PARTICIPATORY MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION: EVIDENCE FROM AFAM POWER PLC, PORT HARCOURT, RIVER STATE, NIGERIA

Ugwu Kelechi Enyinna; Ijeoma Chimaobi C; Nnaji-ihedinmah Nnadozie C.

Introduction

Participatory Management grew out of the human relations movement in the 1920’s where workers have their right to voice out their opinions about their current work environment. The origin of participatory management was born as a result of industrial democracy where employees want to be part of the decision making team. An employee-centered approach to leadership has gained more attention for horizontal organizational structure which focuses on the ability of employees to come up with innovative solutions that emphasizes on teamwork and collaboration. Participatory management focuses on empowering employees to achieve organizational goals. It is considered to be more effective than vertical organizational structure due to recognition of employee opinion and idea (Hawthorne 2020).

In addition, Participatory Management (PM) is often used interchangeably with employee empowerment or participative decision making. It relates to how employees are given the freedom to make decisions and evaluations of existing and unforeseeable problems (Bryson, Quick, Slotterback and Crosby, 2013). It is when employees who are influenced by decision-makers are given a chance to make decisions in the organization. By so doing employees are empowered to make contributions and ideas on how to provide solutions to organizational problems. Participatory management proffer benefits at all levels of the organization. In addition, it also creates a sense of ownership in the company which in turn, provides a sense of pride and motivation to employees to increase their productivity in order to achieve organizational goals. It creates greater job satisfaction which improves the degree of employee feelings and cohesion in an organization which in turn result to increase productivity (Jones & Filos, 2015). According to the authors’ perspective, participatory management does not mean relinquishing authority instead it delegates authority and matches people with the level of responsibility and accountability to achieve the goals of the organization.

On the other hand, Participatory Management offers huge gain at all levels of the organization. Guyot (2011) identified that PM offers the firm’s opportunity to improve its performance and productivity when applied properly. Bryson et al. (2013) argues that participatory management is used to improve employee morale, motivation, job satisfaction and quality enhancement in the work environment. Related to this, Djogbenou, Kakai, Arouna and Sinsin (2012) observed that participatory management offers employees the ability to go the extra mile to improve organizational effectiveness which in turn can lead to innovation and creativity in the work environment.

However, Participatory Management also offers demerit at organizational levels. Incompatible differences among team members in the organization can negatively influence team building and limits group capacity to pursue their interest and make choices that can improve organizational objectives or goals. Ugwu (2019) argues that perception differences among people can trigger intergroup conflict which can affect organization adversely. Intergroup conflict occurs when one group perceive itself as being influential or important than others in the organization due to self-egotism and parochial interest.

Employee Satisfaction implies a situation where individuals feel passionate about their work (Kalisk, 2007). It describes employees’ emotional psychology or with regards to the appraisal of one’s work. In other words, it is a situation where an individual feels happy with his or her jobs. It seeks to explain workers sense of achievement and success on his or her job.  An employee with a sense of satisfaction with his or her job usually feels motivated to be at his or her job. This reduces the instances of employee absenteeism and turnover in the workplace. High turnover rate cost organization more money and affect organizational productivity.

Some researchers have identified a link between participatory management and employee satisfaction. Previous studies by Kim (2002) found that managers’ use of participatory management style is positively associated with high levels of job satisfaction. Similar studies by Zia, Khan and Nouman (2014) using a survey administered to faculty members of the university in Islamabad revealed that participative management has a significant positive influence on job satisfaction of employees.

In light of the above, the researchers have identified a gap in the literature. Previous studies were carried out in other parts of the world. None of these studies looked at the relationship between the level of employee motivation and job satisfaction of employees in Afam Power Plc. The industry of study and geographic coverage is the gap the researchers identified and seeks to explore to contribute to existing knowledge in this field of study.

The composition or structure of Afam Power Plc determines the roles and tasks being carried out within the organization. Every activity in the organization is laid down in such a way that the objectives and authority of individuals are well defined. Every member of the organization continues to perform the same task over a long period of time without adjustment. The mechanistic structure of the organization does not promote creativity and innovation in the organization. The power supply has not been standardized despite the huge investment in the industry and consumers have not felt the impact of quality services rendered by the organization. Presently, the industry is experiencing poor quality services and lower productivity over a long time. The above problem causes unstable supply, power shortfall, the poor transmission of energy or electricity and high tariffs of electricity bills in the energy sector. The formal structure needs to be addressed in order to have a stable supply of energy in the industry. If not addressed the industry will continue to degenerate day by day and the effect will be devastating and can result to lower productivity and customer dissatisfaction. It is based on the above problems that study objectives are formulated to guide the study.

 

Afam Power Plc is a premier thermal power generating company founded in September 11, 2005.  It is located at Oyigbo local government area of Rivers State Nigeria. The company owns, operates and manages thermal power plc and serve customers in Nigeria. The power plant generate energy from different sources such as water (hydroelectric generation), natural gas, steam or coal which spins to create electricity.  The vision of the company is to become a leader and indispensable company in Power generation in Nigeria with the most efficient workforce, processes and system (Afam Power Plc, 2020).

 

The general objective of the study is to determine the level of the relationship between participatory Management and Employee Satisfaction in Afam Power Plc. Drawn from the general objective, specific objective is to ascertain the level of the relationship between organizational structure and employee motivation.

2.0 Review of Related Literature

2.1 The Concept of Participatory Management

Participatory management refers to the management approach where the subordinates of an organization are fully involved in the active management and decision making processes of the organization (Ogbo, Ugwu, Ugbam and Kifordu, 2016). Participatory management style offers the entire workers opportunities to make input to workplace policies and decisions that achieve business goals while promoting career satisfaction. As opposed to an autocratic management style, where the manager assumes operational control and makes all the decisions unilaterally,  the participative manager asks for contribution from team members and considers every one opinion to find effective solutions to dealing with organizational problems and put into practice to meet deadlines. Consequently, workers feel more valued and strive to achieve management objective.

Participatory management focuses on empowering team members to participate in decision-making process. When employees are empowered they are motivated since they control and make decisions on most aspects of their jobs. Empowerment must be followed by accountability so that caution is an exercise in spending (Cited in Nnabuife, 2009). Boyarhova (2012) observed that the stability of a team depends primarily on factors such as employees’ empowerment, involvement, satisfaction and friendly communication between colleagues in the workplace. Team structure brings together people with different skills in order to meet a particular objective. Being part of a team permits every person in a company to perform great roles that will, in turn, create value to the organization.

2.1 Organizational Structure

Organizational structure is defined as a framework of the relations on jobs, systems, operating process, people and groups making efforts to achieve or accomplish the set-out goal of the organization (Ahmady, Merpour and Mikooravesh, 2016).  Organizational structure determines the flow of information between different levels of management ranging from lower, middle and higher level of management (Business Dictionary, 2020).  It influences the way and manner power are being shared, controlled and coordinated within the organization.  It can also be described as a framework of reporting relationship that exists in an organization or between organizations. This relationship can be sketched in the form of an organizational chart. The organizational chart does not necessarily reflect actual reporting or decision making in an organization, so we can make a distinction between formal and informal structure.

Some organizations employ an organizational structure in order to reduce confusion over task expectations. Having an organizational structure helps to organize activities by clearly identifying which people are responsible for each task to be accomplished in the organization. Organization structure occupies very a vital place in the management of an organization, without organizational structure, the organization might not be able to perform and function very well in carrying its goals. Power Holding Company (Afam Power Plc) has used organic strategies to reshape their structure and functions which greatly enhance greater performance over the years (Ogidi and Adekitan, 2013).

Organizational Structure is described as a system that outlines power that flows from the upper management level to subordinate management level. It is a structure by which tasks or coursework are shared, allocated and harmonized among the firm’s associate. It describes the extent to which different sub-units are arranged and interrelate with each other (Chiekezie, Nzewi & Orogbu, 2008). Organizational structure refers to the official arrangement between personal and groups as regards to the dividing of tasks, responsibilities, and power within the firm (Greenberg, 2011).

Organizations exist to achieve their set goals. These goals are classified into tasks or function required for the task and it is usually grouped into departments. Most departments in some firms are grouped into; marketing, sales, human resource, manufacturing, advertising, among others. Within each department, even more, distinctions are found between the jobs people perform. Departments are linked to form the organizational structure. The organization’s structure gives it the form to fulfil its function in the environment (Nelson & Quick, 2011).

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