- Background to the Study
The success and failures of institutions are reflections of several factors, particularly factors that center on the employees or workforce. They are seen as the most valuable asset in achieving institutional goals because the greatest concern of institutional management is to get work done by employees. Hence, institutions cannot succeed without their human resource (employees) efforts and commitment (Cmar & Kareroglu, 2012). In this regard, employees’ commitment towards institutional goal is an important concept for management wishing to succeed. Thus, institutions want their employees to be satisfied to become more productive, efficient and committed (Khan, Khan & Khan, 2010). However, employees’ commitment to institutional goal is subject to certain underlying psychological factors such as institutional support factors and job satisfaction.
Institutional support and job satisfaction have been described as key determinants of employees’ commitment to organization (Madhuri, Srivastava& Srivastava, 2014). As institutions face global competitiveness in modern times due to technological advancement, reputable managers in various institutional type, are vigorously seeking avenues to gain competitive advantage wherein institutional support and job satisfaction of employees are important factors. Institutional support, organizational support or perceived organizational support as most existing literature features them, are used inter-changeably in this study. Institutional support, is therefore an employees’ perception or belief that the institution values his or her contribution to the success of the organization and cares or have concern about his needs. Alternatively, institutional support refers to employees’ perception concerning the extent to which the institution values their contribution and cares about their well-being. Institutional support has been found to have important consequences on employees’ performance, commitment, and well-being. For instance, institutional support theorists Krishnan and Mary (2012), hold that in order to meet socio-emotional needs and to assess the benefits of increased work effort, employees form a general perception concerning the extent to which the institution values their contributions and cares about their well-being. Such Institutional support, in form of adequate provisions for employees’ physical/accommodation and health wellbeing, career goals, supervisor support in form of guide and recommendations for additional in-service training where necessary, and fair treatment in terms of reward for extra-role performance among others would increase employees’ felt obligation to help the institution reach its objectives.
Behavioral outcomes of institutional support would include increase in in-role and extra-role performance and decrease in withdrawal behaviors such as absenteeism and turnover. Research on Institutional support however began with the observation that if managers are concerned with their employees’ commitment to the institution, employees on the other hand, are focused on the organizations commitment to them (Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchinson, & Sowa, 1986). For employees, the institution serves as an important source of socio-emotional resources, such as respect and caring, and tangible benefits, such as wages and medical benefits; being regarded highly by the institution, helps to meet employees’ needs for approval, esteem, and affiliation. Positive valuation of employees by the institution also provides an indication that increased effort will be noted and rewarded. Employees therefore take an active interest in the regard with which they are held by their employer (Krishnan & Mary, 2012); expressing that institutional support is one of the most important institutional concepts that keep employees in the organization, since institutional support is known as a key factor increasing job satisfaction and organizational commitment of employees.
Moreover, while an employee evaluates his/her institution, he/she often tends to compare present institution with the previous one and tends to compare the future of his/her job position in the organization with similar positions of other organizations (Kanaga & Browning, 2007). This process employed by employees as a mental process affects perception of their institutional support. Expectations of this perception in the employee mind are outcomes such as considering employees’ goodness by the institution, appreciation in the institution and sharing common values between the institution and employees. Employees supported by their institution, feel this support is given because they are valuable employees for their organizations. Employees who feel their institution value and appreciate them are not only emotionally attached to their institution in terms of affective, normative and continua but equally satisfied with their job.
Previous studies also demonstrated that institutional support given to employees by their organization engenders improvement of positive behaviours and attitudes like affective and normative commitment, and sometimes on continuous commitment (Colakoglu, Culha & Atay, 2010). The amount of institutional support employee perceives from the organization has been proved to influence employees’ job attitudes. Moreover, Konijnenburg (2010), indicates that perceived institutional support relates to a large extent the quality of the relationship between the organization and the employees in form of institutional concern on employees’ wellbeing, supervisor support and fair treatment.
Studies of employees’ attitudes and behaviours have gained much importance to determine employees’ possible future behaviors or commitment at work place. Employees’ perception about organizational attitude regarding their support is based on organizational employees’ caring activities; for example, rewarding employees’ contribution, employees’ well-being programs and opportunities for employees to have participation in key organizational decisions (Beheshtifar & Zare, 2012). Such institutional support would ultimately shape employees’ work attitude in institutions in form of commitment or lack of it. Deductively, institutional support induces feelings such as being important and being useful for the organization and these feelings improve personal function of employees. Most literature as highlighted above, have actually proved that institutional support encourages employees to work better and more effectively, as it encourages employees to satisfy their managers and the organizational expectations as they see the organization trying to meet their needs and improve their working and family lives or wellbeing.
In this vein, Fakhraei, Imami and Manuchehri (2015), argue that when employees feel satisfied and supported by their organization, they will try to work better and then they will feel committed to the organization and leaving the organization would be difficult for them. This is not often the case with librarians, as studies have shown that most librarians in public sector have the intention to quit their job if they find a better one unlike their counterparts in private corporate system such as the oil and related industries for instance. Hence, Aborishade and Obioha (2009) report that librarians in most public institutions demonstrate lack of dedication and commitment to their organization and that some show sign of regret and dissatisfaction and as such show lack of commitment; and many are intending to leave if they find better offer somewhere else. In other words, institutional support plays salient role in employees’ job satisfaction and employees’ commitment to organization of any type including libraries/librarians based on the relationship between institutional support, job satisfaction and dimensions of employees’ commitment as projected in social exchange and social identity theory.
Job satisfaction on the other part, is made up of two words “job” and “satisfaction”. Job on one hand, is an occupational act that is carried out by an individual in return for a reward. It connotes what one does to receive regular payment or appreciation, while satisfaction on the other part, is the way one feels about events, rewards, people, relation and amount of mental gladness on the job (Somvir & Sudha, 2012; Imran, Arif, Cheem & Azeem, 2014). They also view Job satisfaction as the degree of an employee affective orientation toward the work role occupied in the organization; claiming that employees or workforce who are satisfied with their job by reasons of several institutional factors such as leadership, pay/salary, co-worker, promotion opportunities, communication flow and working environment among others, feel highly committed to their organization.
Job satisfaction and organizational commitment are equally very important to customer or patrons’ satisfaction particularly in service-oriented organizations such as educational institutions like the public universities which must recognize that employees’ satisfaction will go a long way toward contributing to their goal of having happy and fulfilling students. Thus, Job satisfaction is a frequently studied subject in work and organizational literature in several disciplines such as psychology, sociology, economics and management sciences. This is mainly because many experts believe that Job Satisfaction trends can affect employment scenario and influence organizational commitment, work effort, employees’ absenteeism and turnover. Moreover, job satisfaction is sometimes considered among indicators as a strong predictor of overall individual well-being (Syahputra, 2014), as well as a good predictor of intentions or decisions of employees to leave or stay in a job depending on prevailing management practices in such institution.
Many years ago, job satisfaction indicators or predators are generally classified into two groups known as intrinsic and extrinsic factors in job satisfaction literature. In Herzberg (1959), combination of several factors as earlier pointed out, creates job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among employees, which could be either motivators/intrinsic or hygiene/extrinsic factors. Motivators (such as achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility and promotion) promotes job satisfaction; while hygiene factors (such as pay/salary, communication with colleagues and work environment) absence could lead to employees’ dissatisfaction but do not have direct effect on employees’ job satisfaction.
Imran, Arif, Cheem and Azeem (2014), suggest that improvement on the intrinsic factors (such as promotion, achievement, recognition, advancement, work environment, leadership among others) will lead to a higher level of motivation and satisfaction among employees. They explained further, that extrinsic (whether the task allow the worker to use his/her ability and initiatives), financial/pay (fringe benefit, relationship with colleague/co-worker support and communication flow) have been identified as the predictors of job satisfaction among employees in the place of work as they affect/determine employees’ level of job satisfaction and organizational commitment of employees.
A study in telecom sector by Tariq and Nadeem (2013) also reveal that there are different variables like leadership/supervision, salary/pay, job task, communication and relationship with family and co-worker leads an employee towards satisfaction or dissatisfaction that further determines employees’ organizational commitment. This makes job satisfaction an issue of substantial importance for both employers and employees. Studies such as Syahputra (2014), express that employers benefit from satisfied employees, as they are more likely to profit from lower attrition and higher productivity if their employees’ experience high level of job satisfaction. However, job satisfaction is simply how people feel about their jobs and different aspects of their jobs. It is the extent to which people like (satisfaction) or dislike (dissatisfaction) their jobs.
Job satisfaction can thus be seen as an emotional response to a job situation which cannot be seen, it can only be inferred and regarded as how people feel about their job and different aspects of it. It also means a positive attitude that an individual has from what he does to earn a living. It is simply the degree to which people (employees) like their jobs. Thus, organizations want their employees to be satisfied to become more productive, committed and efficient (Khan, Khan & Khan, 2010). A person such as librarians with a high level of job satisfaction would hold positive attitudes towards the job, while a librarian who is dissatisfied with his or her job would no doubt hold negative attitudes about his or her job. Job satisfaction has been the focus of many researchers measuring employees’ level of satisfaction on organizational commitment. Job satisfaction is however a complex attitude to understand because an array of factors has been identified as determinants, predictors or ‘input- variables’ of job satisfaction with a variety of ‘outputs’ or results.
Surveys on job satisfaction abound with results showing significant influences of employees’ satisfaction factors (input- variables) on organizational commitment (output- variables). Thus, job satisfaction is an important attribute frequently measured by organizations. The most common way of measurement is the use of rating scales where employees report their reactions to their jobs. In this ambience, there is a renewed interest in the commitment level of the public sector in many developing economies as they face a more competitive global environment. Efforts to improve the performance/commitment level of the public sector focus on both personal and contextual variables. The study of Sokoya (2000) reveals that employees’ job satisfaction do affect their commitment to work and that satisfied employees are happy and thus productive. Therefore, the success of organizations depends on the satisfaction of their employees. The happier people are with their job, the more satisfied and committed they are said to be is unarguable in this respect.
Employees’ commitment or organizational commitment as interchangeably used in existing literature is another important organizational outcome which often results from institutional support and job satisfaction. As institutional support theory suggests, institutional support, which is an indicator of the organization’s commitment to the employees, creates an obligation within the employees to care about the organization and reciprocate with commitment and loyalty. Institutional actions indicating caring of, fairness and concern for employees may enhance their commitment to the organization. On the basis of the reciprocity norm, institutional support should create a felt obligation to care about the organization’s welfare. The obligation to exchange caring for caring should enhance employees’ affective commitment to the personified organization. Institutional Support should also increase affective commitment by fulfilling such socio-emotional needs as affiliation and emotional support. Such need fulfillment produces a strong sense of belonging to the organization, involving the incorporation of employees’ membership and role status into their social identity (Krishnan & Mary, 2012).
Moreover, Daneshfard and Ekvaniyan (2012) hold that employees’ commitment is a multidimensional construct comprising of three components: affective, continuance and normative. In this regard, affective commitment has been described as employees’ emotional attachment to the organization. As a result, he or she strongly identifies and desires to remain as a part of the organization. According to them, these employees commits to the organization because he/she wants to. Continuance commitment on one end, has to do with one’s awareness of the cost associated with leaving the present organization, that is, perceiving high cost of losing membership including economic losses (such as pension accruals) and social cost (friendship ties with co-workers) that would have to be given up. Therefore, the employee remains a member of the organization because he/she has to.
Normative commitment has to do with feeling of obligations to the organization based on personal norms and values. For instance, the organization may have invested resources in training an employee in form of institutional support, who then feels an obligation to put forth effort on the job and stay with the organization to repay the debt. It may also reflect an internalized norm developed before the person joins the organization through family or other socialization processes, that one should be loyal to one’s organization. The employee therefore stays with the organization because he/she ought to.
Unfortunately in Africa, particularly in a country like Nigeria, institutional support and job satisfaction of employees that could lead to high employees’ commitment to the organization seem to be a misplaced priority as public servants like librarians hardly devote adequate time in pursuing library goals in their organization or institution due to one form of dissatisfaction or the other (Aborishade & Obioha, 2009); as often and collectively protested under the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) platform during yearly workers day celebrations for under-care or pay. For instance, lack of care and poor wages/salary agitation dominated the activities of the recently celebrated world worker’s day of 1st May, 2016 celebration in which fifty-six-thousand-naira minimum wage was demanded by NLC as against eighteen thousand five-hundred-naira current payment (Punch, 2nd May, 2016) often leading to one form of service failure or the other in the Nigerian public service system. This circumstance over the years has led to the establishment of SERVICOM (Service Compact) in 2004 under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo with popular slogans such as “Challenge Bad Service Anywhere Anytime; and Do Not Walk Away from Service Failure” (Uaboi-Egbenni, 2015).
Inspite of this form of measures on ground, studies have shown that workers, in Nigeria, including library personnel in academic institutions still have poor attitude to work and exhibit poor commitment to organizational goals (Aborishade & Obioha, 2009 and Akinyemi & Ifijeh, 2012). This could be due to what Yaya (2016) disclosed about academic librarians that they are been treated as second class staffers in academic institutions in Nigeria. In buttressing this claim, Abigail and Oluwatobi (2015) cite Nwosu, Ugwoegbu and Okeke (2013); Amusa, Iyoro and Olabisi (2013) among others, who stated that there appears to be low commitment of library personnel as mobility/high turnover has characterized academic libraries which have resulted in low performance among library personnel.
This could be due to poor institutional support and high level of dissatisfaction among employees that consequently affect their job commitment. From personal observation in some academic libraries where the researcher had worked, there exist poor institutional commitment to the observation of Aborishade and Obioha (2009); Abigail and Oluwatobi (2015). Librarians in these institutions demonstrate lack of dedication and commitment to their organization. Some show sign of regret or dissatisfaction even in taking the profession as career choice, as such show lack of commitment; and many are intending to leave if they find better offer somewhere else. All these forms of attitudes are signs of poor institutional support and dissatisfaction that requires empirical evidence of this nature.
Moreover, the present day librarian is expected to play a fundamental role within the university community. These roles are teaching, research and community service towards social, political and economic development of the country. According to Samuel and Chipunza (2009) library personnel in carrying out their duties are expected to be committed to the values and goals of the library in an organization, knowing fully that without commitment on the part of the employees/librarians, organization will simply shrink and eventually fold due to lack of relevant information to gain competitive advantage in our present day competitive world in all field of human endeavor/engagement in which librarians play prominent roles. Thus, librarians still remain central to the management of scholarly communication and educational development. In this vein, Gunasekara (2010) described university or academic library as the heart of the learning community providing a place for students and lecturers to conduct their research, advance knowledge and also support the goals and aspiration of its parent organization. The extent to which academic libraries can provide bibliographic (information) support to the university is therefore a core function of librarians and their surrounding circumstances such as institutional support and job satisfaction levels.
Low level of commitment among library staff could have resulted from low level of Institutional support and may likely cause undesirable results such as employees’ job dissatisfaction, poor commitment and consequent withdrawal. This situation may negatively affect service quality and productivity as well as institutional (public universities) loss of relevance in Nigeria to those in the private sector on the long run if these variables are not properly checked through empirical evidence of this nature; bearing in mind that employees’ commitment is the bond between the employee and the organization often influenced by institutional support and job satisfaction level of employees. This scenario, according to Jonathan, Thibeli and Darroux (2013), employees with high Job Satisfaction are loyal to the organization, share its values and identifies with the goals of the organization through commitment.
From the foregoing, many researchers agree that these variables (Institutional support and Job satisfaction) do influence employees’ commitment to organization. Although, institutional support and job satisfaction influence have been treated in isolation in relation to employees’ commitment, they have not been given joint treatment in public universities. Therefore, analyzing the relationship between these variables is particularly crucial. This research intent has however received considerable attention in the United States and Europe, it is not so in Nigeria especially in South Eastern Nigeria. Moreover, the findings of most researchers on employees’ commitment in western society may not be directly the same or applicable to developing countries because of their different economic and socio-cultural factors or considerations. The question is that: could the poor organizational commitment among librarians observed by Aborishade and Obioha (2009), be due to poor institutional support and low job satisfaction? There is therefore, an urgent need to examine the “institutional support, job satisfaction and employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria”.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Organizations cannot succeed without human resource efforts and commitment. In the absence of commitment, organization may suffer several consequences such as low productivity, high rate of absenteeism, and high rate of staff turnover that could negatively affect its existence and continuity. Unfortunately, in a country like Nigeria, not only does employees’ commitment in the public sector seem to be a misplaced priority, but in a pitiable and despised state, especially in the education sector as several existing literature speculates. This circumstance has not only led to frequent agitations of public servants in Nigeria over the years, but to industrial actions such as strikes among Civil Servants. This situation has not only caused service failure among some public servants (particular in the educational sector) in Nigeria, but impacted negatively on the general educational and economic background of the country.
The several mechanisms/agencies put in place by the government such as Service Compact (SERVICOM) to check service failure among public servants has not yielded any significant result which could be due to several managements’ related factors such as poor institutional support and low level of job satisfaction of employees among others. By way of emphasis, studies and the researcher’s personal observation where he had worked, there exist poor institutional commitment among librarians; librarians in these institutions demonstrate lack of dedication and commitment to their organization; some show signs of regret in taking the profession as career choice, as such show lack of commitment; and many are intending to leave if they find better offer elsewhere. Although some studies have been done on identifying librarians’ level of job satisfaction and their commitment to organization, little or no work has addressed the composite influence of institutional support and job satisfaction factors on employees’ commitment in public university libraries in Nigeria. Hence, this study intends to investigate “institutional support, job satisfaction and employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria”.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the influence of institutional support and job satisfaction on employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:
- find out the level of employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria;
- ascertain the extent of institutional support of employees in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria;
- determine the job satisfaction level of employees in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria;
- ascertain the relationship between institutional support and employees’ commitment public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria;
- determine the relationship between job satisfaction and employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria;
- examine the relative influence of institutional support and job satisfaction on employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria;
- determine the joint effect of institutional support and job satisfaction on employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria and
- find out factors challenging institutional support, job satisfaction and employees’ commitment to organization in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
- Research Questions
The following research questions will be used to guide the study:
- What is the level of employees’ commitment to organization in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
- To what extent are employees given institutional support in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
- What is the level of job satisfaction of employees in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
- What are the factors challenging institutional support, job satisfaction and employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria?
The following research hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance to further guide the study:
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between institutional support and employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between job satisfaction and employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
Ho3: There is no significant relative influence of institutional support and job satisfaction on employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
Ho4: There is no significant joint relationship between the independent variables (institutional support and job satisfaction) and the dependent variable (employees’ commitment) in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study focused its attention on investigating the influence of institutional support and job satisfaction on employees’ commitment in public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria. The study therefore focused on librarians (Professionals and Para-Professionals only) thereby excluding non-librarians’ categories of staff in the ten (10) public university libraries in South-East Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
This study also laid emphasis on vital issues relating to employees’ institutional support, job satisfaction, level of commitment, effect of institutional support (such as well-being, fairness or fair treatment, and employees’ goals and supervisor support) and job satisfaction on employees’ commitment to organization as well as their challenging issues as reflected on the study specific objectives.
Public Universities in South-East Geo-Political Zone, States of Nigeria were used for this study. The reason for this choice is that the states are prone to relatively high number of Industrialists and elites/civilized heterogeneous population as they are comm