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People management factors militating against public servants’ professionalism in Nigeria
Kappo-Abidemi, Omolayo Christiana
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The Nigerian public service has been perceived over the years as not delivering its services effectively and in most cases leadership has been assumed to be the problem. However, from the perspective of human resource management (HRM) this study seeks to examine the people management practices that could have contributed to this ineffectiveness. It has been observed that the importance of people as the most important element of productivity cannot be underestimated, because machines can be replaced, money can be recovered but diligent, competent and professional employees are an organisational asset that cannot easily be replaced. The professional employee is described as the one with the right skills, knowledge, qualifications and attitudes that support organisational effectiveness. The study was carried out at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria where all public servants from Grades 07 or above in Nigeria are expected to attend at least one course before the end of their careers. Questionnaires were administered to about one thousand, one hundred (1,100) randomly selected participants while four hundred and seventy six (476) useable ones were retrieved. Likewise, a focus group discussion was held with three different groups. Quantitative data collected was cleaned and coded appropriately for the Statistical Program for Social Science (SPSS) and used to generate descriptive statistics. Recordings of focus group discussions were also transcribed and organised into themes according to the discussion content. All research objectives were achieved relying on both qualitative and quantitative data output. Various statistical analyses were used for the quantitative analysis and factor correlation showed that organisational culture, organisational climate, human resource retention and development, employment relations climate and exit management have significant relationship with professionalism at various levels. Other statistical measures (t-Test and Analysis of Variance) were adopted to determine the relationship of demographic variable and it was shown that age, work grade level and work experience have significant relationship with professionalism. Employee resourcing (recruitment and selection) was also found to have a significant effect on professionalism, having been statistically analysed using ANOVA. Likewise, all qualitative themes acknowledged the significance of the people management role in public servants’ professionalism.
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