Human Resource Development and Workers Commitment in Nigeria

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INTRODUCTION The focus of this paper is to examine the role of human resource development and workers commitment in organization in particular and in Nigeria as a whole. For the purpose of this study, the concept of human resource development and manpower development will be used interchangeably. In any organization, it is the workforce who is considered important assets for the achievement of organizational goals. Every industry desires to maximize its human resources to see that the best output is achieved.
Therefore, human resource development policies are closely associated to that aspect of human resource management that is concerned with investing in people and developing the organization’s human capital. Keep (1989) in his view say: one of the primary objectives of human resource management is the creation of condition whereby the latent potential of employees will be realized and their commitment to the causes of the organization secured.
This latent potential is taken to include, not only the capacity to acquire and utilize new skills and knowledge but also a hitherto untapped wealth of ideas about how the organization’s operations might be better ordered. The issue for employers goes beyond the need to upgrade the skills of the current workforce. It is also necessary to equip future entrants to the workforce with the requisite education which make them ‘trainable’ for emerging and constantly changing skills requirement.

It is generally believed that if overall human conditions are to improve, there must be increasing emphasis on human resources development. Appropriately, such development provides for increase in productivity, enhance competitiveness and support economic growth. The importance of human resources development is obvious when one considered that in any economic activity, it is the human element that commands, direct, organizes, controls and maximizes. CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION Training and development remains a major component of human resource development.
By definition, human resource (HR) is the manpower, employee or worker required by an organization; be it public or private to enable it achieves its predetermined objectives. That is, the purpose for which it is set up. It could mean the entire human resource (skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled) available within the country. Human resource development or otherwise manpower development is a continuous process of impacting new information, skills, attitude and ideas to employees dictated by the requirement of job change. It is a means of overcoming employee obsolescence through education and training.
In other words, HR-development is a means by which employees are kept current on their official duties, this means in effect that it is the process of preparing the total quantitative and qualitative human asset in a nation or organization so that they can move with the nation or organizations as they develop, change and grow. Human resources development is a combination of training and education that ensure the continual improvement and growth of both the individual and the organization. Adam Smith stated that, “the capacities of individuals depended on their access to education”.
In economic term, it could be describe as the accumulation of human capital and its effective investment in the development of a nation’s economy. In political term, manpower or HR development prepares people for adult participation in political process particularly as a citizen in democratic country. On the whole, HRD is the process of planning and controlling the way in which a person’s performance and potentials are developed by training and educational development programmes. WORKERS COMMITMENT A wide variety of definitions and measure of workers commitment exist.
Beckeri, Randal, and Riegel (1995) defined the term in a three dimensions: 1. a strong desire to remain a member of a particular organization; 2. a willingness to exert high levels of efforts on behalf of the organization; 3. a define belief in and acceptability of the values and goals of the organization. To Northcraft and Neale (1996), commitment is an attitude reflecting an employee's loyalty to the organization, and an ongoing process through which organization members express their concern for the organization and its continued success and well being.
Organizational commitment is determined by a number of factors, including personal factors (e. g. , age, tenure in the organization, disposition, internal or external control attributions); organizational factors (job design and the leadership style of one's supervisor); non-organizational factors (availability of alternatives). All these things affect subsequent commitment (Nortcraft and Neale, 1996). Mowday, Porter, and Steer (1982) see commitment as attachment and loyalty. These authors describe three components of commitment: ? an identification with the goals and values of the organization ?
A desire to belong to the organization. ?A willingness to display effort on behalf of the organization. A similar definition of commitment emphasizes the importance of behaviour in creating it. Salancik (1977) conceives commitment as a state of being in which an individual becomes bound by his actions and it is these actions that sustain his activities and involvement. From this definition, it can be inferred that three features of behavior are important in binding individuals to act: visibility of acts, the extent to which the outcomes are irrevocable; and the degree to which the person undertakes the action voluntarily.
To Salancik therefore, commitment can be increased and harnessed to obtain support for the organizational ends and interests through such things as participation in decision-making. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND WORKERS COMMITMENT IN NIGERIA The most important strategy for productivity improvement is based on the fact that human productivity, both high and low is determined by the attitudes of all those who work in the enterprise. Thus, to improve labour commitment, it is necessary to change attitude towards positive drive.
These changes develop positive attitudes and an organizational culture which will be favourable towards productivity improvement as well as technological changes. To improve productivity, it is therefore necessary to manage change; this means motivating, inducing and generating change. Ashton and Felstead (1995) regard the investment by an organisation in the skills of employees as a ‘litmus test’ for a change in the way they are manages. First, the replacement of the words ‘training cost’ with investment responses to the outcomes of HRD where the continuation of viewing training s a short-term cost has persistently acted as a powerful break of many training strategies. Having defined human resource development as the study and practice of increasing the learning capacity of individuals, groups, collectives, and organizations through the development and application of learning-based interventions for the purpose of optimizing human and organizational growth and effectiveness, it is indicated that formal training enhances employees’ organizational commitment. Sharma 1989 had also found a correlation between training and organizational commitment.
Organizations that offer employees a relative high degree of development opportunities and internal career possibilities were also found to have opportunities has also been reported to have a positive effect on perceived rationalism of the employment relation, which is also said to have accounted for higher levels of commitment and job satisfaction. In organizations that offer training opportunities, employee commitment and citizenship behaviour are found to be higher than in organizations that do not offer the same.
Studies has also shown that violation of perceived training obligations result in reduced organizational commitment and increased intentions to leave the organization. Tannenbaum et al. (1991) found that naval recruits who participated in an 8-week training held higher levels of affective commitment than before the training. EQUITY THEORY The theory was propounded by Adam Staley John in 1963 and this theory calls for a fair balance to be struck between an employee’s input (hard work, skill level, tolerance, enthusiasm etc. ) and employee’s output (salary, benefits, recognition etc).
According to the theory, finding this fair balance serves to ensure a strong and productive relationship achieved with the employee, with the overall result being contended, motivated employees. Adam’s Equity Theory acknowledges that subtle and variable factors affect an employee assessment and perception of their relationship with their work and their employer. The theory is built on the belief that employees become de-motivated, both in relation to their job and their employer if they feel as though their inputs are greater than the output.
This theory also compares the input and output between different workers at different levels. Bringing this theory to the level of work commitment in Nigeria, it will be noted that workers are highly de-motivated because of the inequality between their various input and their output. For instance, comparing the input of a University Professor with that of a Senator and relating it to their output, this will highly de-motivate professor to work. And these are some of the problem affecting workers commitment in Nigeria.
HUMAN CAPITAL THEORY Human Capital theory was proposed by Schultz (1961) and developed extensively by Becker (1964). According to the theory, it suggests that education or training raises the productivity of workers by imparting useful knowledge and skills, hence raising workers’ future income by increasing their lifetime earnings (Becker, 1994). It postulates that expenditure on training and education is costly, and should be considered an investment since it is undertaken with a view to increasing personal incomes.
The human capital approach is often used to explain occupational wage differentials. Human capital can be viewed in general terms, such as the ability to read and write, or in specific terms, such as the acquisition of a particular skill with a limited industrial application. In his view, human capital is similar to "physical means of production", e. g. , factories and machines: one can invest in human capital (via education, training, medical treatment) and one's outputs depend partly on the rate of return on the human capital one owns.
Thus, human capital is a means of production, into which additional investment yields additional output. Human capital is substitutable, but not transferable like land, labor, or fixed capital. This suggest that for human resource development to be effective and for workers to be more committed to the organization, the organizations concerned need to be more involved in the training and re-training of its workforce. THE HUMAN CAPITAL MODEL
The human capital model suggests that an individual's decision to invest in training is based upon an examination of the net present value of the costs and benefits of such an investment. Individuals are assumed to invest in training during an initial period and receive returns to the investment in subsequent periods. Workers pay for training by receiving a wage which is lower than what could be received elsewhere while being trained. Since training is thought to make workers more productive, workers collect the returns from their investment in later periods through higher marginal roducts and higher wages. Human capital models usually decompose training into specific training, which increases productivity in only one firm, and general training, which increases productivity in more than one firm. Purely general training is financed by workers, and the workers receive all of the returns to this training. In contrast, employees and employers will share in the costs and returns of specific training. Despite these differences between general and specific training, the model predicts that both forms of training lower the starting wage and increase wage growth.
THE NIGERIAN CONTEXT Human resource development in Nigeria has come a long way, but the process of actual resource development has been very gradual. Nigerian attempt at human resources development in particular cannot be separated from the country’s post-colonial attempt at accelerated education and industrialization. In a broader sense, every post colonial government’s investment in education has been for the purpose of providing the manpower which the nation needs in it private and public sectors.
This led to the establishment of three (3) Universities by the three regional governments of West, East, and the North (University of Ibadan which is the first) and the establishment of University of Lagos by the federal government all within the first decade of post independence Nigeria. As a result of the country’s quest for technological development, polytechnics and universities of technology as stream in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Provision of universities and polytechnics education were meant to provide the national economy with the manpower it needs to develop and expand.
The emphasis on formal and higher education as a basis of national human resource development was quite apparent in all the national development plans of post independence Nigeria. Gradually, the nation’s economic planners shifted attention to intervention in the areas of training and manpower development. In fairness to our earlier economic planners, Onasanya (2005) believes that “without education, there can be no training and without the two, there can be no development”.
Government’s attempt at strengthening training and development in the national economy led to the establishment of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in 1971; Administrative and Staff Training College of Nigeria (ASCON) in 1973; and Centre for Management Development (CMD) in 1976. The idea behind the three establishments is the provision of consultancy on training needs all enterprise, training higher level manpower staff, and conducting research into problems of manpower and administration in public and private sectors.
Onasanya (2005) also believe government’s intervention as stated above must be appreciated in the Nigeria context because, “until recently, and probably until the intervention of the government (training was one of the ill-managed and haphazardly handled areas of modern enterprises. Training and development was seen as a waste of a workers labour hours (to his employer) and a way of denying the employer the service of the employee. The above analysis is not to take away the concerted effort in the public and private sectors towards training and human resource development.
Public sector workers have many structured training programmes and many government have a ministry of establishment and training, as well as designated training centres. In the private sector, some notable sectors such as banking, telecommunications, and manufacturing industries are more proficient in training today than in the past. The efficiency of manpower training and new technology has helped these sectors in terms of better service delivery. But, are workers really committed in Nigeria?
Workers’ commitment or otherwise in Nigeria is more than whether there human capacity is developed because there are many factors affecting workers motivation and commitment in Nigeria. The global economic meltdown has meant less security for workers in Nigeria and throughout the world. Even good workers do lose their jobs at these times, hence morale is generally low. Other factors such as culture, god-fatherism, ICT and other modern technologies have impacted negatively on workers morale and productivity in Nigeria. The gradual decimation of the power of labour unions have also not helped matter.
TOOLS/METHOD FOR MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT IN ORGANIZATIONS The tools and methods for manpower development in organizations differs, and it is largely determined by the objectives of organizations, the idiosyncrasy of management staff or the chief executive, the organizational policy, as well as the organizational environment to mention a few. Thus, it is a common feature to see methods for manpower development varying from one organization to the other, just as a given organization can be tailored at adopting different methods at different times or a combination of techniques t the same time. However, some methods for manpower development are stated below: 1. Orientation: This method of manpower development could be said to be an integral part of the recruitment exercise in that once an employee has been found appointable, it is expected that such an employee need to be positively oriented in line with the vision and aspiration of the organization for effective discharge of function. And since employee function in an organization is basically affected by his perception of the organization vis-a-vis the rules and principles that exist in the organization.
It therefore follow that an employee undergoes formal and informal orientation in a place of work. While the formal orientation focuses on job specification and occupational demands placed on the employee, the informal orientation involve the social interaction that take place in the place of work which could either boost productivity or be detrimental to it (Koontz et al. 1980). Orientation therefore, as a method of manpower development is quite indispensable because it helps in boosting the productivity of workers which is needed for competing in the global market of the 21st century. . On the Job Method of Manpower Development: This method is basically different from the orientation method in that while orientation is at the point of entry into the organization or a new assignment; on the job method is a process through which knowledge and experience are acquired over a period of time either formally or informally. This process involve the following: (a)Coaching: This is a method of on the job training and development in which a young employee is attached to a senior employee with the purpose of acquiring knowledge and experience needed for the performance of tasks. Yalokwu, 2000). (b) Job Rotation: This method either involve the movement of an employee from one official assignment or department to the other, in order for the employee to be acquainted with the different aspects of the work process or through job enlargement – that is, given additional responsibility to an employee who has been uplifted as a result of the acquisition of additional skill or knowledge (Yalokwu, 2000; Lawal, 2006). (c) in House Training: This involve a formal method of on the job training n which skills and knowledge are acquired by employees through internally organized seminars and workshops geared toward updating the workers with new techniques or skills associated with the performance of their jobs. (Lawal, 2006). (d) In Service Training: These methods involve training outside the organization or workplace in higher institution of learning or vocational centres under the sponsorship of the organization or on terms that may be agreed upon between the organization and the worker (Lawal, 2006). 3.
Committee/Work Group Method: This method entails manpower development through the involvement of employees in meetings, committees and work group discussion geared towards injecting inputs in form of decision making as regard solving organizational problem. This method is quite indispensable, especially in the aspect of training employees for managerial functions or heading organizational units. 4. Vestibule Training Method: This is a method of manpower development through the acquisition of skills in a related working environment (Nongo, 2005).
Under this method the trainee practices his skill with identical equipment that he uses or he is expected to use in his actual place of work. This method is most suitable for sensitive operations where maximal perfection is expected. The purpose is therefore to enable perfection at work place. 5. Apprenticeship Method: This method of manpower development involve the acquisition of skill through extensive practice for over a period of time by the trainee. This type of manpower development device could either be formal or informal.
In the informal environments the trainee is attached to the trainer, and he/she is expected to pay for an agreed period of apprenticeship (Nongo, 2005). In the formal environment on the other hand, an employee of an organization could be placed under apprenticeship in the organization with pay. THE RELEVANCE OF MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA 1. Economic Development: The relevance of manpower development in Nigeria could be situated vis-a-vis economic development. This is because manpower development captures the actual meaning of development in that it is people centered (World Bank 1991; Grawboski and Shields 1996).
In addition, it involves the building of capacity and harnessing the State’s human resource which constitute a sine-qua-non for development. The above advantage was vividly conceptualized by Harbison (1973) when he stated that: Human resources constitute the ultimate basis for wealth of nations, capital and natural resources are passive factors of production; human beings are the active agents who accumulate capital, exploit natural resources, build social, economic and political organizations, and carry forward national development.
Clearly a country which is unable to develop the skills and knowledge of its people and to utilize them effectively in the national economy will be unable to develop anything else. 2. Political Stability: There is no doubt that a country which fails to adequately develop her manpower would be doing so at the expense of her socio-economic and political stability.
In the aspect of political stability, Omodia (2004) stressed the dysfunctional use of the nation’s human resource among the youths in propelling political instability when he stated that: …there has been situations in which the Nigerian youth especially, those of poor family background were used as tools for disrupting the political democratic system through rigging, thuggery and ethnic conflicts. These factors of rigging, thuggery in addition to economic mismanagement, personal ambition or selfishness among others, were the factors that terminated the First and Second Republic.
Thus, manpower development could help the youths in the development of self and in improving the quality of their political participation. 3. Poverty Alleviation: It has been argued that effective poverty alleviation scheme must involve the development and utilization of local resource including human for solving local problems (Robb, 2000; Omodia, 2005). Thus, manpower development is central to solving the present problem of poverty in Nigeria. CHALLENGES FACING MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA 1.
Colonial Experience: There have been several arguments regarding the distortions in manpower development of national growth in Nigeria as a result of colonialism which was fashioned towards economic exploitation (Ekpo, 1989; Ake, 2001; Dauda, 2003). It could be recalled that the advent of colonialism led to the integration of the Nigerian economy into the World Capitalist System thereby placing minimum premium on labour when compared to other factors of production. This poor performance of indigenous labour by the colonial government no doubt has persisted in the post-colonial Nigerian State.
As a result, this problem account for the lack of adequate attention given to labour as a critical part of the production process in Nigeria. 2. Poor Political Leadership: Closely related to the problem of colonial experience as a problem of manpower development in Nigeria is poor political leadership which is further deepening the problem of manpower development in Nigeria. This factor has manifested itself in poor funding of education over the years (Baikie, 2002), disparity or class in manpower development between children of the rich and the poor (Omodia, 2006). 3.
Poor Manpower Planning: This problem is associated with the poor data base that is needed for manpower planning in Nigeria both in the rural and urban centers. This problem no doubt constitutes a major hindrance on effective manpower development in Nigeria (Baikie, 2002; Oku 2003). 4. Poor Funding: Nigeria’s democracy has enhanced the practice of human resource development, determining the quota of expatriates it permits. Nigeria’s economy allows the importation of new technology to enhance human resource development, but training is still a bit slow, thus employment of expatriates to handle such is still encouraged.
In Nigeria there is application of new management techniques and skills used in the running of organizations. All aimed at running cost effective system. 5. The socio-cultural diversity of Nigeria has influenced the human resource management practices in Nigeria. Nigeria is characterized by over reliance on culture, language, religion, gender and educational qualifications as a basis for determining who get employed and who need to be trained and re-trained. What this means is that, the opportunity for an average Nigeria to get employed is a factor of the aforementioned cases. CONCLUSION
This paper have been able to situate or relate what could be referred to as manpower underdevelopment to socio-economic and political problems in Nigeria by looking at such factors as poverty, political instability and economic underdevelopment. From this background, it is therefore important to conclude that human resource development as a concept and method should be able to take its rightful place as a tool for development in Nigeria through the recognition of the fact that it is the most active and indispensable in the process of production even in the global age of the 21st century.
RECOMMENDATION FOR EFFECTIVE MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA The options recommended for effective manpower development in Nigeria could be viewed from two basic perspectives: 1. The option of an enhanced regulatory capability on the part of government for effective reinforcement of manpower policies. This is quite indispensable based on the need to ensure quality manpower development irrespective of sex, class, ethnic affiliation to mention a few.
This point could best be appreciated considering the liberal nature of most government policies which tend to snowball into elitist benefit in terms of policy outcome. 2. The need for government to be persuasive in making organizations embraces well designed policies at improving the development of manpower in Nigeria. This could be done both internally and externally. Internally, organizations should be made to see reasons why a careful manpower development plan should form part of their plans and objectives for the financial year.
As a matter of fact, the success of organizations should not only be measured in terms of the magnitude of profit through the adoption of outdated personnel administration technique, but, basically on the contribution of the organization in enlarging the confidence of its workers through manpower development. The external factor involves the contribution of organization to the development of manpower through financial support meant to boost adult education, vocational education, and specialized research institutes to mention a few. REFERENCES Ake, C. (2001): Democracy and Development in Africa. Ibadan: Spectrum Books
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