Planning And Decision Making Techniques: An Effective Tool For Local Governments
This research work is poised to look into ‘’Planning and Decision Making Techniques: An Effective Tool for Local Governments. (A case study of Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area, Kogi State) The research work is divided into five chapters with each chapter linking each other. The objectives of the research work among others include: To investigate into planning and decision making techniques for local government in Kogi State and to ascertain who these management functions can bring about efficiency and achievement of goals and objectives at the local government level, so that the resources of local government can be effectively optimized, managed and controlled. Two methods of data collection were used i.e. the primary and secondary sources of data and the data was analyzed using simple percentage method for easy understanding. The findings revealed that effective planning is the most effective variable that has direct casual influence on local government performance. At the end of the research work, it was recommended that: planning and decision making techniques must be made use of in the local government and local government staffs must go for refresher courses to broaden their professional and academic horizon on planning and decision making taken.
1.1 Background Of The Study
There is no doubt that the pace of change in the global community presents fresh challenges daily to all human organizations. It then means that since we live in a world of change, every human organization, be it private or public must be able to master change in order to survive. If it manages well, it will progress and grow. As the rate of change in our environment is constantly increasing, we must find better and new ways to understand, anticipate, cope with and exploit change. Planning ahead is the key management function for dealing with change in a positive and purposeful way. Any human organization that does not plan and manage its future may not have future.
In line with this study, planning and decision making techniques will be centred on local government management/administration. Since local government is crucial and an instrument for social transformation at the grassroot, it is very crucial and important to carry out a study that would facilitate planning and decision making techniques in respect of local government management.
Planning on the other hand is anything that involves selecting in the present a course of action for the future, which is aimed at achieving objectives. It is deciding in advance of what should
be done, how it supposed to be executed, when it is to be executed and who is to execute. Planning is required at every strata of an organization. (Babasola, 1987).
Planning is a cardinal management function of every manager. In planning, we formulate the organization’s objectives and how it is realized. Planning also includes the selection of policies programmes and procedures that leads to the attainment of the organization’s aims. Hence, planning is a decision making process. Koredele K.O. (1990)
On the other hand, decision is a systematic and articulated process of thought and deliberations that culminate into choosing a decision among alternatives. Decision is a flexible, sequential process. Managers and all stakeholders must be rational when involved in the decision making. Hence, considerable time and efforts are needed in evaluating problems establishing alternative course of action assessing their outcomes before choosing a solution (Babalola OPcit)
To be able to effectively perform, managers and operators of local government must be rational in making decisions. Rational managers take good decisions, thereby reducing risk and waste, and thereby gaining everything (i.e. increased performance level). Rational managers are as opposed to irrational managers.
Local government administrative system is a multi-facet system all working towards achieving a set goals. All the stakeholder (i.e. managers) at the local government range from chairman to councilor to supervisor to head of department to all the supporting staff. Since the purpose of management is attainment of efficiency and economy of operations, and which planning and decision making are cardinal elements it (i.e. management functions) then the need to examine the inside out of these fundamental elements became necessary.
1.1 Statement Of The Problem
The statement of problems of this study includes the following:
- Non-availability of useful framework to guide the activities of local government in Nigeria
- Lack of skilled personnel at the local government level who were to form part of decision making of the local government
- Politicizing of the local government system which has gone along way in engaging incompetent hands in the administration of local government
- Failure of the other tiers of government like the state, to supervise properly the activities of local government
1.3 Purpose Of The Study
The main objectives of this study are;
- To ascertain how these management functions can bring about efficiency and achievement of goals and objectives at the local government level, so that the resources of local government can be effectively optimized, managed and controlled.
- To investigate into planning and decision making techniques for local government in Kogi State
- To bring sanity, accountability and effective management to the local government administration.
1.4 Significance Of The Study
This investigation is very important because of the failure of most of the local governments in Kogi State in performing their basic roles and functions to the grassrooters.
This study will surely be useful to Kogi State government in policy formulation and implementation on local government matters, thus, the Kogi State Local Government Service Commission, and every local government in Kogi State will find the work quite helpful.
The result and outcome of this study will in no small way find lasting solutions to the problems of mismanagement and misappropriation of the local government resources.
1.5 Research Questions
This research work intends to investigate into the following listed questions.
- Does effective planning improve local government performance?
- Does positive decision making improve local government performance?
- Does planning and decision making techniques serve as an essential tool for managers at the local government level?
1.5 Scope And Limitations Of The Study
The scope of this study shall be confined to planning and decision making techniques; an effective and strategic management operational tool for local government in Kogi State.
This project is limited to the period between 1991-2014 with particular reference to Kabba/Bunu local government area.
Limitations/constraints are inevitable in carrying out a research work of this nature. However, in the course of this research, the following constraints were encountered thus:
Non-availability of enough resources (finance):
A work of this nature is very tasking financially, money had to be spent at various stages of the research such resources which may aid proper carrying out of the study were not adequately available.
Secret attitude of respondents:
Since this research topic dwell on democracy in enhancing rural transformation, some of the respondents find it difficult to offer useful information as to whether democracy has impacted positively or not to their well being because they felt that revealing such secret may relief them of their job.
The time used in carrying out the research work is relatively not enough to bring the best information out of it. However, I hope that the little that is contained in this study will go a long way in solving many greater problems.
1.6 Definition Of Key Terms
In the course of carrying out this research work, the following key concepts were applied and are hereby defined.
Planning involves thinking ahead, initiating and taking a predetermined course of action. It is deciding in advance on what should be done, how it is supposed to be executed, when to be executed, and who is to execute what? Planning is deliberate, purposeful and goal oriented.
Decision making may be simply defined as making choices between future alternative courses of action.
Measurable/observable peoples response in a task.
Human beings and other materials for providing special organizational services/goals.
A person who knows what he wants, gets it done, promotes effectiveness and continual improvement, accept accountability and sets a climate conducive to maximum growth of potentials. It is to be noted that all managers are leaders.
Any organization where we can find two or more persons.
The art of ensuring that an organization works.
The process of carrying out the operations of planning, directing, supervising, controlling, staffing and decision making in the organization.
The scientific method of doing a thing
An instrument of operation used in an organization for goals achievement
The third tier of government in Nigeria charged with the responsibility of grassrrot administration and development. It is a public sector organization.
System is made up of various components, which interact with one another for the purpose of accomplishing a particular task/goals.
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