FREQUENT STRIKE ACTIONS AND ORGANISATIONAL PERFORMANCE OF LAGOS STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Industrial conflict is constant and an inevitable part of any organization. The concept is associated with the “conflict theory” as organizations deal with people competing for self-interest. However, strike, an extreme form of industrial conflict, can be avoided, but most organizations hardly ever plan to avoid it even when they know it must occur. For example, government knows that Association of Nigerian Universities staff (ASUU) must go on strike on the expiration of ultimatum but government hardly ever thinks of preparing in advance to avoid the strike (Ezeagba, 2014). Strike is an aspect of industrial conflict used by workers to express their grievances. It is a collective, organized, cessation or slowdown of work by employees, to force acceptance of their demands by the employers (Amadi and Precious, 2015). However, strike in work-relations is not an aberration, since it creates or provides an opportunity for correction and reconciliation for the improvement of both the organizational performance and workers welfare (Osad and Osas, 2013).
Otobo (2005) stated that strike is a typical result from the failure of negotiation to arrive at agreed-upon terms and as a bargaining weapon. It is the only ultimate level available for use by industrial unions (Amadi and Precious, 2015). So from the foregoing, strikes are accumulated actions due largely to negotiations that have failed in the past to which reference could be made through employees may seem to forego the term reference. According to Igbaji (2009), in an industrial relations system, conflicts (strikes) arise between workers and managers chiefly because of their different ideologies and opposing interests. Students across various institutions of higher learning particularly in Lagos State are constantly faced with industrial actions either by the Academic or Non-Academic Staff, the disagreement or lack of understanding between government and academic community often result in deadlock that usually disrupt academic calendar and with some dire consequences on organizational performance of the institutions.
University workers like all other industrial workers use strike to drive home their demands. Between 1992 and 1995, the crises in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions took a turn for the worse. According to Adeyemi (2010) the main aim of higher education in Nigeria is to give very sound and qualitative education which will enable the individual to function effectively in any environment in which he finds himself. This objective that hinges on the performance of workers in the higher institutions is often being threatened with poor incentive schemes that deter workers commitment, motivation and satisfaction. In business, the analysis of corporate performance whether financial, production, marketing (even managerial), or general activity, is very necessary because the outcome of the very present decisions lie in the projection of the future. This however, begins with the evaluation of the past prevailing situation with a view to establish a basis for future projection (Osaze and Annao, 1990). Hence, this study seeks to investigate the effects of frequent strike actions on organisational performance of Lagos State institutions of higher learning with a special reference to Lagos State University.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The economic downturn in Nigeria in the last two decades has led to poor salaries and wages for workers while in the face of this the government introduced minimum wage policy to cushion the effect. Despite all this the attendant disparity in incomes and the result of inflation has produced great dissatisfaction and agitations among Nigerian workers, which has often resulted in incessant conflicts and industrial actions in almost every work place. The Lagos State institutions of higher learning are faced with a myriad of problems ranging from, inadequate facilities, and lack of infrastructures. Others problem include: how to cope with increased students’ admission, inadequate funding, industrial actions between and among workers and government, personality factors, and the role of strike actions, that may hinder inter-personal relationships as well as performance of workers. Strike generally and in Lagos State institutions of higher learning have become perennial and disturbing so much that it has hampered the performance of workers in the state. In many organizations in Nigeria today, internal (intrapersonal) and interpersonal conflicts are consuming so much organizational time and attention that organizations are starting to look as though conflict is their primary business.
The incessant industrial actions often recorded in the Lagos State University have inadvertently affected the academics of students; it usually poses a lot of challenges to their study duration, performance in examinations and their final grading. The students are kept away from school for a long time; most of them are completely cut off from academics as conditions at home may not favor productive and rigorous academic exercise. The students and their parents become frustrated because of long expectation of school resumption that is far from sight. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to explore the relationship between frequent strike actions and organizational performance of Lagos State institutions of higher learning with a special reference to Lagos State University.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of this research work is to ascertain the effect of frequent strike actions on organisational performance of Lagos State institutions of higher learning. Other specific objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the effect of strike actions on organizational performance.
2. To examine the effect of strike on workers commitment in the educational sector
3. To find out if poor incentives scheme is a leading cause of workers dissatisfaction in Lagos State institutions of higher learning.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will be asked as guides to finding answer to the problems under investigations.
1. What is the effect of strike actions on organizational performance?
2. To what extent does strike action have effect on workers commitment in the educational sector?
3. Is poor incentive scheme a leading cause of workers dissatisfaction in Lagos State institutions of higher learning?
1.5 Statement of Hypotheses
For the purpose of the research work, the following hypotheses are formulated:
H0: There is no significant relationship between strike actions and organizational performance
H1:There is a significant relationship between strike actions and organizational performance
Ho: Strike action does not have an effect on workers commitment in the educational sector
Hi: Strike action has an effect on workers commitment in the educational sector
H0: Poor incentives scheme is not related to workers dissatisfaction in Lagos State institutions of higher learning
H1: Poor incentives scheme is related to workers dissatisfaction in Lagos State institutions of higher learning.