Global Journal of Social Sciences Studies

Volume 6, Number 1 (2020) pp 39-50 doi 10.20448/807.6.1.39.50 | Research Articles

 

Employee Relations: Influence of Communication Openness on Employee Job Satisfaction (A Study of Secondary School Teachers in Kogi State, Nigeria)

Orebiyi, Anthony Olajide 1 , Odetoyinbo, Clement Ayodeji 1 Adebimpe, Peter Olusade 1 
1 Department of Mass Communication, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Nigeria.

ABSTRACT

This study examined influence of communication openness on employee’s job satisfaction. The study adopted a survey research method, using structured questionnaire, Focus Group Discussion and In-depth Interviews. Four Hundred Secondary School teachers in the services of Kogi State Teaching Service Commission were randomly selected from 10 schools in each of the three Senatorial Districts of the state. Data were analysed, using frequency counts, percentages, mean and simple regression. Results show all items measuring communication openness, except one, met the criteria set for acceptance: existence of freedom of association and expression (3.2); existence of avenues for complaint and redress (1.0); adequacy of information on teachers’ job (2.7) clear definition of responsibility and effort expected (3.0). As for the teachers’ perception of job satisfaction, all items designed to measure the variables, except one, opportunity for professional growth, is restricted (2.2), attracts a mean score of 2.5 and above. In the same token, result of the simple regression analysis shows a correlation between communication openness and teachers’ job satisfaction (P≤0.05).

Keywords: Employee relations, Communication openness, Job satisfaction, School teachers, Kogi state, Influence of  Communication.

DOI: 10.20448/807.6.1.39.50

Citation | Orebiyi, Anthony Olajide; Odetoyinbo, Clement Ayodeji; Adebimpe, Peter Olusade (2020). Employee Relations: Influence of Communication Openness on Employee Job Satisfaction(A Study of Secondary School Teachers in Kogi State, Nigeria). Global Journal of Social Sciences Studies, 6(1): 39-50.

Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Funding : This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

History : Received: 11 February 2020 / Revised: 16 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 April 2020 / Published: 6 May 2020 .

Publisher: Online Science Publishing

Highlights of this paper

  • This study examined influence of communication openness on employee’s job satisfaction.
  • The study adopted a survey research method, using structured questionnaire, Focus Group Discussion and In-depth Interviews.
  • The result of the simple regression analysis shows a correlation between communication openness and teachers’ job satisfaction (P≤0.05).

1. INTRODUCTION

Communication openness has been identified as one of the defining characteristics of supportive communication climate in a work setting (Buchholz, 2001; Salem, 2004; Zin, 2003).It is one of the critical elements that determine the success of any business organization.

Tourish. and Robson (2006) say the issue of communication openness between managers and non – managerial staff is pivotal to any consideration of organizational communication. According to them, openness is generally conceptualized in terms of how open people are to both message sending and message receiving. This implies that both superiors and subordinates, and even peers, must imbibe the spirit of communication openness for a supportive organisational climate to thrive.

Communication openness from the perception of  Salem (2004) involves speaking in a clear and understandable manner, freely expressing feelings, and being candid and frank. Upward openness is characterized by the opportunity to question a superior’s instruction and to disagree with him (Miles, Patrick, & King, 1996). Rogers (1987) suggests openness as composed of three parts:

  1. Who communicates with whom? ( the direction of communication).
  2. In what way? ( message sending and receiving).
  3. About what topic? (complaints, personal opinion, suggestions etc).

The directionality of communication, according to him, is made up of three relationships from superior to subordinate, peer to peer, and subordinate to superior. The three relationships, Schiller and Cui (2010) operationalize as downward, peer and upward direction of communication, respectively. They further explain that downward communication occurs between a superior and a subordinate, with the direction being from superior to subordinate. This may be in form of superiors asking for suggestions or listening to complaints from subordinate. Upward communication is usually initiated by subordinates to their superiors; this may involve subordinates asking for suggestions or seeking clarifications on work- related problems.

Stewart, Gudykunst, Ting-Toomey, and Nishida (1986) assert that “open communication relationship exists between superiors and subordinates when both parties perceive the other interactant as a willing and receptive listener, and refrain from responses which might be perceived as providing negative relational or disconfirming feedback”

Communication between peers forms the third phase of the relationship. It occurs when employees are on the same level of job positions and responsibilities. Such communication is usually referred to as lateral communication (Soola, 1998). In the course of official assignments, peer colleagues often ask each other for opinions and suggestions, and perhaps, complaints on job-related issues, which are considered as informal and casual.

In the same vein, Buchholz (2001) also provides an operational definition of openness in organizational communication. He explains that in an open communication, employees feel free to express opinions, voice complaints, and offer suggestions to their superiors. Employees also talk freely among themselves about important policy decisions and their production personnel, or marketing concerns. Research shows that an open communication climate has at least three distinct characteristics: it is supportive, participative and trusting  (Buchholz, 2001; Tourish & Vatch, 2003).

In a supportive work environment, according to Buchholz, employees convey information to superiors without hesitation, confident that supervisors will readily accept it, whether good or bad, favourable or unfavourable. On the other hand, Buchholz argues that in an environment without open communication, people keep their mouth shut on occasions they were to speak for fear of being sanctioned. In a participative work environment, employees have to feel that what they say counts for something; while in a trusting environment all parties in the relationships must tell the truth as they perceive it in information exchange.

In spite of the benefits of open communication, employees are usually faced with a choice of articulating a supportive or a dissenting voice to superiors (Tourish. & Robson, 2006). This is because of the possible consequences of a dissenting voice to superiors. Tourish. and Robson (2006) argue that a supportive voice, to which low risks, but high rewards are attached, generates a strong flow of communication to managers. They observe that where employees choose to articulate dissent, they tend to do so mildly, since dissent carries high risks and attracts low reward. Research findings show that, where upward feedback occurs, it tends to be more positive than critical in nature (Baron, 1996; Morrison & Milliken, 2003). This is because when subordinates communicate upward, the content is often meaningless as they send up only what they think the boss wants to hear or reports that are distorted or manipulated, so that they contain only information that makes the subordinates look good (Salem, 2004).

The lack of communication openness in most organizations has been identified partly as a causal factor in most organizational problems. Seeger and Ulmer (2003) cited the collapse of Enron organization in UK as an example of environment with closed communication climate. They alleged that the collapse was due to senior managers’ failure to maintain adequate communication systems, capable of transmitting information about organizational problems. From the testimonies of the organisation’s employees, management promoted an internal culture of ‘no bad news’. They also revealed that the organization used a punitive system of internal appraisal, known as ‘rank and yank’ to penalize those seen to be dissenters.

Experience has shown that when better options seem not to be available, nearly everyone with a complaint considers using an unconstructive option. Brown and Leigh (1996) note that whenever employees perceive that they will incur organisational sanctions for the expressions of individuality in their work roles, they distant themselves from work roles, resulting in psychologically disengagement from work. On the other hand, when employees feel psychologically safe in their work roles, they are more likely to infuse their personalities, creativities feelings, and self-concepts, into their work roles. Kahn (1990) also arguing in the same dimension, posits that personalized role performance is likely to indicate a higher degree of perceived psychological safety in employees’ work role and organisational environment.  Inability to express one’s feeling in an organisation, according to the view of Brown and Leigh, may lead to the withdrawal of an employee from the establishment.  Studies show that communication openness relates to employees’ motivation and empowerment, and moreover, the intent to stay (Al-Omari, 2008). Similarly, open communication encourages sharing of important information among workers (Pascoe & More, 2008) and this leads to effective communication climate. On the other hand, Impaired communication openness can affect the process of organisational change and development. Where there is closed communication, people may feel isolated and sidelined from their work (Al-Omari, 2008). In the same vein, Ayoko (2007) finds that low levels of communication openness were found to be linked with increased destructive reactions to conflict among organisational members’. Again, communication openness is found to relate to employees’ loyalty and job satisfaction (Orebiyi, 2009; Trombetta & Rogers, 1988).

1.1. Job Satisfaction and Theoretical Framework

The phenomenon of job satisfaction at work has attracted a great deal of interest in the field of industrial management and human behaviour. The job satisfaction of workers in formal settings is of paramount importance, if maximum organisational achievement is desired.  A sufficiently motivated worker is likely to be satisfied with his work and may be highly productive.

Locke (1976) defines job satisfaction as an emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job as achieving or facilitating the achievement of one’s job values.  A more concise definition is given by Oyedokun and Olowu (2000) who define the concept as “the contentment experienced when a job has been performed and expectation is met”. The wish or desire to achieve satisfaction, according to Agboola (1997) motivates a worker to perform.

Many theories have emerged in the search for an acceptable explanation of work behaviour. However, no theory can be described as “universal theory’ of work motivation.  Abraham Maslow’s need hierarchy cited in Okorie (2000) is probably the most popular of need theories.  According to the theory, human motivation is broken into five categories of needs.  These are; physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization in that order of prepotency. Man, in Maslow’s view, is largely a wanting creature, dominated (motivation) by desire to satisfy diverse needs. Once a need is met, it loses potency as a motivator, until it becomes activated again. This theory implies that, although no need is ever fully satisfied, a substantially satisfied need may no longer motivate (McShane & Glinow, 2000). Human needs are in cyclical form; a need satisfied loses its potency as a motivator until it becomes activated again. In organisational setting, an employee’s job performance will be high in a system where the emerging needs of the employee are satisfied.  Motivation can then be taken as the urge to respond to the desire to attain certain needs (goals). When these needs are achieved, satisfaction ensues; when not achieved, frustration sets in.

Curtis (2003) submits that the work behavior of people, be it good, bad or indifferent, must be viewed in part as the consequence of the motivation of the individuals in question. Hence, job satisfaction has been related to motivation, as satisfaction is a need or goal to be achieved.  A variety of factors, according to McNamara (1999) influence workers’ job satisfaction.  They include the quality of one’s relationship with the supervisor, the quality of the physical environment in which they work, degree of fulfillment in their work, etc.

Motivation can be intrinsic when the perceived goal leads to internal satisfaction or feelings of an individual. It can be extrinsic when the goal to be attained is external to the individual or basically material in nature. The intrinsic motivators are regarded as higher- order needs while the extrinsic motivators (hygiene) are the lower- order, needs (Ajila, 1997; Okorie, 2000).

Herzberg, cited in the work of McNamara (1999) theorized that employee’s satisfaction has two dimensions.  Hygiene and motivation:

  1. Hygiene issues, such as salary and supervision, decrease employees’ dissatisfaction with the work environment.
  2. Motivators, such as recognition and achievement, make workers more productive, creative and committed.

McNamara explains that while salary may not be a motivator for employees, they would nevertheless want to be paid fairly.  If individuals believe they will not be compensated well, they will be unhappy working for the employer. In the same spirit (Durosaro, 2000) makes a distinction between “motivator” and “hygiene” factors. Hygiene factors include administration; supervision; relationship with supervisor; relationship with other workers. The satisfier or motivator factors include; achievement opportunity, recognition opportunities, advancement and personal growth.

It should be noted, however, that there is no one best way to motivate, as motivation is a function of needs. For example, study carried out by Ajila (1997) on the applicability of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to Nigerian situation, reveals that Nigerian workers were more satisfied with physiological needs than the need for friendship. The ordering of human needs, according to the report, was not supportive of Marlow’s presentation.  The satisfaction of police officers with their work was found to be significantly correlated with the perception of public support for them (Akinnawo, 1994) while the areas of police officers’ job dissatisfaction include lack of the opportunity to work with the people they like; poor working conditions; poor remuneration to work; the existing administrative polices in the service; and lack of public respect.  Indeed, job satisfaction is multidimensional. As noted by Oyedijo (1995):

Whether money, affiliation, security, competence, achievement, prestige, cognitive or aesthetic motivation proves effective depends on the type of workers and the social- cultural circumstances involved.

Research has shown that when the physiological and security needs of managers and professional employees are generally well satisfied, they seek higher order needs. The most important thing is for a manager to know his staff very well and to select the best method of motivating them. Concluding, House and Wigdor as cited in Goldhaber (1990) draw the following conclusions concerning job satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

  1. A given factor can cause job satisfaction for one person and job dissatisfaction for another, and vice versa.
  2. A given factor can cause job satisfaction and dissatisfaction in the same sample.
  3. Intrinsic job factors are more important to both satisfying and dissatisfying job events than are extrinsic job events.

As reviewed in the preceding literature it is apparent that an employee’s need is a strong factor in his job satisfaction. He would want to be regularly assured, through both verbal and non-verbal communication, that management is concerned about meeting these needs. Open communication is a good strategy for assuring employees that these needs are given priority attention. The study is therefore designed to examine the degree of communication openness as existed in a secondary school system owned and operated by the government.

1.2. Research Questions

  1. To what extent do the teachers perceive communication as open in their schools?
  2. Is there any relationship between communication openness and the teachers’ job satisfaction?

2. METHODOLOGY

The descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study, while the main instrument used is in generating data is questionnaire, supplemented by interview, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and observation guides. The research population consisted of all practising teachers in the employment of the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission.

The 400 teachers selected for the study were chosen through stratified sampling technique.  Ten schools were selected at random from the list of schools in each of the three senatorial districts of Kogi State, in order to represent the socio-economic and cultural diversity evident in the state

2.1. Description of Instrument

Communication openness is generally conceptualized in terms of how open people are to both message sending and message receiving. It involves speaking in clear and understandable manner, freely expressing feelings, and being candid and frank. Upward openness is characterized by the opportunity to question a superior’s instruction and to disagree with him. Ability to tolerate opposing or conflicting views is one of the defining characteristics of an open or supportive communication climate. The extent to which freedom of association and expression are guaranteed were measured  in Table 1. Five items of the questionnaires were constructed in order to determine the extent to which subordinates perceive messages as open or supportive: These are item number 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

2.2. Method of Data Analysis

Response of respondents was transferred into scores as the questionnaire was designed on a 4-point like scale, which ranged from Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A) Disagree (D), to Strongly Disagree. In scoring the scale, positively stated items were scored 4,3,2, and 1 for SA, A, D, SD respectively, while negatively stated items were scored in reverse order. A cut-off or decision point of 2.5 (mean) and above was regarded as favorable decision for each item. This is because a 4-point scale rated at 4, 3, 2, and 1 were used. Secondly, simple regression analysis was used in answering research question No. 2   to enable the researcher determine the extent to which the Independent variables impact on the Dependent variables.

The treatment given to focus group discussion and interview were similar to that of open-ended comments. Comments and opinions were analysed and grouped in relation to each aspect of the questionnaire.

3. DATA ANALYSIS / FINDINGS

3.1. Research Question 1

To what extent do the teachers perceive communication as open in their schools?

Table-1Teachers’ perception of communication openness.
Degree of agreement
Item
Statement
Strongly agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly disagree
No response
Mean score
N              %
N         %
N         %
N         %
N         %
1
There is a freedom of association and  expression in  schools
158        39.5
188       47
25      6.2
28          7
1         .3
3.2
2
There is restricted freedom of association and expression
42          10.5
108        27
51       12.7
196        49
3          .8
2.0
3
There exist avenues for complaint and redress
40             10
169     42.3
46       11.5
143       35.7
2          .5
1.0
4
Management gives adequate information to do my job
59          14.8
252       63
7           1.7
64          16
18      4.5
2.7
5
Responsibility and effort expected are clearly defined
79          19.8
263     65.7
8            2
50         12.5
3.0

In response to the statement “there is freedom of association and expression in schools,” as in item 1 of the table, majority of the respondents, 86.5% (346), agreed with the statement while 14% (53) had view. This appears to be inconsistent with an interview of the ANCOPSS’ State President who lamented that:

For the period of two consecutive years we were unable to

hold our annual congress because of a government whose

policies almost annihilated the existence of secondary schools

in the state…………………..There were diverse persecutions

masterminded by the organs of the defunct government.

He added in an interview that most important decisions, especially those affecting the welfare of teachers were taken without consultation by the state government. He cited, as an example, the cutting of teachers’ salaries, usually on a monthly basis, in the name of shortfall by the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission, without offering any explanation for doing so. ANCOPSS President’s view has some similarities with that of the NUT Chairman (Nigerian Union of Teachers). While the NUT Chairman did not complain of their freedom being restricted, he expressed the union’s difficulty in meeting state functionaries – on matters affecting their welfare. In his words:

On many occasions, we were at the government house only to

discover that an earlier confirmed appointments to see the

State Governor were cancelled without any reason, and

alternative date given.

Results generated through the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) show that there is freedom of association and expression as perceived by individual teachers in their schools. A statement made by a participant of FGD in Ogaminana reflects that of the entire FGD. She observes:

In our school, nobody stops anyone from saying what he likes. We are

free to criticize even our principal whenever he is going out of his ways.

Also, a female participant in Ankpa FGD corroborated the existence of freedom of expression and association at the school level:

Here in this school, no one is asked not to express her mind

on any issue vital to his or her welfare. I do not even believe

the State Governor can do that.

Furthermore, in order to ascertain the consistency of the respondents’ point of view on the issue of freedom of association and expression, a reversal of item 1 was made in 2 which posits that “there is restricted freedom of association and expression”, to which more than half of the sample denied, 61.7% (247). Indeed for a supportive climate to thrive, teachers must not experience any difficulty in expressing their feelings and associating with people of their choice.

Freedom of expression and association is enhanced where organizations deliberately create structures, as a matter of necessity, to deal with bad feelings. Item 3 in the above Table 1was designed to measure teachers’ perception of structures put in place to address concerns. The results of the investigation show that only a very lean majority; 52.3% (209); believed there existed avenues to seek redress while a minority of 42.2% (189) thought otherwise. In an interview with TSC Director of Establishment, he disclosed that there were structures put in place to deal with concern, but might not be known to many workers. He admitted that the absence of any document to which employees have access, has contributed to workers allegations that there were no such documents. He promised the commission would soon produce handbook on teachers’ condition of service.
For communication openness to thrive in any organization, adequate information must be given to employees by their superiors which informed the design of item 4 of the questionnaire. Report of the study, as presented in Table 1 above, shows that a majority of the respondents, 77.8% (311), believed they were given enough information to do their job, while only a negligible percentage of 17.7% (71) were of contrary view.

Closely related to the above is the perception of teachers on the extent to which responsibilities and efforts were defined as probed by item 5 of the questionnaire. Results in the Table above show that a great majority of the teachers, 85.5% (342), believed responsibilities were clearly defined.

Following the above analysis as presented in the table above, communication openness meets the criteria for acceptance. Of the five items used in measuring the variable, two are much higher than the criteria set for acceptance (item 4,5) another two items (item 1, and 2) met the minimum requirement, while the last item (item 3) is slightly lower than our criterion for acceptance (62.5%). One may conclude that communication openness as perceived by the teachers is supportive.

3.2. Research Question 2

Is there any relationship between communication openness and the teachers’ job satisfaction?

Data used in answering the above research question include: (i) Table 2 showing teachers’ perception of Job satisfaction, (ii) Table showing Analysis of multiple regression of communication openness and job satisfaction. (iii) Analysis of multiple regressions co-efficient.

Table-2.Teachers’ perception of Job satisfaction.
Degree of agreement
 
Item
Statement
Strongly agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly disagree
Mean score
N              %
N         %
N         %
N        %
6
My job is appealing and desirable
72            18
227    56.8
85      21.2
16           7
2.9
7
My principal is understanding/supportive
68            17
228       47
85      21.2
19         48
2.9
8
Management gives me opportunity to participate in decision making
53         13.3
219    54.7
106    26.5
22      55
2.8
9
Cooperation with fellow employees is high
170       42.5
204       51
16        4
10         25
3.3
10
Opportunity of professional growth is restricted
46         11.5
49      12.2
151    37.7
154    38.5
2
11
TSC makes little effort to provide information new departments
98         24.5
211    52.7
46      11.5
45      11.3
2.9

Information gathered from the above Table 2 shows that majority of the teachers 299, (74.8%) agreed with the statement that their work was appealing and desirable. Specifically, 72(18%) agree strongly, 227(56.8%) simply agree, while about a quarter are in disagreement.  One may infer from the above table that majority of the teachers perceived the work as meeting their job needs.  However, for work to be appealing and desirable, as literature suggests (Goldhaber, 1990; McNamara, 2004) the leadership must be perceived as supportive to the course of the subordinates.  Item 7 was thus designed to verify the level of leadership supportiveness.  Results, as presented on the same Table above indicated that 68(17%) of the respondents strongly agreed that the principals were understanding with a significant majority of 228(62%) simply ‘agree’. While only few respondents disagreed that their principals were supportive.

Another factor examined in the study, which is related to teachers’ job satisfaction, is the degree to which the teachers’ perceived themselves as contributing to the decision-making process.  Here, findings as presented in the same Table 2, shows that majority believed they were involved in decision-making.  Precisely, 53(13.3%) strongly agreed in the proposition while a large majority of 219(54.7%) simply ‘agreed’; only few respondents disagreed strongly that they were involved in decision making.  As could be seen from the above result, majority of the respondents were satisfied with their level of participation in decision making.  Another factor in job satisfaction is the quality of relationship with fellow employees.  The variable, measured with item 9, shows that a significant percentage of the teachers were satisfied with their relationship with fellow teachers.  For example, 170 (42.5%) agreed strongly that “the cooperation and group effort provided by fellow employees” contributed to their satisfaction; a little more than fifty percent others, 204 (51%) simply agree, while an insignificant others disagreed that the quality of relationship with fellow teachers contributed to their job satisfaction.

Other factors contributing to workers’ job satisfaction examined include availability of opportunities for professional growth as in item 10.  From the data presented in Table 2 opinion was divided on the variable.  Precisely, 46 (11.5%) strongly agreed that opportunities existed for professional growth; some 149 (37.3%) others merely ‘agreed’; while those disagreeing are in a majority.  In sum, while 48.8% agreed that opportunity for growth exists, 51.2% disagreed with the statement.  It may be concluded from the above findings that the lack opportunity for professional growth could be a source of job dissatisfaction to some significant others.
The quality of information exchange has also been identified as a factor that could contribute to employees’ job satisfaction (Goldhaber, 1990). Item No 11 was designed to measure information concerning new department.  Results of study, as presented in Table 2 show that most teachers did not believe they were adequately briefed.  For example, some 98 (24.5%) believe that TSC makes little effort in providing staff members with information concerning new departments, an important percentage, 52.7 % (211), also agree on inadequate information, while those disagreeing with the statement are in a minority.

Results from the above analysis shows that all items in Table 2 except opportunity for professional growth which has a mean score of 2.0, meet the criterion for acceptance. This implies teachers have job satisfaction.
Table 3 shows the descriptive statistics.

Table-3. The descriptive statistics.
Mean
Std. Deviation
N
Job satisfaction
16.4725
2.83979
400
Openness
15.425
3.44151
400

The mean of job satisfaction 1s 16.4725 and openness of 15.425

Table-4. Model summary of communication openness and job satisfaction.
Model
R
R Square
Adjusted R Square
Std. Error of the Estimate
Change Statistics
R Square Change
F Change
df
df2
Sig. F Change
1
0.155
0.024
0.022
2.80889
0.024
9.827
1
398
0.002

Note: Predictors: (Constant), Openness
Alpha Level of Significant = P <0.05.
Predictors: (Constant), Openness

Result of the simple regression analysis in Table 4 above indicates a positive relationship(R=0.155) between communication openness and job satisfaction with a variance of .024. From the same table, regression analysis shows communication openness as a predictor of job satisfaction (P <0.05). In this case, Sig F is greater than preset 0.05 alpha level of significance.

Table-5. Coefficients analysis of simple regression between communication openness and job satisfaction a.
Model
Unstandardized Coefficients
Standardized Coefficients
t
Sig
95.0%  Confidence
Interval for B
B
Std. Error
Beta
Lower Bound
1. (Constant)
18.448
0.646
-0.155
28.57
0
17.179
19.718
Comm. Openness
-0.128
0.041
3.135
0.002
-0.208
-0.048

Note: Predictors: (Constant), Openness.

Similarly, analysis of the coefficient as in Table 5 above shows communication openness (t = 3.135, P < 0.05). Hence, communication openness is a predictor of job satisfaction. Thus, increase in communication openness leads to increase in job satisfaction.

4. DISCUSSION

This study examined influence of communication openness on secondary school teachers’ job satisfaction in Kogi State, Nigeria.

Indicators of communication openness as measured in the study include: freedom of association and expression; existence of avenues for complaints and redress; adequacy of information on job related matters, and clarity in defining job responsibility.

Results show all items examined, except lack of avenues to deal with complaints and redress, as meeting the criterion for acceptance (a mean score of 2.5). As noted by Brown and Leigh (1996) whenever managers failed to make provision for institution that addresses employees concern, the workers usually result to unconstructive options, such as strikes, attritions and low organizational commitment. Structure must therefore, be put in place to address grievance.

It is gratifying to note that the result generated from interview, focus group discussion and interview are in harmony with that of questionnaire. The teachers expressed difficulty in meeting their employer on issues of concern to them.

In the same vein, job satisfaction was measured with six indicators such as desirability of one’s job, degree of support from management, opportunity to participate in decision making, peer cooperation and availability of opportunity for professional growth and availability of information on new department. All indicators, except one restriction of opportunity for professional growth (mean 2.0) meet the criterion for acceptance which is put at 2.5.

The lack  of opportunity for professional growth according to McNamara (1999) can be a source  of job dissatisfaction, especially in secondary schools where most of the teachers hold the National Certificate of Education (NCE) or the Higher National Diploma (HND) Certificate. Teacher in this category cannot rise beyond grade level 14, which is about 3 grade levels below the highest level of their career. (Level 17)
Indeed, every teacher will aspire to attain the peak. Moreover, a decision point of 2.5 mean using Likert 5 point scale is a little conservative. This implies respondents were just minimally satisfied with majority of the variables examined. Specifically, in the measure of communication openness, only 2 of the variables meet the mean score of 3 while another 3 respondents went below. The scores for job satisfaction were not better either. Management must therefore put measures in place to increase teachers’ satisfaction of communication techniques within the school system.

5. CONCLUSION

While principals were not perceived as curtailing teachers’ freedom of expression and association by some respondents, study found that there were no concrete and visible measures designed to promote upward communication.  For instance, there were no credible structures designed to handle concerns, as aggrieved teachers must necessarily route grievances through their principals to the Commission’s Chairman even when the principal was the source of the problem.

Similarly, to further promote interactive communication which result of the study indicated is lacking, management must put in place structures that     will ensure free flow of information.  Such structures, should include, the grievance procedure, the open-door policy, counseling units, the ombudsperson, regular interactive sessions between the Chief Executive and employees, and the installation of modern communication equipment to which every worker will have uninterrupted access. Also, management needs to make available printed copies of policies-and-procedures manual easily accessible to all members of staff.  If no written manual exists, they should create one with staff inputs.

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About the Authors

Orebiyi, Anthony Olajide
Department of Mass Communication, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Odetoyinbo, Clement Ayodeji
Department of Mass Communication, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Adebimpe, Peter Olusade
Department of Mass Communication, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Nigeria.

Corresponding Authors

Orebiyi, Anthony Olajide

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