Demographic variables and job performance of librarians in university libraries in South East Nigeria.

Author:Ugwu, Cyprian Ifeanyi
Position:Report
 
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  1. Introduction

    The South East Zone is situated in the lowland forest region of Nigeria, with minor parts in the Niger Delta, where the Niger River fans out into the Atlantic Ocean in a vast network of creeks and mangrove swamps on the Bight of Bonny. It is also located between latitude 5-7 degrees north and longitude 6-8 degrees east, and occupies a total landmass of about 16,000 square miles in Southern Nigeria. The Zone is surrounded by a host of large rivers (Oriji, 2001).

    It is important to note that this Zone suffered greatly from the Nigerian civil war that lasted for three years from 1967 to 1970. This war supposedly affected library, educational and human capital development in the Zone. It is against this backdrop that this Zone was chosen for the study; to see how the libraries in the Zone especially university libraries can become very effective through research on the predictors of job performance of the library staff.

    The south eastern geopolitical zone is made up of five states with five federal universities namely: the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) Enugu State; NnamdiAzikiwe University (NAU) Awka, Anambra State; Federal University of Technology Owerri, (FUTO) Imo State; Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State and the recently added Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo(FUNAI), Ebonyi State. The federal university libraries in South East Nigeria were established and funded by the federal government of Nigeria. The funding usually comes in the form of grants or Library Development Fund (L.D.F.) to cater for collection development, staff capacity building and recruitment as well as the day-to-day administration of these libraries. These libraries have the mandate to fulfill the vision and mission of their parent institutions. Though they are funded by the federal government of Nigeria, the funds are usually not sufficient enough for the development of library and information services in South East Nigeria. In their study of the libraries and librarians in South East Nigeria, Nwosu, Ugwoegbu and Okeke (2013) found that the librarians were poorly motivated and performed moderately in their workplaces. The implication of this finding is that the job performance of the librarians must be improved. This calls for the understanding of the factors that affect job performance of which demographic variables have been so identified in the literature. It is important that we also understand how far these variables can predict librarians' job performance as a right step in the direction of developing performance improvement strategies. Therefore, this study will focus on determining the predictive values of demographic variables in relation to the job performance of librarians in federal university libraries in SouthEast Nigeria.

    1.1. Purpose of the Study

    The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between demographic variables and job performance of librarians working in the university libraries in South East Nigeria. Specifically, this study seeks to determine:

    1) The demographic profiles of librarians in university libraries in South-East Nigeria.

    2) The level of task performance of librarians in university libraries in South East Nigeria.

    3) The level of contextual performance of librarians in university libraries in South East Nigeria.

    4) The relationship between demographic variables and task performance of librarians.

    5) The relationship between demographic variables and contextual performance of librarians.

    1.2. Research Questions

    The following five research questions guided this study:

    1) What are the demographic profiles of librarians in university libraries in South East Nigeria in terms of their age, gender, education, years of work experience and job level or designation?

    2) What is the level of task performance of librarians in university libraries in South East Nigeria?

    3) What is the level of contextual performance of librarians in university libraries in South East Nigeria?

    4) What is the relationship between demographic variables and task performance of librarians?

    5) What is the relationship between demographic variables and contextual performance of librarians?

    1.3. Hypotheses

    The following two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and tested at the 0.05 level of significance.

    H01: There is no joint relationship between demographic variables and task performance of librarians in university libraries in South East Nigeria

    H02: There is no relative relationship between demographic variables and contextual performance of librarians.

  2. Literature review

    2.1. Concept of Demography

    Demography, according to Abadina and Mba (2014), is the study of the overall social positions of individuals within the social and economic domain. This entails occupation and income, educational attainment or level and family structure or size. Furthermore, it encompasses the study of the size, structure and distribution of the populations of human beings.

    Demographics may also be defined as the quantifiable characteristics of a given population. According to Popoola and Akande (2009) demography is the study of population that involves birth, death and diseases in a particular community. Modern day demographic study is however not only population conscious but also has a time dimension (Popoola and Akande, 2009).

    Demographic variables or factors have also been defined by Palakurthic and Parks (2000) as the socio-economic characteristics of sales force personnel like age, educational qualification, sex, marital status and years of service. Based on this definition, Hassan and Ogunkoya (2012) identified demographic variables as education, gender, marital status and years of service. According to Oyewole and Popoola (2015), demographic variables are personal factors that include age, gender, educational level, tenure or working experience, job level and monthly salary. Some frequently used demographic variables as gleaned from the literature include age, sex (gender), race / ethnicity, education, location of residence, socio-economic status (SES), income, employment status, religion, marital status, ownership (home, car, pet, etc), language, mobility, population size and family size.

    In the present study, demographic variables of librarians are referred to as their quantifiable personal characteristics. These quantifiable characteristics as covered in this study include age, gender, education, job position or designation and years of work experience. However, studies related to demographic variables are abundant in the literature but few studies have been carried out on the relationship between demographic variables and the job performance of librarians.

    2.2. Concept of Job Performance

    Job performance is a commonly used concept in industrial and organizational psychology. It refers to how people perform their job. Ojo (2009) defined job performance as an extent to which the day-to-day work is being carried out. Hose (2012) simply defined it as the way employees perform their work. Also, job performance has been defined as the total expected value to the organization of the discrete behavioural episodes that an individual performs over a stipulated period of time (Motowidlo, 2003). Many researchers have found that job performance is not unidimensional (Hunthausen, 2000; Motowidlo, Borman, and Smit, 1997). Job performance is therefore, an important criterion that relates to organizational outcomes and success. Borman and Motowidlow (1993) indicated two types of job performance: Task performance and Contextual performance.

    2.2.1. Task performance--This involves activities that are carried out to serve and maintain the technical part of an organization such as supervising and planning (Motowidlo, 2003). Also task performance describes an individual's execution of the core duties that might be formally listed in his or her job description. It describes obligatory behavior of a person. This refers to activities directly contributing to or enabling the production of goods or services (Motowidlo, Borman and Smit, 1997). Koopmans et al (2011) developed indicators of task performance that were used as the basis for the task performance measures in the present study. These indicators include; completing job tasks, work quantity, work quality, job skills, job knowledge, keeping knowledge up to-date, working accurately and neatly, planning and organizing, administration, decision making, solving problems, oral and written communication, monitoring and controlling resources.

    2.2.2. Contextual performance--This refers to spontaneous behaviors through which a worker supports and enhances the workplace environment. These might include the ability to see what needs to be done even when it is not explicitly part of one's formal job description, as well as transmission of positive attitudes to and among managers, colleagues and patrons (Borman and Motowidlo, 1997). Contextual performance contributes to the organizational effectiveness through its effects on the psychological, social and organizational context of work (Motowidlo, 2003) which includes all issues affecting individuals or increasing individuals' readiness to perform with valuable behaviours as well as actions that have some effect on the organization's tangible resources. Besides, Koopmans (2011) developed indicators of contextual performance that were used as the basis for contextual performance measures in this study. These indicators include; extra tasks, effort, initiative, enthusiasm, attention to duty, resourcefulness, industriousness, persistence, motivation, dedication, pro-activity, creativity, cooperating with and helping, politeness, effective communication, interpersonal relations and organizational commitment

    2.3. Distinguishing task and contextual performance

    Studies have shown that task performance and contextual performance typically correlate with different predictors. For example job...

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