The ecology of Nigeria’s public administration and employee motivation in the plateau state civil service (2004-2014).
Umoh, Nanji Rimdan.
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From a general perspective, workers’ motivation gained prominence with the abolition of the slave trade and the advent of the industrial revolution. The latter was to be anchored on legitimate trade as opposed to illegitimate trade that was characterised by the commodification of the people of African descent who were enslaved in the Americas and Europe. This new development led to the proposition of several theories by various Western scholars attempting to rationalize workers behaviour or misbehaviour in industrial settings. Thought processes alongside other factors are upheld as common denominators responsible for positively or negatively affecting workers morale, work ethic and productivity within the workplace. This is the belief and common practice across the globe. Within the broader context outlined above, the primary objective of this research was to examine the ecology of Nigeria’s public administration to determine the possibility of its effect on employee motivation. To achieve this goal, the Plateau State civil service was investigated and raw data generated for analysis. While not disputing the validity of the existent content and process organizational motivation theories, this study specifically evaluated the extent to which the output of the Plateau State civil service staff was affected by factors extraneous to their immediate workplace environment and unaddressed by the theories. The research highlighted the influence of prevalent phenomena and diversities in the socio-cultural environments of a developing society like Nigeria that challenge the tenability of the major motivation theories in wholly explaining public sector workers motivation. It drew from the postulations of Riggs’ fused-prismatic-diffracted model with focus on the non-administrative criteria present in the environments of most developing (prismatic) societies and from the primary notion of the contingency theorists that there is ‘no one-best-way’ in administration. These constituted the theoretical bases on which the re-evaluation of the motivation theories in the light of the inherent characteristics of Nigeria’s public administrative ecology was carried out. The research relied on data derived from primary and secondary data sources and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (Version 20) and thematic content analysis respectively. The results show that Nigeria’s ecology has an effect on employee motivation. Based on the findings of this research, target-oriented strategies for enhancing the Plateau State civil service employees’ motivation and quality of work life were proffered. The dissertation report was concluded with suggestions for further research beyond the selected case study of Plateau State for clarity on the impact of a country’s ecology on employee motivation.