Original Research

A study of conflict resolution mechanisms and employment relations in multinational corporations in Africa: Empirical evidence from Nigeria and South Africa

Olaniyi J. Olabiyi
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 20 | a1900 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v20i0.1900 | © 2022 Olaniyi J. Olabiyi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 February 2022 | Published: 13 December 2022

About the author(s)

Olaniyi J. Olabiyi, Department Of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa


Orientation: When it comes to employment relations, a strong and effective conflict resolution mechanism (CRM) is critical for achieving industrial tranquillity and collaboration among social partners.

Research purpose: This study evaluated the usefulness of CRMs in employment relations at a large multinational company (MNC) in Nigeria and South Africa.

Motivation for the study: Negotiating and dialoguing about employment relations must be an integral part of CRMs in order to alleviate disharmony in employment relations.

Research method: This study used a survey methodology for non-experimental descriptive research. A mixed method of data gathering was used for this study, that is, quantitative and qualitative data collection. Approximately 400 questionnaires were sent to participants in the organisations, 200 each from Nigeria and South Africa. The survey also involved 20 respondents who were interviewed online. A total of 383 participants were included in this study.

Main findings: Study results showed that the CRM worked better in South Africa than those in Nigeria. South Africa, based on a comparative review of the study, may have one of the most advanced systems for resolving industrial conflicts on the African continent.

Practical implication: An effective approach to conflict resolution can help prevent negative outcomes of organisational dispute.

Contribution: The study’s findings contribute to harmonious, non-violent, non-disruptive conflict resolution practices in the workplace.


conflict resolution mechanisms; employment relations; multinational enterprises; labour legislative framework; labour law


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