Employee participation is creating an environment in which people have an impact on decision and actions that affect their jobs. Employee participation is not the goal nor is it a tool, as practiced in Nigerian Public sectors. Rather, employee participation is a management and leadership philosophy about how people are most enabled to contribute to continuous improvement and the on going success of the public sectors. Anyanwuocha (2003) explained that public sector are government or state owned business organizations, which are usually set up by act of legislation, with the main aim of maximizing public welfare. Moving decision making power downward in public sector is at the core of what employee participation is all about. Teams are a potentially powerful way to move power downward. The employee participation have also been implemented in the Nigerian public sectors in order to motivate the employees by involving them with the management for taking serious decisions about the public sector.

Research on employee participation begun to provide information on the number and types of programmes that exist, their 10

structure and their effects on a variety of social-psychological, production and economic issues in the public sector. To date, little is known about the financial condition of the Nigerian public sectors with employee participation in decision making. Although the popular literature suggest that employee participation in decision making has been implemented in the Nigerian public sector in distress and has been effective in restoring financial health.


It should be recent that a decision is a choice whereby a person forms a conclusion about a situation. Gostell L. Wand Zalkind S.S. (1963) defined the term decision making as a choice process, choosing one from among several possibilities. This depicts a course of behaviour about what must be done or vice versa. Decision however translated into concrete action. Planning engenders decision guided by company policy and objectives, policies, procedures and programmes.

The aim of decision making is to channel human behaviour towards a future goal. Decision-making is however one of the most important activities of management. It has been the pre-occupation of all management of multifarious organization to multi-national corporations. Managers often consider decision making to be the heart of their job in that they must always choose what is done, who will do it, when, where and most of the time how it will be done. Traditionally, managers influence the ordinary employers and specifically their immediate subordinate in the organization. This has resulted in managers‟ unnatural decision even in areas affecting their subordinates. In Germany around 1951 a law was enacted which provides for code termination and requires labour membership in the supervisory board and executive committee of certain large corporation enabling subordinates to participate in decision making process resulted to relatively and peaceful labour management relations. The basic concept involves any power-sharing arrangement in which workplace influence is shared among individuals who are otherwise hierarchical unequals. Such power-sharing arrangements may entail various employee involvement schemes resulting in co-determination of working conditions, problem solving and decision making.

It is in this context the researcher wishes to assess the “impact of employee participation in decision making in Nigerian public 12

sector” using Power Holdings Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Enugu as a case study.


There has been a lot of controversy as to whether an employee should participate in management decision making or not. Some writers argued that employees should contribute in making decision more especially where it affects them or their jobs. It is expected that such participation will serve as training and testing ground for future members of upper management. In Nigeria, experts that refuted the above assertion see the arrangement as a symptom of mal-organization. They maintained that qualified, reasonable, honest and company oriented individuals are not available at these lower organizational levels. But the big question is, are skilled individuals really available? All these underlay the need for an investigative study.


The general purpose of this empirical study is to assess the employee‟s participation in managerial decision making in public sector organization in Nigeria with reference to Power Holding Company of Nigeria Enugu. The specific objectives are;

1) To asses the impact of employee participation in management decision making.

2) To determine the impact of employee participation and non-participation in management decision on productivity of the Nigerian Public Sector.

3) To make recommendations based on the research findings.


It is expected that the study will inform the management of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Enugu that to increase productivity and to ensure harmony between management and the workers, there is need for employees participation in decision making in the organization as it is a good motivation factor. It will also help develop and maintain a quality work life, which will provide an opportunity for employees job satisfaction and self-actualization. It will also aid management of Power Holding Company of Nigeria to introduce modern schemes for good relationship with their workers, to enable them meet the challenges of change in the future.

Finally, this work is also beneficial to the Nigerian Public Sector in general and also important to government, academic potential and future researchers on the issue of employees participation in decision making. 14


The study is limited as it looks at the impact of employees participation in decision making in Nigerian Public Sectors, A case study of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Enugu. Power Holding Company of Nigeria is typical of public sector, but it has the responsibility of providing the citizenry with power (electricity). And it holds a large population of employees.


In the process of carrying out this project work, the researcher was confronted with many challenges and limitations which are as follows: Time: There was time constraint for the research project and within the time specified, the normal lecturer were also in progress, therefore, the researcher was faced with a lot of stress to combine the research work with her personal affairs and running from one lecture to another. The effect of this work was that the period the researcher was supposed to spend on findings and data collection was limited and as a result more quality work was hindered.

Finance: The researcher was also faced with financial problems. Researcher work is very tedious because it requires running from one place to another in search of information, books, Journals, paper 15

and reports must be consulted but are not always available within, there was the need to travel to gather some of the materials which involved money. Also the researcher printed questionnaires which was distributed to the staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (Enugu) which also involved money.

Quality of Information: The analysis of the data in chapter four is based on the information provided by the staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Enugu. After administering questionnaires, it was expected that the information needed will be provided by both the senior and junior staff of the company. The junior staff were reluctant to provide some of the important information needed. This was on the ground that such information are very secret, and it is called industrial espionage. This challenge also affected the quality of information provided for the research findings.

1.7 RESEARCH QUESTIONS In a view accomplishing this research work effectively, the researcher poses the following:

1) Does management make decision without pre decision and consultation with employees?

2) Does management change decision when rejected by employees?

3) To what extent do employees participate in decision making?

4) How often do employees meet to discuss with managers?

1.8 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS The researcher formulates the following based on the objectives and problems of this research work. Hi: Employees participation serves as a training and testing ground for future members of upper management. Ho: Employees participation does not serve as a training and testing ground for future members of upper management. Hi: Lack of qualified and company oriented individuals undermine employees participation in decision making at lower organizational levels. Ho: Lack of qualified and company oriented individuals does not undermine employees participation in decision making at lower organizational levels. Hi: Availability of skilled individuals in public sectors decision making promotes productivity. 17

Ho: Availability of skilled individuals in public sectors decision making does not promote productivity.


1) DECISION MAKING: The selection from among alternative a course of action.

2) MANAGEMENT: Management can be defined as an art of science of achieving the objective of a business in the most efficient way. It is made up of top and middle level management. Top management include: share holders, Board of Director, Managing Directors or the Chief Executive/General Manager above department level. middle level managers include: level of department manager, deputy and assistant managers.

3) PRODUCTIVITY: A measure of how well resources are brought together in organization and utilized for accomplishing a set of result.

4) PUBLIC SECTOR: This is an organization that is owned and managed by Government.

5) EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATION: This is creating an environment in which people have an impact on decisions and actions that affect their jobs in the organization. 18



The Neoclassical theorists recognized the importance of individual or group behaviour and emphasized human relations. Based on the Hawthorne experiments, the neoclassical approach emphasized social or human relationships among the operations, researchers and supervisors (Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1943) it was argued that these considerations were more consequential in determining productivity than mere changes in working conditions. Productivity increase were achieved as a result of high morale, which was influenced by the amount of individual personal and intimate attention workers received through participation in managerial decision making. The classical approach stressed the formal organization. It was mechanic and ignored major aspects of human nature. In contrast, the neoclassical approach introduced an informal organizational structure and emphasized the following principles.

1) Individual: An individual is not a mechanical tool but a distinct social being with aspirations beyond mere fulfillment of a few economic and security works. Individuals differ from each other in pursuing these desires. Thus, an individual should be recognized as interacting with social and economic factors.

2) The work Group: The neoclassical approach highlighted the social facets of work groups or informal organizations that operate within a formal organization. The concept of „group‟ and it‟s synergistic benefits were considered important.

3) Participative Management: Participative management or decision making permits workers/employees to participate in decision making process. This was a new form of management to ensure increase in productivity.

The system approach views organizations as a system composed or interconnected and thus mutually dependent – subsystem. These sub-system can be perceived as composed of some components, function and process Albrecht (1983). Thus, the organization consists of the following basic elements. Bakke, (1969). i) Components: There are 5 basic interdependent parts of the organizing system namely: a) Individual b) The formal and informal organization 20

  1. c) Patterns of behaviour emerging from role demands of the organizations. d) Role comprehension of the individual e) The physical environment in which individuals work. ii) Linking Processes: The different components of an organization are required to operate in an organized and correlated manner. The interaction between them is contingent upon the linking processes which consist of communication, balance and decision making.
  2. a) Communication: Is a means for eliciting action, enacting control and effecting coordination to link decision centre in the system in a composite form.
  3. b) Balance: Is the equilibrium between different parts of the system so that they keep a harmoniously structured relationship with one another.
  4. c) Decision Analysis is also considered a linking process in the system approach. Decision may be to produce or participate in the system. Decision to produce depends upon the attitude of individuals and the demands of the organization. Decision to participate refers to the individuals decision toengross themselves in the organization process, that depends on what they get what they are expected to do in participative decision making.

Conclusively, these theories are of the opinion that workers/ employees should be seen as human beings with social and economic needs and as such be allowed to participate in managerial decision making as it affects them.

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