In a centralized organization, employees are not allowed to
participate in decision making. This is because it is feared that they
are not competent and as a result will not contribute meaningfully in
decision of the organization.
The essence of this project research is to assess the impact of
employees participation in decision making in Nigerian public sector.
The study was designed with descriptive survey method.
Questionnaire interview including library materials were also used in
collecting data. A test technique was used in testing for reliability
Research questions were posed and the understated hypothesis tested
with chi-square method. Employees participation serves as a training and
testing ground for future members of upper management, lack of
qualified and company oriented individuals undermine employees‟
participation in decision making and the availability of skilled
individuals in organizational decision making promotes productivity.
However, it was concluded accordingly, that employee‟s participation
serves as a training and testing ground for future members of upper
management. Lack of qualified and company-oriented individuals undermine
employees participation in decision making. Availability of skilled
individuals in organizational decision making promotes productivity.
Employee participation is creating an environment in which people have an impact on decision and actions that affect their jobs.
Employee participation is not the goal nor is it a tool, as practiced
in Nigerian Public sectors. Rather, employee participation is a
management and leadership philosophy about how people are most enabled
to contribute to continuous improvement and the on going success of the
Anyanwuocha (2003) explained that public sector are government or
state owned business organizations, which are usually set up by act of
legislation, with the main aim of maximizing public welfare.
Moving decision making power downward in public sector is at the core
of what employee participation is all about. Teams are a potentially
powerful way to move power downward. The employee participation have
also been implemented in the Nigerian public sectors in order to
motivate the employees by involving them with the management for taking
serious decisions about the public sector. Research on employee
participation begun to provide information on the number and types of
programmes that exist, their structure and their effects on a variety of
social-psychological, production and economic issues in the public
To date, little is known about the financial condition of the
Nigerian public sectors with employee participation in decision making.
Although the popular literature suggest that employee participation in
decision making has been implemented in the Nigerian public sector in
distress and has been effective in restoring financial health.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It should be recent that a decision is a choice whereby a person
forms a conclusion about a situation. Gostell L. Wand Zalkind S.S.
(1963) defined the term decision making as a choice process, choosing
one from among several possibilities. This depicts a course of behaviour
about what must be done or vice versa. Decision however translated into
concrete action. Planning engenders decision guided by company policy
and objectives, policies, procedures and programmes.
The aim of decision making is to channel human behaviour towards a
future goal. Decision-making is however one of the most important
activities of management. It has been the pre-occupation of all
management of multifarious organization to multi-national corporations.
Managers often consider decision making to be the heart of their job
in that they must always choose what is done, who will do it, when,
where and most of the time how it will be done.
Traditionally, managers influence the ordinary employers and
specifically their immediate subordinate in the organization. This has
resulted in managers‟ unnatural decision even in areas affecting their
subordinates. In Germany around 1951 a law was enacted which provides
for code termination and requires labour membership in the supervisory
board and executive committee of certain large corporation enabling
subordinates to participate in decision making process resulted to
relatively and peaceful labour management relations.
The basic concept involves any power-sharing arrangement in which
workplace influence is shared among individuals who are otherwise
hierarchical unequals. Such power-sharing arrangements may entail
various employee involvement schemes resulting in codetermination of
working conditions, problem solving and decision making.
It is in this context the researcher wishes to assess the “impact of
employee participation in decision making in Nigerian public sector”
using Power Holdings Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Enugu as a case study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
There has been a lot of controversy as to whether an employee should
participate in management decision making or not. Some writers argued
that employees should contribute in making decision more especially
where it affects them or their jobs. It is expected that such
participation will serve as training and testing ground for future
members of upper management.
In Nigeria, experts that refuted the above assertion see the
arrangement as a symptom of mal-organization. They maintained that
qualified, reasonable, honest and company oriented individuals are not
available at these lower organizational levels. But the big question is,
are skilled individuals really available? All these underlay the need
for an investigative study.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general purpose of this empirical study is to assess the
employee‟s participation in managerial decision making in public sector
organization in Nigeria with reference to Power Holding Company of
Nigeria Enugu. The specific objectives are;
- To asses the impact of employee participation in management decision making.
- To determine the impact of employee participation and
nonparticipation in management decision on productivity of the Nigerian
- To make recommendations based on the research findings.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is expected that the study will inform the management of the Power
Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Enugu that to increase productivity
and to ensure harmony between management and the workers, there is need
for employees participation in decision making in the organization as it
is a good motivation factor. It will also help develop and maintain a
quality work life, which will provide an opportunity for employees job
satisfaction and selfactualization. It will also aid management of Power
Holding Company of Nigeria to introduce modern schemes for good
relationship with their workers, to enable them meet the challenges of
change in the future.
Finally, this work is also beneficial to the Nigerian Public Sector
in general and also important to government, academic potential and
future researchers on the issue of employees participation in decision
The study is limited as it looks at the impact of employees
participation in decision making in Nigerian Public Sectors, A case
study of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Enugu. Power Holding
Company of Nigeria is typical of public sector, but it has the
responsibility of providing the citizenry with power (electricity). And
it holds a large population of employees.
In the process of carrying out this project work, the researcher was
confronted with many challenges and limitations which are as follows:
Time: There was time constraint for the research project and within
the time specified, the normal lecturer were also in progress,
therefore, the researcher was faced with a lot of stress to combine the
research work with her personal affairs and running from one lecture to
another. The effect of this work was that the period the researcher was
supposed to spend on findings and data collection was limited and as a
result more quality work was hindered. Finance: The researcher was
also faced with financial problems. Researcher work is very tedious
because it requires running from one place to another in search of
information, books, Journals, paper and reports must be consulted but
are not always available within, there was the need to travel to gather
some of the materials which involved money. Also the researcher printed
questionnaires which was distributed to the staff of Power Holding
Company of Nigeria (Enugu) which also involved money.
Quality of Information: The analysis of the data in chapter four is
based on the information provided by the staff of Power Holding Company
of Nigeria (PHCN) Enugu. After administering
questionnaires, it was expected that the information needed will be
provided by both the senior and junior staff of the company. The junior
staff were reluctant to provide some of the important information
needed. This was on the ground that such information are very secret,
and it is called industrial espionage. This challenge also affected the
quality of information provided for the research findings.
1.7 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In a view accomplishing this research work effectively, the researcher poses the following:
- Does management make decision without pre decision and consultation with employees?
- Does management change decision when rejected by employees?
- To what extent do employees participate in decision making?
- How often do employees meet to discuss with managers?
The researcher formulates the following based on the
objectives and problems of this research work.
Employees participation serves as a training and testing ground for future members of upper management.
Employees participation does not serve as a training and testing ground for future members of upper management.
Lack of qualified and company oriented individuals undermine employees participation in decision making at lower
Lack of qualified and company oriented individuals does not undermine
employees participation in decision making at lower organizational
Availability of skilled individuals in public sectors decision
making promotes productivity.
Ho: Availability of skilled individuals in public sectors decision making does not promote productivity.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
- DECISION MAKING: The selection from among alternative a course of action.
- MANAGEMENT: Management can be defined as an art of
science of achieving the objective of a business in the most
efficient way. It is made up of top and middle level management. Top
management include: share holders, Board of Director, Managing Directors
or the Chief Executive/General Manager above department level. middle
level managers include: level of department manager, deputy and
- PRODUCTIVITY: A measure of how well resources are brought
together in organization and utilized for accomplishing a set of result.
- PUBLIC SECTOR: This is an organization that is owned and managed by Government.
- EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATION: This is creating an environment in which
people have an impact on decisions and actions that affect their jobs in
1.10 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The Neoclassical theorists recognized the importance of individual
or group behaviour and emphasized human relations. Based on the
Hawthorne experiments, the neoclassical approach emphasized social or
human relationships among the operations, researchers and supervisors
(Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1943) it was argued that these
considerations were more consequential in determining productivity than
mere changes in working conditions. Productivity increase were achieved
as a result of high morale, which was influenced by the amount of
individual personal and intimate attention workers received through
participation in managerial decision making.
The classical approach stressed the formal organization. It was
mechanic and ignored major aspects of human nature. In contrast, the
neoclassical approach introduced an informal organizational structure
and emphasized the following principles.
- Individual: An individual is not a mechanical tool but a
distinct social being with aspirations beyond mere fulfillment of a few
economic and security works. Individuals differ from each other in
pursuing these desires. Thus, an individual should be recognized as
interacting with social and economic factors.
- The work Group: The neoclassical approach highlighted the social
facets of work groups or informal organizations that operate within a
formal organization. The concept of „group‟ and it‟s synergistic
benefits were considered important.
- Participative Management: Participative management or decision
making permits workers/employees to participate in decision making
process. This was a new form of management to ensure increase in
The system approach views organizations as a system composed or
interconnected and thus mutually dependent – subsystem. These sub-system
can be perceived as composed of some components, function and process
Albrecht (1983). Thus, the organization consists of the following basic
elements. Bakke, (1969).
- i) Components: There are 5 basic interdependent parts of the organizing system namely:
- The formal and informal organization
- Patterns of behaviour emerging from role demands of the organizations.
- Role comprehension of the individual
- The physical environment in which individuals work.
- ii) Linking Processes: The different components of an
organization are required to operate in an organized and correlated
manner. The interaction between them is contingent upon the linking
processes which consist of communication, balance and decision making.
- Communication: Is a means for eliciting action, enacting control and
effecting coordination to link decision centre in the system in a
- Balance: Is the equilibrium between different parts of the system so that they keep a harmoniously structured
relationship with one another.
- Decision Analysis is also considered a linking process in the
system approach. Decision may be to produce or participate in the
system. Decision to produce depends upon the attitude of individuals and
the demands of the organization.
Decision to participate refers to the individuals decision to engross
themselves in the organization process, that depends on what they get
what they are expected to do in participative decision making.
Conclusively, these theories are of the opinion that workers/
employees should be seen as human beings with social and economic needs
and as such be allowed to participate in managerial decision making as
it affects them.