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MOTIVATIONAL FACTORS AND JOB SATISFACTION OF STAFF IN ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONAL LIBRARIES IN AKWA IBOM STATE.
1.1 Background to the Study
The management of people at work is an integral part of the management process. And no organization ever succeeds without due recognition and appreciation of people through whom any task is accomplished.Nkereuwem(1986),observed that human factor is a major component in any fast-growing and vibrant organization.Therefore,their presence as well as their input must be both recognized and encouraged for the sustenance of growth in the said organization. To understand the critical importance of people in the organization is to recognize that the human element and the organization are synonymous. Cranny, Smith and Stone (1992),observed that ‘managers, supervisors, human resource specialists, employers and citizens in general are concerned with ways of improving job satisfaction’. They all agree that job satisfaction is the driver for job performance. In their contribution, Judge, Hanisch and Drankoski (1995), advised that it is imperative for human resource managers to beware of those aspects within an organization that might impact employee’s job satisfaction, and enhance them. The reason is that in the long run the results will be fruitful for both the organizations and employees. Any well-managed organization usually sees an average worker as the root source of quality and productivity gains. Such organizations do not look to capital investments; but to employees, as the fundamental source of improvement. An organization is effective to the degree to which it achieves its goals. An effective organization will always ensure that there is a strong spirit of cooperation and sense of commitment and job satisfaction within the sphere of its influence. And in order to make employees satisfied and committed to their jobs in any academic and research libraries, there is need for strong and effective motivation at the various levels, departments, sections and units of such libraries.
Motivation is a basic psychological process. As Miner, Ebrahimi and Wachtel (1995), once analyzed, competitiveness problems appear to be largely motivational in nature. Along with perception, personality, attitudes and learning, motivation is a very important element of behaviour. According to Luthans (1998), motivating is the management process of influencing behaviors based on the knowledge of what make the people tick. And as Luthans (1998), further added both motivation and motivating deal with the range of conscious human behaviors somewhere between the two extremes below:
- Reflex actions such as a sneeze or flutter of the eyelids; and
- Learned habits such as brushing one’s teeth or handwriting style.
Luthans (1998), equally added that motivation is the process that arouses, energizes, directs and sustains behaviors and performance. This is to add, it is the process of stimulating people to action and to achieve a desired task. And one way of stimulating people is to employ effective motivation; which can make the staff to feel more satisfied and committed to their jobs. From the fore-going therefore, one can say then that money is not the only motivation.
Even though motivation has been commonly assumed to be a good thing, one cannot feel very good about oneself if one is not motivated. Motivation is one of the several factors that go into a staff’s performance in the academic libraries. Other factors may include: benefits, rewards, co-workers’ behaviour, prompt payment of salaries, in-service training and promotion opportunities.
As Olajide (2000),puts it motivation can be conceived of as whatever it takes to encourage any staff to perform by fulfilling or appealing to their needs. He further opines that motivation should be goal-directed; and therefore cannot be outside the goals of any organization whether public, private or non-profit.
Unfortunately, these criteria are often not considered when it comes to motivating the staff in our academic libraries. Specific employee’s attitudes relating to job satisfaction and organizational commitment are of major interest to the field of organizational behaviors and the practice of human resources management.
Attitude has direct impact on job satisfaction. Organizational commitment on the other hand focuses on their attitudes towards the entire organization. Although a strong relationship between satisfaction and commitment has been identified, more recent researches seem to give more support to the idea that commitment often causes satisfaction.
The way librarians in academic and research institutions perceive motivation greatly influences their level of job satisfaction and commitment. While job satisfaction has been the topic of many studies, this work intends to present fresh information and a new perspective; describing motivation and job satisfaction of librarians; particularly in the context of academic institutional libraries in Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Until very recently, many staff in academic institutional libraries in Akwa Ibom State were noted for always being absent on their duty posts. Some of those found were equally seen providing services far below the demands of their jobs.This;as Ebru(1995),observed was either due to the fact that these staff were not satisfied with their monthly package or that their employers hardly encouraged them with necessary incentives given to staff in other organizations. Managers and management researchers have long believed that organizational goals are unattainable without the enduring commitment of members of the organization. As Stoke (1999), puts it, motivation is a human psychological characteristics that contributes to a person’s degree of commitment. It includes such factors that cause, channel, and sustain human behaviour in a particular committed direction.
Locke and Lathans (1976) gave a comprehensive definition of job satisfaction as pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experience. Job satisfaction is a result employee’s perception of how well their job provides those things that are viewed as important. According to Mitchell and Lason (1987), it is generally recognized in the organizational behaviour field that job satisfaction is the most important and frequently studied attitude. While Lathan (1998) posited that there are three important dimensions to job satisfaction:
- Job satisfaction is an emotional response to a job situation. As such it cannot be seen; but can only be inferred.
- Job satisfaction is often determined by how well outcome meet or exceed expectations. For instance, if organization participants feel that they are working much harder than others in the department but are receiving fewer rewards, they will probably have a negative attitude towards the work, the boss and even their co-workers. And on the other hand, if they feel they are being treated very well and being paid equitably, they are likely to have positive attitudes towards their job.
- Job satisfaction represents several related attitudes which are most important characteristics of a job about which people have effective response. These, to Lathans (1998), include: the work itself, wages/salaries,rewards,co-workers’attitudes,benefits and promotion.
As Ebru (1995), also observes, job satisfaction of any academic librarian naturally depends on the economic, social and cultural conditions in a given country. A librarian who can not get a sufficient wage will be faced with the problem of maintaining his or her family’s life. And this problem puts the librarian far from being satisfied. Social facilities (transportation services and consumer cooperatives-cash boxes) are sufficient because of the economic conditions-low wages and lack of status and social security equally affect motivation. Job satisfaction of the librarian who has an important place in the information society will affect the quality of the service he renders. In this respect, according to Ebru (1995), the question of how the material and moral element affect the job satisfaction of the academic librarians gains importance.
Equally, job satisfaction as Lovinson (1997) and Moser (1997), observed is so important in that its absence often leads to lethargy and reduced organizational commitment. Infact, lack of job satisfaction, as observed by Alexander, Lichtenstein and Hallmann (1997); Jamal (1997) is also a predictor of quitting a job. Sometimes, workers may quit from public to the private sector and vice versa. And at other times, the movement is from one profession to another often considered a greener pasture. This, according to Nwagwu (1997),is common in countries grappling with dwindling economy and its concomitant; such as poor conditions of service and late payment of salaries. In such countries, people tend to migrate to better and consistently paying jobs. Explaining its nature, scholars like Armentor and Forsyth (1995), Flanegan, Johnson and Berret (1996);and Kadushin and Kulys (1995),tend to agree that job satisfaction is essentially controlled by factors in Adeyemo’s (2000)perspectives as external to the worker. And from this viewpoint as Osagbemi (2000) also noted, satisfaction on a job might be motivated by the nature of the job, its pervasive social climate and extent to which workers’ peculiar needs are met. Working conditions that are similar to local and international standard, and the extent to which they resemble work conditions of other professions in the locality. Bolarin (1993), Gemenxhenandez, et al (1997), added other conditions as availability of power and status, pay satisfaction, promotion opportunities and task clarity. MacDonald (1996) and O’Toole (1980) argue in favour of the control of job satisfaction by factors intrinsic to the workers. Their arguments are based on the idea that workers deliberately decide to find satisfaction in their jobs and perceive them as worthwhile.
Vinokur, Jayarantne and Chess (1994), in their study on job satisfaction and librarianship seem to consistently show that there is a relationship between professional status and the job satisfaction. They maintained that high levels of job satisfaction are observed in those professions that are of good standing in the society.
Wood and Kulkarni (1983) have equally shown meaningful influences of job satisfaction on wages/salaries, rewards, co-workers attitudes, benefits and promotion.
Nkereuwem (1990), observes, if properly and adequately motivated, staff in all the academic libraries would be more committed to their jobs. Having therefore exhaustively made a search of literature on the subject matter, it becomes obvious to the researcher that there has been little or no study on factors which can motivate staff in academic institutional libraries in Akwa Ibom state. In view of this, are staff in academic institutional libraries in Akwa Ibom State adequately motivated for the enhancement of their job satisfaction. This study seeks to identify and examine these motivational factors as they influence job satisfaction of staff in academic institutional libraries in Akwa Ibom State.