OCCUPATIONAL MOBILITY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF UNIVERSITIES: THE QUESTION OF EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF SKILL, KNOWLEDGE AND TALENT AMONG UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES IN SOUTHERN NIGERIA

Helen Oziri Mmecha, Sofiri Joab-Peterside, Steve A. Okodudu

Abstract


It had been observed that many university administrators change their occupations of origin horizontally and become lecturers after acquiring relevant additional skill, experience and knowledge on their administrative jobs. This study examined how the incidence of occupational mobility among university administrators influences the development of universities in Southern Nigeria, with emphasis on how it influences the distribution of skill, knowledge and talent among the academic and administrative cadres of universities. The study adopted the Action and Work Adjustment Theories as theoretical framework. The research type is ex-post facto and the cross-sectional survey research design was adopted to study a cross-section of the study population of 6,025 university employees. Six sample States were selected through systematic sampling technique while the sample universities and categories of employees were selected through the cluster, stratified, purposive and simple random sampling techniques in order to select a representative sample of the total population. The sample size of 343 respondents was determined through the data saturation method. Qualitative primary data collection instruments comprising In-depth Interview and Focus Group Discussion were used to gather insightful and in-depth data based on the respondents’ experiences and the secondary data included official reports. The QSR NVivo software was utilized for the thematic analysis of the data. The study found that occupational mobility among university administrators brings about a decline in the level of skill, knowledge and talent in the administrative cadre while it enhances the level of skill, knowledge and talent in the academic cadre. It was also found that the inequitable distribution of skill, knowledge and talent among the two major professional cadres in the university adversely affects the overall functioning of the administrative cadre. The study therefore concludes that occupational mobility has a detrimental influence on the development of universities in Southern Nigeria. It is recommended that the processes of occupational mobility among university administrators should be structured in line with institutionalized policies and attention given to skill vacuum, staff replacement and re-training


Keywords


Occupational Mobility, Horizontal Occupational Mobility, Skill, Knowledge, Talent and Development

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