AGE, GENDER, AND YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AS PREDICTORS OF JOB PERFORMANCE AMONG NON-ACADEMIC STAFF ADMINISTRATORS IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

RESEARCH PROPOSAL

1.1       Background to the Study

Job performance is among the most explored concepts in employee and organizational research (Bardett & McKinney, 2004). Researchers have taken special interest in job performance because of its humanitarian, hypothetical, and fiscal significance to an organization (Balzer et al., 1997). There is, however, a lack of job performance research focused on university non-academic staff employees, a group many universities rely upon for the management of their daily operations.

Age variables have received of attention of scholars over the past few years, and there has been a good deal of research that has demonstrated significant relationships between various personality facets including age and job performance. More recent studies have focused on which specific aspects of age are most predictive of job performance, with a particular focus on those nearing retirement (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). Age, in this sense refers to both young adults who are energetic as well as those nearing retirement age and how it affects their job performance.

In Nigeria, retirement has traditionally been associated with a permanent exit from the workforce around the age of 65. Most government and private pensions take effect at this age making retirement a viable option for older employees. However, as changes have occurred in society so has the nature of retirement. As a result, more and more people are choosing to retire before the age of 65 (Dada and Idowu, 2006). Explanations for the increase in early retirement have stemmed from a number of changes including shifts in workforce demographics, advances in technology, fluctuations in the economy, and progress in legislation. Some of these factors have reduced the demand for older workers, making early retirement an attractive option. For instance, increases in the number of youths and women, entering the labour force have resulted in the displacement of many older workers. Technological changes have also made some of their skills obsolete. For these individuals, taking early retirement might be a better option than competing with a younger, more diverse workforce for jobs or finding ways to update their skills. This, however, have direct effect on the performance of workers in the university setting.

Research on the relationship between gender and job performance indicates that organizational policies on women contribute to cultural biases and values which invariably affect their performance in the work place (Cascio & Aguinis, 2005). In most cases, these original rules, policies, and practices have been modified very little to account for the enormous influx of diversity into the workplace, resulting in reduced opportunities for the women in the organization. Gender could affect the job performance of administrators in the university (Kawakami, White, & Langer, 2000). A key premise of the current research is that job performance can be affected by the combined effects of gender-role stereotypes held by job raters thereby creating negative consequences for job performance among non-academic women  in the university.

Research on years of experience of workers reveals that it is a good predictor of job performance among non-academic staff in universities (Culp, 2005). Higher education institutions of all types and sizes are being encouraged to be diverse and retain those with a vast  years of experience in the administrative field. According to Culp (2005), this will make the institution to be more to be accessible and to offer quality programs in order to meet the needs and wants of their students. Although differences are evident between federal, state and privately owned private universities in Nigeria, institutions still must encourage all departments on campus to enhance their programs and improve effectiveness and help build awareness and pride among the staff and students. Having a thorough understanding of how higher education administrators function helps universities and colleges identify what departmental programs and services have the greatest amount of influence on the overall productivity of the college campus.

Studying job performance allows campus administrators to identify what long-established institutional behaviors and actions give them satisfaction in their work performance. Performance in the workplace should instill a positive work environment and continue to impede adaptability and positive change (Sopow, 2006). If campus administrators are to assume responsibility for managing their work environment, further research is needed to assess the relationship between age, gender, and years of experiences of campus administrator‘s  and their job performance.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Over the years, higher education has experienced a major transformation in its overall complexity, diversity, and significance. Universities and colleges have had to adapt to a variety of issues and conditions that require higher education administrators to be innovative and resourceful when developing strategies that increase academic achievement and student learning. In order to balance internal and external pressures for student learning strategies it has become important that higher education administrators continue to explore what academic and administrative functions impact students on a university campus. Given these expectations for student learning, higher education administrators have developed, maintained, and enhanced institutional quality and effectiveness. Having administrators identify and evaluate what institutional programs and services create a social and intellectual environment for students helps to build a successful institutional climate and culture.

1.3         Purpose of the Study

The general aim of this research is to examine the age, gender, and years of experiences as predictors of job performance among non-academic staff administrators using Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun as case study. To achieve this aim, the following objectives were set:

  1.  To Find out whether age predicts job performance among administrators
  2.  Find out if gender of the administrator has any relationship with job performance in the workplace
  3.  Find out if years of experience may affect the job performance of administrators at the workplace
  4.  To find out if job performance may depend on such factors as age, gender and years of experience of administrators.

1.4       Research Question

The research will answer the question:

  1.  Is there any significant difference between age of administrators and their job performance in the workplace?
  2.  Is there any significant difference between gender of administrators and their job performance in the workplace?
  3.  Is there any significant difference between years of experience and their job performance in the workplace?
  4.  What impact does age, gender and years of experience of administrators have on their job performance

 1.5       Research Hypotheses

Ho1 There is no statistically significant difference between the age of administrators and their job performance in the workplace

Ho2 There is no statistically significant difference gender of administrators and their job performance in the workplace

Ho3 There is no statistically significant difference between years of experience and their job performance in the workplace

Ho4 There is no statistically significant difference age, gender and years of experience of administrators and their job performance

1.6       Scope of the Study

            This study centers on the correlation between age, gender, and years of experiences and job performance among non-academic staff administrators using Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun as case study. Forty non-academic members of staff of TASUED will be randomly selected as respondents. The study covers eight years (2005 to 2013) period.

1.7       Limitations of the Study

Apart from short of fund and timeframe to conduct the study, this study is further limited by the following factors:

  1.  An attitudinal scale is going to be used by the researcher to measure job performance in the study. Opinions and perceptions of university administrators may change with time and may be affected by non-work variables. In addition, an employee‘s work environment, individual responsibilities, and positions may change. Therefore, levels of job performance may change.
  2.  Findings are going to be based on self-reported responses to the job performance questionnaire and, therefore, rely on the accurate self-assessment, honesty, and motivation of responders.
  3. Testing job performance over an extended period of time among members of staff in the university will be limited to five years study, despite that most members of non-academic staff of the university were formerly members of staff in the then Tai Solarin College of Education, Ijagun.

1.8       Significance of the Study

This will aid our knowledge about job performance and how various factors affect the performance of non academic administrative staff in higher institution in Nigeria. It will also show why there is need for the government and the institutions to develop effective communication on organizing seminars and workshops for administrators to enable them perform better at their workplace.

This study will bring about understanding with regard to what problems administrators encounter in performing their duties at the workplace. This will then allow the development of improved strategies of help or intervention either by the government, corporate institutions, the universities societies, groups and individuals on solving those problems.

This study is deemed important given the scarcity of adequate literature or studies on the relationship between the age, gender and years of experience as predictors of job performance among non-academic staff in Nigerian universities.

Lastly, it will serve as a contribution to knowledge in the subject area. In  this  regard,  it  will  be  useful  for  other  researchers  who might want to carry out research in related areas.

1.9       Operational Definition of Terms

Examination: examination is a way to ascertain how much of a subject matter in a particular field of study the candidate has mastered. In other words, it is a process through which studies are evaluated or tested to find out the quality of knowledge they have acquired within a specific period.

Age: the chronological age of a person

Gender: the state of a being female or male

Job Performance: Job performance is a commonly used, yet poorly defined concept in industrial and organizational psychology, the branch of psychology that deals with the workplace. It’s also part of Human Resources Management. It most commonly refers to whether a person performs their job well.

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THE IMPACT OF TEACHERS’ TEACHING METHODS ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS IN IJEBU-ODE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OGUN STATE

1.1        Background to the Study

Research on teaching methods has for long been of interest to educationists. However, some studies have been carried out on certain aspects of the programme but have not investigated the academic performance of pupils in Nursery and Primary level of education in the use of some specific teaching methods.

Research evidence shows that the challenges confronting the nursery and primary school teachers are basically on the methods of imparting the knowledge. It was argued by Adufe (2008) that teaching is based on methods which at the long run bring about effective teaching.

Teaching, according to Oladipo and Ayeni (2000) involves bringing about or at least facilitating desirable changes in learners. However, effective teaching requires the teacher to step out of the realm of personal experience and step into the world of the learners. (Brown, 1997). It is the learner who must be engage for learning to occur, the learner is the one who must take the commitment to learn.

Instruction is the transmission to the learner and the acquisition by him on specific skills, information, knowledge or other established data. The mode of instruction or teaching applied in achieving these objectives is referred to as method. Methodology therefore, refers to the processes and techniques a teacher of either nursery or primary education uses to transmit facts, skills, information and knowledge to the learners so as to facilitate the accomplishment of the set objectives.

Research evidence shows that the major problem in the nursery and primary schools is the method of imparting knowledge. To this Adepoju (2006) citing Kernest and Levin (1973) revealed the difficulties children of some ages (usually nursery and primary level) encountered when they are instructed using verbal approach. This is also confirmed as the study carried out in Nigeria by Busari (1991) revealed that the method presently employed in teaching, in most of our public primary schools is inadequate or not effective.

It is of a necessity that a skillful teacher needs to be conversant with various teaching strategies which may be applied to subjects at different class situations. Adufe (2008) affirms that many methods of teaching exist in education and these methods are meant to make teacher succeed in their bid to disseminate knowledge.

However, the success in the use of any method differs as a result of an intelligent analysis of the objectives, the pupils in class, the curriculum content or the type of subject matter.

Also, the impact of any teaching method is not only limited to the conditions surrounding the teaching but also the advantages and the disadvantages of a particular method in a particular situation should not be left out.

          Every profession has a method or set of methods it employs to disseminate its intent to the young ones waiting to enter the profession. Any discussion on teaching methodologies must take cognizance of the whole teaching process. In an effort to transmit knowledge to learners, a teacher adopts or employs some strategies, techniques, means or measures.

          This means or measures adopted by a teacher to transfer knowledge to learners is known as ‘method’. A method then is defined as the overall strategies, processes, means and techniques employed by a teacher to enable him achieve his objectives.

          Given the over-abundance of supply of methods, teachers are still faced with the problems of choice. We make choice simply because we cannot use one method in virtually all situations. Many methods of teaching exist in education. All these strategies are meant to make teacher succeed in their bid to disseminate knowledge.

Factors Determining Teaching Methods

  • The Method must be right for the Learners: Some teachers consider the selection of method as an area where they have exclusive monopoly. This conception is wrong as their selection of method would affect their learners.

Learners’ interest, age, level and weaknesses should guide the selection of the relevance method. For instance, it would be wrong of a teacher to impose the use of discussion method on any category of learners that have speech deficiency.

  • The method must be also right to the teacher: Every Teacher is a unique personality with distinct behaviour. Some teachers may function well in certain condition and situations while others may flop significantly under similar condition. For instance, some teachers are intrinsically motivated while some are extrinsically motivated.
  • The Method should be best for the Subject Matter: By subject matter, we mean the topic to be taught. No matter how good a strategy of teaching is, if the method is not in line with the topic, little or no success will be achieved.
  • The Strategy must be right for the Resources Available: By resources we mean the instructional aids or materials. The decision of a teacher to use a particular text or a reference material hinges on the availability of the text.

Adesanya (2006) also submitted some basic criteria which must be considered before the selection of any teaching methods.

  • Time Allocated: Time allocated for the subject on the timetable should be a guide in the selection of teaching methods. She further explains that a teacher who has a limited time may want to favour lecture method because of it attributes. However, lecture method is not applicable in teaching the foundational classes.

          Also, Ckenzie, et al (1980) in Adesanya (2006) argues that the objectives of the teacher should also be considered before the selection of any method. This implies that what the teacher intends to achieve at the end of the lesson should be in line with the selected method.

          As a result of these factors, it is advisable that a skillful teacher in nursery and primary level of education should consider these factors when he/she needed to achieve his/her stated objectives.

          It is however, sustained that various methods of teaching exist but there is a distinctive difference between them. There are methods used in higher education which virtually cannot be use in the lower level of education which nursery and primary education exist.

          Nursery and primary education therefore, gives room for any method which will help in facilitating the teaching and learning of a teacher and also make the stated objectives achievable.

          As a result of this, the study on the comparative study of some teaching methods and its effects on the academic performance of pupils in nursery and primary schools worth pursuing. It is hoped that the results of this study will provide evidence as to the nature of two basic teaching method virtually used in nursery and primary education (play way method and story telling method) and their distinctive approach towards the achievement of pupils in both nursery and primary school level.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

          Many methods of teaching exist in education. All the strategies are meant to make teachers succeed in their bid to disseminate knowledge. However, little are considered on some factors that are necessary before selecting the appropriate method. Also the methods used in teaching the young ones are not effective for their teaching and learning and this negate their academic performance.

1.3     Purpose of the Study

          The purpose of the study is to:

  1. Find out the factors needed to be considered before the selection of any teaching methods
  2. Analyse different methods of teaching in terms of their advantages and disadvantages
  • Compare basically two different methods of teaching and their effectiveness in classroom setting.

1.4     Research Questions

  1. What are the factors needed to be considered before the selection of a particular teaching method?
  2. Will the attitude and learning of pupils depend on these factors?
  • Is there any significant difference between the methods of teaching in Nursery and Primary schools?
  1. What effects does play way method and story telling method have on the academic performance of pupils?

1.5   Significance of the Study

        The result of this study will provide basis for effective teaching methods by Nursery and Primary school teachers to modify or reinforce pupils’ academic performance.

1.6   Scope/Delimitation

        This study will focus mainly on two method of teaching: story telling and play way methods. Moreover, their effectiveness in assisting pupils to learn in classroom situation will also be looked into. Although, the study is meant for all pupils in Ijebu-Ode Local Government, however, due to time and fund, the research will only be limited to some selected nursery and primary schools in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State.

1.7   Operational Definitions of Terms

Teaching Methods: In this study, it implies the principles and methods of instruction

Methods: A way of doing something, especially in a systematic way, it implies an orderly logical arrangement (usually in steps).

Academic Performance: Refers to how pupils deal with their studies and how they cope with different task given to them by their teachers.

Pupils: Pupils in this study refers to children who are learning in both the nursery and the primary level of education.

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