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The purpose of this study is to research what impact employee involvement have on employee performance in the public sector in Nigeria. In most organisations employees performance leads to organisation growth and also creates competitive advantage (Gennard et al 2005). However, many organisations, examples Banks such as United Bank of Africa plc have carried out a retrench exercise, also Union Bank of Nigeria and Fin Bank are also at the verge of letting off workers, while Spring Bank expelled 200 workers not leaving out Wema Bank sacking over 500 workers. Oceanic Bank of Nigeria has also sacked over 1500 workers (Daily Champion 2009). The major retrench of workers in the banking sector has led to low performance of employees (Punch 2010). The major lack of employee involvement affected the employee performance which is the clear view that employees performance and commitment to an organisation depends on how involved they are in the decisions made in the organisation, were their are lapses and how these workers are aware and how they can improve and make things better. The main research questions will be highlighted and steps through which the main questions will be tackled are the core elements of this proposal . To achieve this aims, this research would involve some academic literature to understand the main aspect, models or stages (if any) that is necessaryl in getting at the impact of employee involvement on employee performance. According to Lewis et al (2003) employee involvement is the job of the management of an organisation to influence employees character and workplace behaviour. According to Blyton et al (2004) employee involvement is the process of employees taking part in decisions and actions that affects their jobs, it is also the continuous contribution to improve organisational goal. However, the proposed methodologies, findings and inferences will be carried out and stated. Finally, the proposed outcomes of the main research will be highlighted as much as possible as it is difficult or almost impossible to state in definite clear terms what the outcomes of the research will be. This research is structured and expected to be carried out over a 4-7 months period barring any unforeseen circumstances.
2.0 THE BACKGROUND AND ACADEMIC CONTEXT
Enterprises forms the economic benchmark of a country which are the businesses or trade made that brings about the wealth and increase the status of a country, which can either be publicly owned or owned by a citizen (private) of a country (eHow Contributor 2010).Public and private enterprises in Nigeria are government ministries, Nigeria Water Corporation, Federal Inland Revenue, banks, Consulting firms, Information Technology companies, Power Holding Company of Nigeria etc which are profit making businesses/ organisations.
However, this research would be focusing on the public sector. The major problem faced by employees in some of the public organisations is the lack of management practicing employee involvement. The main aim of this proposal is to look into what impact employee involvement have on employee performance. Employee involvement can be measured with employee relations, and there is also the assumption that the high commitment level of an employee can enhance the organisational objectives which would increase the work pace of an employee, increase innovation, quality, performance and customers satisfaction (Mike Leat 2007).
According to Guest (1987) in Pilbeam and Corbridge (2010) states that Human Resource Management has four policy goals such as integration, commitment, flexibility and quality . However, employee involvement practices in an organisation builds the commitment leve,creates flexibility, trust and improve the quality outcome in an employee which in turn increases the performance outcome (Plibeam and Corbrigge 2010).
The term employee performance has raised a lot of eye brows and has been conceptualized by Derek Rollinson (1997) as the positive attitude or character of an employee towards carrying out a job description or title positively affecting the organisations objectives and goals. However, I have noticed in Nigerian public enterprises, employees tend to be delegated and determined to improve and create competitive advantage for their organisations, but on the other hand, employers and management of these organisations are carried away by the results of the output of these employees, disregarding their involvement and participation in decision making towards building the organisation which would boast the level of commitment and performance of these workers. The reduced effect of employee performance in these organisations is as a result of the ineffectiveness of management professionally involving employees on matters that concern the organisation thereby reduces the level of commitment, developing lack of interest in employees towards the organisations. Management of any organisation is responsible for the involvement and participation of employees as management creates room for employee to take part in decision making processes (Michael Armstrong 2009).
3.0 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Various academic literature points the impediments of employee involvement as the attitudes of work place union representatives and the attitudes of line managers and the management at large.
The research questions is: What factors determine the level of employee involvement in public sector parastatals in Nigeria?
To answer this questions I would have to:
Examine the historical antecedent of the public sector in Nigeria.
Critically examine and identify the theoretical aspect of employee involvement and performance management.
Critically examine public enterprises in Nigeria on how they maintain good employee relationship (employee and employer) with the use of employee involvement appooach.
4.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
This section of the study is not going to be complex and would not involve much details of the research. It would however analyse the literature so as to identify the theoretical concepts that would help identify the impact of employee involvement on employee performance.
Since the 1980s, developed countries and developing countries have been trying to promote and improve the public sector management reform. The process of promoting and improving the public sector could lead to the development of these countries. However, world bank and other donors in Africa have consistently tried to find different ways of managing the public services by creating and improving the markets and competition within the public sector. The mission behind this reform is to increase efficiency, participations among the workers within the public sector and also improve accountability of the economy (ECA 2003).
Organisations in any country and the practice of Human Resource Management has a great influence on the development of the country. However, the level of diversity is high which affects the political and administrative aspects in Nigeria. To reduce or down size the high level of diversity greatly depends on a high implementation of Human Resource Management. The processes and methods to which an organisation achieves its set goals is of great importance and such processes include improving administration and also improving Human Resource Management which enhances organisational effectiveness. It also improves employee performance and helps government parastalas to achieve their set objectives and goals (euro journals 2010)
The public sector include ministries, parastatals and extra departments which are the main instruments to the African government for building and improving the goals and objectives of the state. It is the responsibility of government to create appropriate and comfortable environment in which all public sectors operate thereby delivering good services in turn. However, a strong means for a better performance of employees in the public sector needs to be readdressed to improve the macroeconomic stability and efficiency (ECA 2003)
It is observed that Human Resource Management are very vital and effective for improving performance (Pilbeam et al 2010). Strategic Human Resource Management approaches such as employee participation/involvement, training and development, employment relations in correlation with the government (public sector organisations) objectives are the most important objectives that positively impacts on the effectiveness of the goals and performance (Redman et al 2006). The physical items produced by any organisation such as goods, materials, instruments can be reproduced and cloned but human abilities can never be cloned and by these employees become the competitive advantage of an organisation (eurojournal 2010).
According to Corbridge et al (2003) there has been serious doubts on the issue of employee involvement increasing employee commitment thereby also impacting on performance. To make management more effective on participation/ involvement in strategic decision making methods, Edwards et al (2011) argued that the management (managers/line managers) should provide employees with vital information on important matters as often as possible as they have direct contact and as a result not to cause damage to either the management or the employees. David Farnham (2010) in his writing stated employee involvement is the basis for providing vital and important information to employee and building room for suggestions from employee thereby contributing to organisational performance.
What then is Employee Involvement?
Generally the term Employee Involvement has been postulated and defined by different scholars. According to Bratton and Gold (2007) employee involvement can be defined as the process of involving employees with the opportunity to influence decision-making on matters that affects them . According to Lewis et al (2003), employee involvement encompasses a range of practices that are focused directly on employees, including forms of communicative involvement, task level involvement and financial involvement and is affected by managerial actions and styles of leadership . However employee involvement can be categorised into two parts which are the task level involvement and communicative involvement which this research work is mostly concerned with.
Furthermore, employee involvement is the process of allowing employees to have a hug amount of control, freedom of choice by closing the communication gap between the management and employees (Serbian journal of management 2011). However in an organisation employee involvement can be classified into two which are the low and high(direct and indirect). The high level of employee involvement is the approach whereby all employee at various levels are aware of the planning procedures and are involved in the decision making processes while low employee involvement is the process in which involves only the top management (Bratton and Gold 2007).
This research would also look into the managerial pattern of control and the leadership style in the public enterprises in Nigeria which is the bases of measuring the strategies of the management approach of these enterprises in regards to employee involvement, thereby measuring how management influences employee relations (employee and employer) and positively impacting on the culture of the organisations. Based on this I am interested in examining the factors responsible for stunted employee involvement practices in Nigeria public and private organisations.
Employee Involvement is one of the key terms in Human Resource Management showing the relationship between employer and employee. There has been lots of conceptions on employee participation and employee involvement. According to lewis et al (2003) states that the concept employee involvement and employee participation has been termed by others as having the same meaning, while Bratton and Gold (2007) have stated the difference between employee participation as the process of employees pressurizing management on decisions and employee involvement as the softer method of employees participating in decisions with a common interest management and its employees. The difference between employee participation and employee involvement is a hard and soft approach as to employees participation in an organisation.
Methodology states several methods that needs to be aligned during the write up of a dissertation. It can also be stated as a description process in which the concept of collecting information, the process by which the information is gotten and collated, showing the relationship it has to the discipline or research ( Bryman et al 2007).
5.1 Epistemological and Ontological Dimension Of The Research:
The Epistemological area to which this research would focus are questions of what is appropriate knowledge in the area of study (Bryman 2004).Methodology is the approach that unpins the research (eHow 2011). It gives a clear view of the findings and research done by the author. However, the study to this research paper would involve various schools of thought. The proposed process of answering the research question is through interpretative paradigm because it would create a rigid understanding of the public sector in Nigeria and its practices. However, due to the complex nature of answering the above questions, this research would comprise of academic literatures and also primary and secondary literature. This study would also take on qualitative research method as it gathers data and analyses them in so many ways as possible. It also examines information in a wide context as possible which seeks to examine problems or issues in-depth.
5.2 Secondary Data:
The secondary data would include journals, academic books so as to help examine the conceptual frameworks when writing the final dissertation. More so, internet sources would not be left out as to get company information. Newspapers and magazines would also be reviewed as it is updated regular and as a means of getting concrete and recent information for the research.
The primary data would be the use of questionnaires that would give valid answers to the proposed question. The use of questionnaires would be carried out with the public sector in Nigeria such as Power Holding Authority of Nigeria (PHCN), Government Ministries, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS). The main aim of using more than one organisation is to have a comprehensive, well detailed overview and understanding of what impact employee involvement have in these organisations on employee performance at different levels and class in the organisations.
Furthermore, this research paper would also use interviews as it gives a clear view of how people feel towards communication in their work place and also give an understanding of the relationship between employees and employers. Both employees and employers would be interviewed so as to have a clear view of both parties. However, interviews are very reliable and gives concrete answers as it physically involves the participants (interviewer and respondent) which gives the originality of the findings(Bryman et al 2007).
5.3 Research Design:
This research topic what impact does employee involvement have on employee performance in the Nigerian public sector caught my interest as a result of the fact that I am a Nigerian, have lived in the country and have had one year work experience and at the time employee involvement was not effective. However, as mentioned earlier this research would be carried out using both primary / secondary sources and qualitative research.
Interviews would be carried out and opened ended questions such as; how committed and loyal are they to their organisation? To what extent/ level are they involved in the decisions of the organisation? To what level are they informed on the activities or development of the organisation?. These interviews would be a physical method as it would enable the researcher to build a comfortable level of communication and gather valid concrete data (Bryman et al 2007).
5.4 Ethical Consideration:
In line with undertaking this study, this research would adhere to the regulations and ethical standards of the University in relations to the Business School ethics form. Thus, going according to the rules and regulations, this research would gain approval on the questionnaires that would be used to gather data for this research. Also necessary approval would be obtained from these organisations before any interview or questionnaires are distributed. I would also obtain approval for recording the interviews and the approval would also state the right of the respondent to stop the interview at any point in time. The interviews would be carefully conducted as not to cause any emotional breakdown or be perceived as an interrogation rather than an interview. Confidentiality of collected data is very key as to protect the image of the respondents and also protecting the image of the organisations in which information would be collated from.
6.0 TIME SCALE AND RESOURCES:
In carrying out this research a lot of time would be dedicated to it. A lot of reading cannot be left out in carrying out this dissertation, reading related theories, academic literatures would be a good start to gathering data and achieving a good completion of the research. I would delegate 40 hours every week to make researches and collating information as well. I would not hesitate to meet with my supervisor at any point in time if I get stuck along the line in carrying on my research and writing up my dissertation as it is very important to ask questions if need be. However, changes may arise in the process of writing my dissertation which would arise to making adjustment to the initial research. I have created a chat plan on the time scale that would be spent for the dissertation which is Appendix 1.
7.0 LIMITATIONS TO THE RESEARCH:
To carry on this research I would have to travel back home which is not a problem, as the finances needed to do so is set aside if need be and if time permits, however gaining access to these organisations and gathering information I feel might be rigorous and difficult but not enough to discourage me on embarking on the challenge. The possibility of not been able to travel back to Nigeria to carry out interviews and distribute questionnaires in the selected public sector in Nigeria to collate information is high as the duration to complete the dissertation is short. This I feel is a weakness to this work as i might not be able to critically analyse and building a valid conclusion on the findings more so it might take longer than expected to get back responses from emailed questionnaires to respondents thereby delaying my research. However, I am determined to respond rapidly to any changes or challenges during the research work as to save time and be prompt to changes.
APPENDIX 1: PROPOSED TIME TABLE:
MONTHS / PLAN JAN FEB MAR APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT
Submission of Proposal.
Meet with supervisor and dialogue on direction for the research of the dissertation.
Create and submit a structured project schedule to my supervisor.
Embark on rigorous search on materials for the dissertation and start rigorous reading on literatures, journals etc.
Build questionnaire and getting approval for data collection.
Embarking on journey to Nigeria to carry out interviews and distribute questionnaires.
Collation of questionnaires, analyse information and data retrieved from questionnaire.
Meet with supervisor for a review session on the progress of the research.
Start introductory part of the dissertation.
Proper writing of the dissertation and make corrections if any mistakes along the line.
Write up on conclusion and recommendation.
Final submission of dissertation.