Civil Servant Indiscipline And Its Effect On Work Productivity

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Civil Servant Indiscipline And Its Effect On Work Productivity


This research presents the investigation into the effects of civil servant indiscipline on work productivity, the National Revenue Authority in Ogun State was used as the location for the study and a total of 100 staff was sampled. Data was gathered using a self -constructed questionnaire and the result gotten was analyzed using the simple percentage method. The validity and reliability of instrument were ascertained. The result of the study reveals that some civil servant come to work late and some even take their daily task for granted. The analysis also shows that political, interference influences indiscipline and also indiscipline affects work performance and productivity of the entire civil service in Ogun state, therefore the study recommends that government should ensure that public servants are well remunerated in order to maintain high morale. Motivation of workers should always be on the front burner. Motivational may not necessarily mean financial rewards. Self discipline, Self actualization and job enrichment should also be exercised by the organization management. Disciplinary cases should always be hastily disposed and anybody who is culpable should be sanctioned appropriately to serve as a deterrent to others.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

The productivity and survival of any organization depend largely on the quality of its employees and how much they are able to align themselves to the goal and policies of the organization. One of the major problems facing Nigeria civil service is how to manage the personnel by successful government in Nigeria. This is particularly important because of the level of indiscipline in Nigeria civil service is found to be responsible for low productivity in government’s desire to achieve higher living standards for the people (Adebayo, 2001). Batty (1974) argued that effective management of organizational workforce is possible only if manager adopts the correct approach to motivation, the giving of instructions and where necessary, discipline, and this requires high level cooperation from the workforce. Effective discipline depends not only on sound leadership and a good personnel policy but also on the full cooperation of employees to such policies of the organization. In a situation where the employees are not in conformity with organization rule and regulation and set standard, there will be poor performance and low level of productivity. Arowolo’s view (2010) is in line with this argument when he observes that the lack of total regard for ethical standard and rule and regulations throughout the agencies of government and civil service in Nigeria is a serious drawback. This is because civil service is one of the machinery of government saddled with the responsibility of implementing the will of the state. There is no doubt that in any dispensation in Nigeria be it military or civilian the civil service is looked upon to provide certain fundamental services for the smooth running of the government of the country. It will be worthy to note that the executive arm of the government whose responsibility is to implement all the governmental programs rely heavily on the civil service to perform this important function. However, because of the abysmal performance and indiscipline in the civil service, the civil service has been attacked by renowned administrators, bureaucratic and academicians. Unfortunately, despite the fact that much is expected from this organ of government the lackadaisical attitude with which the civil service performs its duties has generated a lot of heat for both past and successive government in Nigeria.

The origin, structure and performance of the contemporary civil service in Nigeria are highly traceable to colonial administrative formation. Civil Service in Nigeria has its origins in organizations established by the British in colonial times. The Nigerian Civil service is a body of government employees entrusted with the administration of the country, and mandated to carry out the policies of the government of the day. In other words, it is the body of civilian employees of any level of government, not subject to political appointment and removal, normally hired and promoted largely on the basis of competitive examination. Bade (2009). Major reasons for staff indiscipline in the public sector include mismanagement of conflicts, lack of better understanding of conflicts, their root causes, early signs or indicators, dynamics and the manner in which they can be prevented, brought under control and eventually resolved by the organization (Kankwenda, 2002). Yahcioglu (1996) opines that “people get involved in acts of indiscipline because their interests and values are challenged or because their needs are not meant.

Ani (1991), observes that a good number of our public servants believe that the public service belongs to our then colonial master, and as such they throw control and discipline in the service to the winds. Certain organizational factors such as control and discipline have been found by management experts and scholars to be a veritable instruments for addressing this problem of ineffective performance in the public bureaucracies. The Nigeria civil service is one of the organizations that have witnessed a variety of demeanors from the employees of the civil service units. Some of the offences that are common in the civil service include; unexcused absence, leaving without permission, dishonesty, deception of fraud, willful damage of property/ materials, fighting, insubordination, falsifying of records and so many others.

Johnson (1996:324), maintained that “every employer must have means to remove those who do not contribute to its mission”. If this is the case, the researcher is of the view that the civil service in the present time is experiencing terrible misdemeanor from its employees to the extent that the disciplinary methods or procedures seem to have no effect on them. If it has, why does the civil service have cases of frauds, truancy, absenteeism, lateness, and other general misconducts? Does it mean that control and discipline have no more relevance to the effective operation of the civil services? If it has, what effects have them on the system in the contemporary Nigeria society?

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Public/Civil Servants, in contemporary public organizations in Nigeria, exhibit discipline at a minimal level coupled with some elements of indiscipline. In this condition, for example, staff may report for duty, in time and sometimes late. On arrival, they may perform their duties without seriousness. After spending few hours on duty some of them take permission to go out of the workplace while others just sneak or vanish. Another group may go to drinking houses or beer parlors’, to return to the office only towards the closing time. Some of them may take permission to stay away from the office or workplace for a number of days for fabricated reasons. Others may just absent themselves for reasons that are far from cogent (Ochai, 1984). It is needless to say that productivity is affected negatively by these vices of staff in the public sector. According to Adebayo (2001), such acts of indiscipline include lethargy, apathy, laziness, rudeness to members of the public, malingering, presenting false sick certificates in order to go and attend to private businesses and a host of other deplorable attitudes.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main objective of this study is to find out the influence and effects of workers indiscipline on civil servant productivity: specifically the study intends to:

  1. To find out the level of indiscipline among civil servants in Nigeria
  2. To investigate the causes of indiscipline among civil servant
  3. To find the effects of indiscipline on the productivity of civil servants
  4. To find out those factors that influence productivity in the civil service

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions are formulated from the objectives to guide this study

  1. What is the level of indiscipline among civil servants in Nigeria
  2. What are the causes of indiscipline among civil servant
  3. What is the effects of indiscipline on the productivity of civil servants
  4. What are the factors that influence productivity in the civil service

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The most significance of this study is to promote productivity Nigeria Civil service. If this productivity is promoted the following people will benefit from it.

The benefit of civil servant discipline on productivity aims at alerting the employees whose performance is considered low to improve his performance, reminding the employees of the expected standards of behaviours and increasing the moral, motivation and performance.

  1. The civil servants of the commission will benefit in the sense that the workers will enjoy good salary and allowance.
  2. It will help the civil service to maintain peace, unity, among the employees so as to have improved productivity.
  3. Students of laziness administration and management, human capital management will find this useful as it will serve as a reference work for further researcher.
  4. It will also help the society at large to embrace discipline as a tool used to inculcate obedience and control in the life of citizens.

1.7 Scope And Limitations Of The Study

It will not be possible for the researcher to visit all of them and produce effective study. Consequently the study will be narrowed down to the Ogun State Revenue Office.

The researcher is faced with some limitation/constraints some of these factors are finance, time, transportation, lack of corporation from some members of staff who attempt to keep back relevant information as a result of bad attitude of some staff of public bureaucrats.

1.8 Definition Of Terms Goals

A goal is desired result a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve a personal or organizational desire end-point in same sort of assumed development.


An economic measure of output per unit of input-inputs include labour and capital.


It is a training that moulds or perfects the mental or moral character. It is also a set of rules that government and the conduct of people in any organization.


Is an individual who work part time or full time under a contract of employment. Whether oral or written, expressed or implied and has recognized right and duties.


It is the organization and coordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives and effective goals.

1.9 Organization Of The Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows;

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The primary objective of this study is to examine indiscipline in the Civil service as it affects their productivity. This study is divided into five chapter. The first chapter dealt with the study’s problem, specific objectives and study’s scope and significance. In the chapter two, we reviewed studies considered relevant to the study. We sampled opinions of scholars on the subject of indiscipline, civil service and of course productivity. In the third chapter, we described the method adopted for the study. We described the population and determined the sample size. In the fourth chapter, we analyzed the responses from the study’s participants and drew conclusion on the research questions based on their responses. The result from the study showed that the effect of indiscipline in civil service includes; Poor Service Delivery; Inefficiency of operations; Departmental ineffectiveness and Poor Value system. The study also reveals that productivity in civil service can be improved through various factors which includes Non-Interference from the political office holders; Competency; Environmental condition; Adequate Reward system; Effective monitoring scheme of the government and Responsiveness to incentives.

5.2 Conclusion And Recommendation

The real goal of discipline is to encourage employees to meet performance standards and to take action meaningful and safe at work. Employees who can not stay online or who do not meet the standard are cautioned so that they can clearly know what is acceptable performance and behavior, individuals and staff comply with established organizational standards of work the performances and the personal behaviors influenced and maintained by the discipline must be sacred. Disciplinary actions based on established rules, regulations, policies and procedures must be applied strictly. On the basis of the findings and conclusion, the following recommendations are proposed: introductions and training that will introduce staff and new members to the organization; the goals and objectives of the service should be considered an important issue. The attitude of senior officers giving preferential treatment to some employees may be because of religious or tribal affiliation must be eradicated. This brought about the issue of godfatherism which has made many of the personnel who found favour with senior officers in the public service to be unruly and put despicable behaviour.

The enabling social factors that will promote self-discipline should stressed. This has to do with societal and family values.. Due social security gap that is high, most officers take home cannot actually take home, as such they indulge in nefarious activities just to make end. Hence, government should ensure that public servants are well remunerated in order to maintain high morale. Motivation of workers should always be on the front burner. Motivational may not necessarily mean financial rewards. Self discipline, Self actualization and job enrichment should also be exercised by the organization management. Disciplinary cases should always be hastily disposed and anybody who is culpable should be sanctioned appropriately to serve as a deterrent to others. Records must also be maintained to document disciplinary cases and should often be referred to for promotion and other incentives.

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