WORKERS PRODUCTIVITY IN PUBLIC SECTOR AND THE IMPACT OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
1.1 Background to the Study
Good managers are not only effective in their use of economic and technical resources, but when they manage people they remember that these particular resources are special, and are ultimately the most important assets. People are the only real source of continuing competitive advantage. Good managers also remember that these particular assets are human beings. The origins of the traditional concept of personnel management can be traced to the post World War One ‘welfare tradition’ of concern for the basic needs of employees. The developing and mature phases of personnel management from the 1940s to the 1970s saw an increase in the status and professionalization of the personnel function, particularly in relation to industrial relations (IR) matters (Armstrong, 1997 and Gunnigle et al, 1997). Personnel management can be defined as obtaining, using and maintaining a satisfied workforce. It is a significant part of management concerned with employees at work and with their relationship within the organization. According to Flippo, “Personnel management is the planning, organizing, compensation, integration and maintenance of people for the purpose of contributing to organizational, individual and societal goals.”
According to Brech, “Personnel Management is that part which is primarily concerned with human resource of organization.” Personnel management concerns with obtaining, organizing, utilizing and motivating the human resources required by an organization. It develops requisite organization climate and management styles to promote effective effort of cooperation and trust among all employees. This also helps the organization to meet its legal obligations and social responsibilities. To sum up, the personnel management aims at getting effective results by organizing and directing the co-operative efforts of human beings.
1.1.2 Workers Productivity
An understanding of the concept of productivity improvement programmes requires clear definition of the following concept issues, productivity, quality improvement and programmes. According to Ulrich (1997), productivity refers to a ratio of output to input. Input may include labour hours or costs, production costs and equipment costs. Output may consist of sales, earnings, and market share. Many firms now assume or have shown that productivity is affected by employee’s knowledge, skills, abilities, attitude, motivation and behaviours. The improvement programme starts with this assumption and proceeds with different intervention strategies. Prokopenko (1996) defined productivity as the relationship between the output generated by a production or service system and the input provided to create this output.
According to Obikoya (2002), quality can be assessed by looking at performance, reliability, conformance to standards, durability, serviceability, aesthetics and complying with customer requirements. Crosby defined quality as “conformance to the requirements”. Improvement refers to the deliberate efforts of an organization to increase in value or excellence. In other words, the enhancement or betterment of a company’s performance, for example, increase in a company’s share turnover from year to year gaining the company’s share of the market or a continuous research and development activities of a company. Programme means a schedule of plan to be followed. It is an intended plan of action to guide the activities of a business organization. By productivity improvement programmes, it means the various schedules or plan put forward by an organization to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency. In other words, it is all the concerned efforts of an organization to gain competitive advantage over its competitors to accomplish the organization’s mission at a low enough cost. Better training and development programmes have been shown to improve the performance of current employees, while certain incentive and compensation systems translate into higher productivity and performance as opined by Benker, Lee and Porter (1996). Productivity, can also be said to mean goods and services produced in a specified period of time in relation to the resources utilized (Singh, 2009). It is, however, contended by Cohen et al (1995) to be more than a narrow economic measure, as it also measures how well the group performs its required tasks to satisfy its customers inside and outside the organization. In effect, productivity suggests effectiveness and efficiency of the employees.
The Public Sector
The Public Sector is the principal actor in macro socio-economic policy making infrastructure and an architect of an enabling environment for national development. Public Sector management covers such aspects of management as productivity management, and management of human, financial and other resources. It involves an array of activities ranging from planning, formulation and implementation of policies, programmes and projects for the delivery of goods and services to the nation through a number of government and quasi-government institutional arrangements. Consequently, it is imperative that the structures, policies and operations of the Public Sector respond adequately to the socioeconomic needs of the nation, as articulated in the Vision 2016, and to global challenges. This implies that the quality of the Public Sector management is essential to the fulfillment of the theme of the National Development Plan 9: ‘Towards Realization of the Vision 2016: Sustainable and Diversified Development through Competitiveness in the Global Market’.
A Brief History of the Nigerian Port Authority
The history of port development in Nigeria dates back to the middle of 19th century. This was long after the onset of sea borne trade and transactions which followed the adventures of early explorations on the African coasts. Initial efforts towards provision of facilities for ocean going vessels were the attempts to open up the entrance to the Lagos Lagoon. Considerable littoral drift occurred along this coast; and the constantly shifting channels in the bar at the entrance made entry very difficult. On February 1, 1914, the first mail-steamer S/S ‘AKOKO’ drawing 5.64 meters entered the Lagos harbour. Two months later, vessels began to use the facilities provided at the Customs wharf on Lagos Island. Decision to develop Apapa Port was taken in 1913 and construction of the first four deep-water berths of 548.64 meters long at Apapa began in 1921.
Twenty seven years later (1948), an additional 762 metres of berthage were constructed as continuation –downstream of the first four berths and about 41 hectares of reclamation behind the wharves were formed to accommodate transit shed, warehouses and marshalling yards. The discovery of coal of Enugu motivated the building of ports in the eastern flank of the country; Work commenced on the building of Port Harcourt wharf during the first quarter of this century. In 1913, Port Harcourt Port was opened to shipping by Lord Lugard, the Governor General. The railway line to Enugu was completed three years later in 1916.
During this era (Pre 1954) the concept of port as an integral part of social and economic development of a country had hitherto not been properly addressed. Nigerian Railway Department –Cargo Handling at the quay in Lagos & Port Harcourt Ports operation &management therefore remained under the control of different Govt. Departments Marine Department Maintenance of the harbour channel and berthing of vessels Public Works Departmental –Maintenance of Quays. Within the first eleven years of its existence as a corporate body, NPA focused on fundamental issues vital to the success of the ports industry and equally relevant to the overall national economy. In recognition of the importance of having trained hands on its payroll and in response to the policy of Nigerianization in the years proceeding independence in 1960, the Nigerian Ports Authority embarked on an elaborate manpower development through Cadetship Training Awards. Emphasis was on Marine –Engineering, Accountancy, General Management, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. By the early sixties, beneficiaries of these trainings awards had begun to graduate and to form the core of Nigerian professionals to shape the future of the ports industry. The Authority also within this period continued to sustain the efforts already made towards expansion of ports facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The Public Sector is the principal actor in macro socio-economic policy making infrastructure and an architect of an enabling environment for national development. Public Sector management covers such aspects of management as productivity management, and management of human, financial and other resources. It involves an array of activities ranging from planning, formulation and implementation of policies, programmes and projects for the delivery of goods and services to the nation through a number of government and quasi-government institutional arrangements. Productivity in service is one of the targets of organization; the purpose of the organization is to make progress. For progress to be achieved in organization there is need for personnel to develop mean of making workers work. On the basis of this the research is aim at observing the impact personnel management on employees productivity.
1.3 Significance of the Study
This study was significant because it is intended to determine the impact (Positive and Negative) of personnel management on workers in the public sector and productivity.
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The objectives of this research include:
To ascertain the degree of usefulness of personnel management in the public sector.
To determine how personnel management has been useful in strengthening the bond between the management staffs and staffs of other departments.
To determine the extent to which workers productivity has improved as a result of effective personnel management.
1.5 Research Questions
Has personnel management been able to improve workers productivity in the public sector?
Has personnel management contributed immensely to productivity in the public sector?
Has policies as formulated by the personnel managers improved the standard of living of workers and productivity?
Personnel management has no significant influence on employee’s productivity.
Personnel management has not contributed to employees productivity.
There is no significant relationship between personnel management and employees productivity.