THE ROLE OF EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING IN AN ORGANIZATION

(Business Administration and Management)
THE ROLE OF EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING IN AN ORGANIZATION
CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
1.1    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Decision making is defined as the process of selecting among alternatives. Decision making is implicitly aimed at picking on alternative solution, which when applied, can solve a given problem. It involves three district stages, namely: intelligence stage which comprises attempt to identify and understand the nature of a solution. The design stage which involves formulating and assessing alternatives. And the choice phase which only entails selecting among possible alternatives.
In organization, particularly business organizations which PHCN is one, decision making is not properly carried out with the result that organizational goals and  objectives are not being effectively met.  Managers tend to formulate, assess and choose alternatives all alone without the contribution of their employees who have the duty of implementing whatever alternatives they have chosen. The implication is that they disregard certain needs of the employees which must be fulfilled in the decision making process. These needs include performing a worthwhile task, continual personal growth and enjoying self-fulfillment, sharing a in group effort, sharing in setting their objectives, sharing in rewards of their effort. If managers allow employees to play a part in making decision that directly affect them, the employees will show more commitment to carry out the details of these decisions since the decision will generally suit their level of aspiration and this will go well with them.
This study will examine the extent of which employee participate in decision making, organizational commitment and favourable work attitude in PHCN district Ughelli. Employee participation in decision making and organizational commitment have two key concepts in this study, which refers to managerial approach whereby workers or employees are allowed to take part in making decisions which affect them in an organization. Employee participation has been defined as mental and emotional involvement of persons in group situations that encourage them to contribute to group goals, objective and share responsibility for them.  It spots light on the degree of authority enjoyed by the employee in decision making process. It should be noted that management styles are as follows; autocratic, benevolent autocratic, consultative participative and radically participative. The later organizational commitment represents an agreement on the part of the employees with the goals and objectives of the organization and a willingness to work towards these goals. But employees are more favourably disposed towards giving off very best as it concerns the overall aspiration of their organization. The terms will however be more explained afterwards.
1.2    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The unending cry all over the country is that the average Nigeria workers commitment to his work and organization often feels indifferent and less concerned to the goals and objectives of the organization where his work is an unfortunate development that should worry the likes of those who genuinely love Nigeria and would love to see it properly founded in a sound economic pedestal. Poor organizational commitment is a problem that invariably threatens any organization that experiences it. Nothing works the way it should be because of the ill disposition of employees to the demands of their various responsibilities. PHCN is an organization that obviously needs a highly committed work force for it to achieve its set goals and objective.  And this commitment can only be achieved under a condition in which the employees are allowed to take part in making decisions that directly affect them and hence perceive and have their priority needs and expectations fulfilled by the organization. This condition is simply what employee participation is all about. Therefore, the need to find answers to the following questions becomes pertinent.
Does any relationship exist between employee participation in decision making and organization commitment?
If it does, what is the nature of such relationship? How can employee participation be worked out such that the goals of the organization will be met?
It should be noted that providing answers to these in mind bugging questions is what this study is intended to establish.
1.3    PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study quite expectedly has set a number of aims which it strives to accomplish.  The purposes of this study are as follows;
To find if employee participation, in decision making might be positively related to employee commitment into work.
To determine the particular degree of employee participation that is dominant in PHCN district Ughelli.
To emphasize the need for managers, to always allow proper degree of employee participation.
To establish the extent to which lack of employee participation in decision making has been instrumental to the level of low productivity in PHCN district Ughelli.
1.4      RESEARCH QUESTIONS
(i)    Do managers need to allow proper degree of employee     participation in their organization?
(ii)    Is lack of employee participation in decision making responsible for low productivity level in PHCN Ughelli district.
(iii)    Is employee participation positively related to employee     commitment?
(iv)    Does any relationship exist between employee participation in decision making and organization commitment to work.
1.5    SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the research are patently evident and needs not to be labourers.  Participation is a useful theory that works in practice in a variety of jobs.  It ensures that workers views on matters that affect them are sought to enable them reasonably satisfy the top for need of Maslow’s hierarchy theory as well as improve the psychological health of workers as citizen. These needs are those safety and security, belonging and affection/social ego needs for self actualizatives and fulfillment. An organization cannot achieve its goals and objective if it does not have committed employees and if it also cannot utilize their potentials to the fullest. Besides, employee participation can be applied to characterize very tall organization structure with the feature of a flat decentralized organization such as giving a subordinate more freedom to do the job his own way, allowing him use more of his initiative, permitting him satisfy his egoistic needs it needs for knowledge, achievement, competence, independence, self respect, recognition, respect from others etc.
These features as enumerated also correlate directly with organizational commitment.
To this extend, the study is “significant” in exposing such errors in motivation strategy in organization.  It is hoped that the management of PHCN will use the findings of this research in order to arrange organizational conditions and methods of operation so that the employee can achieve their own goals best by directing their own efforts towards the objectives of the organization in which they work.
Beside, enabling PHCN to achieve its target of increased productivity, this study will equally be beneficial to modern managers of various establishments and industries who are now better armed with the necessary tools to engender higher productivity to the Nigeria economy that will as a result of this employee involvement, enjoy a fantastic boom from its chequred history of unproductively. In theory, this work will contribute to the on going efforts among students of organizational behaviour to highlight employee participation as an effective way to motivate the worker to put in his best for the organization. Equally, this research study would support immensely other workers in this area. Some writers are in accord that employee participation has potentials for engendering organizational commitment.
1.6    SCOPE/LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This work covers employee participation in decision making and organizational commitment as it affects PHCN District Ughelli.
Limitations        
The researcher in carrying out this work was faced with difficult situation, such difficulties are shortage of resources, non-response etc. Questionnaires for this study were distributed on different occasions before the desired number could be gotten.  Remainders were sent to some other respondent, stressing the important need to have this, questionnaires were sent to fresh respondents, made imperative as those intended to serve the desired need did not contain sufficient information. All these needed substantial resources to over come.
1.7    DEFINITION OF TERMS
Organizational Commitment: This spot lights on the extent at which employees identify with organization goals, value organization membership and intend to work hard to obtain the over all organizational aim.  
Employee Participation: For the purpose of this study employee participation is taken to mean employee participation in making decision that affects them in their work, committed to their work and organization. It means sharing with the managers in the decision making authority.
Organization: This refers to a group of persons or individuals united for the purpose of accomplishing stipulated goal(s) and objective(s) for the overall benefit of members or the group (PHCN).
Managers or Management: This refers to the persons charged with decision making relating to duties in a business organization.
Employee or Worker: This refers to the person that implements decision in a business organization.
Motivation: This refers to those conditions that energize, direct and sustain an employee’s behaviour in work situation and which pull him towards achieving certain goals through work.
Extrinsic Factor: This refers to material reward for work such as salary, security, promotion, fringe benefits. They are also called instrumental factors.
Outcome Correlates: These are factors that are readily consequence of employee organizational commitment, they include performance turnover and absenteeism.

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