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Managing Performance / Setting Goals

Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour in the University System: the Registry Experience

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INTRODUCTION

In every organization, there are three major resources to be managed if the organization wants to achieve its objectives and goals. These resources are Humans, materials and financial resources. And out of these three, human resource management is the most important and difficult to manage. The reason being that every human being is born unique and therefore is bound to have different characteristics– that is, the ways they think feel reason and act. Secondly, human beings control and coordinate the other resources. They constitute the workforce of an organization and are referred to as personnel. Since human nature plays a very major part in the overall success of an organization, it is therefore important to have an effective working relationship between the employee and the manager as this is essential for the success of the organization.

Human Resource Management, which involves the efficient and effective management within an organization, is one of the vital functions of Educational Administrators. This is because every administrator has a function to perform through his staff and his own abilities. Every university like other formal organizations needs human beings to execute its programmes and achieve educational goals and objectives. To be able to achieve this, the Registrar who is the ‘chief of administration’ has to ensure that personnel with whom he works knows what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Another name for human resource management is personnel management. No matter the name we chose to call it, its basic function is to deal with people who make up an organization. And these people have diverse interest, goals and values.

Akpakwu (2003), regards personnel management as the proper utilization of the people in an organization towards achieving their needs and organizational goals. To this extent, it involves understanding the nature of people in an organization, their needs and aspiration and evolving the necessary strategies to accomplish these needs and aspirations. It also involves identifying the objectives of the organization and creating a conducive atmosphere towards leading staff to achieving the goals of the organization. Armstrong in Akpakwu (2003), sees personnel management as the process of obtaining, organizing and motivating the human resources needed in by an organization. He advocated for the creation of a very conducive and cordial environment in order to satisfy the needs of the workers and achieve organizational goals. Denga (1990), on the other hand, regards Human management as an exercise in human engineering. People have needs, problems, feelings temperament etc which they come along with to these institutions. What ever name it is called, human resource management is the responsibility of all those who manage people. The administrative manager must therefore find ways of satisfying these needs in such a way that the individual, organization and society’s objectives are achieved.

FUNCTIONS OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

The primary responsibility of a human resource manager is to ensure that human resources are utilized and managed as efficiently and effectively as possible. To this end, the university chief administrator is required meet the following objectives:

1. Recruitment and selection, developing the work place required by the organization.

2. Helping in creating a working environment that is conducive for his members of staff so as to promote maximum contentment thereby motivating them.

3. Ensuring that the abilities and skills of the workforce are used to the optimum in pursuance of the university’s mission and mandate.

4. Ensuring a fair balance between the personal needs of staff and the needs of the Registry and the university in general.

The effectiveness and of any organization is dependent on the efficient use of its resources particularly the human resource. Human resource functions can be generally classified into three basic functions namely:-

1. Personal utilization to meet organizational needs

2. Motivation of employees to meet their needs and organizational needs

3. Maintenance of human relationships.

Other human resource management functions include :-

1. Recruitment and Selection:- This involves searching for a suitable person to fill the vacant position. In the registry department, the least qualification for an administrative secretary is a bachelor’s degree. The basic goal of staffing is to locate qualified applicant who will stay with the organization.

2. Training and Education:- This involves developing staff to professional growth. In the Registry department, training involves induction of new employees, formal training of staff which may include on the job training.

3. Wages and salary Administration:- This refers to the financial benefits that are given to staff for the jobs they have performed. In the university administration, fixing of salaries is a continuous exercise as position and posts keep changing due to growth and functional advancement.

4. Staff Appraisals:- This is the continuous process of feed back to subordinates about how well they have performed on their jobs. In the registry department, members of staff are formally appraised annually by their immediate supervisors and the evaluation ratified by the Appointments and promotions committee.

5. Welfare:- In University administration, the main purpose of welfare is to provide assistance to members of staff and also encourage a positive relationship between staff and the university by providing extra security comforts.

6. Trade Union Relations: – According to Akpakwu (2003), trade unions are “sounding boards” for policies and decisions affecting staff. In university administration, joint committees comprising management team and trade unions have proved to be effective in resolving conflicts. Trade Unions champion the problems and grievances of their members with the view of improving the welfare of their members.

The functions of chief administrative officer in the university are many. Generally though, he is to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and report activities in relation to staff under him.

ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

All organizations including educational institutions are made up of people who chose to work in it primarily because it enables them to satisfy at least some of their personal needs. Virtually everybody works, plays or is educated in an organization. Attempt must be made to define what an organization is. Ede (2000), defines organization as a system of consciously coordinated activities which are deliberately structured for the purpose of realizing specific goals. Dale (1978), views organization thus: “Whenever several people are working together for a common end, there must be some form of organization: that is the task must be divided among them and the work of the group must be coordinated. Dividing the work and arranging for coordination make up the process of organization and once that is completed, the group may be described as an organization.”

According to Unachukwu (1997), the more complex an organization is, the more difficult it is to coordinate activities, predict events or phenomena and attain set objectives maximally. We can therefore view organizational behaviour as the systematic study of the nature of organizations; how they begin, how they develop and their effects on individual members. It is also a systematic attempt to understand the behaviour of people in an organization; not just human behaviour but structural behaviour, elements behaviour, systems behaviour and even policy behaviour. Thus for staff in the registry department of the university to function efficiently and effectively, the Registrar must understand the nature of people he is working with and be abl
e to interpret their behaviours. Organizational behaviour follows the principle of human beha
viour: People in an organization are governed by the same psychological mechanisms both on the job and outside the job. Organizational behaviour is human behaviour in a particular setting. The behaviour of an individual in an organization is determined to some extent by internal and external factors. These include learning ability, motivation, perception, attitude, emotions, frustration etc. while the external factors include stress, reward system, degree of trust, group cohesiveness, social factors, office policies etc. Organizational behaviour can also be situational. An individual’s behaviour cannot be disassociated from the situation he finds himself. For example, a normally calm individual is forced into constant close physical aggressiveness with some other people. The behaviour of that individual is therefore a function of interaction between his characteristics and other environmental variables. Organizations are seen as complex systems consisting of interrelated subsistence. Changes or alteration in any part of the system have consequences on other part of the system. Modification in the system leads to desired positive changes called functions. Negative consequences in response to alteration or change in the system are called dysfunction. Therefore the behaviour of an individual is borne out of the decisions that have been taken in an organization.

Organizations represent constant interaction between structure and process. To get an assignment accomplished in an organization, we need to define who does what. Structures refer to organizational shapes, definitions and rules. It is what binds an organization together. Process is the sequence of activity in the system. Decision Making, Communication, Leadership and Conflict are few examples of the many processes that take place within an organization. Ocho (1997), aptly suggests that human beings in an organization need to be constantly motivated for adequate production and commitment. Consequently, the primary responsibility of the Registrar is to ensure that human resources are utilized and managed effectively and efficiently to meet the university goals.

HUMAN RELATIONS APPROACH TO MANAGEMENT

Good human relations in an organization, for it to function effectively and efficiently cannot be over-emphasized. It provides knowledge on how people interact and respond in different organizational situations in an effort to satisfy their needs and in the process meet organizational goals. The chief administrator’s ability to understand his staff and their problems, and his belief in and the practice of democratic leadership will go a long way to make him succeed in his supervisory and administrative task. The effective operation of any organization depends on the Human Resources in that organization. Unachukwu (1997), implicitly states that Educational Administration is concerned with the mobilization of the efforts of people for the achievement of educational objectives. It is therefore imperative that the Registrar cultivates the habits of Human Relations in his odious administrative task. Edem (1987), observed that the difference between the ideas of the Efficiency movement and those of the Human Relations movement was that of the former emphasizing getting most out of the worker, even to the extent of requiring him to subordinate his interest and needs of those in the organization, while the latter emphasized the humanitarian aspects which sought to satisfy the needs of the worker, minimize his frustrations and increase the level of job satisfaction.

According to Mary Follet,(1964), a prominent pioneer of the Human Relations movement in the National Society For The Study of Education, she stated that the real service for business men is no t just the production and distribution of manufactured articles, but to give an opportunity for individual development and self-actualization through better organization of human relationships. The process of production is as important for the welfare of society as the product of production. Follet perceives administration as a shared responsibility, asserting that organizational structures should permit a free interplay of ideas in order to minimize the rigidity of hierarchical structures; but warned that shared responsibility should not be construed as being synonymous with laissez-faire and absence of focal points of reference.

Unachukwu (1997), itemized the human relations movement stress as thus:

1. Human relations focus on workers as human beings rather than as

producers.

11. It focuses on the development of morale and individual.

111. Human relations emphasize paying attention to workers as human

beings in an informal associations within an organization.

1V. Human Relations led to the policy of consultation of participation by

Workers.

V. Human Relations approach led to the diffusion of authority which led to

a wider participation in decision making. It led to a decentralized

approach to organization rather than centralization. This explains why

committees are used as tools for decision making.

MOTIVATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Without human resource, there can be no organization. These human resources are in two categories: Management and Subordinates.

Okonkwo (1997), is of the view that workers and their needs should be uppermost in the minds of the leadership of any organization. In other words, poor management of human resources in an organization will lead to ineffectiveness or collapse of the organization. Edem (1998), states that the Barnard-Simon theory of motivation recognizes the relationship between the satisfaction by organizations of the needs of workers and the workers productivity. The theory assumes that workers will perform satisfactorily well if their needs are met. Nwankwo (1982), opines that the more the needs of workers are satisfied within the organization, the more they are motivated to work and thus satisfy the needs of the organization. To motivate a worker therefore is to propel, impel and energize him into action that will lead eventually to the achievement of organizational goals. Thus motivation is primarily concerned with spending effort towards a goal. Leavitt (1972), provided motivation model from three basic premises:-

(I) Behaviour is caused: The things we do, do not just happen. There

always underlying factors

(11) Behaviour is directed: In the ultimate sense, there aimless behaviour.

(111) Behaviour is motivated: Underlying what we do are motives and

drives which provide us with the energy to attain goals or at least to

move in the direction of goals.

These three premises help a lot in understanding the behaviour of workers in an organization. When Adam Smith conceptualized the economic basis of human motivation, it was his opinion that people work primarily for money and are unconcerned about social feelings, and are motivated to do only that which provides them with them with the greatest reward. This approach has been criticized because its view of man is dehumanizing. Money may not be the only primary source of rewarding behaviour in an organization as there is limit to which money can be used in motivating workers. According to Argyle (1972), People can become committed to the goals of the organization as a result of participating in decision making in their work place or co-partnership schemes or through their relationships with groups or supervisors. Commitment could also come through the job itself. For example through ones achievements, recognition, responsibility and professional growth. All these are motivators that would energize human resources to meet organizational goals and objectives. The ability of the educational manager to therefore plan and organize human resources effectively, motivate and control the staff is crucial to the effective and efficient management of the university
. This is because good human resource management practice not
only helps in attracting and retaining the best of staff, but also motivating them to outstanding work performance. Lack of motivation in work situations has serious effect on job satisfaction and when job satisfaction is absent, the worker might soon leave the organization. Saiyadanin (1999), supporting states that advancement or changing one’s status reflects when this growth is not experienced, the staff member becomes frustrated and dissatisfied.

CONCLUSION

Basically, the Registrar who is the Chief Administrative Manager deals with human beings at various levels. Administration at all levels involves effective planning, organizing, supervising, controlling and evaluating. It is therefore his duty too co-ordinate all activities in the registry to meet the university’s mission and mandate. Attempt has been made to understand the meaning of human resource management as the understanding of human behaviours, their needs, aspiration in an organization and developing strategies to accomplish these needs and aspirations. Knowing that if these needs are neglected, it could lead to failure in achieving set goals for the university system. This paper has also shown that organizational behaviour is not just the study of the systems, processes, and structures in an organization. But also the systematic study of individuals’ behaviour in an organization. It should be understood that these individuals work with external and internal environments which are psychological and sociological in nature. University administrators should therefore deal with staff individually and collectively with a view of understanding them deeply. To this end, it has therefore becomes necessary for university registrars to advocate the use of good human relations so as to ensure effective and efficient administration in universities. This paper has also traced the need to motivate workers not only through monetary means but also to recognize the individual’s worth and enhance their feeling of responsibility and achievements

References

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Akpakwu A.O.(2003), Human Resource Management Towards Stable Higher Institutions. ‘Benue State University Of Education Journal, Vol4 No.1

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Awka. Meks Publishers

Saiyadain M.S.(1999), Human Resource Management. New Delhi: Tata McGraw – Hill publishing company.

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