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LIBRARY INFRASTRUCTURE, ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE AND MENTORING AS PREDICTORS OF TURNOVER INTENTIONS OF ACADEMIC LIBRARIANS IN SOUTH-SOUTH AND SOUTH-EAST, NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Universities all over the world are held in high esteem as an ‘ivory’ tower where advanced learning, teaching and research are done. The library in any university is an organized and established academic institution and a gateway to academic activities and community service. The main goal of the library, irrespective of type, is to acquire information resources in different formats and in various fields of human knowledge and to process, organise, disseminate and provide access to them. Omeluzor, Bamidele, Ukangwa and Amadi (2013) asserted that the library is a citadel for learning and centre of every academic activity. They further noted that, it is a place for knowledge creation, sharing and storehouse for knowledge in both print and non-print formats. It is also observed by Häggström (2004) that during the 1997 fifth United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/ Conférence Internationale Sur l’éducation des adultes (CONFINTEA) meeting held in Hamburg, a declaration was made and adopted to mandate “UNESCO to strengthen libraries, museums heritage and cultural institutions as learning places and partners in the lifelong learning process and modern citizenship.” The declaration made the library a focal point in the development of human capital in any country.
The library is very important in any university system because it is the centre for every academic activity. Shekarau (2014) opined that the library and information science occupy a vantage position in the education sector and plays a strategic role in national growth and development. Librarians are, therefore, one of the drivers of transformation in any nation. Consequently, librarians who handle and manage the library and its information resources should be maintained to avert turnover intentions.
According to Agnes (1999), employee turnover is the proportion of the number of workforce that had to be substituted in a given period to the regular number of workers. Employee turnover is often utilized as an indicator of organization’s performance which determines the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness (Glebbeek & Bax, 2004). Some scholars, for example, Nyamubarwa (2013) and Adesulu (2016) have argued that employee’s turnover intentions affect organization negatively. Using mathematical formulae in identifying the implications of turnover in an organization, Price (1977) calculated turnover intentions in relation to the number of personnel who have left an organization during the time being considered separated by the regular number of people in that organization within the time. Mbah and Ikemefuna (2012) asserted that administrator refer to turnover as a process that is associated with filling a post: whenever a position is vacant, either willingly or unwillingly. The substitution of another person is described as turnover (Wood, 1995), which at most times is expensive on the part of the organization due to the process of hiring and training a new employee who will overtime learn to handle the new position.
According to Mbah and Ikemefuna (2012) in their study on job pleasure and turnover intentions of employees in Total Nigeria Plc. in Lagos State asserted that turnover intentions are the voluntary quitting from a job at will. Turnover is the resignation of skilful workforce from one job to another job. Ahmed (2004) observed that the health and education sectors are the most affected by turnover intentions than any other sector due to the number of intellectuals that had left. Corroborating, Adesulu (2016) reported that 227 medical doctors migrated from Nigeria in 12 months. However, Okoro, Omeluzor and Bamidele (2014) in their study which looks at the effects of brain drain (human capital flight) of librarians on the services of libraries in some selected universities in Nigeria found that 315 academic librarians had left Nigeria between 2006 and 2010 due to inadequate infrastructure, instability in the academic calendar and prospect for further training. Furthermore, in a presentation on the career choice of students of library and information science in tertiary institutions in Imo State, Nigeria, Okoro (2009) stated that over 60 young information professionals have so far left Nigeria over the past few years for “greener pastures” in developed countries. Turnover intentions occur in the university library when a librarian resigns from one library to another or from the library to other jobs outside the library profession due to inadequate infrastructure (Okoro, et al, 2014). Turnover intentions of librarians will adversely affect the library functions when skilful and knowledgeable librarians resign their jobs for another. The intention of librarians to leave from one library to another portends danger for the university libraries in terms of skilled personnel that is needed to accomplish tasks. However, replacing vacant posts in the library would be very expensive, such cost includes for example searching for through the labour market for a viable replacement, selection between competing candidates, induction of the chosen candidates, and formal and informal training of the selected candidates until he or she attains performance levels equal to the person(s) who quit (John, 200).
Nigeria and other developing countries have lost ‘good brains’ who resign their jobs due to inadequate mentoring and poor organizational culture (Adesulu, 2016). Upon that, not much has been done in the university library and library profession to avert turnover intentions of employees. Besides, budgetary allocation for the development and maintenance of library’s infrastructure is dwindling (Osinulu & Amusa, 2010; Jan & Sheikh, 2011 and Kelley, 2012). With lean budget, most universities do not prioritize development of their libraries resulting in the deterioration of university libraries’ infrastructure. In most universities, dilapidated library building adorn vantage positions, obsolete or non-functional computer systems are showcased in the libraries, furniture are not suitable, power supply remained unattended to, Internet facilities are not available with poor plan for human capital development (Okiy, 2003).
Development of university libraries’ infrastructure cannot be overemphasized. This is because; it helps in providing relevant information services and serene atmosphere for the library users to access resources. In this 21st century, the use of information and communication technology (ICT) tools that allow access and use of library resources is important to achieve the goals, objectives and aspiration of both the library and librarians. Library’s infrastructure which includes Internet facilities, computer systems, library building, furniture and generator contribute to the development of the academic libraries and librarians. Okoro, Omeluzor and Bamidele (2014) opined that the existence of the academic libraries in this era depends greatly on the provision and maintenance of infrastructure and its human capital. Adequate infrastructure and human capital development are requisite for achieving goals of academic libraries. However, development in infrastructure and human capital might remain a culture in some organizations while in other organizations it may not.
Organizational culture is the philosophy, attitude, belief, behavior and practice that constitute an organization (Rick, 2015). Organizational culture is carefully cultivated over time within which several norms and practices are upheld and respected. Culture is a key component in achieving an organizational vision, mission and strategies. The university library’s culture supports a holistic coordination of programmes, practices and enhances growth of the library and librarians. According to McLaughlin (2015), organizational culture is a system that brings people in an organization together as one and allows them to share the same thought, values, and beliefs towards achieving the goal of the organization. It is what governs how people behave and relate to one another in organizations. The shared values influences the peoples’ behaviour in the organization in relation to their belief, values, assumptions, actions, mannerism and dictate how employees act, behave, support and perform their duties. Furthermore, organizational culture is the total sum of values and practice which serve as “bond” to incorporate the members of an organization (Rick, 2015). Value as a product of organizational culture, is an inexpressible part of organizational activities that portrays care and support for the welfare of employees. Values can be inherent in people or organization or made known in value statements (Adeyoyin, 2006). Consequently, libraries that value their employees would always strive to develop, empower, train and mentor them.
Significantly, employees (librarians) may express displeasure if expected cultural norms, values and expectations are not met. These expectations are fundamental and to a large extent determine their staying in the academic libraries or leaving for other jobs. These include but not limited to working environment, remuneration (salaries and wages), promotion, fair treatment, attitude of employer, belief, value and carrier development. A study by Cappelli (2000) revealed that there are some factors that play critical role in retaining employee in organizations including job design and customization and encouraging social bond among workers. According to Irshad (2012), some of the factors that can affect employees’ retention in organization are growth opportunities, work environment, balance in work-life, organizational fairness and existing policy on staff leave. Therefore, it implies that turnover intentions decrease when a job meets the value, expectation and standard, and would stimulate commitment and performance. The level of turnover intentions of librarians decreases if their expectations from the university library are wholesome, and increases if they are not favourable.
In the library profession, human and capital resources are in high demand to manage sensitive sections and functions of the academic libraries. Okoro, et al (2014) emphasized that the growth and stability of a nation’s economy are dependent on available human and capital resources. According to Fapohunda (2011), a dearth in the varied type of human capital will result in physical capital not being productively utilized. Arguing on retaining employees, Fapohunda (2011); Bello and Mansor (2013) emphasize that mentoring is a way of retaining and maintaining manpower in any organization. Mentoring is the act of growing, tutoring, encouraging, training, coaching, inspiring, teaching, motivating and sharing with protégé knowledge to succeed in a profession.
The survival of academic libraries in a highly competitive world depends on mentoring of protégé (Seeger, 2008). According to Bello and Mansor (2013), mentoring as career development model which helps in the development of skill among workers, career growth and self-belief. Moreso, mentoring of librarians would contribute immensely to the growth and development of the academic libraries. Mentoring is a tool to nurture and grow people (Fapohunda, 2011), while instilling in them skills and knowledge to avert turnover intentions. Furthermore, mentoring is a programme of activities designed to train, encourage and retain skilled personnel in any organization prepared by a mentor for a mentee. Such programme requires the mentor and mentee’s participation to prepare the mentee for a higher assignment in his career.
Library and information profession to a large extent has impacted educational institutions across the world. The profession has immensely contributed to the advancement of human capital development. Turnover intentions can hinder the plans and progress of an organization. Literature, Olusegun (2013), Mbah and Ikemefuna (2012) and Kaur, Mohindru and Pankaj (2013) shows inadequate infrastructure and organization culture have significant effect on turnover intentions. It is evident from those studies that turnover intentions of employees increases when the infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring are discouraging. However, since dissatisfied employees have the tendency of resigning, such factors that will enhance their exit like infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring need to be handled. Management of human knowledge in this era of information explosion is very crucial hence the need for skilful librarians to meet the demands of information users. Improving libraries’ infrastructure with positive organizational culture and designing of mentoring programmes for young librarians may likely reduce turnover intentions among librarians.
It is in view of the foregoing, that this research investigated the effect of infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring on turnover intentions of librarians in South-South and South-East geo-political zones of Nigeria.
1.1.1 Brief background of South-South and South-East Regions
The South-South region of Nigeria comprises of six states namely: Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers that are strategically located at the point where the Y tail of the river Niger joins the Atlantic Ocean through the Gulf of Guinea. Though a relatively small stretch of land, the south of the country provides the economic mainstay of the economy – oil. In addition to oil and gas, the region equally contributes other key resources, with potential huge investment opportunities in tourism and agriculture (Destination Nigeria, 2015). The South-South region has twenty universities including six federal universities, seven state and seven private universities respectively with abundance of human capital.
Before the British colonial government, South-Eastern Nigeria was home to many ethnic groups such as the Igbo, Ijaw, Ibibio, and Efik. These groups mostly had democratic systems of government and several kingdoms, such as Nir Akwa Akpa (Calabar), Aro Confederacy and Opobo which were huge influences in the region (Destination Nigeria, 2015). The South-Eastern Nigeria was one of the initial 12 states created after the Nigerian Civil War. South-East became the name of one of the six geo-political zones in the country in the 1990s consisting of Abia State, Anambra State, Ebonyi State, Enugu State and Imo State. The local language in this region is Igbo. Presently, the South-East region is mostly dominated by the Igbo speaking people with five federal and state universities respectively and eight private universities.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In Nigeria and other parts of the world, skilful and experienced librarians are needed to sustain the library’s development and continuous delivery of services to its users. Library’s infrastructure such as internet facilities, computer systems, library building, furniture and power supply are relevant to the functionality of the university library. Some studies have shown that in most universities in Nigeria, library infrastructure are not adequately provided (Okiy, 2010 & Haliso, 2011) The available ones are almost dilapidated, leading to turnover intentions of librarians to the western countries as well as from one library in Nigeria to another (Okoro, et al., 2014).
The continuous dilapidation of library infrastructure in Nigerian universities have the propensity to increase turnover intentions of librarians with attendant negative implications and devastating effects on the library profession and Nigeria’s development. Inadequacy and dilapidated library infrastructure is further capable of hindering library processes and services to the library patrons. Dilapidation of library infrastructure can significantly affect the professional development and career of librarians. Furthermore, inadequate library infrastructure can adversely undermine the contributions of librarians in national and international programmes as well as the overall functionality of the library (Öcel & Aydm, 2012); and can lead to turnover intentions of librarians.
University libraries’ culture and its image subsume belief, attitude, promotion, training, teaching, coaching, and knowledge sharing among its employees can engender turnover intention reduction (Dwirantwi, 2012). However, the affirmation variables have eroded over the years in most university libraries in Nigeria leaving the librarians to their fate. The current cultural practices among librarians in Nigeria is demeaning with no adequate plan for the training, teaching and coaching of the younger librarians for professional development (Bello & Mansor, 2013). This scenario has increased the turnover intentions of librarians from one university library to another.
In addition, the establishment and use of mentoring programme in most university libraries in Nigeria has not yielded any good result since it is only in document and not practiced. The mentoring of academic librarians in some university libraries is only rhetoric and not in practice (Okurame, 2008). Mentoring programmes in university libraries that is meant for the grooming, nurturing, educating, professional growth and continuity in the library profession is no longer encouraged. This situation has led to the turnover intentions and eventual quitting of librarians from the university libraries (Nyamubarwa, 2013).
Several studies (Sanjeevkumar, 2012; Olusegun, 2013 & Okoro, et al, 2014), among others had been done on the antecedents and effect of turnover intentions of librarians, but none have combined library infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring to ascertain their effect on turnover intentions of librarians. The incessant loss of skilful librarians especially in library and information science profession to other profession is capable of hindering library service delivery (Okoro, et al, 2014). Therefore, considering the importance of library infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring in the university, this study ascertained the variables as correlate of turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria.
Objective of the Study
The general objective of this study was to establish empirically if library infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring are predictors of librarians’ turnover intentions in university libraries in the South-South and South-East, Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:
- ascertain the relationship between library infrastructure and turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria;
- determine the relationship between organizational culture and turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria;
- ascertain the relationship between mentoring and turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries in south-south and south-east of Nigeria;
- find out the relationship of organizational culture and mentoring on turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria and
- find out the composite effect of library infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring on turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The study provided answer to the following research questions:
- What are the turnover intentions among academic librarians in South-South and South-East of Nigeria?
- What is the state of the library infrastructure in university libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria?
- What is the organizational culture of university libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria?
- What are the available mentoring programmes in university libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria?
The following hypotheses were testedt at 0.05 level of significance.
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between library infrastructure and turnover intentions of academic librarians in university libraries in South-South and South-East, Nigeria.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between organizational culture and turnover intentions of academic librarians in university libraries in South-South and South-East, Nigeria.
Ho3: There is no significant relationship between mentoring and turnover intentions of academic librarians in university libraries in South-South and South-East, Nigeria.
Ho4: There is no significant relationship between organizational culture and mentoring on turnover intentions of academic librarians in university libraries in South-South and South-East, Nigeria.
Ho5: Library infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring do not predict turnover intentions among academic librarians in university libraries in South-South and South-East, Nigeria.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study investigated library infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring as predictors of turnover intentions of academic librarians in South-South and South-East of Nigeria. The focus of this study was to find out the state of the infrastructure of university libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria. It also examined the basic library infrastructure such as Internet facilities, computer systems, building, furniture and power supply which is needed in the library to enhance library functions. The study sought to provide answers to enquiries to the phenomenon that can lead to turnover intentions in academic libraries in Nigeria. It focused only on those attributes of organizational culture and mentoring such as belief, attitude, promotion, training, remuneration, knowledge sharing, coaching and teaching as shown in the conceptual model in Figure 2, which should be imbibed by university libraries in keeping librarians in their job. Therefore, the study covers only academic librarians with higher degrees in librarianship who work in the university libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria, while librarians with first degrees and library staff were excluded from this study.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study is significant because, from literature, not much, if any study has combined the three variables (library infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring) to determine their influence on turnover intentions in university libraries. This study specifically ascertains the effect of inadequate library infrastructure, organizational culture and mentoring on turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries in Nigerian universities. This study provided empirical evidence for the university administrators to imbibe organizational culture as a means of reducing turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries in Nigeria. It also provided the university library management some possible mentoring programmes that were helpful in building its protégé in library administration. This study also impacted on retention of academic librarians for the overall development and improved library service delivery. It is expected that this study would spur the government and university administrators to action through policy making on to enable older and younger librarians to remain on their jobs in Nigerian universities. This study contributed to the wealth of knowledge and provided avenue to understanding some of the factors that increase librarians’ turnover intentions from one library (or one job) to another within and outside Nigeria as well as provoke more research in that area.