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Administration is as old as organizations. There is the traditional method of administration called leadership which sometimes appear to be dictatorial and autocratic in nature. Employees merely implement the ideas and methods imposed on them by the administrators who although are not qualified and skilled technically but behave as if they know everything about administration. The modern approach to administration seeks the co-operation of employees. If takes into confidence the employee and has a democratic base. According to Ebunu (1998:12) the world “Administration” concerns the laying down of policies and directing the ways the polices and strategies should go and ensuring their implementation towards the attainment of organization goals. A policy is a guide to action and provides the direction that all organizational efforts will follow. Strategies are courses of action to be followed in the achievement of set objectives.

Associated with the laying down of policies is the need to provide broad plans and programmes through which the laid down policies can be effectively implemented. Associated with all this is the need too to provide the yardstick through which performance can be measured. That is, it is important to work out performance. This is to find out whether the policy guidelines have been followed. If it has not been followed, then there is a deviation. The administration needs to find out and investigate the reasons for the deviation and make the necessary correction. Consequently, as a process, administration determines aims and objective for which the organization exists.

Organizations cannot function at optimal efficiency without effective administration. Non-effective administration, according to Igwe (1995:35), is like a system without purposeful routine establishment where everybody does what he likes. One of the characteristics of good administration is team-building whereby the administrator/secretary guides and assists other employees to meet set targets using the right administrative instrument. Through the administrative machinery efforts could be recognized and rewarded accordingly. This would increase employees’ interest and enthusiasm in the work they do. A fairly high level of motivation and job satisfaction is essential for attaining excellence in the administrator’s performance.

Effective administration as a concept is built on the human relations principles rooting from the ideology that all human beings are individuals of worth who are endowed with unique talents and capabilities. Recent research findings point to the fact that when management motivates its workers to a reasonable level, the interests of the workers in the attainment of the set goals are not only aroused but also sustained until the set goals are fully achieved. This is possible because motivation serves as a driving force for the accomplishment of both the individual and the organizational goals. When an administrator is motivated either intrinsically or extrinsically, he bestirs himself to pursue those courses of action that will lead to the attainment of the organizational objectives. Intrinsic motivation is regarded as a biologically inherent will or drives to perform an act. This type of motivation is in-born and it includes such things as satisfaction one obtains from achieving something, the recognition accorded to him for making such an achievement and the competence he has acquired from his efforts. Extrinsic motivation refers to the will or drives to perform an act that is induced by external factors that will influence job performance. Extrinsic motivation includes such things as salary increase, fringes benefit, security provided at residence, promotion, membership of recreation club at organization’s expense, car refurbishment loans etc. There is a popular saying that “management assumes that if the right carrots are held out, managers (administrators) and employees will run like rabbits”.

Administrators deal with the four resources of human, financial, material and informational, the most important being human resources. A fundamental rule of administration is that you can’t change people’s character, you can’t even control their actions most of the time. Change comes from within or not at all. According to Peter Self (1977:239), every organization is composed of individuals, each of whom has his or her personal aims which will frequently be different from those pursued by the organization as a whole. This poses a serious problem to administrators who believe that modern life is highly organized, but commitment or loyalty to particular organizations is a very variable phenomenon depending upon such factors as social culture, career systems, and (in public administration) political and professional allegiances. According to Peter Self (1977:251), organizations are frequently valued instrumentally rather than intrinsically, so that their survival or growth depends upon their capacity to serve the goals of their members and sponsors.


There is a wide spread belief that public officers in our society are poorly motivated. This apparent low level of motivation and its attendant job dissatisfaction affects adversely the level of productivity and commitment to duty among administrators. Unfortunately, there seems to be lack of current and reliable studies on the level of motivation and job satisfaction among administrators. This state of affairs has made it impossible for one to make reasonable recommendations on the way forward.


Maslow (1970) propounded one of the most popular theories of motivation. This theory is normally called the need theory. According to this theory human beings have needs. These needs are arranged in a hierarchy from the basic to the highest. While the most basic are the physiological needs which include the need for food, sleep, rest, sex, and relief from pair as well as physiological imbalance. The second group of needs in the hierarchy is the safety needs concerned with the maintenance of life and status quo. This includes the desire for security, stability, order, protection and dependency. These two needs (physiological and safety needs) are called the “lowest order” or “deficiency” needs.

On the other hand, the third hierarchy of needs is belongingness and love for friendship or companionship, family identification with groups and intimacy with other people. This need takes different forms throughout life. According to Dicarprio (1994:239), the child seeks a warm, accepting atmosphere with a great deal of physical demonstration of affection, being understood and appreciated. The young adult wants to be intimated with a loved one, to experience a greater deal of emotional involvement. The strength of these needs is so great at each stage in life that when they are not satisfied what results is psychological disturbance.

Self esteem is the fourth need in the hierarchy. It includes the need for respect admiration, self worth, self-acceptance and confidence based on what others say about one. Two types of esteem were identified bymaslow. The first deals with self regard and self evaluation. The second is concerned with respect from other people, reputation, status, social success, fame and glory. Finally the fifth and highest level of need is the need for self-actualization. Maslow (1970) saw self-actualization as fulfilling one’s individual need in all its respect, being what one can be and which, according to Maslow, is freedom from cultural and self imposed restraints. These three last needs (i.e social esteem and self actualization needs) are called the “higher order” or “growth” needs.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs operates in a cyclic manner in that the satisfaction of one need makes the next one in the hierarchy to become potent. The lower or deficiency needs are more potent and take priority over the higher order needs. When the lower needs are partially or insufficiently satisfied, the higher order needs cannot become potent or motivated.


Herzberg’s (1966) Two-Factory Theory has received the greatest amount of attention in recent years. It has also generated the greatest controversy. He clarified much of the earlier confusion in motivation theory. He disabused the minds of some people who believed that money was the only motivator for ensuring job satisfaction and replaced it with the fact that the man who is paid what he accepts as fair and equitable wage would be contented but would still have to be motivated further. On the other hand, if he considers he is underpaid he may be demotivated but salary itself does not motivate. Thus, Herzberg classified all organizational rewards into two-“hygiene” factors which exist within the work. His hygiene factors include; perceived fairness of organizational policy, pay, working conditions, relations with one’s supervisor and relations with one’s co-workers.

According to Herzberg the inadequacy of these factors will being about dissatisfaction but their availability will both result in satisfaction. He referred to factors like achievement recognition, work itself, responsibility and advancement as the “motivators” and that such factors possess the potential of yielding a sense of satisfaction and their presence will ensure effective motivation. It can be seen that Herbzberg grouped human needs as enumerated by Mashlow into two by referring to the Maslow’s lower needs as the dissatisfiers/hygiene needs and called the higher needs the satisfies/motivators. The implication is that a dissatisfied worker cannot be motivated.


Vroom propounded his expectancy theory and postulated that people will be motivated to do things to achieve some goals to the extent that they expect that certain actions on their past will help them achieve the goal. The theory was founded on the belief that man being a national being chooses at any given point in time from a set of alternative plans of behaviour. The one that he expects will maximize the attractiveness of the sum of outcomes would form is decision. This postulation is an attempt to explain individual perception of the relationship between behaviours and their consequences. In the work situation this means that people choose to perform at any level that results in the greatest pay off or benefits. They will work hard if they expect that efforts put in would lead to desired rewards such as higher pay or promotions.

Vrooms (1964) based his theory on three important concepts or variables (expectancy instrumentality and valence). They are derived from the relationship between efforts, performances and outcomes or rewards. In its basic form the theory is concerned with choice behaviour that can lead to desired outcome & or rewards. According to Szlagy Jr (1981:414-415), the theory states, that individuals will evaluate various strategies of behaviour (e.g, working hard every day versus working hard three days out of five) and then choose that behaviour that they believe will lead to those work-related outcomes or rewards that they value (e.g pay increase, promotion or recognition). If the individual worker believes that working hard every day will lead to a desired pay increase, expectancy theory would predict that this is the motivated behaviour that he or she will choose.


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