Leadership Roles And Motivation In Nigeria’s Universities

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science


The research study was meant to investigate the leadership roles and motivation in Nigeria’s Universities especially University of Benin and carefully trace the reaction of the subject heading to the productivity of the employees in these institutions. And to this effect, a research statement of problems poses as follows.

The problem of leadership roles and motivation in Nigeria Universities has been identified as the major reason why these institutions have not measured to the exact expectation of the good people of Nigeria in the area of goal achievement. Effectiveness and efficiency in performance of the Nigeria’s Universities would highly depend among other things on the leadership roles and motivation of workers in the institutions. Assuming the leaders of these institutions exhibit the most excellent leadership roles coupled with the motivation of the human resources to higher productivity in these institutions, the story would have been positively different.

The alarming problem of inefficiency in Nigeria’s Universities calls for a research study of this nature to reduce if not totally eliminating the problem.

The methodology adopted throughout the research programme was the survey method construction and administration of questionnaires to respondents was embarked upon. The findings were tabulated and sometimes in figures. The revelation was that much is needed to achieve success in employee satisfaction and productivity in Nigeria’s Universities especially the University of Benin, Benin City.

Conclusively, one would recommend that the leaders in these Universities should perform their roles effectively to the expectation of all consumers of University services and in addition, should step up the amount of motivation given to the human factors of the institutions to induce these workers to higher productivity.

The researcher has decided to present the research study in five chapters to ensure a successful research study.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

In the words of Prince Joh Okojie in his book (Organizational Behaviour and Management) 2001, page 168, he said and I quote “…in the world of business, leadership is a key ingredient in corporate effectiveness”. From the above statement, leadership can therefore be translated to mean a very important but useful element or variable in any organization.

In the same vein, Keith Davis, (1981), in his book (Human Behaviour at Work) defined leadership as “the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals”.

According to Management Study Guide (2012), leadership is “a process by which an executive can direct, guide and influence the behavior and work of others towards accomplishment of specific goals in a given situation”. Leadership is the ability of a manager to induce the subordinates to work with confidence and zeal.

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (6th edition) best defined leadership “as the potential to influence behavior of others”. It also defined leadership “as the capacity to influence a group towards the realization of the goal”. Leaders are required to develop future visions, and to motivate the organizational members to want to achieve the visions.

In general, it is clear that leadership and leadership roles are important in all human organizations considering what different books have said about the definition of leadership.

Good leadership roles have led many nations of the world out of the bondage of colonial rule to independence. Looking at the issue from another angle, poor leadership role have plunged many nations of the world to ruins. A good example is the leadership role played by German’s Hitler during the First and Second World Wars of between 1918 and 1945.

The tenure of Professor Adamu Baiki as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin could be admitted by all workers of University of Benin to be good. The Vice Chancellors that came after him could not perform to the expectations of the generality of the University of Benin workers.

Today, be it public or private sector of the economy, good leadership role is a necessity for a radical but positive change. Institution of higher learning like the University of Benin is dare need for caliber of persons with excellent leadership quality to lead the institution to glory in areas of goal achievement.

In addition to other qualities of leadership that any leader should have is the ability to motivate the followers or subordinates to achieve higher productivity. This is good for the universities in particular and for the whole nation in general. A leader who cannot motivate the workers has no place I modern development. The above facts agree with Professor R.O.F> Ola”s definition of motivation in his script titled (motivating others to greater productivity) delivered at a Senior Supervisory Development Workshop (1993). His definition goes as follows: motivation was defined as “the will to work and contribute action to a given process without being forced to do so”. Professor Ola also defined productivity as “the ratio of input to output”.

From the above submission, one can truly conclude that there has been the problem of poor leadership over the years in the University of Benin. The general concern here is that the workers accuse the University of Benin Management or leadership as the sole cause of their low productivity while the management on its part accuses the workers for the decline in productivity in the institution.

Historical Background of University of Benin

The University of Benin was established in the early 1970s through the military administrative leadership of the then Brigadier Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia as the governor of the then mid-western region of Nigeria.

As applicable to other Universities in Nigeria, the Vice Chancellor is the executive head of the University of Benin, while the Registrar is the administrative head of the institution. The University of Benin is a line and staff organization. All administrative staff and indeed all staff from the Registrar level down are responsible to the Registrar administratively while in the final analysis, all staff including the Registrar are answerable to the Vice Chancellor.

  • Chancellor
  • Pro-Chancellor
  • Vice-Chancellor
  • Deputy-Vice-Chancellor
  • Administrative and Services
  • Academic Affairs
  • Registrar
  • Bursar
  • Librarian
  • Deans of Faculties/Schools
  • Heads of Academic Department s
  • Deputy Registrar
  • Deputy Bursar
  • Deputy Librarian
  • Director Phy Plan
  • Director of Works
  • Deputies To Admin. Heads
  • Assistant Registrars and Others
  • Principal Officers

Organizational Chart of University of Benin

An organization chart is a diagrammatical expression of the structure of an establishment to show the status of the organization boss and his position. A chart also indicates the flow of authority in an organization between the supervision and the subordinates and among all staff of the organization. Above all, organization chart shows and demonstrates the formal relationship among the various officials levels of the organization.

The above organization chart of the University of Benin shows and indicates the flow of formal authority between the superiors and subordinates in the establishment. It is an expression of the University of Benin structural design, performance objectives of the institution can now be easily discussed in line with the structural design in view. One can therefore conclude that the organizational structure of the institution is a multi-structural design comprising may structural sub-systems working harmoniously towards the achievement of the general goal of the organization. According to Keith Davis (1981) in his book (Human Behaviour at Work) “a system implies that there are a multitude of variables in organizations and that each of them affects all the others in a complex relationship. An event appears to affect one department usually may have significant influence elsewhere in the organization. This means that the managers in taking actions must look beyond the immediate situation in order to determine effects on a larger system”.

The system approach should be very good expression for an accurate descriptive of performance objective of the University of Benin.

The University of Benin, like many other Universities all over the world is established to perform three major services as its goal. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defined University as an “institution at the highest level of education where you can study for a degree or do research”.

The University renders teaching services to students and award degrees to deserving students after a successful completion of studies.

The University put into serious consideration the character building of its students before the award of degree certificates to successful students for the effective development of the society.

The University of Benin has many faculties each with various departments. Some of the faculties are as follows:

  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Sciences
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Agriculture
  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Law etc.

These faculties have a Dean each as the executive head of individual faculty. Apart from the Faculty arrangement, the University has the college of Medicine also with various departments such as Dentistry Department etc. The various Faculties and Departments mentioned above are dominated by academic staff i.e. lecturers always assisted by some non-academic staff who are secretarial staff and other junior staff such as cleaners, messengers etc.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Presence of conducive environment for workers to work perfectly well with all their heart and mind is a serious problem that the University of Benin is facing today. The workers are not paid regularly. They are not promoted when due. There are some workers who have not been promoted since seven to eight years thereby maintaining the same grade level for those long years.

Another problem facing the institution is the extent of involvement of some students in the evil practices of cultism. The involvement persists as a result of the fact that the leaders have not come out with an effective policy statement on the issue which could have reduced such practices, if not totally eliminated. The issues of cultism on campus had robbed the University of Benin the lives of many of its students from clashes among or between secret cult group on campus. A case in point is the cruel murder of a medical student in medical complex, Uniben campus, Ugbowo.

It is evident that the level of academic excellence is drastically reducing in University of Benin in particular and all Nigeria’s Universities in general as a result of involvement of students in examination malpractices. This ugly practices has sometimes been proved beyond reasonable doubt that some few greedy lecturers aid and abet these students in their nefarious act of examination malpractices.

If any organization is to succeed in terms of productivity and high performance of the workers, all hand must be on deck to tackle these problems as listed above by nibbling them on the bud. It is only in doing this that the goal of the organization can be achieved.

These problems will therefore be investigated and provided with workable solutions. Recommendations will be given to the appropriate authority concerned. As much as I know, there are many problems facing the Universities in Nigeria including the University of Benin.

From example, the workers in these Universities are not fairly treated by the authority especially the leadership roles played by various leaders in the institutions placing the workers at the receiving end.

If any organization is to succeed in terms of productivity at a maximum level among the workers, the question of leadership quality involved must not be overlooked, because leadership problems are very common among organizations. Creating the chance for low level performance in respect of productivity among the workforce, all hands must be on deck to tackle such problems vigorously.

Putting all other things right about a leader, the issue of how well a leader can cope in the area of motivating the workforce is a big problem in the Universities in Nigeria and University of Benin in particular. If the workers are poorly paid in terms of salaries and wages; made to work under poor working condition, and with inadequate working materials, the result will be that their performance will be drastically reduced. Understandably, poor salary stands out as the most serious factor militating against performance.

1.3 Objective of the Study

This study shall investigate the leadership style and its effects on workers. Productivities or performance, vis-à-vis the roles the leaders are playing in the University of Benin in particular and all Universities in Nigeria in general.

The study shall also look deeply into the effect of motivation on workers effectiveness.

Another important objective of this research is to investigate the extend of students involvement in the evil practice of cultism in campus students involvement in examination malpractice also stands out as a very important objective of this study including the investigation of leadership involvement in the above problems.

The research study will be geared toward identifying the factors working against high quality leadership roles in the institution. Effort will be made to find possible solutions for improvement of leadership role in the University of Benin.

The research study will work toward finding out the outcome of specific aid to management in their policy making.

It is important to say here that if the objectives of this research study are absolutely met, the University of Benin will benefit greatly as well as other Universities in Nigeria.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This study will guide the management of the University of Benin in particular and all Nigeria’s Universities in general in the enhancement of high productivity through good leadership roles and motivation. In addition, from this research work, leaders will learn to know that good leadership roles and the motivation of workers are ingredient of survival in modern organizations like the University of Benin. It is glad to note that many books written by eminent scholars were consulted after which facts were revealed about the best leadership style appropriate for the University of Benin circumstance including the revelation of how best the workers of the University could be motivated for maximum yield in productivity among them. This is a food for thought for all leaders in the University system.

1.5 Research Hypothesis

In a study of this nature, the need for Hypothesis in inevitable. The effect of good leadership roles and motivation on employees is high productivity.

  • The incentives given to workers can enhance higher productivity.
  • Workers productivity will rise under a democratic style of leadership.
  • When communication is clear, effective and mutually complementary productivity is assured.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is confined to the University of Benin campuses; that is Ekehwan campus and Ugbowo campus. Questionnaires will be randomly administered to both senior and junior staff of Universities of Benin in a sample form in both campuses.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

The researcher had many constraints in the course of his research. Finance was one of the major problems, as the researcher could not adequately source for qualitative reports on leadership roles and motivation in Nigeria’s University.

Another constraint the researchers faced is that many staff may not know the value of any research work, especially the less educated staff. This category of workers will be very difficult when retrieving questionnaires from them. They also in some case may not be able to fill questionnaires correctly.

1.8 Delimitation

It is a fact that it will be very difficult if not impossible to reach all the Universities in Nigeria. Therefore, the University of Benin would be used as a case study.

1.9 Definition of Terms


Leadership is used in this research work, means the potential to influence behavior of others. It is also defined as the capacity to influence a group towards the realization of a goal. Leaders are required to develop future visions, and to motivate the organizational members to wants to achieve the visions. According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a leader is defined as “a person who leads a group of people especially the leader of a country and organization.

Leadership Role:

Role according to a dictionary definition is the function or position that a leader has or is expected to have in an organization in society or in a relationship. Therefore, leadership role in this vain could be defined as the role or position a leader occupies in an organization, in society or in a relationship.

Leadership Styles:

Leadership styles is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people. It can also be defined as the behavior pattern that a leader exhibits when attempting to influence the activities of others as perceived by those others.


The concept motivation simply means the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish the goals. One of the most important functions of management is to create willingness amongst the employees to perform in the best of their abilities. Therefore, the role of a leader is to arouse interest in performance of employees in their jobs. The process of motivation consists of three stages:

  • A fact need or drive
  • A stimulus in which needs have to be aroused
  • When needs are satisfied, the satisfaction or accomplishment of goals.

Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of production. It is also defined as the ratio of production output to what is required to produce it (inputs). The measure of productivity is defined as a total output per one unit of a total input.


It is the accomplishment of a given task measures against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost and speed. In a contract, performance is deemed to be the fulfillment of an obligation, in a manner that releases the performer from all liabilities under the contract.


It means something that incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action. It also mean that which rouses and encourages a person to do something.


A University is an institution of higher education and research which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects and provides both undergraduate education and post graduate education. The word “University” is derived from the Latin Universitas magistrorun at scholarium, which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars”.


An employer is a person or institution that hires employees or workers. Employers offer wages or a salary to the workers in exchange for the worker’s work or labour.


A person who is hired to provide services to a company on a regular basis in exchange for compensation. An employee contributes labour and expertise to an endeavor of an employer and is usually hired to perform specific duties which are packaged into a job.

In most modern economies, the term “employee” refers to a specific defined relationship between an individual and a corporation, which differs from those of customer or client.


It is something that one is doing, making or performing, especially as an occupation or undertaking. It is also the physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something.


This is the processes ad methods employed to transform tangible inputs (raw materials, semi finished goods, or subassemblies) and intangible inputs into goods and services.


Organization is the foundation upon which the whole structure of management is built. Organization is related with developing a frame work where the total work is divided into manageable components in order to facilitate the achievement of objectives or goals.

Organization is the structure or mechanism that enables living things to work together. In a static sense, an organization is a structure or machinery manned by group of individuals who are working together towards a common goal. The term “organization” is used in four different senses: as a process, as a structure of relationship, as a group of persons and as a system.

According to the management Guru Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005), the basic task of management is in two folds: marketing and innovation.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

Organisations are established for specific purpose and objectives, people also join organisations to satisfy their needs, and in so doing they contribute to organizational performance to achieve the objectives of the organization. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every leader to build an organization that will function effectively because the extent to which he/she succeeds will depend considerably ion subordinates willingness to corporate with him/her among other things will depend on the degree of congruency between the leadership style adopted by the leader and the expectations and desires of the subordinates.

In view of the above therefore, to realize the objective of the Edo State, the leadership should be effective enough to recognize the needs of the workers, employ appropriate motivational tools such as promotion of staff based on merit, skills, provide suitable work environment and to ensure free flow of information, personal recognition as well as research and development.

Hence, arising from the findings of the hypotheses which were tested with chi-square statistical method, the study concludes that there is a positive relationship between effective leadership and organization performance as perceived by the workers in the Uniben Edo State. Again, that there is no leadership obstacles that hamper organizational performance in the Edo State. But that factors such as good office accommodation insufficient funds and poor work environment are some of the factors which hamper the performance of the staff of the organization which many of the staff said is beyond the control of the leadership of Edo State.

Furthermore, that there are possible ways of enhancing the NYSC Edo State. This can be made possible through the provision of the necessary tools, financial support office equipment, conducive work environment and the motivation of the staff by collaborating with the head office in Abuja so that all the supports he needs can be given to him.

5.2 Recommendations

As a result of the findings of the study, the following recommendations have been made.

Since it was discovered that organizational members show high level of commitment to their work if they discover that in doing that their needs will be realized, it then manes that the behaviour of the leadership towards execution and implementation of the Edo State programmes is dependent on adequate provision of all the tools that the workers need to perform. In view of the above, if proper and adequate combination of human a material resources of the organization is put in place the organization will achieve its objectives.

Therefore, that NYSC leadership in Edo State should ensure that those behaviour and attitude to non- provision of conducive environment for workers to perform should be seriously addressed.

Also we found out that there are no leadership obstacles that hamper organizational performance but rather we discovered that effective leadership role is hampered in Edo State due largely to factors beyond their control. Suh factors are non provision of adequate funds to run the office, poor work environment and lack of office equipment to enhance the workers performance if these facilities are put in place and the office enjoys adequate funding from the National Head-quarters then the office in Edo will realize its set objectives. Therefore it is recommended that those factors that hamper effective leader roles in Edo State should be removed to pave ways for effective leadership role and the realization of organizational objectives.

Since scholars have stated that the failure or success of any organization to a large extent is determined by environmental factors. Managing Nigerian organizations quite different from the environmental factors will not promote the success of the organization. So the people’s culture, their value preferences, needs and other factor should be considered if the leadership intends to realize the set objectives for the Edo State. This is important because given that most organizational in Nigeria are established and follow similar administrative and management principles like organizations in other parts of the world but in terms of results, achievements and objective realization they are different due to environmental influences.

5.3 Contributions to Knowledge

The following contributions to knowledge were made.

Several studies have been carried out in Nigeria by management practitioners in an attempt to establish a relationship between effective leadership and organizational performance. In this studies emphasis was placed on leadership style to make leaders effective. In the study, scholars have different opinions on the issue. While some are of the views that leadership styles are positively related to organizational performance. Others have a different view. Still, empirical evidence on how a leader can be effective to impact on organizational performance was lacking.

Also no real imperial studies was carried out on how most organisations in Nigeria are managed without consideration to the people’s cultural background. This study filled this gap, by showing what can make a leader to be effective. However, given the cultural diversity in Nigeria, the study can not be too sure that what makes a leader effective in some parts of the country can also make him effective in other parts. This is because members of each cultural group have their different disposition and attitude towards work. However, it provided a platform to assist Nigerian leaders fashion out ways of making a leader effective to suit their organizational in order to enhance their performance.

5.4 Suggested Area for Future Research

Future research should expand this study into profit making organizations, so that such organizations could benefit from the findings as well.

Future research should also be conducted to find out how workers should perform if effective leadership role is hampered due to external factors which the immediate leadership has no control of.

Efforts should be made to carry out comparative studies with emphasis on the employees attitudes to work as well as their level of commitment to discover the differences with a view to bridging them this as important because irrespective of the cultural heritage of most Nigerians, their background, education and exposure often affect the way and manner they respond and carry out their duties at work.

Finally, a comparative study should be carried out to find out whether organizational commitments influence the relationship between leadership behaviour and job satisfaction and performance.

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