Quality of Work-life and University Goal Attainment Perception by Academic Staff in the South-south ...

Mamedu O. P.

American Journal of Educational Research

Quality of Work-life and University Goal Attainment Perception by Academic Staff in the South-south Geo-political Zone of Nigeria

Mamedu O. P.

University of Port Harcourt, Business School, Port Harcourt, Nigeria


This study on Academic staff perception of Quality of Work-Life and University Goal Attainment was designed to have some understanding of the QWL of university academic staff and to relate this understanding to their performance towards university goal attainment in the South-South geo Political Zone of Nigeria. The topic was chosen because of persistent complaints concerning the low quality of university output in Nigeria for over a decade. Two research questions and two null hypotheses were raised to examine the QWL of university academic staff, university goal attainment and the relationship between the two variables. The significance of the study is to help those involved in higher educational planning, policy formulation and implementation to achieve optimum university outcomes through performance and QWL of academic staff. The study was guided by a theoretical concept on self-theory with a plethora of self-based theories on QWL and university goal attainment. The review indicated that only very limited work had been done in this area in Nigeria, on university and on the subjects. The sample constituted 1681 of university academic staff and this was 36% of the entire population of academic staff in the zone. Two questionnaires were each developed for QWL and UGA respectively in addition to personal interviews and document review. Results of the study revealed a state of satisfactory QWL for the staff; a state of unfavourable University goal attainment; and insignificant relationship between QWL and UGA in the universities. These results are unique in the sense that they revealed that satisfactory QWL of university academic staff does not generate commensurate satisfactory UGA in the Zone in Nigeria.

Cite this article:

  • Mamedu O. P.. Quality of Work-life and University Goal Attainment Perception by Academic Staff in the South-south Geo-political Zone of Nigeria. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 4, No. 20, 2016, pp 1323-1336. https://pubs.sciepub.com/education/4/20/3
  • P., Mamedu O.. "Quality of Work-life and University Goal Attainment Perception by Academic Staff in the South-south Geo-political Zone of Nigeria." American Journal of Educational Research 4.20 (2016): 1323-1336.
  • P., M. O. (2016). Quality of Work-life and University Goal Attainment Perception by Academic Staff in the South-south Geo-political Zone of Nigeria. American Journal of Educational Research, 4(20), 1323-1336.
  • P., Mamedu O.. "Quality of Work-life and University Goal Attainment Perception by Academic Staff in the South-south Geo-political Zone of Nigeria." American Journal of Educational Research 4, no. 20 (2016): 1323-1336.

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1. Introduction

Accordingly, the National Policy on Education [1] by the federal government of Nigeria clearly identified the overall philosophy for the establishment of universities in Nigeria. The NPE document among others charged Nigerian universities with the universal goals which are expected to be relevant, excellent and qualitative for the development of the Nigerian nation [2].

Indeed, Reference [3] argued that the highest institutional mechanism for recreating and making organized investments towards the development of human capital all over the world is the university system.

Interestingly, academic staff constitutes the group of human resources in the university system through whom these goals are attained. They constitute the line staff whose interest other stakeholders must guarantee for the attainment of University goals. According to Reference [4] the audience of academic staff is mankind.

Unfortunately, the Central Bank of Nigeria had also stated that Nigeria’s expenditure on education is far below the developing countries’ average [3]. Today, the Nigerian University operates in a crises environment that is replete with inadequate funding, inadequate academic infrastructure and library holdings; excess university student population; cultism, brain drain; to mention but a few of the contemporary issues and problems in the universities [5].

These problems were aptly highlighted by [6] in a keynote address presented at the Conference of Rectors, Vice chancellors and Presidents of African Universities (COREVI) in which he noted that these factors have precipitated the rapid decline of the quality of university education in Africa.

Some of the major measures so far taken by the federal government since 2000 intended to further humanize the university industry include a 33% increase in take-home pay of university academic staff (vide FGN/ASUU agreement), the establishment of a national virtual library; the enactment of private universities’ law; the bill on university autonomy being currently addressed by the National Assembly; Education Tax fund (ETF); the establishment of Nigeria’s premier Open University.

However, due to the large size of resources required; earning potentials; and differential in productive capacities (among others) in each of the six geo-political zones, the impact of both federal and state government policies on each zone is perceived differently in each zone.

For instance, the South-South Geo-Political Zone (SSGPZ) of Nigeria remains the least developed zone in the country in spite of its contributions of over 90% to the nation’s foreign earnings since 1975 [7]. Here, it is necessary to reference the observations of the UNDP- Common Country Assessment Report (2001:xii). The report criticizes the state of under-development of the oil-rich South-South Geo-Political communities of independent Nigeria. The report sees the denial of the people’s access to appreciable degree of the natural resources within their geographical boundaries as injustice and violations of their human rights to education.

Reference [8] joined other scholars to restate that the great people of Rivers and Bayelsa are for instance, strategic thinkers, who, just as Japan, Germany, the USA and other advance countries believe in training the minds of their people as asset that is greater than the crude oil that is located in their locality.

Reference [9] equally posited that the management of the proceeds of Oil-gas activities from the South-South by the Federal Government has continued to deprive the indigenes, and by extension, the state universities in the zone of the deserved revenue required to improve university facilities, improve professional development, employ more academic staff and generally improve the quality of working life of intellectual capital in the zone.

Quality of work-life (QWL) is basically concerned with creating excitement about work; increase opportunity to use skills and judgments; ability to participate in problem solving; enhancement of cross-functional teaching-learning; injury reduction; more family-friendly schedules; participation in continuous quality service improvement; improved labour-management relations respectively. QWL has been found to improve worker morale, encourage institutional commitment; support recruitment and retention; enhance goal attainment; reduce absenteeism, and maximize staff resources [10]. These are geared towards humanizing the workplace.

It is against this problem definition that the researcher proceeds to identify the specific objectives of the study.

1.1. Materials and Methods
1.1.1. Purpose of the Study

The specific objectives of the study are to:

1. Determine how senior university academic staff perceive their quality of work life in the South-South Geo-Political zone in Nigeria.

2. How senior academic staff perceive University Goal Attainment in the zone.

3. Examine the relationship (if any) between the quality of work-life and University goal attainment of university academic staff in the zone;

1.1.2. Research Questions

1. What is the perception of Senior University academic staff on the quality of their work life in the South-South Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria?

2. What is the perception of Senior university academic staff on university goal attainment.

3. Determine if there is any relationship between quality of work-life and University goal attainment.

1.1.3. Null Hypotheses

Hypothesis 1 (HO1 )

There is no significant difference between QWL and UGA as perceived by senior university academic staff in the SSGP Zone of Nigeria.

Hypothesis 2 (HO2 )

There is no significant relationship between QWL and UGA as perceived by the Senior university academic staff in the SSGP Zone?

2. Review of Related Literature

It is in appreciation of the important role of university academic staff that section 5 (42) of the [1] empowered Nigerian Universities to: (i) select their students, (ii) appoint their staff and to teach, select areas of research, and disseminate the result of such research, and (iii) determine the content of courses. To enhance the attainment of these objectives, section 5 (41) of the policy document empowered the NUC to among others, channel funds to the universities and accredit the establishment of new universities as well as accredit their programmes.

It is against this introductory mandate that this chapter reviewed scholarly works and publications which address quality of work life of academic staff and the university goal attainment environment. The theory upon which this work is therefore anchored is the Self Theory which is briefly discussed.

2.1. Theoretical Framework

The University as a global social system is regulated largely by the decisions and actions of university management. Quality of work-life (QWL), as a human resource model is about reification, treating university systems as living organisms by focusing on the dynamic relationships among universities’ stakeholders as its driving force.

It is on this basis that the researcher had examined the Self-theory of university academic staff as the theoretical framework that propels the study.

2.2. The Self-Theory

The Self-Theory was propounded by [11]. The plethoras of self-based theories proposed recently are based on the understanding that “human beings have fundamental need to maintain or enhance the phenomenal self [11].

Self-theory generally refers to the totality of a complex, organized, and dynamic system of learned beliefs, attitudes and opinions which each academic staff holds to be true about his or her personal existence. The theory is indeed concerned about the variety of ways to think about the self and therefore subsumes two of the most widely used terms known as self-concept and self-esteem.

The researcher’s choice of this theory was principally and firstly, to illustrate the fact that the behavior of academic staff is based on the integration of the dispositional and situational explanations of work. This is the foundation upon which the principles of QWL, and by extension university goal attainment are based. Secondly, recent studies strongly support the fact that expectancy and equity theories which, for instance assume that academic staff are rational maximizes of personality utility have so far failed to account for the full range of behavior at work [12].

Consequently, current studies on self and goal attainment have confirmed that knowledge-based staff act in ways that maximize their value of exchange with their institutions.

A clinical display of self-theory in the university system is found in the Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) by academic staff. According to [13], institutions such as the universities, which depend solely upon its blueprints of prescribed behavior, is a fragile social system. This is why academic staff are expectedly involved in Organizational Citizenship Behaviors. OCB is a model that is based on supra-role behavior.

Reference [14] described OCB as those discretionary individual behaviors not explicitly recognized by formal reward system; not encoded in job description; behaviors for which employees do not receive training-which in aggregate, promote effective functioning of organizations including the universities. It is upon this theory that the researcher proceeds to discuss the concepts of Quality of Work-Life.

2.3. Concepts of Quality of Work-Life

The recent definition by [15] on QWL is quite conclusive and best meets the contemporary work environment. The definition is related to meaningful and satisfying work. It includes (1) an opportunity to exercise one’s talents and capacities, to face challenges and situations that require independence and initiative and self-direction, (2) an activity thought to be worthwhile by the individuals involved, (3) and activity in which one understands the role the individual plays in the achievement of some overall goals and (4) a sense of taking pride in what one is doing and in doing it well.

The issue of meaningful and satisfying work is often merged with discussions of job satisfaction, and is believed to be more favorable to QWL. Reference [16] define QWL as the effectiveness of the work environment that transmit to the meaningful organization and personal needs in shaping the values of employees, that support and promote better health and wellbeing, job security, job satisfaction, competency development and balance between work and non-work-life.

The concept of quality of work-life is based on the assumptions that a job is more than just a job. Quality of work-life exercises significant influences on productivity of employees. Research has established that good quality of work life leads to physically and psychologically healthier employees with positive feelings.

The term quality of work-life was introduced in the late 1960s as a way of focusing on the effects of employment on health and ways to enhance the quality of persons on the job experience. According to [17] QWL is a philosophy or a set of principles, which holds that people are trustworthy, responsible and capable of making a valuable contribution to the organization. It also involves treating people with respect. The elements that are relevant to an individual’s QWL include the task, the physical work environment, the social environment within the organization, administrative system and a relationship between life on the job and off the job [17].

Reference [18] stated that the concern for quality of work-life has preoccupied social scientists for the past several decades. Quality of work-life is a major issue for employees, and how organizations deal with this issue is both of academic and practical significance. QWL and its relationship with employee health and performance has become an explicit objective for many of the human resource policies in modern organizations.

The International Labor Office lists different areas as concerns of quality of work-life, they are: hours of work and arrangements of working time, redesigning of jobs, working conditions, work related welfare services, shop floor participation in the improvement of working conditions, working conditions of woman, young workers, older workers and other special categories.

A proactive human resource department finds ways to empower employees so that they draw on their “brains and wits”, usually by getting the employees more involved in the decision making process. The principles of Scientific Management created a new awareness regarding importance of human resources. The awareness is a critical dimension in the organizational effectiveness. The real life experiences substantiate the assumption that no matter how sophisticated and modern the business activities of the organization, it will be extremely difficult to sustain its growth and effectiveness unless human resources complements its operations.

Abraham H. Maslow’s theory of motivation attempted to formulate a need based framework of human motivation. Maslow identified general categories of needs that are survival, physiological, love, safety and esteem which have to be fulfilled in order for someone to act in an unselfish manner. These needs were referred to as deficiency needs. People are motivated to fulfill these needs as they progress towards growth and eventually, self actualization. In this manner, Maslow’s model indicates that fundamental lower order needs like safety and physiological requirements have to be satisfied in order to pursue higher level motivations along the lines of self fulfillment. Needs triangle, after a need is a satisfied stops acting as a motivator and the next need rank higher starts to motivate.

Reference [19] made good contribution to organizational management and motivational psychology when he proposed the two theories by which managers perceive employee motivation. He pointed out that a command and control environment is not effective because it relies on lower needs for motivation but in modern society those needs are mostly satisfied and are therefore no longer motivating. In this situation one would expect employees to dislike their work, avoid responsibility, have no interest in organizational goals, resist change etc. thus creating a self fulfilling prophecy.

Frederick Herzberg found that job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction act independently of each other. This theory states that there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction, while a separate set of factors cause dissatisfaction. According to Herzberg, work organisation should seek to introduce motivation into the work place. This laid the foundation for the concept of Job enlargement and Job enrichment.

Reference [20] suggested that socio-technical system must satisfy the financial condition of the industry of which it is a part. Thus, the productive system has three key dimensions which are all inter dependent: the technological, the social and the economical. Generally, one dimension does not produce good results for the whole system.

Reference [21] had taken up an extensive research on quality of work-life, he can be considered as the major contributor to this concept. Also, the psychological requirements of people which were advocated by [22] should be taken care of while designing the organization. These factors are:

• The need for variety of job contents

• The need for being able to learn on-the-job and to go on learning

• The need for some minimal area of decision making that the individual can call his own

• The need for some minimal degree of social support and recognition in work place

• The need to feel that the job leads to some sort of desirable future.

Reference [23] attributes the evolution of quality of work-life to various phases in history. Legislation enacted in early 20th century to protect employees from job injury and to eliminate hazardous working conditions, followed by the unionization movement in the 1930s and 1940s were the initial steps. Emphasis was given to job security, due process at the work place and economic gains for the worker. The 1950s and the 1960s saw the development of different theories by psychologists proposing a positive relationship between morale and productivity and the possibility that improved human relations would lead to the enhancement of both. Attempts at reform to acquire equal employment opportunity and job enrichment schemes also were introduced.

Finally, in the 1970s the idea of quality of work life was conceived and according to Walton is broader than these earlier developments and is something that must include the values that were at the heart of these earlier reform movements and human needs and aspirations. The early studies provided a basis for further developments. After these studies, there appeared to be a full comfort in the development of the concept of quality of Work-Life. From the late 1960s there has been a renewed and increase of ideas, experiments and theory building. The term, quality of work-life has become well known not only to social scientists, but also to laymen.

Thus, the history of quality of work-life is an account of organizational philosophy moving from socio-technical job design to redesigning of organizations, finally to inter organizational changes, including different spheres of society, enterprises and public administration.

Quality of Work-Life As An Outcome

During the 1950s and 1960s, quality of work-life was mostly regarded as a variable which focused on outcomes, such as job satisfaction and mental health, with emphasis on the impact of work on the individual. It has been suggested that organizations should be evaluated on the basis of how successful they were in providing quality of work-life for their employees [24]. According to [25, 26], the term QWL originated with General Motors and United Auto Workers to describe levels of job satisfaction. The dominant theme of much quality of work life research was the assumption that individuals‟ experiences of satisfaction or dissatisfaction define the quality of their work-life [27, 28]. Thus as an outcome, quality of work life is measured by assessing an individual‟s reaction to work or personal consequences of the work experience.

Quality of Work-Life As An Approach And A Series Of Programs And Methods.

Second definition emerged defining quality of work-life as an approach, and focusing still on individual, rather than organizational outcomes. During this time, the improvement of quality of work-life was often considered to proceed in two separate, but not mutually exclusive, directions. One direction concerned the alleviation or removal of negative aspects of work and working conditions and the other direction concerned the modification of aspects of work and working conditions to enhance capabilities of job holders and to relate jobs to some desirable future, in order to promote increased productivity, improved personal initiative and growth potential, a more active social and community life, and greater capacity to cope with change [26].

Quality of work-life as a set of methods, approaches or technologies which improve the work environment in order to make it more productive and satisfying [28]. Quality of work-life as a method attempt to serve both individual needs and organizational effectiveness and was considered in the light of specific changes and methods that could be instituted in companies to enhance employee identification and a sense of belonging and a feeling of pride in their work.

Reference [29] states that efforts to understand the theoretical underpinnings of quality of work-life can be traced back to Socio-technical systems (STS) theory. According to STS theory, engaging employees fully in designing work gives them a sense of well being as they find their work fulfilling. The above approach perceives Quality of work-life to have at its core two goals: (a) to humanize the work place and improve the quality of employees‟ work experiences, and (b) simultaneously to improve the overall productivity of the organization [26].

Quality of Work-Life As A Movement

According to [26, 30], Quality of work-life was regarded more as a movement instead of a specific program during the 1970s. It was seen as a continuing process. The focus was on utilizing all the organisation’s resources, especially its human resources, better than before, developing among all the members of organisation awareness and understanding of the concerns and needs of others, and a willingness to be more responsive to those concerns and needs. The terms participative management and industrial democracy were frequently employed to encompass the ideals of the quality of work-life movement [30]. Reference [31] stated that the involvement and participation of employees in the creation of their work place was a central focus of every quality of work life process. Through this process all members of the organisation through appropriate channels of communication set up for this purpose, have some say about the design of their jobs in particular and the work environment in general [32]. Thus quality of work-life is defined as the process used by an organisation to unlock the creative potential of its people by involving them in decisions affecting their work lives [33].

Quality Of Work-Life As Need Fulfillment, Employee Well-Being And Work Wellness

According to [26] it seems that during the last decades there has been a tendency to focus research on quality of work-life more from the perspective of the employee and the fulfillment of their needs. Although there is no formal definition of quality of work-life, industrial psychologists and management scholars agree in general that quality of work-life is a construct that deals with the well being of employees and that quality of work-life differs from job satisfaction [34].

Reference [34] states that there are two dominant theoretical approaches in the quality of work-life literature, namely, need satisfaction and spillover. The need satisfaction approach to quality of work-life is based on need-satisfaction models developed by [35, 36, 37, 38]. The basic tenet of this approach to quality of work-life is that individuals have basic needs they seek to fulfill through work. Employees derive satisfaction from their jobs to the extent that their jobs meet these needs.

Work-Life Balance And Quality Of Work-Life

Balancing one’s life has become a prominent topic in society. Just keeping up with life seems to be challenging for many individuals. Part of the reason for this challenge is that people are working longer hours than ever before. However, longer working hours and working more days per year are not the only issues. In work-life literature the concept of work-life is often coupled with the word balance. Work-life is commonly referred to as work and life or work and family to represent the dichotomy of these two areas of a person’s life.

However, researchers in the field of work-life often struggle with the term balance because it implies an equal distribution of work and life causing individuals to struggle with the idea that there should be an equal division between these two aspects of their lives [39]. Instead, the terms integration or weaving is more appropriate. It is important to realize that work is a meaningful and necessary part of life for most people, not to be separated from life as in the notion of work-life [40]. Therefore it is helpful to approach work-life from an integrated perspective. Men and women should be able to experience work and personal lives not in conflict or as separate, but as integrated. To foster this integrated perception, it is important to view work and personal life as interdependent, equally valued activities.

According to [26] work-family balance enhances an individual’s quality of work life, as involvement in multiple roles protects or buffers individuals from the effects of negative experiences in any one role. Beyond this buffering effect, work-family balance is thought to promote well being in a more direct manner. Balanced individuals experience low levels of stress when enacting roles, presumably as they are participating in role activities that are salient to them.

Models Of Quality Of Work-Life

The different models that relates to quality of work-life are the integration model, the transfer model (or spillover effect), the compensation model, the segmentation model and the accommodation model. We would discuss each of these models below:

The Integration Model

As early as 1975, Seashore conceptualized quality of work-life as being based on three levels of actors involved in the work environment, that is, the employee, the company and the community. This approach differs from the concept of quality of work-life that had been reserved for employees at the bottom of the pyramid. According to this model, the domains constituting quality of work-life differ from the perspective of the employee, the company and the community, which contribute to the confusion surrounding the construct [41].

Ten years later this integrative perspective considered quality of work-life as a social movement with repercussions that extend beyond the strictly organisational framework [25]. Moreover, many authors have noted that worker are becoming better educated and that they now consider work as a tool for personal growth and social support rather than merely a means of achieving financial independence [28]. QWL therefore becomes an integral part of people’s overall quality of life (QOL). [25] consider this model of QWL to be the most complex and the most contemporary developed to date.

Spillover Effect Model

Job satisfaction affects other areas of life and vice versa [42]. Reference [43] concluded that there is a positive correlation between work and areas of life outside of work. However, [44] certain nuances to this observation. Following an in-depth analysis of the research, he concludes that only certain spheres of work-life are positively correlated with other spheres outside work. In support of this hypothesis, [45] claims that the transfer model does not apply to all kinds of jobs. Jobs with extreme characteristics (prolonged solitude, oppressive physical requirements, etc.) fit better with the compensation model.

For their part, [46] add that the spillover effect between job satisfaction and personal life may be either direct or indirect. A direct effect can be observed when an objective condition of either one’s working or personal life (change of workplace, arrival of a new baby, etc.) influences the environment without the individual’s subjective perception being involved. An indirect effect results from the individual’s perception of an objective condition as creating either stress or satisfaction.

The Compensation Model

The compensation model assumes that when a person is not satisfied at work, they will try to correct this situation through stimulating activities outside work [43]; tends to confirm the compensation model in certain circumstances and shows that certain spheres of work-life correlate negatively with areas outside work. For example, workers who have physically demanding jobs generally tend to seek out non- tiring leisure activities so that they can recuperate better. The main criticism the various authors have concerning the compensation model is that, taken to the limit, this model predicts an inverse relation between job satisfaction and satisfaction outside work [47].

The Segmentation Model

This model assumes that life at work and life outside work does not influence each other [42]. Reference [48] add that the state that characterizes a person who makes this kind of segmentation may be qualified as psychological disengagement: in the face of the life or work domain that is divested. Reference [49] in their stressor-health path analysis model identified a similar relationship between job and life satisfaction. Reference [49] projected that a clear separation of job and life dimensions creates balance, whereas a spillover of work-related feelings detrimentally affects life satisfaction. Reference [50] described the uniqueness of work and non work demands and wrote that an active role is often required to maintain a separation between roles. The model developed by [49] stressed the importance of boundary creation between these two roles in order to maintain equilibrium. Leakages can develop between role boundaries as responsibilities in one area spill over to others. When workers are unable to maintain balanced, separate role responsibilities between work and family, the likelihood for conflict between the two role areas increases. Research shows that spillover and stress can adversely affect mental health [50].

The Accommodation Model

The Accommodation model consists of voluntarily reducing one’s investment in one sphere of activity in order to more adequately respond to the demands of another [51]. This way of reconciling work-life and life outside work is particularly common among mothers of young children. However, considering the importance recently given to “work-life, family life” conciliation, this model will probably be suitable for more and more categories of workers, either men or women. Reference [52] mention that neither of the first three models described above have been universally accepted.

Reference [52] emphasize that the most solid support for any of the models comes from [43], who confirm the existence of a relationship between job satisfaction and life satisfaction. However, the results that [44, 45] present qualify the adoption of any of the models and suggest that they should be applied based on the spheres and jobs studied. Along the same lines, [53] attempted to define the relationship between general quality of life and quality of work-life.

In their efforts to clarify the situation, these researchers formulated a conceptual system in the shape of a cone, with quality of life at the base of the cone and quality of work-life at the apex. Their results show that, in this model, job satisfaction, life satisfaction and perceived quality of work performance are located between the extremities of the cone. The authors interpret these results as follows: quality of work performance is affected by both quality of life and quality of work-life. Thus, to evaluate the total impact of the role of work for an individual, it is important to consider the work aspects likely to influence their life away from work. Consequently for these authors, an activity designed to increase quality of work-life or general quality of life may improve performance at work.

2.3. University Goal Attainment (UGA)

UGA is in line with the National policy on Education [1] which focuses on the ultimate goals of Nigerian Universities thus: Teaching, Research and professional Service. This focus is also in line with [54] who stated that universities have three basic universally accepted goals: to transmit; extend; and to apply knowledge respectively.

The teaching-learning goal is dominantly influenced by the student body, the academia and the curriculum. Reference [13] therefore greed that the primary goals of teaching are to transmit an organized body of knowledge to the student and help him develop the power of critical judgment which will enable him pursue further learning on his own. In the face of mass higher education, student centredness must dominate the orientation of the educator. This, according to [55] require the alliance of both student and the academic staff to ensure that university education is not confused with the teaching of subject matter and learning of student and matter.

Noting the fact that University education is shrouded in criticism, it was made clearer that Universities can best be effective critic of society by acting upon major criticism it is making of itself. Building teaching and learning models to reinforce and assist students in becoming self directed learners should therefore be starting point. In doing so, University is at once developing a self-renewal mechanism both for itself and others. Individual institutional self- renewal mechanism becomes a working process that is central to identity of Universities which re-inficate themselves on the basis of their invented corporate identities as a major goal.

Teaching remains the foremost and core goal of education system the world over. This is why the National University Commission’s (NUC) accreditation programme is principally based on teaching and learning of programmes offered by Nigerian Universities. Sections 5, clause 33 (i) and (38) spelt out the goal of teaching and learning.

The goal of research and innovation which is inherent in the nature of universities is that of guarding; preserving culture, values, wisdom and all that is best in society; broadening, creating and imparting knowledge from generation to the next. This function constitutes the major roles of preservation of knowledge (teaching) and the creation of knowledge (research). According to (Volde, 1968) the highest form of teaching is being practiced today by research scholars because they carry their enthusiasm for discovery into the classrooms. We must therefore probe for the intellectual curiosity in every student and guide in those direction towards civilized fulfillment. The Nigerian Government regards the realization of this goal as core to the achievement of national development. Consequently, NUC and the National Educational Research Council (NERC) e.t.c are required to identify and prioritize areas needed to be researched.

Pursuit of Public Service as the third goal of Universities is focused on serving the public with intellectual, professional, technical and executive values. While universities continuously struggle to adapt to the changing roles and goals of its audiences, the external community has continued to urge upon it new functions and different objective. Reference [56] has therefore stated that in Russia, universities are used as instrument of social policy for the supply of trained manpower while in France, scientific and technological research is directed by a ministerial committee under the chairmanship of the prime Minister.

Generally, the expectations of the developed nations from universities is that of providing intellectual leadership role to the society. It was stated that these goals are urged on universities because of their institutional strength, monopoly of talents, discipline, objectivity, commitment to knowledge and civilized values. Universities ultimate public service is to develop persons who are prepared to help solve society problems, who can articulate new needs, develop new dimensions of learning and chart new goals.

Key units of Universities through which public services are rendered in Nigeria include centers for continuing education; university demonstration primary and secondary schools; university teaching hospitals and health service department ; sandwich and part-time programmes at both undergraduate and graduate levels; university consultancy service units, outreach campuses etcetera. The list should also include the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) which partly captures universities immediate outcome in different academic programmes.

Goals are usually translated into objectives for implementation. This is why the objectives of Technological universities such as the universities of Technology are tied to their themes. A review of these objectives reveals that: (i) The conventional universities across country seemingly have the same universal objectives or goals as contained in the University statue; and (ii) Some of the objectives of technological universities complement those of the convectional universities. This is why the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RUSUT) specifically produces Scientific Technical Manpower including technical teachers.

Reference [57] observed that critically speaking, most employment relation including those of the universities remain characterized by: (i) subordination of academic staff to the university leadership as an employer [58]. (ii) asymmetry (employees and employer have equivalent market positions in principles whereas in practice, the university has decisive control over the means of global attainment), and (iii) academic staff are instrumental to the accumulation of institutional goals [58]. These relationships often lead to latent discontent and occasional crises between academic staff and management. Reference [57] has therefore stated that employment relations can take many shapes as a result of which university leadership is continuously developing policies to handle contradictions or responding to the consequences of contradictions so as to ensure that knowledge workers perform a little more than just follow the rules.

2.4. Summary of Literature Review

Scholars on universities in Nigeria have revealed that the Nigerian University work environment is replete with inadequacies in terms of the number of academic staff, the adequacy of information technology (IT) for staff, accommodation facilities, personal security and safety, workload, workplace democracy etc. the review regards these inadequacies as impediments on university goal attainment and thus gave a graphic picture of a crises university work environment.

In evaluating the prevailing attainment of university goals, scholars have however stated that the analysis of NUC’s 1999/2000 accreditation exercise indicate that 88.6% of Nigerian Universities did not satisfy the accreditation requirements on teaching-learning goal. This, among others, suggests the existence of a gap between human resource development and university goal attainment-which needs to be filled. The review identified university academic staff as the core group of professionals managed. This study is supporting the adoption of the QWL model to enhance professionalism in the management of academic staff.

A critical overview of the review suggests the fact that a fit between the university environments and the personal disposition of the staff impacts on university goal attainment. While the environment is understandably subject to some uncontrollable variables, the personal disposition of academic staff (which is controllable) is subject to the QWL variables. Such disposition has a linear relationship with staff’s commitment to university goal attainment.

Studies of this nature and context are either not available or scanty. This is why this study is unique. Based on the review, the study progressed further to develop the method and variables required to enable the researcher have a firsthand perception of how academic staff in the universities perceive their QWL and university goal attainment UGA.

3. Research Methodology

3.1. Design of the Study

This is a correlation survey, intended to place in perspective the question of how academic staff perceives their quality of work-life in relation to university goal attainment in the south-south geo-political zone of Nigeria.

The researcher chose to use a survey because of its suggestive character in pointing out relationships among variable which yield measures of associations. Thus, the design is expected to reveal a relationship if (any) between quality of work life of academic staff and university goal attainment.

3.2. Population of the study

The population of this study is made up of all the 4640 academic staff in the ten universities in the zone. This figure was derived from NUC (1994) Annual Report (for Federal Universities) and the staff list of the state and Private universities sampled. The list of the universities excludes those universities aged less than four years. The population comprises academic staff in the federal, State and Private universities. Academic staff in the four/4 sampled government owned universities in the zone summed up to 1480 while the population in the two private universities in the zone summed up to 590.

3.3. Sample and Sampling Techniques

The sample size of academic staff for the study was 1681 and this represented 36% of the entire population of academic staff in the zone. The sample was obtained through purposive sampling technique. The six states in the zone are Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross Rivers.

The zone was stratified into North, Central, East and South with all the states and their respective universities captured. Criteria for the choice of sampled universities from each stratum were then developed to include: typology; age; common characteristics, ownership structure; representativeness. The adoption of this technique amounts to using 36% of the university staff in each zone. The sampling technique thus allowed for a fair representation of all the universities in the zone. The entire academic staff (which includes senior library staff in each sampled university) constituted the respondents for the study.

Table 1. Sampled Size by Status and Qualification of Academic Staff

Table 2. Response Rate by Status and Qualification of Academic Staff

3.4. Instrumentation

Instrumentation involves the development of questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis. The two questionnaires that were developed by the researcher for the study were the Quality of University Work-life of Academic Staff Questionnaire (QUWLASQ); and the University Goal Attainment Questionnaire ( UGAQ).

The items were presented as statements asking the staff to show agreement or disagreement, on the scale ranging from 4 indicating, “strongly agree” to 1 indicating “undecided”. 1700 sets of the questionnaires were produced for the study.

3.5. Validity of the Instrument

The two questionnaires were given to university academic staff (including professors) in the faculty of education of the university of Port Harcourt for face and content validation. University of Port Harcourt was not one of the sampled universities for this study. Other academic and industry experts in educational management also made useful inputs to the instrument before their adoption. Results of the pretest helped in the reduction of the initial number of item statements from 40 to 20 in each questionnaire. The fifth column for “undecided” was deleted to have the 4-scale rating. Thus, the range of scores was changed from “strongly disagree” with a rate of one/1 to “strongly agree” with a rate of four/4.

Their suggestions for the improvement of the instrument were noted and effected accordingly.

3.6. Reliability of the Instrument

Each of the two questionnaires was administered twice on a test-retest basis to 20 academic staff at the University of Port Harcourt with an average of 70% response on each occasion. The retest was carried out three weeks after the first test. Data collected were subjected to the Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient analysis to obtain a correlation coefficient of the instruments.

Consequently, the QUWLAS had an overall reliability coefficient of 0.80 while the UGAC had 0.90.

3.7. Data Analysis Procedures

The data were carefully decoded, tallied and classified through physical counting. Frequencies, mean scores, rank order and standard means were computed.

The decision scale of 2.5 was obtained by the addition of 4, 3, 2 and 1 (for SA, A, D, SD respectively) and the sum was divided by 4 on a four –point scale.

Mean score above 2.5 on the 4- point rating scale were adjudged positive and favourable perception while those below 2.5 were adjudged negative and unfavourable perceptions.

Hypotheses Ho1 and Ho, were tested using the Parson product moment correlation Coefficient.

4. Presentation, Analysis and Discussion of Findings.

Research Question No 1:

• What is the perception of Senior University Academic Staff on Quality of Work-life in the Universities of the South-South Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria?

Table 3. Perception of Senior University academic staff on Quality of Work-Life in Universities of the SSGP Zone

Table 3 indicates that the Senior university academic staff rejected the statements on personal security and safety with a rating of 2.75. The staff however accepted most of the statements on professional development, reward opportunity, promotion opportunities and work place democracy with ratings of 2.75, 2.59, 3.07, 2.76, and 2.75 respectively. These, in part, mean that the demands of their job interfere with their family life. They rated their jobs to be mentally too heavy and stressful but have satisfaction working in their respective faculties.

Item No 4 which states that “ I am sure that academic staff need a strong academic staff union to protect their interest” had the highest rank order mean response of 3.15 while item No 9 which states that “ I am discriminated against on the basis of gender” recorded the least rank order mean response of 1.92. This means that there is no discrimination against any staff in the Universities. On the whole, the senior university academy staff had an acceptable overall rating of 2.68 on their quality of work-life in the zone. This means that they are generally happy with their QWL in the Universities.

Research Question Number 4:

• What is the perception of Senior University Academic Staff on UGA in the SSGP Zone?

Table 4. Perception of University Academic Staff on University Goal Attainment in the SSGP Zone ( N=347)

Table 4 shows that the Senior University academic staff accepted their departmental programmes; the level of library holdings, provisions for CIT and that transferable skills are formally assessed. These three areas were rated 2.80, 2.55 and 2.35 respectively. Though transferable skills are formally assessed, the staff did not accept it. It was rejected. They also rejected statements that allude to the fact that there is regular maintenance of teaching facilities and adequate provision of CIT with 1.95 and 1.98 ratings respectively. The senior academic staff rejected teaching / learning goal with 2.32 rating.

On research and innovations, the Senior staff rejected all the statements, which allude to the fact, that: grants are received for specific research regularly; NUC provides inspirational guidance, and that research outputs are regularly made available with an over all rating of 2.41.

The staff however accepts all the statements, which support community service with an overall rating of 2.56.

On the whole, the senior university academic staffs rejected statements on university goal attainment with 2.43 rating. It follows therefore that the Senior university academic staff rejected the statements on university goal attainment.

Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis 1 (Ho1): There is no significant relationship between QWL and UGA as perceived by the generality of academic staff in the South-South Geo-Political Zone.

Table 5. Summary Of Pearson Correlation Analysis Between Quality Of Work-Life And University Goal Attainment as perceived by Academic staff In the SSGP Of Nigeria

Table 5 further shows that the r-value of 0.029 is less than the critical r-value of 0.081. The null hypothesis is therefore accepted. This means that there is no significant relationship between Quality of Work-Life of Senior University Academic Staff and University Goal Attainment in the South-South Zone of Nigeria.

Hypothesis 2 (Ho2): There is no significant relationship between QWL and UGA as perceived by the Senior university academic staff in the SSGP zone in Nigeria.

Table 6. Test of Relationship difference between QWL and UGA Perception By Senior University Academic Staff In The South-South Geo-Political Zone In Nigeria

Table 6 shows that the use of Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient formula yielded a calculated r-value of 0.01. The value is less than the critical r-value of 0.081. Thus, the null hypothesis was accepted because there is no significant relationship between QWL and UGA as perceived by the senior academic staff in the SSGP zone of Nigeria.

5. Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

This study was designed to obtain the perception of university academic staff on their QWL and to see how such knowledge relates to university goal attainment. The findings were discussed under the following headings:

1. The perceived Quality of Work-Life by the Senior University Academic Staff in the SSGP Zone .

2. The perceived University Goal Attainment by the Senior university Academic staff in the SSGP Zone.

3. The determination of the relationship (if any) between quality of Work-Life and University Goal Attainment in the SSG Zone of Nigeria.

5.1. Perceived Quality of Work -Life by University Academic Staff in the SSGP Zone

The study revealed that university academic staff generally accepted their QWL as positive and favourable with an overall rating of 2.65. For instance, the staff share strong positive association with their professional development, reward opportunities, promotion opportunities, workplace democracy and personal security / safety. This findings supports that of Nadler and Lawler [30] who found that QWL is actually a way of thinking about staff and their processes, work, output, involvement in decision making and a concern on how all these affect staff’s total personality towards the evolvement of a humanizing work environment.

The study indicates that both the Senior university staff in the SSGP Zone accepted their QWL. This finding confirmed the view of Guba [59] that an organization operates in a social system which enables both the senior and junior academic staff to interrelate and perceive the organization from one perspective.

The study revealed that staff are unhappy with inadequate provisions for resource centers which should complement their professional development in the universities. Due to high job involvement, the university academic staff have to continue to perform their duties. This finding supports that they found high job involvement to be positively related to satisfaction with the work itself.

The study revealed that staff are apprehensive of their personal security and safety. The study further shows that the Senior university academic staff are not happy with their take-home pay. They believe that their salaries are not equitable and therefore unfair. Take-home pay could be attractive and yet inequitable. This findings supports the findings of Lacke and Latham who found that monetary incentives strengthen goal commitment if the amount of money is sufficiently large and the incentives are not tied to goals perceived as impossible. This assertion is particularly true for Nigerian-Workers.

The study also indicates that the staff are not happy with their excess workload. This finding supports that of Blegen [60] who found that job satisfaction was associated strongly with reduced work stress, organizational commitment, autonomy, education, fairness, years of experience and professionalism. Contrary to the findings of Arubayi (1981) which claimed that urban Headmasters were satisfied with more workload than their counterparts in the rural area. This study has revealed that Senior Nigerian University academic staff are stressed and enjoy less family life because of work overload. They are therefore not happy.

5.2. Perceived University Goal Attainment in the SSGP Zone

The study revealed that though the Senior staff were generally not satisfied with UGA, they were however satisfied with the overall performance of their departments.

The study however indicated that the senior academic staff strongly dissociates themselves from prevailing levels of performance of UGA in the zone. This rejection was confirmed by the two hypotheses stated below:

Hypothesis 1 (Ho1): There is no significant relationship between QWL and UGA as perceived by the generality of academic staff in the South-South Geo-Political Zone.

Hypothesis 2 (Ho2): There is no significant relationship between QWL and UGA as perceived by the Senior university academic staff in the SSGP zone in Nigeria.

The findings indicate that the academic staff strongly believe in the need for strong academic staff union for the protection of their interests. This finding supports that of Salau who found that there are peculiarities even within the context of generality.

On the whole, the staff are satisfied in their respective faculties. This finding is in line with that of Albert, [61] who found that job satisfied knowledge workers transform and empower their organizations. According to Albert, empowered institutions enhance staff’s ultimately display of loyalty, value congruence, and effective commitment in a cohesive package.

The findings indicate that statements on teaching-learning; and research goals were basically rejected by the generality and the senior academic staff for reasons of inadequate academic manpower; shortages of equipments, unmanageable student population, inadequate maintenance of equipments and inadequate library holdings.

The state of inadequacies gives rise to University climate that is not attractive because of its performance challenges to academic staff in the Zone.

These findings agree with that of Lawler, Hall and Oldhein cited in Scott et.al (1981) who found that organizational climate is a moderator between performance outcome and QWL of staff. This has become a truism in Nigeria particular now that there are overt concerns about quality, excellence and relevance of outcomes from the nations Universities.

The study revealed that academic staff are satisfied with the fact that public lectures are organized regularly and feedback is speedy. They are equally proud of their alumni, and are generally happy with the performance of their departments. These findings represents positive environmental moderator which has kept hope rising for the staff.

Research grants are not available and are inadequate where they are available. NUC’s research grants are often stalled for lack of accountability on part of recipient Universities. They are therefore not inspiring.

The staff were happy with their community services except that there was inadequate university linkage between the various University departments and their publics. These problems should be redressed through guided policy implementation; the establishment of graduates Universities for the training of university teachers and the adoption of global linkage of each of the universities with foreign ones.

The FGN’s policy on university autonomy should therefore be seen as a window for increased university marketing and linkage globally.

The study revealed that the university academic staff are intellectually stimulated by the process of graduate studies in their respective departments. This finding is in line with Shalley, (1995) who suggested that the positive effects of a goal are greatest when individuals with a “do your best” creativity goal work alone and expect their responses to be evaluated.

5.3. Findings on the Relationship between QWL & UGA

The two hypotheses raised to test the relationship between these two variables yielded the following findings, that:

(a) there is no significant relationship between quality of work-life of academic staff and University goal attainment as perceived by the generality of the university academic staff. This means that the hypothesis was accepted.

(b) There is no significant relationship between QWL and UGA as perceived by the senior university academic staff. This means that the hypothesis was also accepted.

Findings from these hypothesis indicate insignificant relationship between the two variables. This means that the relationship between the variables is positive but weak, such that it can be disregarded. While this finding is contrary to the norm, it clearly attests to the prevailing inadequacies of provisions for UGA in the Zone.

The prevailing favourable QWL for academic staff will diminish if UGA is increasingly unfavourable to the university academic staff. This findings implies that it is only when university academic staff enjoy satisfying quality of work-life in addition to adequate provisions for UGA that various outcomes of quality of life can be expected from the universities.

This finding complements that of Backer [62] who found that the responsibility for quality of life is today being imposed on strategic organizations such as the universities. Backer emphasized that quality of life is an outcome of quality of work-life for which the universities should take some measures of responsibilities.

The findings further indicate the existence of a skewed (distorted) congruence between performance and quality of work life since performance and quality of life go hand-in-hand. This result does not depict the picture of successful university work environment.

The finding is therefore contrary to that of Womack et-al (1990) who found that the essence of the performance–quality model is to ensure top performance and top quality of work-life both of which are key to successful organization.

5.4. Conclusion

This study was designed to identify the perceptions of university academic staff on their QWL and UGA in the South-South Geo-Political Zone. It was also expected to determine the significance of the relationship between QWL andUGA (if any).

Accordingly, the purposive sampling techniques was adopted and it yielded four universities. With questionnaires as the main instrument, data were collected. The study identified twenty variables classified as QWL and Sixteen variables constituted university goal attainment (UGA).

While the mean rating analysis was used to answer the research questions, the mean, standard deviation, student t-test analysis and Persons Product Moment Correlation Coefficient were used to answer the hypotheses raised. The study revealed that the staff generally view their QWL as favourable.

On the other hand, they study showed that academic staff view UGA as not favourable. This views were shared by the generality of staff and the Senior staff. The staff conclusively argued that there is no significant relationship between UGA & QWL in the Zone.

The findings proved the theoretical framework upon which the research questions and hypotheses were rooted as adequate guide for the study. This is because the individual academic staff in the university naturally experiences contributions to the varying degrees of QWL. A network of such exposure impact on their university goal attainment. This does not undermine the fact that what affects one category of staff invariably affects others.

One fundamental problem which this study has concretized in the Nigerian university industry is the fact that the prevailing provision of UGA are unfavourable for the achievement of excellence, quality and global relevance of programmes. A situation of favourable QWL of academic staff does not maximally enhance contributions to university outcomes unless there are adequate provision of UGA. QWL and UGA should therefore be seen to grow together complementarily and be favourable to academic staff. Improved UGA is usually derived from a favourable QWL. This calls for university stakeholders to review and re-engineer the provisions for UGA and QWL for improved outcomes.

List of Abbreviation

ASUU: Academic Staff Union Of Nigeria.

CIT: Communication, Information & Technology

COREVI: Conference of Rectors, Vice chancellors and Presidents of African Universities.

ETF: Education Tax fund

FGN: Federal Government Of Nigeria.

NERC: National Educational Research Council

NPE: National Policy on Education

NUC: Nigeria University Commission

NYSC: National Youth Service Corps

OCB: Organizational Citizenship Behavior

QUWLASQ: Quality of University Work life of Academic Staff Questionnaire

QWL: Quality of Work Life.

RSUST: Rivers State University of Science and Technology

SSGPZ: South-South Geo-Political Zone

UGA: University Goal Attainment.

UGAQ: University Goal Attainment Questionnaire

UNDP: United Nation Development Programme


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