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Productivity in every organization is the primary concern of
employers in both public and private organizations. The attitude of
workers therefore becomes a major factor. The objective of the
study is to assess the effect of leadership on staff productivity in
Delta state civil service. The study which was arranged in five
chapters relied much on primary and secondary data. The survey
research method was adopted in eliciting information through
questionnaire. The population of the study comprised both the
junior and senior staff and other category of staff that are on
political appointment in the seventeen ministries (17) and thirty two
(32) extra ministerial departments of the twenty five local
government councils (25) of Delta state totaling 39,256 (thirty nine
thousand, two hundred and fifty six) The major findings showed
that there was a reduction in staff productivity in the state civil
service as a result of leadership ineffectiveness and autocracy
which according to the study has resulted to inefficiency, low staff
morale, truancy and migration of staff to other states of the
federation. Based on the findings, the study recommended that
because of the negative consequences of bad leadership on staff
productivity, morale of staff, migration and labour turn over,
Deltans must ensure that those to be appointed into leadership
positions in the state meet some basic leadership requirements.
checks and balances mechanism must be put in place to regulate
the behaviour of our leaders at all times whether while in the office
or after leaving the office and any one that violates any of the laws
must be punished to serve as deterrent to others.
My sincere thanks and appreciation goes to my supervisor. Dr.
Emma Chukwuemeka without whose assistance this thesis would
not have been possible. I also want to appreciate my wonderful
head of Department DR. M.C. Muo, my course adviser and my
beloved course representative brother Moses Nweke.
I also want to appreciate Sister Joy and my beloved Sister Queen
who helped to type the work.
My appreciation also goes to my dear wife Pastor (Mrs.) Helen
Omotosho and my wonderful children for their support, cooperation and understanding for my long stay away and neglect
during the period of the work.
For those whose names could not be mentioned because of time
and space, I say thank you all.

Cover page i
Title page ii
Approval page iii
Certification page IV
Dedication v
Abstract VI
Acknowledgement vii
Table of contents viii

1.1 Background of the study 1
1.2 Statement of the problem 11
1.3 Objectives of the study 13
1.4 Significance of the study 13
1.5 Theoretical framework 15
1.6 Hypotheses 19
1.7 Scope and limitation of the study 21
2.0 Literature Review 23
2.1 Introduction 23
2.2 Theories of leadership 32
2.3 Productivity 44
2.4 Motivation 58
2.5 Relationship between leadership, productivity, motivation and
performance. 89
3.0 Research design and methodology 90
3.1 Research design 90
3.2 Research method 90
3.3 Sources of data 91
3.4 Sample technique 91
3.5 Target Population 91
3.6 Samples size 104
3.7 Distribution of questionnaire instruments 105
3.8 Method of data analysis 106
3.9 Method of data collection 107
3.10 Validation and reliability of instruments 108
4.0 Data presentation and analysis 110
4.1 Distribution and collection of questionnaire 111
4.2 Data presentation 113
4.3 Testing of hypotheses 137
5.0 Summary of findings, conclusions and recommendations 147
5.1. Summary of findings 147
5.2. Conclusions 157
5.3. Recommendations 159
5.4. References 163
A – Letter to respondents 169
B – Questionnaire 170
C Geographical map of Delta state 172.
The word leadership has been defined by many scholars
particularly in the field of public administration, to be one who
exerts influence or makes things happen that wouldn’t have
happened otherwise. If the leader causes changes that he
intended, he is said to have exercised power, but if he causes
changes that he did not intend or want, he has exercised influence
but not power (McFarland 1969).
Chukwuemeka (2008) defined leadership simply as the art or
process of influencing people.
Generally leadership has to do with influence and power, and any
person who is endowed with these qualities in the context of a
group, community or Nation has the personality of a leader. There
are different types of leaders, some of which include intellectual
leadership, opinion leadership, group leadership, social leadership,
executive leadership, and administrative leadership.
Leadership can also be looked at from their styles and task.
Fiedler (1969) identified two types of leadership which include task
oriented leadership and interpersonal relations oriented
leadership. He also identified three leadership styles (based on the
use of authority) which include autocratic leadership, democratic
leadership and independent leadership. But in this work, we shall
categorize leadership into two types which are common in
contemporary African societies, we shall consider their attributes
and how they affect changes in the society.
According to Dike (2003), he identified two types of leadership that
is common to African society. These are instrumental leadership
and societal leadership. The main concern of the instrumental
leader is how to use his office/position to achieve personal
gains/goals (personal, close friends, cohorts, etc) community or
National objectives are secondary to him. He may not be lacking in
social or community commitment, but in practice, he gives more
considerations/attentions to self over the interest of the society he
governs. Such leaders will hold on to power for as long as their
selfish private objectives are achieved. They do not care whether
the community or region derives anything/benefit from their rule or
The “societal” leader on the other hand is a public servant first and
only secondary a private person. He uses his position to promote
community or national objectives. For him, power and influence
are important only if they can be used to solve societal or human
problem. He is ready to resign when he is convinced that he
cannot influence changes to the benefit of the public. Given the
antecedents of the nation’s post and present leaders, it is clear
that the majorities of them were and are still, instrumentalists and
naked opportunists.
It is only societal leaders that can motivate people to work
because they have the interest of the work, Nation and the people,
but instrumental leaders cannot motivate, this being the case, we
want to see the type of leaders we have in Delta State whether
instrumentalists or societalists. From time immemorial, this had
been the case with most of our leaders and all efforts to make
them see reason and change for better proved abortive.
Although there are some factors that sustain instrumental leaders
in Nigeria/African.
Some of these factors are:
(1) The guaranteed loyalty of the masses to leaders in Africa,
and indeed in Nigeria the masses through socialization have
come to internalize the norms of respect for authorities. They
find it very different to criticize or challenge authority
irrespective of what they do, although this is gradually
(2) The title of office (chief, general, minister, commissioner etc).
This allows its holder to insist on being treated like one and if
the behaviour or performances of the leader and expectation
from the public of the present leader is the same as that of
the past leader, people may not worry about any change.
They see it as the usual thing. (What is called the usual
(3) The deeds of Nigeria leaders-they are showered with lengthy
eulogies composed during his life time by men who recite
them in his honor at public gathering. As one man pointed
out. Musicians have a tendency to sing the praises of
leaders and men of wealth, not minding how corrupt they
might be.
(4) Seeing the leader as the “first citizen” or the “great comrade”
the omnipresence and omnipotence leader. These were
demonstrated in Zik and Awo of Nigeria, Nkrumah of Ghana
and Idiamin of Uganda.
(5) Weak or absence of institutional checks and balances. This
has been a very big and serious problem in Nigeria. Both the
military and the politicians are corrupt and treasury looter,
because of the weak institutional checks and balances.
(6) Availability of resources to tap and steal. African leaders
particularly Nigeria leaders take undue advantage of these
short comings and circumvent the few institutional restraints
that are in place. Because the checked on power is not in
place or are not in working order, it gave rise to instrumental
leaders. Because these leaders have tested power and
discovered that National money can be stolen with impunity,
they all want to rule, those that are already there do not want
to go and that is why election to position of authority in
Nigeria is described as a “do or die affair” on this basis we
now want to find out, how applicable is this to Delta State
and what could be done to solve the problem so that the
state can move forward.
Productivity refers to the rate at which a worker, a country or
a company produces goods and services, the amount
produced, compared with how much time, work and money
is needed to produce them. For productivity to increase,
leaders must be able to motivate and coordinate their
subordinates and other factors of production effectively.
When the workers/subordinates are motivated, their morale
will increase and they will be very happy, and when they are
happy, productivity will increase.
Motivation on the other hand has to do with the morale of the
staff to channel their behaviour in a given direction for
increased productivity. Motivation is an inner state that
energizes or moves and directs or channels behaviour
towards goals. Motivation is a general term applying to the
entire class of drives, desires, needs, wishes and similar
forces. So managers must motivate their subordinates by
satisfying their desires and inducing the subordinates to act
in a desired manner. What motivates Mr. A may not motivate
Mr. B, so managers must be able to discern and know how
best to motivate their workers. Motivators are those things
which induce an individual to perform. They may include
higher pay, a prestigious title, a name on the office door, the
acclaim of colleagues, provision of official car with the name
of the institution inscribed on it, use of company uniform,
security, opportunity to join clubs or unions in the office and
a host of other things that give people a reason to perform.
To be sure, while motivators reflect wants, they are the
perceived rewards or incentives that sharpen the drive to
satisfy these wants. They are also the means by which
conflicting needs may be reconciled or one need maybe
accentuated so that it will be given priority over another.
A manager must be able to set up a very good incentive
system to motivate his workers. For workers to be motivated,
we need a good leader who can actually combine the
incentives to meet the needs of both the employer and the
employee so that the worker is happy and productivity
increased, if workers are not happy, productivity will be
affected, and a lot of loss or waste will occur. To avoid such
lost and waste, there is the need to have a good leader that
can combine the available resources to achieve set target
and goals, and that is the purpose of this research.
A leader that is autocratic, selfish, or who does not care about the
need of the workers would not be able to motivate anybody.
Therefore there is the need for a societal or a servant leader to be
able to influence and motivate the staff to work. When the morale
of the workers are addressed by meeting their needs, they will be
happy to work and even go extra mile to ensure that the objective
of the organization is achieved because they know that if any thing
bad happens to the company, they will be affected and so will do
everything humanly possible to ensure that the organization
Before the creation of Delta State in 1991 (27th August, 91) the
state was under Bendel State having it’s headquarter at Benin
City, we had good leaders then. The bureaucrats were concerned
with the growth of the state and the welfare of her workers. The
workers then were made to realize that hard work pays
notwithstanding the odds one would pass through. Leadership was
then akin to priesthood. Leadership then means service, integrity,
modeling, responsibility, maturity, partnership and above all,
leadership comes first with a price.
Because we saw our leaders doing the right things then, the
workers were motivated to work praying that one day they will
become leaders as well. This brought rapid growth and
developments to the state. There were job opportunities for every
body whether educated or not. While the educated ones were
employed to work in government offices, others were engaged to
work on the state farm settlements, rubber plantations and cocoa
farms to mention a few. Standard of living was very high with very
low rate of labour turnover and migration to other states of the
federation. Only very few people were traveling abroad then
because there was no need for it.
Delta state was then one of the largest producers of food crops
like yam, Garri, plantain, potatoes and cash crops like rubber,
palm oil, cocoa, timber and cotton to mention a few. In fact, there
was dignity of labour, value for hard work and value for money.
Shortly after the creation of the state and with the discovery of
petroleum oil, more money was now being given to the state from
the Federation account. In 1998, all the non-Deltas were
transferred back to their various states and those who refused
transfer were compulsorily retired. Having succeeded in driving
away the non Deltas, all the top and influential positions in the
bureaucracy were shared by the Deltas. Appointment into and
promotions within the civil service proceeded on ethnic lines,
qualifications or technical competence gave way to place of birth.
Under the circumstance it was impossible to speak of meritocracy,
rationality, efficiency, productivity and all the familiar concepts of
Weberian formulation. This adversely affected productivity in the
state. Similarly, the silent struggle for ascendancy between the
administrative and political elite after driving away the non-Deltas
succeeded only in merging politics with administration.
Commissioners were appointed to head the ministries and as the
political heads of the ministries, their influence perverted all the
norms of recruitment, promotion, termination and discipline in the
public service. The state civil service now began to experience
leadership problems such as autocracy, inefficiency, corruption,
lack of integrity, injustice, incompetence, embezzlement,
mismanagement etc, like their counterparts in the public sectors
which now informed this research to actually assess the effect of
leadership on staff productivity in the state civil service.

One of the most fundamental problems militating against the Delta
state civil service is low productivity. The leaders are autocratic
and they adopted autocratic approach to handle issues in the state
civil service. This lowers the morale of the staff and they are no
longer happy to work and because they are not happy to work,
productivity decreases. Because morale of the workers is being
dampened, the rate of migration out of the state has also
increased and this has also affected productivity negatively.
Similarly, the politicians that were appointed to head top and
sensitive positions in the state civil service lacked the required
qualities to motivate the workers and because of their autocratic
style of leadership, inefficiency and truancy became the order of
the day in the state ministries and this further reduced productivity.
Low morale due to lack of motivation, corruption, mismanagement,
injustice and autocratic style of leadership promoted high rate of
labour turnover which further reduced productivity.
Consequently, the overall performance of the staff has reduced
greatly because they are no longer happy to do their work. The
state that used to be one of the largest producers of some food
and cash crops now has to depend on importation of essential
goods and services to meet the need of her people. Previous
researches on leadership focused mainly on the problems of
leadership such as inefficiency, corruption, lack of integrity,
incompetence, bad style, mismanagement, embezzlement, etc,
but failed to address staff morale, relationship between leadership
and productivity, and the effect of these leadership problems on
staff performance and productivity particularly in the Delta state
civil service. The following questions guide this study;
1. Is there any relationship between Leadership and Productivity?
2. To what extent has the presence of incompetent bureaucrats in
the state civil service responsible for the high rate of staff
migration and labour turn over?
3. Has autocratic style of leadership promoted inefficiency and
truancy in the state civil service?
4. To what extent has ethnicity affected the morale of the staff
negatively and reduced productivity?

The general objective of this study is to assess the effect of
leadership on staff productivity in the Delta State Civil Service. The
specific objectives of the study are, therefore:
1. To investigate if there is any relationship between leadership
and productivity
2. To investigate whether the bureaucrats in the state civil
service are competent or not and the effect of their
incompetence on staff migration and productivity.
3. To investigate whether the inefficiency and truancy observed
in the state ministries is as a result of the autocratic style of
4. To investigate whether the appointment and promotion of
people into top and sensitive positions in the state civil
service based on ethnicity instead of merit actually affected
the morale of the staff negatively and reduced productivity,
This work is undertaken out of the need to investigate the effect of
leadership on staff productivity in the Delta State Civil Service.
Consequently, a lot of gains are to be conceived from this study. In
the past, many researches have been carried out on leadership
and productivity of workers. Most of such researchers generalized
their opinions or findings without taken into consideration the
peculiar nature of the Delta state civil service (ethnicity). It is
against this background that it is absolutely necessary and timely
to embark upon this type of research so that we can ascertain and
compare the effects of leadership on staff productivity and morale
in the state with that of other states in Nigeria or even Africa to
enable us confirm or disprove their assertion. In addition, the
following people will benefit immensely from the work.
Firstly, this study and its findings will help the government to revert
to an ideal type of bureaucracy where appointments and
promotions into top and sensitive positions in the state civil service
will be on merit and not on ethnicity. This will encourage hard
work, increase people’s morale and productivity.
Secondly, the study and its findings will help the people (workers)
to enjoy adequate provision of goods and services, infrastructures,
increased salary and high standard of living. Promotions, transfers,
retirements, pensions etc will be based on laid down rules and
regulations and this will further discourage favoritism, delays,
laziness, ethnicity, bribery and corruption to mention a few.
Thirdly, the state will enjoy rapid development and growth and
have enough goods and services to meet the need of the people.
Many people will be employed and the internally generated
revenue for the state from PAYE taxes and other sources will
increase and this can be used for further development of other
sectors of the economy of the state.
Similarly, the study and its findings will contribute significantly to
existing literatures on the subject area, students and other
researchers will benefit immensely from the work because of its
contribution to knowledge and it will also stimulate further
researches into the effect of leadership not only on productivity but
on other areas of human endeavour not only in Delta State but in
Nigeria, Africa and other parts of the world.
A research without a theoretical framework is like a house without
a solid foundation. Kaplan, (1980) cited in Chukwuemeka (2004)
contends that a theory is a systematically organized knowledge of
varying levels of generalization with a view to the eventual
specification or relationships among empirical tests.
According to him, the test of a theory is the degree to which its
formulation seems congruent with our own perception of the real
world situation. Therefore a theory equips us with a way of looking
at reality.
In the light of the foregoing, we can define theoretical framework
as a broad umbrella made up of theoretical postulations (theories,
perspective, models or paradigms) that researchers or writers can
utilize as guides for understanding or analyzing a reality or
phenomenon under study.
There are so many theories of leadership, but one of the most
widely referred theories of leadership is the Fiedler contingency
approach. Although the theory is primarily one of analyzing
leadership style, Fiedler suggested a contingency theory which
implies that leadership is any process in which the ability of the
leader to exercise influence depends upon the group task situation
and the degree to which the leader’s style, personality and
approach fit the group. According to him, people become leaders
not only because of the attribute of their personality but also
because of various situational factors and the interaction between
the leaders and the situation. For the purpose of this study, the
Fiedler contingency approach was adopted. This is because since
leadership depends on situational factors and interactions between
leaders and situations, the method or style that can work in the
state ministry of Finance may not work in the Administrative
department, the approach you may use to coordinate senior staff
may not work with junior staff. Some people enjoyed working
under a dictator while some would like to work under a democratic
condition or leadership, while some people would prefer working
under a task oriented leader, some would prefer a human relations
oriented leader. Those in leadership positions in the Delta state
civil service should therefore be allowed to identify what method or
style of leadership to be adopted to improve the morale of the staff
in their different ministries or departments so as to increase
performance and productivity.
Fielder (1967) discovered three critical dimensions of the situation
that affect a leader’s most effective style. These include;
1. Position Power: This refers to the degree to which the
power of a position as distinguished from other sources of
power enables a leader to get the group members to comply
with directions. A leader with clear and considerable
position power can easily obtain better fellowship than the
one without such power.
2. Task structure: where the leader can easily and clearly
structure the task to be carried out by the group, people can
easily be held responsible for the task to be performed and
control will be easier.
3. Leader- Member Relation: This refers to the extent to
which the group members like and trust a leader. When the
members like their leader, they will easily follow him. Control
and coordination becomes easier.
He identified four essential types of leadership which
include; Dictatorial leader, Autocratic, Laissez-faire and
Democratic leadership. He also identified some qualities
which a leader must possess. These include; Energy,
Emotional stability, knowledge of human relations,
objectivity, ability to motivate the subordinates,
communication ability, technical ability, social skill and
technical competence.
This leadership theory concludes that leaders must be
tactical, know all the different types of styles of leadership
and know the best to apply at any given point in time.
According to him, there is no one best leadership style, but a
leader must be able to access the situation at hand and
decide the best style of leadership to apply in that situation
to enable the objective to be achieved. He concluded that
there is no one best theory of leadership, no one best style,
no one best way to lead people but that it all depends on the
situation where the leader finds himself. So leaders must be
able to decide the best way to coordinate his people and the
available resources to achieve the set target.
HYPOTHESES: Hypotheses are guides for the researcher
on the main line of his study. They tend to serve as assumed
answers to the principal questions raised in the study. The
correctness of which shall be assessed in the course of the
study (Chukwuemeka 2002). For the purpose of this study,
the following hypotheses were tested.
1. There is positive relationship between leadership and
2. The presence of incompetent bureaucrats in the state
civil service is responsible for the high rate of staff
migration and reduction in productivity.
3. The autocratic leadership style of the bureaucrats has
promoted inefficiency and truancy in the state civil
4. The appointment and promotion of people into top and
sensitive positions in the state civil service based on
ethnicity instead of merit is responsible for the low staff
morale and reduction in productivity.
This study focused on Delta State Civil Service and covered
a period of 12 years (1998 – 2009). This period is so chosen
because Delta State was created in 1991 but bureaucrats
from Bendel State (mother State) were still in the
management of the State Civil Service until 1997 when nonindigenes in the service were retired or advised to transfer
their service back to their various states compulsorily and
from 1998, the affairs of the State Civil Service was left in
the hands of the Deltas.
In any human Endeavour, there are always some constraints
and this research work is not an exception.
(1) The limited time given for the work made it very stressful.
(2) Accessibility to some key officers of some ministries for
interview was not possible, and even where possible in
some cases, they refused to comment on some issues,
claiming that they are not authorized to expose official
secret, or not Competent to grant external interviews, but
this does not in any way jeopardize the results of the
work because the office of the head of service and the
department of information gave us their maximum cooperation.
(3) The cost of traveling to all the locations of the ministries
within and outside the state capital was also a limiting
factor, but I did my best to ensure that all the important
offices and stations were visited.
(4) The fact that am pasturing and also in a full time
employment made the work not too easy because I had
to combined so many things together, but despite these
limiting factors, I did my best to ensure the success of the


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