonesia. E-mail: lenny@akpindo.ac.id
Altaf Hussain, Putra Business School, University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia. Email: khaskhelialtaf@yahoo.com
Workplace Conflicts and its Effect on Employee
Productivity: A Mediating Role of Workplace
Politics
Rabia Shakoor, Muhammad Hafeez, Maeenuddin*, Lenny Yusrini
and Altaf Hussain
International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Vol. 24, Issue 03, 2020
ISSN: 1475-7192
DOI: 10.37200/IJPR/V24I3/PR2020313 Received: 20 Feb 2020 | Revised: 28 Feb 2020 | Accepted: 14 Mar 2020 2775
that difference in personality backgrounds, functional interdependence, autonomy, and status arise conflicts. When a
person avoids the other person’s achievements, conflict also arises (Hotepo, Sokere, Azeez, and Ajeminigbohun,
2010). (Hussain and Mujtaba, 2012) stated that conflicts between employees in workplace create stress for the
employees and become the reason of low performance for the organization. The nature of the workplace conflicts
effect on employee productivity and consequently affect the competitiveness of the organization.
Employee productivity and morality are affected by the performance and reward management effectiveness of an
organization (Yazici, 2008). Firm has a competitive advantage when a company retains high levels of performance
compared to its competitors (Harmon, 2014). Job satisfaction, organizational commitment, remunerations and
rewards are the factors affecting productivity (Khan, Farooq and Ullah, 2010). Employee motivation is the most
influential factor of productivity (Kulchmanov and Kaliannan, 2014). (Raza, 2012), highlighted the previous
statements which is to find a way to improve productivity so employees can perform better and vice versa.
Improving employee skills and providing trainings are other factors that maximize the productivity (Nielsen, 2013).
In addition, (Euske and Lebans, 2006; Norton and Kaplan, 1992) defined that the productivity of employees is not
only financially dependent, but also non-financially dependent, which ensure a level of organizational objectives and
goals. Productivity is an element of capacity and inspiration, where capacity contains the skills, an asset required to
carry out assignments. While an inspiration is depicted as an internal power that drives individuals to act towards
something. It is also said that employees are more susceptible to turnovers if they are unsatisfied and therefore
losing motivation to show good performance. A happy and satisfied worker has higher productivity and it is easier
for the management to motivate high performers to reach firm goals (Kinicki and Kreitner, 2007).
Many researchers defined workplace politics as actions that impact activities, behaviors and, decision-making by
using power (Tlaiss, 2013; Dhar, 2011; Brouer, Harris, and Kacmar, 2011). Bouckenooghe, Zafar and Raja (2015)
implied workplace politics in a workplace as the pre-mediated use of individuals’ power to fulfill a person’s interests
and goals at their workplace. There are two streams that elaborate workplace politics studies (Ferris et al., 2002).
The first is older tactics and behaviors of politics influence (Bodla and Danish, 2013) and the second is the
perceptions of employees in their working environment of workplace politics. The growing phenomena and the most
debatable topic of these days are workplace politics. Over the past few decades, the studies on workplace politics
have increased (Gull and Zaidi, 2012). Conflict is a part of organizational life and may occur between individuals,
between individuals and groups, as well as between groups that may come out as a result of workplace politics
(Lammer, 2009). Eze (2011) argued that workplace politics is a self-serving behavior that look for the expense of
others to achieve self-esteem, advantages and benefits. Workplace politics in tertiary organizations often seeks to
secure or maximize individual interests or, on the other hand, keeping away from negative results inside the
organization (Ferris and Kacmar, 2011). Employees in tertiary organizations are always engaged in politics to
pursue individual goals. While workplace politics is a correlation of employee conflict, Udoye (2011) saw conflicts
as dys functional, that could be important as this might make an issue to be displayed in various point of view.
Politics include the human component and the resulting relationship is political which has to be overseen and
managed carefully, maturity and sincerity before it increases uncontrollably (Krietner and Kinicki, 2004).
International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Vol. 24, Issue 03, 2020
ISSN: 1475-7192
DOI: 10.37200/IJPR/V24I3/PR2020313 Received: 20 Feb 2020 | Revised: 28 Feb 2020 | Accepted: 14 Mar 2020 2776
II. LITERATURE REVIEW
Employee productivity in the current study is the key dependent variable. The concept of productivity has been
defined from different perspectives by different scholars. Some key definitions and concepts are discussed in this
study. The level to which employees perform the duties and responsibilities is defined as productivity, according to
Shields (2016). However, productivity related to results, outcomes and achievements (Cardy, 2004). While
collective efforts and behaviors applicable to company goals controlled by employees (Lepak et al., 2007). From a
different perspective, Richard and Morrison (2009) studied the concept of productivity. Productivity cannot be
defined in general performance criteria according to their observation and can only be described in the context of
institutional perspectives and situations. (Aguinis, 2005) said that a multidimensional construct is performance in
which it is necessary to consider different types of behaviors to understand it. The result of actions with the skills of
employees performing in certain situation were defined as the performance (Prasetya & Kato, 2011). In the
performance of an organization, productivity plays a major role. Initially, productivity is what an employee does or
is doing. Productivity may include output quality, output amount, timeliness of production, workplace presence and
cooperation (Gungor, 2011). According to (Macky and Johnson, 2000), improving the efficiency of individual
employees could also enhance the performance of organizations. Productivity is a performance metric that
encompasses both effectiveness and efficiency (Bhatti and Qureshi, 2007). According to (Kline & Hsieh, 2007) the
salary is an important decision-making factor in order to increase the performance of employees and to influence the
decisions whether to stay or leave the organization.
Many authors defined workplace conflicts in different ways. For instance, conflicts in the workplace are act of
dissatisfaction and disagreement used by employers to put heavy pressure on each other in order to obtain their
demand (Obi, 2012). (Kazimoto, 2013) said conflict in the workplace is defined as the presence of conflict when the
objectives, interests or principles of individuals or groups are different and frustrate each other’s attempts to reach
goals in a company. It is a process of communication and an unavoidable consequence of transactional connection
that manifest in dispute and dissonance in the work environment with and between individuals and groups. Conflict
in the workplace is a reality in any institution as long as individuals compete for works, ability, acknowledgement
and certainty (Adomie and Anie, 2005). (Kotze and Villers, 2003) defined that most important workplace conflicts
are originated from workplace issues that are complex, containing leadership, accountabilities, roles, managing
change, technical competences and supervisory. Workplace conflicts arise when personal roles interfere with work
related roles and work roles interfere with personal characters. The meaning of workplace conflicts is different for
different individuals. Workplace conflicts are commonly recognized that it is a clear link between workplace
balance and workplace conflicts. Achieving workplace balance depends on reducing and managing the conflicts
among several persons (Kotze and Villers, 2003).
Workplace politics is an important component of organizational life, referring to behavior in which personal
interests are protected rather than organizational interests. Workplace politics and power were considered as basic
components influencing different organizational practices (Kalim, 2004). Politics is the routine of studying the
sharing of resources and power inside a given community (a population generally hierarchically prepared or in a
workplace) just as the interrelationships between communities (Ferris and Kacmar, 2011). The well-established
International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Vol. 24, Issue 03, 2020
ISSN: 1475-7192
DOI: 10.37200/IJPR/V24I3/PR2020313 Received: 20 Feb 2020 | Revised: 28 Feb 2020 | Accepted: 14 Mar 2020 2777
concept of workplace politics was characterized by Ferris and Kacmar (2011) and they saw it as “the amount to
which employees watch their work setting as political in nature which results in making them feel unfair and unfair
in their environment”. Workplace politics involve deliberate acts of influence to increase or protect individuals or
groups self-interest (Kreitner and Kinicki 2013). As such, Schuler et al. (2000) pointed out that workplace politics
are activities that managers take part to expand their capacity and use it to impact basic leadership with the aims that
support their divisional, utility, and individual attentiveness rather than institutional interests. On another side,
(Mcshane and Von-Glinow, 2000) characterized workplace politics as an effort to influence others by using optional
behaviors to advance personal goals. Political behavior is activities that are not needed as part of the organization’s
official role, however that which effect, or effort to impact the distribution of benefits and dis-benefits inside the
institutions (Robbins et al., 2008). Scientists defined workplace politics in their own instinctive knowledge as
manipulating a person’s self-interest to attain individual goals at the expense of institutional objectives. (Miller,
Rutherford and Kolodinsky, 2008) put it on the shortcomings arising from workplace politics that workplace politics
cannot be removed and that managers has to expect such a result.
The analyses of these investigations showed that a relationship may exist between employee productivity and
workplace conflicts. Present literatures also indicate that workplace politics can mediate the association between
employee productivity and workplace conflicts. In addition, by analyzing the content of the workplace politics in the
literature, the analyst came to realize that there is an important relationship between the employee productivity and
workplace conflicts. The key aims of this study are to study the workplace conflicts and its effect on employee
productivity and a mediating role of workplace politics. In addition, the existing research framework is outlined in
Figure 1.
Figure 1: Research Framework
III. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The target population of this research is the general public sector universities of Rural Sindh. The population of
interest for this research are academic employees who work in general sector universities of Sindh. The target of this
study are the members of the faculty of the general universities of Sindh Province. So, the population consists of
general public sector universities for the collection of data. Questionnaires were distributed in SBBU and SALU
educational staffs to collect data for the study. In particular, 325 questionnaires were distributed in selected
International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Vol. 24, Issue 03, 2020
ISSN: 1475-7192
DOI: 10.37200/IJPR/V24I3/PR2020313 Received: 20 Feb 2020 | Revised: 28 Feb 2020 | Accepted: 14 Mar 2020 2778
respondents with only 210 questionnaires were returned. From those 210 questionnaires, only 199 respondents
completed the questionnaires which means our survey’s response rate was 61.23%. The research took general public
universities of Rural Sindh as strata in this study. As for as the study undertaken is concerned for sampling
technique, stratified sampling technique was used. While to get the sample size, this study applied the Slovin’s
formula.
 
  
In this formula, N is the entire population, e is confidence level, and n is the sample size. The level of confidence
and the level of precision are the two variables considered to evaluate the maximum sample size. The confidence
level was assumed 95% (margin error of 0.05). Which means, N=325 and =0.05. Thus,
  
  
Data collected according to the calculation of this formula is from 180 respondents who are considered the
sample size of this research. The relative distribution technique was used to allocate the sample size sum to two
strata. The rule applied to this rationale is as follows:

Where, nh is the size of the hth stratum sample, and Nh is the size of the hth stratum population. Structured
questionnaires were distributed in SBBU and SALU educational staffs to collect data for the study. The
questionnaires consist of 29 questions. There are two sections in the questionnaire. The first section is for the
collection of personal data, consists of 5 questions. Second section consists of three parts. The first part is about the
workplace conflicts, consists of 10 questions. The second part consists of 8 questions on workplace politics. The
third part consists of 11 questions on employee productivity. The questionnaire was adapted from various studies.
Some items were adopted from the study on the topic of “Training and Development Strategy and Its Role in
Organizational Performance” (Niazi, 2011) and other items were adopted from the study on the topic of Employee-
conflict-questionnaire” (Adr4today, 2011), and the mediating variable items were adopted from the study on the
topic of Workplace Politics and Employee Behavior: A Comparison between The U.S and Lebanon” (Elkhalil,
2017). The questionnaire consists of close-ended with 5-point Likert scale questions.
IV. ANALYSIS
4.1 Reliability Test
Reliability involves the degree to which a phenomenon calculation results in a stable and consistent manner
(Carmines and Zeller, 1979). Reliability testing is important because it refers to accuracy across the sections of a
measuring tool (Huck, 2007). Alpha reliability is most often considered the best over 0.70 when measuring a large
survey amount. In this case, the instruments used as part of basic research have a reliability of 0.70 or more
(Nunnally, 1987). The present study’s values for the Cronbachs alpha are given below.
International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Vol. 24, Issue 03, 2020
ISSN: 1475-7192
DOI: 10.37200/IJPR/V24I3/PR2020313 Received: 20 Feb 2020 | Revised: 28 Feb 2020 | Accepted: 14 Mar 2020 2779
Table 1: Reliability Test
Reliability Statistics
Variable
N of Items
Workplace Conflicts
10
Workplace Politics
08
Employee Productivity
11
As shown in Table 1, for workplace conflicts and employee productivity, the Cronbach’s alpha is higher than
0.80 which are extremely good. But the Cronbach’s alpha of workplace politics which is a mediating variable that
influences the relation between workplace conflict and employees productivity is 0.737.
Table 2: Regression Analysis for Mediator
Model
X= Independent Variable
(IV)
Y= Dependent Variable (DV)
Mediator (M)
Sample Size
Workplace Conflicts
Employee Productivity
Workplace Politics
199
IV (X) to Mediator (M)
Coeff
se
t
P
Constant
1.4700
.1649
8.9161
.0000
Workplace Conflicts
.6285
.0446
14.0981
.0000
Direct Effects of Mediator (M) on DV (Y)
Coeff
se
t
P
Constant
5.2527
.2535
20.7187
.0000
Workplace Politics
-.2697
.0925
-2.9158
.0040
Direct Effect of X on Y
Effect
se
t
P
-.5025
.0820
-6.1262
.0000
Indirect Effect of X on Y
Effect
Bootse
BootLLCI
BootULCI
-.1695
.0644
-.2991
-.0455
To investigate the hypothesis that the relationship between workplace conflicts and employee productivity was
mediated by workplace politics, this study used macro process tool for regression analysis was used to investigate
the. The result shows on Table 2 that workplace conflicts is a significant indicator of workplace politics as,
b=0.6285, se=0.0446, P<0.05. The hypothesis is that workplace conflicts (IV) and workplace politics (M) affect the
employee productivity. The result shows workplace conflicts is a significant predictor of productivity as, b= -
0.5025, se= 0.0820, P<0.05. Workplace politics is a significant predictor of productivity, with b= -0.2697, se=
0.0925, P<0.05. Table 2 also shows the significant workplace conflicts (IV) as predictor and the direct effect of
productivity (DV) on workplace politics, affect negatively to the productivity with b= -0.5025, se= 0.0820, P<0.05
which support the analysis.
We investigated the hypothesis, according to Table 2, that workplace politics mediates workplace conflicts (IV)
and employee productivity (DV) by Macro system test. Table 2 indicates a significant indicator of workplace
politics as the indirect effect of workplace conflicts (IV) on productivity (DV) as b= -0.1695, se= 0.0644, endorsing
the analysis with P<0.05. The hypothesis is that workplace politics mediates the relationship between workplace
conflict (IV) and productivity of employee (DV). So, these analyses demonstrate that workplace politics
significantly mediates the relationship between workplace conflicts and employee productivity.
International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Vol. 24, Issue 03, 2020
ISSN: 1475-7192
DOI: 10.37200/IJPR/V24I3/PR2020313 Received: 20 Feb 2020 | Revised: 28 Feb 2020 | Accepted: 14 Mar 2020 2780
V. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The focus of this research was to study the relationship between workplace conflict and employee productivity.
In addition, this research work also focused on the mediating role of workplace politics. Mainly this section focuses
primarily on evaluating and explaining the subsequent relationships and the reported results. In order to find out the
reliabilities of different constructs, it also clarified and elaborated the relationships from previous research studies.
Under the proposed hypothesis, the previous research questions portrayed guide the discussion for the study to reach
the possible suggestions.
According to the current study, based on the workplace conflicts and its impact on the productivity of the
employees, there is a mediating role of workplace politics. The finding of this study showed that relationship
between workplace conflicts and employee productivity is negative, and the workplace conflicts has positive impact
on workplace politics. Data was collected from public sector general universities of rural Sindh. 199 respondents
participated in this research and shared their thoughts on the conflicts in the workplace and its effect on the
productivity of employees at universities. Using various statistical methods such as data reliability and macro
process analysis regression test and mediation test, collected data were analyzed.
The first data reliability finding showed the data which consists of 29 items is reliable and suitable with the
variables. According to the workplace conflicts reliability test Cronbach’s alpha = 0.809 out of 10 items, workplace
politics Cronbach’s alpha = 0.737 out of 08 items and employee productivity Cronbach’s alpha = 0.836 out of 11
items.
Second result of this analysis was determined by the mediator variable’s macro-process regression test. The
outcome of the mediator variable (M, workplace politics) relationship with independent variable (IV, workplace
conflicts) is b=0.6285, se=0.466, P<0.05. Workplace conflicts (IV) and workplace politics (M) effect on employee
productivity (DV) is b= -0.5025, se=0.0820, P<0.05. Workplace politics (M) significantly mediates the relationship
between workplace conflict (IV) and employee productivity (DV) with b= -.2697, se= 0.0925, P<0.05. Direct effect
of workplace conflicts (IV) on employee productivity (DV) is b= -0.5025, se=0.0820, P<0.05. Indirect effect of
workplace conflicts (IV) on employee productivity (DV) is b= -0.1695, se= 0.0644, P<0.05. Effect workplace
conflicts (IV) & workplace politics (M) on employee productivity (DV) shows that workplace conflicts negatively
and significantly affected the workplace politics, as b= -0.4259, se= 0.0900, P<0.05. There is significantly negative
relationship between workplace politics and employee productivity, as b=-0.4694, se=0.1015, P<0.05.
VI. CONCLUSION
The idea of workplace conflicts has increased a lot of consideration over some period of time because of its
hindering effects on employees and workplaces. Many researchers call for studies on employee productivity,
outcomes of workplace conflicts, accepting the job of dispositional components and performance. The aim of this
research was to examine the relationships between workplace conflicts, employee productivity and workplace
politics inside an integrative context underpinning AET theory assumptions.
The research examined the mediating role of workplace politics between workplace conflicts and employee
International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Vol. 24, Issue 03, 2020
ISSN: 1475-7192
DOI: 10.37200/IJPR/V24I3/PR2020313 Received: 20 Feb 2020 | Revised: 28 Feb 2020 | Accepted: 14 Mar 2020 2781
productivity within the given framework. In the light of mentioned theory, the conclusions are in track with
proposed theory, clarifying the job of individual dispositional characteristics and full of feeling states in workplace
conflicts, employee productivity and the relationship between workplace politics. In the first place, incorporating
the theory, it is apparent that individuals with an inclination toward negative work events from high workplace
politics are more likely to act and react negatively to productivity, which are ultimately costly to the workplace. On
the other side, the low level nature of workplace conflicts helps individuals control their productivity to workplace
negative events. The research was conducted in rural Sindh’s general public sector universities. Sindh’s workplace
environment has a greater tendency for employees to be bullied because of cultural factors. Nonetheless, because of
lack of professional responsiveness with the idea and monitoring process, employees don’t find suitable platform for
representation. The results of the current study are regular with prior research, and employees with conflict
experiences are likely to react negatively to productivity.
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