An Evaluation On The Administrative Strategies Used In Government And It Influence To The Public
The study examined an evaluation on the administrative strategies used in government and it influence to the public. Inefficiency in the public sector as a result of leadership ineptitude is said to have contributed significantly to the underdevelopment of Nigeria. This has led to the mismanagement of human and financial resources as well as contributed extensively to poor service delivery to the citizens. The research considered the critical role of public sector administration to the functionality of a society, noting that the major determinant for public sector success is leadership effectiveness. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to identify how leadership ineffectiveness could be addressed in public sector administration in Nigeria and consider the implications of adopting a different approach to improve effectiveness. The study was partly informed by the dearth of literature on leadership in public sector administration, especially within the Nigerian context. The study was underpinned by leadership theories particularly strategic leadership. Research questions focused on existing leadership approaches and how it hindered/enhanced effective service delivery. The study utilized a case study of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and collected data through face-to-face interviews of 17 staff. Data was analyzed using content analysis and findings revealed the existence of pseudo leadership and blame avoidance behaviour which are detrimental to public sector efficiency. Recommendations are that strategic leadership, administrative accountability, patriotism and reframing be adopted to refine leadership attitude to work in TETFund and other public sector organizations. Application of findings will result in positive social change by providing adequate service delivery for the Nigerian populace thus improving their living standards and supporting economic growth.
Table of Content
- Title Page
- Table of Content
- List of Tables
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objective of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Significance of the Study
- 1.6 Scope of the Study
- 1.7 Limitation of the Study
- 1.8 Definition of Terms
- 1.9 Organisations of the Study
Review of Literature
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical Review
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the Study
- 3.3 Sample Size Determination
- 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
- 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.6 Method of Data Collection
- 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
- 3.8 Validity of the Study
- 3.9 Reliability of the Study
- 3.10 Ethical Consideration
Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Data
- 4.3 Answering Research Questions
- 4.4 Discussion of Findings
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background of the Study
Leadership ineffectiveness in the Nigerian public sector is said to have contributed significantly to the detriment of economic development (Okonjo-Iweala, 2012; Ejimabo, 2013; Ogbeide, 2012). This study focused on leadership ineffectiveness in public sector administration as it affects service delivery and the implications of exploring a different leadership approach for effectiveness. Since the productivity of any organization is mostly a function of the effectiveness and quality of leadership (Sudha, Shahnawaz, & Farhat, 2016; Branch, Hanushek & Rivkin, 2012), it is imperative to examine the causes of leadership ineffectiveness with a view to proffer workable solutions.
Nigeria is a public sector driven economy. Government policies and developmental goals are set into motion through the public service machinery, which actualizes government intentions through policy formulation and implementation. As posited by Inyang & Akaegbu (2014), “the public service of any nation is an institution of governance and administration established essentially to deliver public good to the people in the most efficient and effective manner”. Consequently, the ineffective management of different public organizations could ultimately lead to failure, underperformance and contribute to underdevelopment of the economy with the attendant effects such as poverty and insecurity. Mark & Asheazi (2016) is of the opinion that the Nigerian people are gradually sliding into poverty.
Studies and opinions had attributed the issues of underdevelopment and stagnancy in economic growth beleaguering Nigeria to public sector inefficiency (Adanri, 2016), 2 lack of institutional capacity (Adegbite, 2015), systemic government failures (Porter & Watts, 2016), Fraud and Ghost workers (Onyinyechi & Okafor, 2016), challenges of good governance (Oluwa, 2012), lack of leadership skills (Sanusi, 2012), pervasive administrative corruption (Enofe, Afiangbe & Agha, 2017; Ogbeide, 2012), personalization of leadership (Dike, 2014), weak foreign policies (Ibijola & Opeyemi, 2013), insecurity & cultural disorientation (Aloziewu 2012, Anyadike 2013), religious and cultural diversity (Gilbert & Allen, 2014; Erhagbe, 2012), struggle for supremacy and absence of patriotism (Ogoloma, 2012), and reliance on resource wealth (Luong & Weinthal, 2006), abuse of office (Okogbule & Nkpolu, 2016), among others.
Central to all the above identified factors, is ineffective leadership (OkonjoIweala, 2012; Sanusi, 2012). Iheduru (2016) buttresses this by stating that Nigerian is plagued by leadership failure. Okonjo-Iweala (2012) further stated that the poor economic situation in Nigeria can be credited to weak public institutions bedeviled by entrenched corruption. Ejimabo (2013) collaborates this assertion, affirming that public service has deteriorated due to the resultant effects of corruption and a lack of effective leadership skills.
Adanri & Thakkar (2016) and Hansen & Villadsen (2010) are of the opinion that there is a scarcity of literature regarding leadership in public administration, specifically on the significance of administrative leadership of public sector organizations. Hassan & Lituchy (2017) supports the above statement by noting that the majority of literature on leadership in Nigeria laid emphasis on political leadership, leadership and personality, and employee performance. Wart (2003) states that there is scarce literature on public sector leadership and Tummers & Knies (2013) suggests that there is a need for a welldesigned leadership studies in public administration. Although many studies have been conducted on the effects of bad leadership in Nigeria from different perspectives, it is striking that I found nothing specifically written on strategic leadership as an alternative leadership style for public sector administration in Nigeria.
This is even more striking considering the position of Sudha, Shahnawaz, & Farhat (2016) that leadership style is the most essential factor that influences leadership effectiveness. Akindele & Afolabi (2013) posits that the essence of leadership effectiveness lies in the fact that the success of any human or organizational endeavor lie in the quality of leadership guiding that endeavor. Consequently, this study attempted to fill the literature gap on leadership and public administration by exploring the possibility of adopting/adapting a new style of leadership that would improve the quality and output of public service in Nigeria.
The implications of this study for social change are that the expected outcome of this inquiry will ultimately improve the living conditions of the Nigerian populace. As noted by Sanusi (2012), there is a need for leadership grooming and development in Nigeria. Thus, exploring and proffering an emergent leadership style which focuses on strategy first before implementation of actions would enhance leadership effectiveness which would galvanize improved public sector administration and ultimately promote better service delivery and efficiency in the public sector.
It would encourage leaders and aspiring leaders to broaden their scope, to think outside the box in terms of indepth research on ways to enhance effectiveness that would 5 propel economic growth. Social change from this study could manifest in the form of general awareness to the directional and pivotal role that a leader plays in public sector administration. It would also be a tool for social awareness to an alternative approach to leadership effectiveness for future leaders.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria is classified as a developing nation located in the south-eastern corner of West Africa. It is the most populous nation in West Africa with about 181million people. The country is a petrostate as it is endowed with oil wealth, being the thirteenth largest producer of oil in the world (The World Factbook, CIA, 2016) and that constitutes the major source of Nigeria’s income. Other sources of income include taxes, agricultural exports and other mineral resources. The country generated N41.6 trillion revenue from crude oil proceeds and taxes, as well as duties between fiscal years 2011 & 2014 (Guardian Newspaper, June 20, 2015).
There has been a mismatch between economic development and the standard of living in the country when compared to revenue generated. As a potentially rich nation, Nigeria has been unable to adequately provide basic services for its citizen in relation to its wealth. Sanusi (2012) posited that in relation to Nigeria’s resource endowment, the economy has grossly underperformed. As at 2015, the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) puts Nigeria at 0.514, Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) of 0.28, life expectancy of 52.8, Gender Development Index of 0.84 and ranked 152 out of 188 countries assessed.
There are complexities to the Nigerian State arising from the diversity in culture, religion and languages coupled with high level of poverty and illiteracy as illustrated in the preceding paragraph. Doud (2016) opines that the diversity in Nigeria has led to intolerance and divisiveness that has spilt over into the political realm thereby becoming a destabilizing factor in the country by encouraging a struggle for political dominance. Diversity also plays a role in leadership in the country as the need to identify with a particular group tends to affect decision making. This is consistent with Miao, Newman, & Lamb, (2012) position that leaders use identification to garner support and commitment to their goals especially in a culturally diverse and developing nation. Corruption has been identified as the most significant factor responsible for Nigeria’s’ economic developmental failure and the institutionalization of corruption can be attributed leadership ineffectiveness (Ogbeide, 2012). Writing within the context of Nigeria, Badamasiuy & Bello (2013) opined that the lapses on the part of leaders have allowed corruption and maladministration to thrive. Corruption is a deterrent to public sector productivity because it feeds off mismanagement of resources, abuse of power and the negligent administration of the public sector.
Rose-Ackerman & Palifka (2016) defined corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. Agbiboa (2012) attributes corruption to an African leadership trait where governments loot their countries’ resources through violence and bribery, entrench corruption and default on service delivery. Chinua Achebe summed the country’s problem up to “leadership failure”. He said “A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy educated, participatory followership and an educated, morally grounded leadership” in reference to the leadership and corruption issues prevalent in Nigeria (1983).
Economically, ineffective leadership can be classified as a crime because it has allowed corruption which Agbiboa (2013) describes as an “economic crime” to thrive. Corruption encompasses a wide range of practices including bribery, extortion, nepotism, cronyism, judicial fraud, accounting fraud, electoral fraud, public service fraud, kleptocracy, embezzlement of public funds, influence peddling and conflicts of interest (Eguejiofor, 2016; Rose-Ackerman & Palifka, 2016) which are all indices of ineffective leadership.
All over the world, one key indicator of ineffective leadership is prevalence of corruption in doing government business. According to the Transparency International 2015 Report, Nigeria’s Corruption Perception Index for 2015 is 26/100, placing the country in 136th position out of a total of 167 countries scored.
Through the years, Nigeria has been striving to address the scourge of corruption originating especially from the public sector but also from the private sector. Elected governments have always come up with an anti-corruption plan which often times is unsuccessful. President Muhammad Buhari led administration has instituted various policies to curb this malaise. One of such established policies is the Treasury Single Account (TSA) that requires all public organizations to maintain a single account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Treasury Single Account (TSA) initiative is the operation of a unified structure for Government Bank Accounts, in a single account or a set of linked accounts for all Government payments and receipts.
One of the many deterrents to the struggle to end corruption is the Nigerian tolerance for corruption. In many countries, a person that is linked to corrupt practice(s) of any kind, becomes unworthy of public office. The case is different in Nigeria. Being linked to any form of corruption is not immediately seen as a negative or bad thing. A typical example is the case of a Former Minister of Aviation – Stella Oduah, who had to resign in 2014 due to the purchase of two bullet proof cars at an inflated of N255million (USD 1 = N 199 at the time) but emerged as an elected Senator in 2015 (Ekene & Ugwunwanyi, 2016).
It is definitive of the Nigerian value system that corruption is often times explainable or defendable. According to Olatunji (2015), our societal values and ethics often times dictates our conscious appreciation of accountability. He further stated that Nigeria is a country where financial embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds by public servants is seen as a virtue instead of a bad vice. This is further exemplified by the celebration of the recent release of James Ibori, former Governor of Delta State, from prison after serving jail term in the United Kingdom for corruption and money laundering. He returned to widespread Jubilation from many Nigerians.
(https://guardian.ng/opinion/the-return-of-ibori/). In part, one can attribute this attitude of acceptance to the inexcusable delay or non-commitment to the administration of justice by the Nigerian Judicial System (John & Musa, 2014).
It is important to note that the Nigerian Government upon return to democracy in 1999, has put some policies & reforms in place to fight corruption. This includes the public service reforms (monetization) and public procurement reforms, the reinforcement of existing anti- corruption agencies such as the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal, the establishment of anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission and Independent Corruption and other Practices Commission. Despite these measures by the Government, corruption still strives (Mohammed, 2013). This further arguments the assertions of leadership ineffectiveness in the Nigerian public sector.
In spite of the glaring deleterious effects of corruption, it is important to note that there is a school of thought that shares a different view on corruption. This theory assumes that corruption brings about development and progress. Henry (2012) talks about the “grease hypothesis” explaining that grease money can also be called speed money as it is used to circumvent the slow pace of normal bureaucratic process thereby accelerating prosperity and a nation’s growth.
Kolstad & Wiig (2013) posits that corruption is often beneficial to host countries as it encourages foreign direct investment from multinational corporations who in turn have access to the host nations’ resource by easing the constraints of bureaucracy through bribery. Although this theoretical assumption is discussed at an informal level to justify corrupt practices prevalent in Nigeria at the official level, however, it is considered illegal and relevant laws were enacted to curb its prevalence. The extent to which corruption is curbed in Nigeria is dependent on effective leadership across every strata of public sector administration.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Service delivery and public sector productivity are abysmal in Nigeria and this, according to several researchers can be linked to ineffective leadership of public sector organizations. Okonjo –Iweala (2012) asserts that the lack of effective leadership in the Nigerian public sector has led to a failed public institution plagued with mismanagement of resources and inadequate service delivery. Badamasiuy & Bello (2013) supports this position by stating that the leadership ineffectiveness has allowed corruption and maladministration to thrive for decades. Due to misappropriation of resources, Nigeria is burdened with the inability to provide of basic infrastructures like roads, schools, healthcare system, electricity and water (Ejimabo, 2013).
Adanri (2016) is of the view that the underdevelopment in Nigeria is a result of public sector inefficiency due to leadership ineffectiveness. Leadership in the public sector has been derailed largely by personal agenda and political interference to the detriment of economic development (Okonjo-Iweala, 2012). This leadership failure is manifest in the quality of service rendered, in the prevalence of corrupt practices that occur in the federal government ministries and also from unfavorable attitude to work displayed by the employees in the civil service. Ejimabo (2013) asserts that public service has been greatly neglected, precipitating deterioration as a result of corruption and lack of effective leadership skills.
Musgrave (2014) posits that public sector is critical for a society to function properly and Mora & Ţiclău (2012) views effective leadership as a major condition for public sector success. Haslam & Reicher, (2016) estimates that organizations in the United States spend about $14billion yearly on leadership trainings. This is significant because it shows the importance of leadership effectiveness for the progress and growth of any organization. Therefore, there is a need to rethink the philosophy of leadership and its effectiveness in Nigeria. Thus, taking into consideration that different.
Carter & Green (2013) notes that the values that reinforce leadership styles/actions are critical to leadership effectiveness, while Ossai (2011) posits that Nigeria’s value system is lacking in the prerequisite particulars to reduce corruption and promote effective leadership. This study therefore looked at the role that value plays in strategic leadership from a Nigerian perspective.
1.3 Objective of the Study
Specific objectives of this study include:
- To understand leadership effectiveness on public sector administration.
- To determine the existing leadership style and its effect on public sector administration.
- To explore how the adoption of strategic leadership in the Nigerian public sector could facilitate effective leadership for the promotion of productivity, efficiency and economic development of Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
The research questions are as follows;
- What leadership approach currently exist in public sector administration in Nigeria, with particular reference to Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)?
- How does the leadership approach adopted by TETFund hinder/enhance effective service delivery?
- How can the adoption of strategic leadership approach address the challenges (if any) of TETFund as a for public sector organization in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study lay in the fact that it is sectionalizing the leadership problem in Nigeria by considering leadership effectiveness as a challenge and a solution to economic growth. In view of the prevailing economic recession in Nigeria as noted by Soniyi & Akinwale (2016), it is imperative that Nigeria’s public sector leaders effectively and efficiently manage available public resources to achieve optimal results and deliver adequate services to the populace. It is significant because the public sector is a vehicle through which all levels of the Nigerian government drive national growth as it cuts across all the states in the federation and as such, a progressive change in the productivity and service delivery from this sector would make a positive impact on the economy and development.
Another practical significance of the study is the possibility that the findings of this research could be used for further improvement of the institute of public service in Nigeria. It would contribute to the formulation of a comprehensive framework of measures aimed at combating corruption, improving the quality and transparency of public administration and lastly the moral regulation of behavior of public officers. This would translate to better quality of life for citizens of the country. The overarching goal of public administration is economic development that will bring about social change as it will positively impact the lives and welfare of the populace.
Its importance would also be appreciated by other researchers, serving as a resource material when conducting studies in areas of strategy, strategic leadership, organizational performance, ethics, leadership, public administration, the Nigerian economy, good governance, accountability and to those who want to explore other sectors for the improvement and general economic development of Nigeria. It is expected that the suggestions in this study would be of immense help to the staff and operatives of federal, state and local authorities as well as interested members of the public and other stakeholders, who are all seeking means of implementing quick, efficient, and responsive government administration and services based on effective leadership.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of the research work focuses leadership effectiveness of public sector administrators while taking into consideration their immense ability to contribute to economic and national growth. It would be limited to a critical, comprehensive understanding and working knowledge of public sector, public sector administration, leadership theories, decision making process, and strategic leadership of the Nigerian public sector. It would also explore the effects of negative leadership and its consequences, distinguishing it from bad leadership.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
The limitations of this study revolve around data collection issues, researcher and participant bias. Leadership behavior is a sensitive issue as no one wants to admit to any form of irresponsibility, incompetence, prejudicial or unethical behaviors in relation to public sector administration. Consequently, I would likely encounter abridged or ambiguous answers to interview questions. Data collection for the study will be primarily gotten from face to face interviews but there is the alternative of using secondary data collection in the event that I was unable to conduct all interviews as scheduled and as such the advantage of primary data is reduced.
It is important to note that I work in Tertiary Education Trust Fund which is the public sector organization where data will be collected from. This could be an advantage to the study as the interviewees might be more relaxed with me due to pre-existing familiarity. It could also have a negative effect on data gathering, as my acquaintance with the organization might produce tailored and surface answers to interview questions, thus reducing the quality of data collected. The familiarity could also mean that there will be an imbalance of power while interviewing because hierarchically, some of the participants are my superiors and that might affect flow of interview process. The perceptions of participants on the central issues of leadership effectiveness may vary and also their interpretation, expression or articulation of their views will contrast, this means that the onus lies on me to streamline data collected.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Refers to all activities and processes carried out by public servants in the management and delivery of government policies and programmes to the populace. Henry (2015) opines that public administration promotes the relationship between government and the governed, employing effective managerial practices to institute public policies to the benefit of the citizenry. Leadership: Burke (2011) states that leadership is the capacity to influence others to the achievement of a common mission and goal.
This primarily depends on the right leader and is defined as the ability to motivate a person/group through continuous interaction to surpass their expectation based on their knowledge, without supervision (John & Chattopadhyay, 2015).
They are key players in the formulation, structuring, delegating & deployment of government strategies and policies. They have discretionary powers to implement these government policies as they deem fit within cultural, institutional and legal limits (Henry, 2015).
Paradigm is a set of basic beliefs that constitute the background for research (Guba & Lincoln, 1994). Interpretive
Paradigm: Interpretive paradigm is reasoning in a bid to understand a social phenomenon based on the subjective understanding of individuals who have experienced this phenomenon (Wang & Zhu, 2016). In other words, interpretive paradigm is a quest to understand the world from the different perspectives of people.
Ethics is the study of moral conducts and moral status. It seeks to clarify the logic and adequacy of the values that shape the world, assessing the moral possibilities which are projected and portrayed in the social give and take (Cooper, 2012).
It is a calculated and rationale thought process involved in the selection of options or alternatives available in the consideration of an action. NIŢĂ & Solomon (2015) defines it as the use of a set of criteria to choose from options for action. It is the central concept for policy making which is a significant role of leaders.
This can be defines as the supervisory principle that dictates the actions of individuals or the foundation for organizational strategy. It determines culture, behavior and interaction in any situation.
A qualitative research design that explores a phenomenon through the lived experiences of participants.
Predominantly in African countries, parastatals are organizations wholly or partly owned by the government to support government agencies. In some countries like Nigeria, they are mostly an offshoot of Federal Ministries.
An aspect of phenomenology proffered by Martin Heidregger (1889-1976). It posits that there is a subjective nature to human experience which begs understanding. Ontology: is concerned with the subject and objective nature of reality. A researcher needs to understand the ontological position of his exploration to be able to define his epistemology.
The other side of leadership that adversely affects followers and outcomes, stemming from the wrong priorities and deleterious personality.
Is concerned with changing the status quo, it strives for social justice by utilizing emancipatory politics. It is underpinned by fundamental guiding principles. (Pease &Cook, 2016) Meritocracy: is defined as advancement in society based on individual capabilities and merit rather than as a result of political, familial or societal influence. (Kim & Choi, 2017)
Believes that the interpretation of a person’s reality varies per person. (Scotland, 2012). Abuse of office: refers to the use of the powers conferred on a public servant by right of his position/office to misappropriate and divert the resources of his office for personal gains instead of using it for the judicious discharge of his duties (Okogbule & Nkpolu, 2016).
1.9 Organisations of the Study
This research work is categorized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), background to the study, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms.
- Chapter two encompasses the conceptual review theoretical review and empirical reviews on which the study is based.
- 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.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
5.1 Summary of Findings
The benefit of created data is that the phenomenon is interpreted according to what the participants assigned to it (Ritchie, Lewis, Nicholls, &Ormston, 2013). Based on this knowledge, I thus examined the responses. The results of the data collection and analysis show that the leadership style and competence of the public sector’s administrators now qualify as ineffective. There were 126 links to the literature review that revealed leadership failings, including ineffective service delivery, systemic government failures, pervasive corruption, and a lack of institutional capability (Porter & Watts, 2016; Iheduru, 2016; Adegbite, 2015; Dike, 2014; Ejimabo, 2013; Okonjo-Iweala, 2012; Sanusi, 2012; Ogbeide, 2012).
My study into public sector leadership, its efficacy, and its effects on service delivery provide evidence to support this assertion. Participants highlighted that authoritarian leadership is strongly present and is the predominate approach in Nigeria’s public sector administration. describing situations where, in the words of Participant T01, “respect for hierarchy is needed and viewed as absolute adherence to instructions and directions from superiors” In essence, this fits the characteristics of an authoritarian leadership style. A sense of entitlement among leaders supports the customization of an organization’s operations.
Another prevalent strategy in this field is dictatorship, which can border on narcissism. The leadership of the Nigerian public sector is beset by inefficiency, incompetence, and selfishness, as mentioned in the literature study. (Agbigboa, 2013; Okonjo-Iweala, 2012). The information gathered indicated that there was a gap between the staff and the leadership. There is a lot of “eye service” taking place in the public sector as a result of these leadership strategies. In Nigeria, “eye service” refers to appearing to work—basically, pretending to work—while the boss is there. The bureaucracy supports this.
In order to be a great leader, a person must possess four key qualities: the ability to create a vision, set standards, integrate ideas, and develop people (Bottomley, Burgess & Fox, 2014; Abrell-Vogel &Rowold, 2014). In Nigeria, these are generally absent from the public sector leadership. The country’s diversity should be good because it brings different viewpoints together for a single objective, but unfortunately it widens the gap along tribal lines. He concluded by recalling a participant’s complaint about his cramped workspace and saying, “If I were of the same tribe, I will undoubtedly be treated better.” This raises the prospect of prejudice, tribalism, or, as the case may be, partiality.
This also highlights teamwork as a basis for cordial work relations. One of the most important responsibilities of effective leaders is team synergy (Underwood, 2015). As noted by (Chen & Rainey, 2014) team work is essential to high performance and there is bound to be conflicts and differences when people with different priorities come together to work as a team. The leader is supposed to ensure that every one aligns their energies towards the achievement of organizational goal irrespective of personal reservations.
As pointed out by Participant T07, “leadership effectiveness is when a leader gets to the point that he is dispensable”. In essence, when an organization is at the point where it operates seamlessly irrespective of the presence or absence of the figurative leader, when there is continuity is assured, then a leader can be said to be effective. It was also noted by Participant T07 that the public service might never get to that point because there will always be those tasks that will not be touched unless a leader is around.
Leaders are indispensable based on imposed importance or body language. Participant T02, he said “people don’t want their subordinates to outshine them and so their proactivity is queried by superiors thereby killing their motivation to be preemptive, creative. The leaders believe that decision making, no matter how inconsequential, is solely their purview”. He gave an example by narrating about the time he sent an official mail that detailed work processes to his colleagues and he was cautioned by his boss for copying his boss’s superior in the mail as it looked like he was the one doing the job.
One may argue that employment and appointment directly contributed to the degree of poor skills in the public sector. Many participants condemned the “Federal Character Act” and the recruitment process in particular for the shortcomings of inadequate leadership. By establishing and enforcing fairness and equitable distribution of public posts and socioeconomic resources, the Federal Character Act was established to address issues of economic, educational, and social inequality, as well as ethnic representation. Obi, Ezeogu, and George (2016); George, Owoyemi, and Adegboye (2014);
The primary purpose of government is to better the lives of its citizens (Obi, & Ezeogu, 2016). To achieve this crucial goal, the government employs the public sector machinery to ensure a fair and evenhanded treatment through effective service delivery to its citizens (Pandey, Davis, Pandey, & Peng, 2016; Murtala & Marshall, 2015). Thus, taking into consideration the distinctive role of public sector, it is safe to say that the administration of this sector will be continually scrutinized for their significance to national growth and development. Accordingly, the effective administration of the public sector is assumed to be directly related to effective service delivery and the success of the Government/Nation. So long as leadership is instrumental to the progress of a nation, the evolution of leadership will remain a constant. Its importance can never be over emphasized or over researched towards the enhancement of leadership outputs.
As noted by John & Musa (2014), momentous changes are happening around the world, Nigeria as a part of the global system must adapt. Thus, there is a need for constant education and exposure of public servants to global best practices as well as trainings in areas relevant to organizational growth and by extension economic growth. For public administration to be impactful and successful, leadership is very critical and so the relationship between public administration and leadership should be synergetic as effective public administration is dependent on effective leadership. Leadership as it is a continuum, should be fluid. Adaptability to situational dynamics, especially in the case of Nigeria, will always be an added advantage to progressive thinkers
Leadership studies in Africa has remained a very interesting topic for researchers, especially those from the region as it cuts across disciplines by way of its importance to economic development in the region. It remains a key challenge to scholars to find a lasting solution to the slow rate of development in the region. This qualitative phenomenological study accessed leadership in the Nigerian Public Sector and explored strategic leadership as an alternative the leadership styles presently. I streamlined the research to a case study of participants from TETFund. I would proceed by recommending a larger sample size employing other research method like the quantitative and the mixed methods. I would also recommend that an alternative approach to leading and service delivery from the point of employees be explored. This will be looking at it from the angle of self-leadership (Breavart et al, 2015).
The study showed that the public sector used a top to bottom approach when it comes to public sector leadership and management. The top to bottom approach ensures that entrenched organization behaviors continue to be passed down to new members of staff. It enshrines the “wait for your turn attitude. I recommend that future researchers explore the bottom to top approach as a way to stem the continued institutionalization of the negativities associated with public sector leadership.
I would recommend a comparative analysis of private sector leadership, the non for profit organisations and the public sector to discover the qualities and indices that activate success and effectiveness. Leadership development as it relates to public administration is another aspect that could be explored for further studies as it paves the way for emergent leadership styles.
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