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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 of
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
Title page – – – – – – – – i
Approval page – – – – – – – – ii
Dedication – – – – – – – – iii
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – iv
Abstract – – – – – – – – – v
Table of Contents – – – – – – – vi
1.0 Introduction – – – – – – – 1
1.1 Background of the Study – – – – – 2
1.2 Statement of the Problems – – – – – 4
1.3 Objectives of the Study – – – – – 4
1.4 Significance of the Study – – – – – 5
1.5 Scope of the Study – – – – – – 6
1.6 Limitations of the Study – – – – – 6
1.7 Research Questions – – – – – – 7
1.8 Research Hypothesis – – – – – – 8
1.9 Definition of Terms – – – – – – 9
1.10 Theoretical Framework – – – – – 10
2.0 Introduction – – – – – – – 14
2.1 The Concept of Employee Participation – – – 15
2.2 Factors that Influence Participation – – – 20
2.3 Prerequisites for Participation – – – – 23
2.4 Forms of Employee Participation – – – – 25
2.5 Different needs for Participation – – – – 33
2.6 Views Expressed Concerning Participation – – 34
2.7 Constraints to Participation – – – – – 37
2.8 The Range of Options for Employee Participation – 39
2.9 Arguments for Participation – – – – – 43
2.10 Arguments against Participation – – – – 44
2.11 Historical Background – – – – – 45
3.0 Introduction – – – – – – – 49
3.1 Design of the Study – – – – – – 49
3.2 Area of the Study – – – – – – 50
3.3 Population of the Study – – – – – 50
3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique – – – – 51
3.5 Instrument for Data Collection – – – – 52
3.6 Validation of the Research Instrument – – – 53
3.7 Reliability of the Research Instrument – – – 54
3.8 Method of Data Collection – – – – – 54
3.9 Method of Data Analysis – – – – – 55
4.0 Introduction – – – – – – – 56
4.1 Presentation and Analysis of Data – – – – 56
4.2 Testing of Hypothesis – – – – – – 76
5.0 Introduction – – – – – – – 82
5.1 Summary of Findings – – – – – – 82
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – 84
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – 85
5.4 Implications of Research Findings – – – – 88
5.5 Limitations – – – – – – – 89
5.6 Suggestions for Further Study – – – – 90
Bibliography – – – – – – – 91
Appendix – – – – – – – 93
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 public sectors.
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 sector.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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;
1) To asses the impact of employee participation in
management decision making.
2) To determine the impact of employee participation and nonparticipation in management decision on productivity of the
Nigerian Public Sector.
3) To make recommendations based on the research findings.
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
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
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
In a view accomplishing this research work effectively, the
researcher poses the following:
1) Does management make decision without pre decision and
consultation with employees?
2) Does management change decision when rejected by
3) To what extent do employees participate in decision
4) How often do employees meet to discuss with managers?
The researcher formulates the following based on the
objectives and problems of this research work.
Hi: Employees participation serves as a training and testing
ground for future members of upper management.
Ho: Employees participation does not serve as a training and
testing ground for future members of upper management.
Hi: Lack of qualified and company oriented individuals undermine
employees participation in decision making at lower
organizational levels.
Ho: Lack of qualified and company oriented individuals does not
undermine employees participation in decision making at lower
organizational levels.
Hi: 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.
1) DECISION MAKING: The selection from among alternative a
course of action.
2) 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 assistant managers.
3) PRODUCTIVITY: A measure of how well resources are
brought together in organization and utilized for accomplishing a set
of result.
4) PUBLIC SECTOR: This is an organization that is owned and
managed by Government.
5) EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATION: This is creating an
environment in which people have an impact on decisions and
actions that affect their jobs in the organization.
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.
1) 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.
2) 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.
3) 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 productivity.
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:
a) Individual
b) The formal and informal organization
c) Patterns of behaviour emerging from role demands of the
d) Role comprehension of the individual
e) 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.
a) Communication: Is a means for eliciting action, enacting
control and effecting coordination to link decision centre in
the system in a composite form.
b) Balance: Is the equilibrium between different parts of the
system so that they keep a harmoniously structured
relationship with one another.
c) 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.


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