EFFECTS OF WASTEFUL ORGANIZATIONAL PRACTICES ON THE SURVIVAL OF GOVERNMENT FIRMS IN NIGERIA
CHAPTER ONE/ INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
This project examines effects of wasteful organizational practices on the survival of government firms in Nigeria. Hick and Gullet (1988:589), opine that an organizational practice is wasteful if it fails to help accomplish organizational objectives. Wasteful practices may occur slowly, silently, without warning and are often extremely difficult to recognize, hence they may be difficult to control. However, Agbo et al (2003:213), stress that a basic cause of wasteful practices in an organization is that individuals may pursue their own personal objectives without, at the same time contributing to objectives of the organization. This tendency to work toward individual objectives without adequate reference to organizational objectives is a cankerworm that erodes organizational progress, and this disease becomes potentially serious when organizations are large, complex and impersonal.
Other causes of wasteful organizational practices include the fact that government officials want to increase the number of their subordinates rather than create rival organization and this is called the law of multiplication of subordinates by Professor Parkinson. In addition, workers of government owned firms in Nigeria make work for each other on daily basis and this is called the law of multiplication of work by Professor Parkinson. Other dysfunctional practices in government firms in Nigeria that are considered wasteful include avoidance of responsibility, spreading accountability, hoarding authority, delay of decisions, formalism and ritualism, bureaucratic sabotage, stalemate and interdepartmental warfare.
However, the above wasteful organizational practices adversely affect the survival of government firms in Nigeria in terms of service delivery to citizens and achievement of government policies and objectives efficiently and effectively. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his address on service delivery (servicom), on 19th to 21st March, 2004, stressed that public offices are the shopping floor for government business. Regrettably, Nigerians have for too long been feeling short-changed by the quality of public service delivery by which decisions are not made without undue outside influence, and files do not move without being pushed with inducements. According to President Obasanjo, our public offices have for too long been showcases for the combined evils of inefficiency and corruption, whilst being impediments to effective implementation of government policies. Worse still, in government firms in Nigeria especially Federal and State Ministries, few customers apply for services without budgeting time and money to follow their applications from desk to desk, while bracing themselves for the phenomenon of the ‘missing’ file that would re-appear after settling someone. In some government owned firms including Federal and State Ministries, many unscrupulous civil servants wait for file owners who applied for one official thing or the other to come and grease their palms before they could be attended to irrespective of the urgency that may be attached to such application or work as the case may be. Some dishonest civil servants connive with contractors to defraud the government. Ghost workers are used in government firms to unduly increase government wage bills without commensurate work being done for the government. Many Chief Executives of government firms and ministries have converted government vehicles to personal and private uses without regard to government laid down rules and regulations regarding the uses to such vehicles. All these wasteful organizational practices hamper the survival of government firms in Nigeria.
Three Federal Ministries namely Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Ministry of Lands, and Housing and Federal Ministry of Labour and productivity are used by the researcher as government owned firms. Each of the above three ministries is located at Federal Secretariat complex, independence layout Enugu. Therefore, the researcher examined the effects of wasteful organizational practices on the survival of the above named government firms.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Low productivity of Government Firms in Nigeria is a perennial problem which this study was embarked upon to provide solution. This perennial problem is caused by wasteful organizational practices which include poor implementation of government policies and programmes, poor service delivery, wastage of government funds through ghost worker syndrome and inefficiency of many civil servants
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
(i) To determine how wasteful organizational practices lead to poor implementation of government policies and programmes in government owned firms in Nigeria.
(ii) To find out the causes of poor service delivery to members of Nigerian public by civil servants who work in government owned firms in Nigeria.
- To x-ray how government funds and resources are wasted through ghost workers syndrome and inflation of government contracts.
- To determine how wasteful organizational practices promote inefficiency and corruption in government workers who work in government owned firms.
- To find out if wasteful organizational practices lead to loss of confidence on Nigeria civil servants as agents of development.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions are used to draft the questionnaire for the study:
- Do wasteful organization practices manifest in poor implementation of government policies and programmes in your firm?
- To what extent does a wasteful organizational practice lead to poor service delivery to members of Nigerian public by civil servants who work in your firm?
- To what extent do wasteful organization practices in your firm result in loss of government funds and revenues?
- Do wasteful organizational practices contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of government workers who work in government owned firms in Nigeria?
- To what degree have Nigerian public loss confidence on civil servants who work in government firms as agents of development.
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following hypotheses will guide the study:
H1: Wasteful organizational practices manifest in poor implementation of government policies and programmes in government owned firms in Nigeria.
H2: Poor motivation of staff causes wasteful organizational practices in government firms leading to poor service delivery to members of Nigerian public.
H3: Goals and objectives of government firms are achieved despite wastage of government funds through ghost worker syndrome and inflation of contracts.
H4: Wasteful organizational practices promote inefficiency in workers in Government Firms.
H5: Wasteful organizational practices lead to loss of confidence on Nigerian Civil Servant as agents of development
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study has significance in many ways which include the following:
- This study will expose the causes of poor service delivery from civil servants who work in government owned firms.
- Wasteful organizational practices are an ill wind that does not promote the survival of any government owned firms and should be discouraged.
- Management of government owned firms should adopt integrated payroll personnel information system (IPPIS) to prevent lost of government funds through ghost worker syndrome.
- Unnecessary duplication of workers and subordinates through work and subordinate multiplication should be discouraged by management of government owned firms.
- As wasteful organizational practices promote inefficiency and corruption in civil servants, seminars and workshop should be organized for workers in government owned firms to improve their efficiency and productivity.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers three big Federal Ministries in Enugu State. These Federal Ministries include Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Ministry of Lands and Housing and Federal Ministry of Labour and productivity. Each of these federal ministries is situated at Federal Secretariat Complex, Independence Layout, Enugu. This study covers the eight years of Obasanjo rule as Civilian President of Nigeria 1999 to 2007.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The researcher encountered many constraints during the course of writing this work. As not much has been researched into this topic, collection of data from related literature constituted serious problems.
The limited time of the researcher made it difficult for her to reach all the workers of the three selected Federal Ministries stated in the scope of study. This is because the researcher shared her time between writing her examinations and writing this research work.
However, poor financial status of the researcher was another constraint. She spent a lot of money in Photostatting of relevant materials, distribution of questionnaires transport fare to Federal Ministries selected for the study, typing and binding the project.