International Journal of
Library and Information Science

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Lib. Inf. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2537
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJLIS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 242

Indices of working condition as determinant of job performance of librarians in academic libraries in South-East, Nigeria

Ifeyinwa Blessing Okoye
  • Ifeyinwa Blessing Okoye
  • Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Francisca C. Mbagwu
  • Francisca C. Mbagwu
  • Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Peter Moneke
  • Peter Moneke
  • Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Rosemary Abanum
  • Rosemary Abanum
  • Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 07 March 2018
  •  Accepted: 02 May 2018
  •  Published: 30 June 2018

 ABSTRACT

Working condition being implemented in various academic libraries could disrupt or enhance effective provision of information services by the librarians. This research investigated two indices of working condition as determinant factors on job performance of librarians in academic libraries in south east geo political zone of Nigeria. A total of 261 librarians were used for this study. The t-test statistical technique was used to test the two null hypotheses and all formulated at 0.05 level significant. The findings showed that the job security and disciplinary measures had no significant effect on job performance of librarians at (t-test = 0.7) and (t-test = 0.4) respectively. The general conclusion of this work is that these indices do not affect the performance of librarians in their work rather it can sometimes possibly trigger off infraction if not well handled, which can automatically affect the general productivity of such libraries. The study recommended that the management should dissuade libraries from placing much reliance on their job security to engender enhanced productivity rather they should seek alternative ways to motivate staff. Caution should also be taken when executing disciplinary measures on staff so that it will not turn out to trigger infraction which will undermine job performance of workers.

Key words: Job security, disciplinary measure, job performance, librarians, academic libraries.


 INTRODUCTION

The management and administration of human resources in organization varies at different times and situations, and the overall productivity of any organization is based on sound working conditions. This means that human resources have an important role to play in achieving optimum productivity. A study by Nwachukwu (2010), on Nigerian workers, reveals that an average Nigerian worker is materially oriented, pleasure seeking, ego-centric and wants to get rich quick. And this being the case, workers always agitate for improvement of working conditions which often leads to incessant strike actions, work to rule, lock-outs and protests (Uzoigwe, 2011). To ward-off occasions of conflicts between the employees there is need to implement, direct, control and distribute activities in the libraries in conformity with laid-down rules, regulations and policies. Thus some of the factors that can generate and sustain stability in workplace are assurances of stable working conditions.

Arum and Mirza (2008) define working conditions as a voluntary effort of the employer to establish within the existing industrial system, working and sometimes living and cultural condition to the employee beyond that which is required by law, the custom of the industry and the condition of the market. Similarly in the library parlance, working conditions are those factors that contribute to librarians’ degree of commitment. However the future of any organization depends more on its staff than on any other factor and the usefulness of any service institution like the library is measured by the services rendered by them to the users (Neerputh et al., 2006). This in turn depends on the efficient and effective service delivery and general job performance.

According to Abdel-Razek (2011), job performance is the effort made by an employee within an organization in order to achieve particular pre-determined results through the use of available resources. Specifically, job performance are those behaviours and actions that support and enrich the social environment for enhancement of in-role, which bring about effective and high productivity. Robbins and Coutler (2013), put it that performance in the workplace is the accumulated results of activities that an employee performs. It comprises what an employee does in the workplace, the achievement of organizational goals and the outcomes of his actions which are measurable (Viswesvaran and Ones, 2000). Therefore, high performance at work has been adjudged to be a determinant factor in the success and profitability of organization (Dizgah et al., 2012). That is to say that the level of performance of employees is determined by how favourable and unfavourable the working conditions are.

However, when workers are employed, it is expected that they adhere to the operations/conditions of employment and conditions of service. This has necessitated several organizations to develop procedures, laws, polices, regulations and processes to ensure that their goals and objectives are met. Attempts have been made by various organizations to see that working conditions stipulated by the law, Public Service Rules (2009) and Pension Reform Act (2004) motivate the employees working in such organizations. Often times formal organizations use various working conditions such as reward, training, leave, job security, promotion, appraisal and disciplinary measures to control and encourage their employees to get a desirable job performance which will bring overall positive change in the organization. Moreover it can be used to keep counterproductive conduct in control.

Greenberg and Baron (2007) affirm that disciplinary measures are used to keep counter-productive conducts in check and also manage performance because employers are deemed to have the right to impose various types of disciplinary measures on employees who have failed to fulfill the obligations derived from employment relationship and terms. The effective nature of working condition is that it plays important roles in creating right attitude and control excesses in workplace in order to achieve organizational goals and objectives.

In order words, disciplinary measures as part of the working condition are those actions taken by the authority in any organization for the sole purpose of restraining employees from behaviour that threaten the smooth running, efficiency and productivity in the workplace (Nel et al., 2007). In another study, Ndunuju (2009) remarks that disciplinary measures prompt individuals especially the employee to observe rules and regulations stipulated for the efficient and effective running of the organization. Notably its action varies and its application depends on the conduct of a worker and can be taken as an instrument of control in any organization.

Apart from disciplinary measure, job security is another working condition an organization uses to get a desirable job performance of their employees. According to Mosaybian and Jafari (2014) a secured job is an employee’s requirement and wish whenever a job is secured. Hence, job insecurity makes one lack concentration which can affect worker’s performance in the organization. A situation where there is fear of being sacked at any time, its most likely to bring in low output in productivity among the employees. That is why Akpan (2013) stated that occasional feelings of the employee over loss of job or loss of desirable job features such as lack of promotion opportunity, current working conditions as well as long time career opportunity can be attributed to lack of job security. Often times, job security is threatened for various reasons, for instance in the year 2003, 44 lecturers of the university of Ilorin, Nigeria were all sacked because they were involved in a National Strike action. This development left fear in the minds of other lecturers, by doubting the authenticity of their job security, of course it was fought to a still and they were recalled to their jobs as a result of job security.

Libraries like any other organization set out goals, objectives, policies and processes to ensure that the information resources available in the library are utilized by their users satisfactorily as well as the services rendered by the librarians. Efficiency and effectiveness of libraries depends on the job performance of the librarians but most often on the conditions of service and the surrounding policies which always serve as a driving force to effectiveness. Though the librarians occupy important place in assisting research, teaching and learning in academic institutions, it is imperative that human resources (librarians) recruited and selected are properly and adequately motivated, maintained and controlled to provide quality services. In the light of this background, this study therefore seek to investigate the indices of working condition as determinant to job performance of librarians in academic libraries in South-East geo-political zone of Nigeria.

Statement of problem

Working condition enable workers to perform better or otherwise in their place of employment, more so, the adoption and the process of enforcing certain working conditions may yield contrary results as it can have the possibility of endangering positive behaviour at work, which might lead to low performance. Ideally there is not much documented empirical evidence on indices of working condition on job performance of librarians in academic libraries in South east geo-political zone Nigeria to the best of our knowledge.

This underscores the imperativeness for this study as it seeks to explain certain indices of working conditions as determinant of the job performance of librarians in academic libraries in Nigeria using south east geo-political zone of Nigeria.

Objectives of the study

The general purpose of this study is to investigate the two indices of working condition as determinant factors of job performance of librarians in academic libraries in south east geo political zone of Nigeria. The specific objectives include:

(1) To determine the effect of job security as a determinant of job performance of librarians in academic libraries in south-east geo- political zone of Nigeria.

(2) To ascertain the effect of disciplinary measures as a determinant of job performance of librarians in academic libraries in south-east geo- political zone of Nigeria

(3) To make recommendations based on the outcome of the study.

Research questions

(1) What is the effect of job security as a determinant of job performance of librarians in academic libraries in south east geo-political zone of Nigeria?

(2) What is the effect of disciplinary measures as a determinant of job performance of librarians in academic libraries in south east geo-political zone of Nigeria?

(3) What are the possible solutions and recommendations on the outcome of the study?

Hypotheses

The study tested two null hypotheses using t-test statistical analyses, tested for significance difference at 0.05 level:

H01 Job security has no significant effect on job performance of librarians in academic libraries in south east geo-political zone of Nigeria.

H02 Disciplinary measures have no significant effect on job performance of librarians in academic libraries in south east geo-political zone of Nigeria.

Scope of the study

This study covers the two indices of working conditions on job performance of librarians in the academic libraries in federal and state owned universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in south east geo-political zone of Nigeria. The states are Abia, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu. The indices of working conditions are job security and disciplinary measures.


 LITERATURE REVIEW

Khan et al. (2012) discovered that safety/job security is significantly related to commitment and performance. This makes people oftentimes seek employment where there is job security in order to protect themselves from the contingencies of life and actively try to avoid situations that would prevent them from satisfying their ambition. Kirnizi and Deniz (2009) emphasized that employees in the organization need a stable working environment that do not have risk. In this case, what job security does is to ensure that no employee whose appointment or employment is tenure-based is dismissed arbitrarily from job. According to Lambert (1991), job security has an extrinsic comfort that has a positive relationship with worker’s commitment and performance. Davy et al. (1997) discovered that job security is significantly related to employee commitment and performance. Luthans (1992) emphasized that Job security is not so easily fulfilled but may have a greater and more intense impact on the way an employee works. He further enunciated the need for job security as follows- being protected against loss of income or economic disaster, having protection against illness and disability, being protected against physical harm or hazardous conditions and avoiding tasks or decisions with a risk of failure and blame.

Disciplinary measures and job performance

Pathak (2011) states disciplinary measures as counseling and other employment action undertaken to correct or modify unacceptable job performance or behaviour to acceptable standard. One thing with disciplinary measures as put up by Geddes and Skickney (2011) is that it may divert attention instead of correcting unacceptable job behaviours and it can equally trigger infraction in the workplace. However, disciplinary measures serve as an indicator to an employee that he has failed and therefore deserves to be punished (King and Wilcox, 2003). Disciplinary measures does not mean strict and technical observance of rules and regulations for the survival of the organizational system, rather it implies a situation where workers are expected to cooperate and behave in a way as any reasonable person would expect an employee to do (Okeke, 1996). Ferguson (2010) states that disciplinary measures instill good attitude to work in the organization. Study by Mallaia and Yadapadithya (2004) maintain that when staffs are motivated, they tend to change towards positive behaviour that will lead to impressive job performance. But on the other hand, a study by Ebura and Coker (2012) find no significant influence between disciplinary policy and job performance, also over dependence on it, can bring a total breakdown in the job performance of employees. As it can yield negative consequences that can lead to low job performance (Isrealstam, 2011). According to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2007) disciplinary measures can serve as a tool for communication to staff that unacceptable norms of behaviour on their job are taken seriously and dealt with consistently and fairly. However oral warning, written queries, loss of entitlement, forceful retirement, suspension, demotion, termination, sack and dismissal are identified as disciplinary measures (Adiele, 2012).

Job security and job performance

According to Okojie (2009), some of the factors that affect motivation and performance do not necessarily come in stringent step but they vary from sector to sector. Organization usually expect employees to follow rules and regulations to perform the task assigned to them while on the other hand employees expect good working condition, fair play, favourable retirement benefit, job security (Khan et al., 2010). A study was conducted and three hypotheses were tested, the relationship between job security and continual commitment, result shows a significant relationship between job security and continual commitment, another was tested on the relationship between job security and emotional commitment, the hypothesis is accepted indicating a significant relationship between job security and emotional commitment, finally another was tested on the relationship between job security and obligatory commitment and it is accepted showing that there is a significant relationship between job security and obligatory commitment (Mosaybian and Jafari, 2014). Research by Kura et al. (2013) proves that disciplinary measures can negatively affect individual performance and organization growth. Though Arik and Kato (2010) observe individual differences as a major factor that influences job performance in the organization. Ajila and Abiola (2004) stress that performance on the job can be assessed at all levels of employment such as personnel decision relating to job security, job enrichment and disciplinary measures. Further, Guest (2004) reports that job security and working condition had adverse effect on employee’s commitment to their duties. Another study on performance of librarians by Kaya (1995) found out that librarians that are dissatisfied with physical conditions, promotions, job security, and disciplinary measures are not committed to their job. Schermerhorn et al. (2005) report pay, promotion, job security and disciplinary measures as factors that can affect employee’s job performance.


 METHODOLOGY

Survey design was used for the study. The population was made up of all academic librarians in academic libraries in south east geo-political zone of Nigeria (Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Abia and Ebonyi) states. The total number of academic librarians in these libraries was 261 comprising of 151 in university libraries, 58 in polytechnic libraries and 52 in college of education libraries. The whole population was used because it was manageable. Questionnaire was used for data collection. A total of two hundred and sixty one copies of questionnaire were distributed by hand to the academic librarians with the help of four research assistants. The respondents were given few days to fill the questionnaire. Out of 261 copies of questionnaire distributed only 228 (87.4%) were completed and returned. Descriptive and inferential were used for this study. The data collected were analyzed using frequency tabulation and percentages to answer the research questions that were on four point scale. The hypotheses were tested using the statistical method of t- test analysis. These hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance for rejection or retention.


 RESULTS

Research question 1: What is the effect of job security on job performance of librarians in academic libraries in South east geo-political zone of Nigeria?

Table 1 presents data on the degree of agreement on of effects the job security will have on the job performance of librarians. The result of the findings revealed that 127(55.7%) of the respondents were in agreement that job security give them confidence to work extra hard while 101(44. 2%) of the respondents disagreed. For those that recorded that the way they do their job has nothing to do with whether they have job security or not had total agreement response of 153 (65.8%), while 75 (32.9%) respondents disagreed to this statement. Again, the respondents who were in agreement that they get scared of their job when they remember that they can be sacked at any time recorded 51 (22.3%) responses while a total of 177 (77.6%) respondents disagreed on the statement. My job security gives me emotional and psychological stability to commit more time to my job” total agreement responses for respondents was 82(36.0%) while disagreement responses was 146 (64.0%). The respondents that stated “they come to work always because they feel that their job has retirement benefits” had total agreement score of 179 (78.5%) while the total disagreement score was 49 (17.0%).

Findings on this table also revealed a total agreement response of 139 (60.9%) by respondents that there is no need to put more effort since they are always sure of their entitlement, 89 (39%) were in disagreement to this statement. Respondents that recorded that they no longer struggle to work hard since they will get their entitlement had 129 (56.6%) agreement while 99(43.4%) were in disagreement. Result on the table proved that job security has nothing to do with the way the librarians studied carry on their duties in their various libraries.

Research question 2: What is the effect of disciplinary measures on job performance of librarians in the academic libraries in South East Geo- Political Zone of Nigeria

Table 2 presents data on the effects disciplinary measures will have on job performance of librarians. Finding in Table 2 shows that a total of 93 (40.8%) of the respondents agreed that they come to work even when they are sick because of fear of being sacked while 135 (59.2%) were in disagreement. A total of 129 (56.5%) respondents agreed they have stress doing their job because of threat of demotion, 99 (43.4%) disagreed. 77 (33.8%) of the respondents agreed that query attracts undue influence and pressure on their job, while a total of152 (66.7%) respondents disagreed with the statement. Those who stated that disciplinary measures in operation does not enhance their interpersonal relationship with their superiors had a total agreement score of 101 (44.2%) and a total disagreement score of 127 (55.7%). Respondents who agreed that disciplinary measure does not in any way interrupt their work life had a total agreement response of 73 (32.0%) while a total number of 155(68.0%) respondents disagreed to the statement. 129(56.6%) of the respondents were in agreement that fear of being disciplined will not make them to work harder especially when they have domestic challenges while 99(43.4%) of the respondents disagreed. Again more than half of the respondents 119 (52.6%) were in agreement that disciplinary measures will make them correct unaccepted work behavior while less than half 109 (47.8%) disagreed. Evidence on the table showed that over dependence on disciplinary measures can bring negative influence therefore by this study it has no effect on job performance.

Hypothesis 1

Job security as a working condition does not have any significant effect on job performance of librarians in academic libraries in south east geo-political zone of Nigeria (Table 3). Using t-test statistical technique, job security as a working condition was tested for significant effect on job performance of librarians, the t-cal value was 0.07. The value was tested for significance by comparing it with t-tab value of 2.18 at 0.05 level of significance with degree of freedom of 12. The t-cal value of 0.07 is less than the t-tab value of 2.18 therefore the null hypothesis that states that job security does not have significant effect on job performance of librarians is accepted. This indicates that job security as a working condition has no significant influence on job performance of librarians in south east geo-political zone of Nigeria.

Hypothesis 2

Disciplinary measures as a working condition does not have any significant effect on job performance of librarians in academic libraries in South East geo-political zone of Nigeria (Table 4). Using t-test statistical technique, disciplinary measure as a working condition was tested for significant effect on job performance of librarians the calculated t-cal value was 0.04. The value was tested for significance by comparing the result with t-tab value of 2.18 at 0.05 level of significance with degree of freedom of 12. The t-cal value of 0.04 is less than the t-tab value of 2.18 therefore the null hypothesis that states that disciplinary measure does not have any significant effect on job performance of librarians is accepted. This indicates that disciplinary measures as a working condition have no effect on job performance of librarians in south – east geo-political zone of Nigeria.


 DISCUSSION

The findings of this study were discussed under the following headings:

Effect of job security as a working condition on job performance of librarians

Even though job security protects staff from abrupt loss ofincome as a result of illness, eventual disability, harm and hazardous conditions as well known, hence it does not undermine the job performance of librarians as it gives them confidence to work hard, and also commit them tohave emotional and psychological stability. Again it makes them to commit more time on the task they undertake to move the library to the next level so as not to suffer any form of disciplinary measures. The statistical out-come of this analysis is that job security of librarians did not significantly result in any job performance of librarians as they still went about their routine duties with seriousness and commitment.

The result of the finding validates what Luthan (1992) reports that job performance may not at all times be influenced by job security but may be influenced by other factors such as reward, recognition and relationship with the employers. But on the contrary, Khan et al. (2012) opposed the finding, when they discovered that job security can influence performance. Davy et al. (1997) also supported the later by stating that job security has significant effect on employees’ commitment and performance. Hence the finding of the hypothesis tested proves no significant effect on their job performance as regards to job security.

Effect of disciplinary measure as a working condition on job performance of librarians

Oftentimes disciplinary measures normally have a detrimental effect on the affected librarians as it may have a negative impact on the librarians’ reputation, interpersonal relationship with his superiors and job security. On the fact that disciplinary measures are tools used by organizations to correct anomalies and instill good work behaviour, some librarians believed that since they have job security no need to work hard. Evidence on the finding shows that disciplinary measures has no effect on job performance of librarians as they have more confidence on their job security believing that nothing will happen to them. This is in conformity with the finding of Kura et al. (2013) that proves that disciplinary measures can negatively affect individual performance in the job. Ebura and Coker (2012) also found out that there is no significant influence between the disciplinary policy and job performance that over dependence on it, brings total breakdown in the job performance of employees. This also agrees with what Isrealstam (2011) reported that disciplinary measure can yield negative consequences that can lead to low job performance. Further the study Geddes and Skickney (2011) show that disciplinary measure may divert attention instead of correcting unacceptable job behaviours and can trigger infraction in the workplace. However, finding from the hypothesis tested shows that disciplinary measures has no significant effect on job performance of librarians on the places studied.


 CONCLUSION

Conclusively it could be understood from this study that job security and disciplinary measures as working conditions cannot always determine the way librarians perform their duties in various libraries. These two indices of working condition have no effect on the way their jobs are carried out. Even though these indices have no significant effect on their jobs, it could stir up a balance between negative and positive job performances among them.


 RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are proffered; Irrespective of the findings, the library administrators should look for alternative ways to motivate their staff to be more productive other than relying more on their job security. Proven cases of disciplining erring workers have produced quick and obvious results but overdependence on it can also yield negative consequences that can lead to low job performance. In the light of this, library administrators and management of the academic libraries should be cautious when implementing disciplinary measures so that its intention will not turn out to undermine the performance of the workers in the library as well as diverting attention.


 CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

The authors have not declared any conflict of interests.



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