Experiencing Task and Personal Conflict: Case Study of a University Faculty Member

Article Title: Experiencing Task and Personal Conflict: Case Study of a University Faculty Member

Author(s): Nasreen Akhtar & Syeda Salma Hasan

Institute(s): Department of Psychology, GC University Lahore

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2014, Vol. 12, No.2, 21-26

Correspondence Address: Nasreen Akhtar, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, GC University, Katchery Road, Lahore 54000, Pakistan. E-mail: nasreenakhtar51@gmail.com & Dr. Syeda Salma Hassan, Incharge and Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, GC University, Kechery Road, Lahore 54000, Pakistan. E-mail: s.salmahasan@hotmail.com


The present study deals with the case of a male assistant professor who experienced task and personal conflicts in a Pakistani public sector university. Semi-structured interview protocol was developed to conduct an interview with the participant in order to explore his experiences of conflicts in university. Results obtained through thematic analysis indicated that he experienced task conflict with the administrative system of the department. His promotion was delayed due to the mismanagement of the university administration. He also faced personal conflicts with senior colleagues who tended to be unprofessional by showing an uncooperative and discouraging attitude. The main themes of thematic analysis include: western universities as a model, teaching of non-approved course outline, casual attitude of clerk, diffusion of responsibility, less educated administrative staff, less vigilance of the head of department, politicizing of promotion system, no merit for promotion to higher ranks, rift with senior colleague over laboratory and non-conducive learning environment. In order to deal with such conflicts effectively, it is strongly recommended that Universities should organize a series of orientations about the different administrative system for the faculty members. The head of department may also play the role of a facilitator, guide and counsellor to the newly appointed faculty members. Co-workers may extend their co-operation and encouragement to newly appointed colleagues to help them adjust in their work environment. The study has important implications for university faculty, departmental heads and university administrators.

Key words: task conflict, personal conflicts, administrative system, orientation, higher education

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