Demographic variables and self-efficacy as factors influencing career commitment of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria.

Author:Adio, Gboyega


The university is established to impart knowledge, conduct research, and provide services to the community. Smith and Porter (1970) affirm this by stating that the university is pre-eminently a knowledge institution, which produces knowledge in the form of skills, research, and credentials.

The need for university education prompted the development of the library as a support system to provide services that will galvanise the human intellectual capacity. To support the university, librarians satisfy the information needs of staff and students. In doing this, lack of motivation and proper funding have affected the performance of librarians, greatly affecting their attitude and commitment to work.

Career commitment of staff, especially librarians in developing countries like Nigeria, affects the quality of service, and consequently affects their satisfaction on the job. McCormick and Tiffin (1994) observe that if workers perceive that their values are realised in the job, they exhibit a positive attitude and have greater career commitment. Martins (1991) affirms that most significant problems of developing countries are economic problems, low wages, non-definition of the status of the librarian, occasional selective promotion, and lack of social security.

All these affect career commitment and self-efficacy. It is difficult to talk about career commitment where there is no motivation. In a survey conducted in Ankara, Kaya (1995) found that librarians were dissatisfied with physical working conditions, job recognition, job security, promotion, social status, wages, social services, authority, and responsibility. All these may affect their career or professional commitment. Kaya concludes that the status of the librarians should be defined, that promotion should depend on objective criteria, and that technological development must be used to inject new ideas. In addition, responsibility must be backed up with authority, participation in the decision-making process, job security, and provision of a proper working conditions. Wages should be improved to make librarians in developing countries like Nigeria committed to their career and satisfied with their jobs. Popoola, Tella, and Ayeni (2007) submit that librarians in research and academic libraries in Oyo state of Nigeria perceive that motivation influences their level of self-efficacy and career/organisational commitments.

Self-efficacy, according to Tella and Ayeni (2006), may be defined as the individual's perceived ability to attain designated types of performance and achieve a specific result. In the study of self-efficacy of librarians, Tella and Ayeni (2006) found out that self-efficacy propels librarians to keep trying to accomplish their goals, and make good decisions that translate into meaningful achievements. They choose to perform more challenging tasks and are more creative. Schwarzer and Smith (2005) studied the success of women in nontraditional business and confirm that self-efficacy has a predictive power in assessing performance.

Demographic or biographical variables also had a significant correlation with career commitment in the case of employees in the Osun State civil service (Popoola and Oluwole, 2007). They submit that gender, age, marital status, job tenure, and educational level should be considered germane to career commitment. While job satisfaction and corporate commitment of workers have been the topics of many studies in the fields of organisational behaviour and information management, the present study presents self-efficacy and career commitment as a way of understanding the behaviour of librarians in the Nigerian federal universities. The foregoing background brings into focus the need for empirical research that will investigate demographic variables and self-efficacy factors influencing career commitment of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are to:

* determine the level of career commitment traits of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria;

* determine the level of self-efficacy characteristics of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria;

* find the correlation among demographic variables (such as age, gender, marital status, educational background, job status), self-efficacy, and career commitment of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria.

Research Questions

To achieve the identified objectives of the study, the following research questions were raised:

* What are the career commitment traits of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria ?

* What is self-efficacy characteristic of librarians in relation to their job performance in federal university libraries in Nigeria ?

* Do demographic variables influence career commitment of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria ?


The following hypotheses were tested in the study at p

* There is no significant relationship between demographic variables (gender, age, marital status, academic qualification, job status, numbers of years spent in the library) and career commitment of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria;

* There is no significant relationship between self-efficacy and career commitment of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria;

* Demographic variables and self-efficacy do not significantly influence career commitment of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria.

Literature Review

Career Commitment of Personnel in Organisations

Commitment is an internal decision which cannot be forced. It occurs when one's thoughts and emotions are pointing to the same direction. Career commitment refers to the importance of an individual's career in his or her life. Greenhaus and Parasuraman (1993) found a significant relationship between career commitment and self-esteem. Blau (1988) confirmed that career commitment is distinct from other forms of commitment, such as job commitment and organisational commitment. According to Buchanan (1994), career commitment is demonstrated by an individual who values the goals of his or her profession, and performs professional duties effectively. Commitment is the degree of dedication to a profession or occupation (Meyer, 1993). Meyer says that career commitment is people's motivation to work towards personal advancement in their profession. Demographics, self-efficacy, and job satisfaction have various effects on career commitment. Studies show that, age, gender, educational level, and marital status have a relationship with career commitment (Meyer and Allen 1984; Gruskey 1966; Mowday, Porter, and Steers, 1982). Feelings and beliefs concerned with an individual's perceived capability to produce results and to attain designated types of performance influence career commitment (Bandura, 1977). Camilleri (2001) observes that several variables are vital to career commitment. The variables are satisfactory wages, good conditions of service, participation in decision-making, prompt payment of salaries, and on-the-job training. These are very important because they have a direct effect on the way a worker feels and may influence his career commitment. Popoola (2006) found out that there is no significant difference in the career commitment and educational level of records managers in the civil service in Osun State. He also asserts that the younger records managers are, the more they are committed to their careers. Similarly, it was also found that the less the experience, the stronger their career commitment to their job. This finding corroborates the assertion made by Meyer and Allen (1991) and Irving and Meyer (1994) that on-the-job experience early in one's life plays an important role in the development of career commitment.

Buchanan (1994) sees commitment as a situation where the individual directs efforts toward organizational and professional goals and gains intrinsic satisfaction through achievement. The career commitment of a librarian could be said to be the ability of the librarian perform the job effectively, maintaining loyalty, involvement, and identification, despite the shortcomings of the job, such as recognition, working conditions, achievements, social relationships, and benefits.

The career of any group of workers has been a subject of interest to researchers in the field of industrial psychology and sociology. Career commitment is also referred to as occupational commitment or professional commitment, and is a person's belief in the values of a chosen occupation and a willingness to maintain membership in that occupation (Vandenberg and Scarpelo, 1994; Morrow and Wirth, 1989). There have been controversies on the correct definition of the term "career commitment", because careers may consist of several different jobs over the course of a working life, and non-professionals can also demonstrate commitment to their chosen occupation. In this regard, we use the term "career commitment" exclusively in this study to mean people's motivations to work toward personal advancement in their...

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