ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED POLYTECHNICS IN NIGERIA
University of Southampton (UNITED KINGDOM)
In literature, there seems to be no standard elements accepted by all concerned constituencies for evaluation as critical elements of effectiveness conceptualization such as; “what criteria”, “whose criteria”, “effective for whom”, “who to define”, “how to evaluate”, “when to evaluate”, and under what environmental constraints are often problematic. Understanding of effectiveness therefore requires theoretical model (Cameron, 1978, 1981, 1984, 1986, Cheng, 1996).
The study considers organizational effectiveness in higher education, employs qualitative methodology and an exploratory case study (Yin, 2003) to enable an in-depth understanding of the term effectiveness as it affects polytechnic education in Nigeria. Comparative framework is employed and as such, this study looks at three polytechnic institutions representing Federal, State and Private structure under variety of conditions in order to make useful comparisons. Data were based on triangulation comprising fifty-two (52) semi-structured interviews, one focus group, and documents.
The participants of the study were the dominant coalition in the institutions comprising the top-academic leaders, lecturers, non-academic staff, and the students. The study identifies the criteria that can make the polytechnic institutions more effective in achieving their missions within the higher education system. Every campus was visited during the field work which lasted more than eighteen months.
The study identifies seven major themes; external funding comprising government subsidies and philanthropy, internal generating of revenues, internal budgeting process, internal resource allocation, problems facing polytechnic education, government policies, and the future of the polytechnic.
Results suggest that polytechnic institutions are characterized with ineffectiveness and the major cause was attributed to inadequacy of funding which was linked to other ineffectiveness factors such as; accreditation, accountability, discrimination against polytechnic graduates, infrastructures and equipments, cultism, examination malpractices, staff development, low quality, inadequacy of staff, leadership and politics, human relations on campus, strategic planning, poor staff remuneration, resources wastages, and students’ practical knowledge. In sum, fifteen criteria that can make polytechnic education in Nigeria more effective in achieving their missions were generated from the dominant coalition members of the three polytechnics.
In addition, the study revealed that for effectiveness to triumph in higher education institutions in Nigeria, government should embark on policies that will upgrade polytechnic institutions to university status, eliminate the level of corruption in the country, find solutions to cult-related activities on campuses of Nigerian higher education institutions, a lasting solution to the epileptic electricity affecting the generality of the populace, and the establishment of a single higher education Funding Council to run the affairs of higher education in the country.
The study concludes with a number of recommendations to stakeholders which include; academic leaders, employers of labor, students, and policymakers of polytechnic higher education in Nigeria.