This study determined the relationship between job stress and job efficiency of agricultural education academic staff in colleges of education North-west, Nigeria. The study made use of survey research design with a total population of one hundred and sixty six (166) academic staff who served as the sample size for the study. Two research questions and two null hypotheses were formulated. The instrument used for data collection was relationship between job stress and job efficiency of academic staff questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics inform frequency count, percentages and mean to answer the research question. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMC) statistic was used to test the two null hypotheses at 0.05 or 5% level of significance. The findings indicated that the calculated p value of 0.004 and 0.001 were lower than 0.05 alpha values at correlation index r level of -0.654 and -0.801 respectively, hence the null hypotheses were rejected. Findings of the study further showed that, teaching large class of up to 500 students provoked stress on the lectures which affects academic job efficiency. It was also found that lecturing work combining with the administrative work such as head of department, coordination of programs like field trip and teaching practice result to academic job stress. It was concluded that excess workload combined with administrative responsibilities lowers job efficiency of academic staff. It was recommended that more academic staff should be employed to reduce the workload that rendered academic staff inefficient.
1.1 Background to the Study
Issue of academic job efficiency among academic staff especially academic staff in colleges of education northwest, Nigeria is of much concern. This is because of the demand placed on them of producing Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) graduates who will meet the demand of labour market in terms of competent and qualitative teachers at this age of globalization in education. This task cannot be achieved successful without been efficient and effective in their duties. Job efficiency of academic staff has to do with finishing academic tasks given within a short possible time. Academic are also expected to contribute to knowledge through research and publication journals paper et cetera. All these academic responsibilities cannot be successfully achieved without been efficient. Stress is a limiting factor for academic inefficiency in the academic environment. Academic stress comes as a result of work overload. Work overload refers to the concentration of assignments at work which result to stress that negatively affect the performance and efficiency of employee. Stress is an emotional feeling that makes persons feels uncomfortable and unhappy with situation he or she has to overcome. Job efficiency on the hand is the capability or level at which an individual or an employee carry out a given task or work effectively at a given time. In other word, it is the quality of an employee being resourceful or able to perform a given tasks and/or career job efficiently at least expected time. Therefore, for an academic staff to says he or she is efficient in academic work, he or she should be able to cover the course outline at the stipulated time, mark and return students scripts of either continuous assessment test or
assignment on time et cetera. In addition, he or she should be conducting research work, attending academic conferences and be publishing in academic journals. This corroborate with the findings by Carlson and Gadio, (2000) who said Colleges of Education/University lecturers have various tasks to accomplish and these range from teaching, research and publications, marking of tests and examinations, supervising students‟ research activities, supporting students through advisory roles, attending conferences, providing community services and alike. For academic staff to be effective, efficient, competent and productive in their lecturing job, academic job efficiency indices should be at optimum level because too much of it cause stress. The level at which a job is carried out will determine the level at which an organization will improve; that is, the types of behaviour of an employee toward his job performance influences the effectiveness or otherwise of an organization. Performance behaviour is the behaviour of an employee that is involved directly for producing goods and services, or an activity that gives support indirectly for the organizations core technical process.
The word stress originally emerged in physics and then it was taken by psychology and life science. In physics, stress is pressure or force, and can be used interchangeably; however, it has different meanings. The term stress as used in psychology basically means that human beings are inclined to resist the external forces acting upon them like other physical objects and bodies. Stress has a positive implication when not become continuous, it helps in improving performance. Stress can be distinguished as positive and negative. That is „Eustress‟ and „Distress‟ respectively. Eustress is the form of stress that is positive and beneficial. We feel challenged, but the sources of the stress are opportunities that are meaningful. Eustress helps provide with energy and motivation to meet responsibilities and
achieve goals. Distress is a continuous experience of feeling overwhelmed, oppressed, and behind in responsibilities (Manzoor, Awan & Mariam, 2013). Moreover, stress may be defined as responses that are costly in terms of arousal of physiologic systems and elicitation of behaviours that are harmful. Thwarted responses may lead to aggression or result helplessness that is similar to a response being unavailable. High-cost responses, which may include aggression, are ones that consume energy and that further increase risk to additional challenge. All these responses, including vigilance and helplessness, have biological counterparts, and they feed back to influence additional stimulation and processing of that stimulation. Behavioural responses are accompanied by neural and responses that act on effectors, such as the immune and cardiovascular systems and adipose tissue and muscle. Chronic or repeated stimulation of these effectors may be due to thwarted or high-cost responses or anxiety associated with vigilance or helplessness and may lead to allostatic load that, over time, increases risk for pathology and disease. Acute stress more readily precipitates disease when chronic stress has laid pathophysiology. Therefore stress is a common experience; because people feel stressed when they are very busy, have important deadlines to meet, or have too little time to finish up all tasks. Often some people may be vulnerable to stress in situations involving threat of failure or personal humiliation (Khan, 2005). He further mentioned that some people feel stressful when they have fear of objects or things associated with physical threats such as snakes, illness, storms, or flying in an airplane and major life events, such as the death of their loved one. Again there are some physical factors that influences stress on career efficiency of an individual‟s such as extreme cold, heat, invasion of micro- organisms‟ on physical injuries and others are the negative stress that affects individual productivity. Lefevre, Mathen and Kolt (2003) ascertained that, stress is a
universal problem of both government and private organization thus; war, imprisonment, natural disaster such as fire burst, terror earth quack, disabling injuries and terminal illness and people and organization react to the same stressor in diverse ways in order to manage the stress produce best in spite of the difficult situation. However, Ojiako (2001) viewed stress as bodily changes that can take place when the external pressures on an individual reach an intolerable pitch, causing weakened job performance and ill-health. Kreiner,(2001), said that stress is a dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity, constraint or demand related to what he or she desires for which the outcome is perceived to be both certain and uncertain. Looker and Gregson (2003) described stress as the mismatch between perceived demands and the perceived abilities to cope. Additionally, stress has been simply described as an unavoidable consequence of life (Sorenson, 2007). Individuals cope with stress differently; thus speak about positive stress (eustress) and negative stress (distress). What one experiences as distress is a stimulation for another or even a welcome turn in life. This study deals mainly with the influence of stress on academic job efficiency in higher educational institution especially on academic staff and strategies to cope and manage stress in order to have effective and efficient career.
At this age of globalisation in education, academic staff in colleges of education and Universities in Nigeria should be able to carry out their lecturing job efficiently and effectively without undergoing some level of stress. Academic environment should be free from stress for academic lecturers to deliver successfully and also perform their academic work efficiently as mentioned by Warraich, Ahmed, Ahmed and Khoso (2014), that for an academic institution to prosper, it is prerequisite that academic and non-academic staff should work in a stress free ambiance. Teachers
who succeed in managing stress using several coping techniques in their academic work do not only contribute to improved learning outcomes in their students, but also benefit personally from enhanced work productivity (Carlson & Gadio, 2000). In the same vein, Warraich, et al (2014) viewed stress as a difficult nature that has two folds: “Challenges Stressors and Hindrance Stressors”. Challenge stressors help in achieving goals timely and effectively, while Hindrance Stress impairs job performance and efficiency. Academic workload may result to stress when it is too much on an academic staff its may have negative effects on job efficiency. The stress come as a result of work overload such as teaching large classes, attending seminars and conferences, monitoring of examination and tutoring, preparing materials for students‟ practical, et cetera (Boštjancic 2010 cited in Warraich, et al 2014). Stress is linked to “demands” and “resources”. Demands are the expected situations, and circumstances in the organization which may result to stress. While, resources refer to the stuffs used in meeting the organisation demands. The level at which job stress minimizes organised resources resulted to inadequate demand, and then the establishment operate at inefficiency level of productions. Some of the factors responsible in creating stress among employees in organizations include Work overload. Work overload refers to the concentration of assignments at work. It is one of the main causes of stress among organisational employees. The attitude of various employees is different towards work overload. Some comfortably manage it at the work place while some, it becomes difficult to manage. So job stress is inevitable among employees, when the stress becomes excessive, then difficulties occur and the sufferer experienced disrupted emotional, cognitive and physiological functioning (Akinboye, Akinboye & Adeyemo, 2002).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The researcher through observation and interaction with both students and academic staff of the study area found out that, the lecturers are not discharging their career duties effectively and efficiently. Some students complained that the lecturers take too long to return marked continuous assessment and assignment scripts and also, semester results take too long to be released. In some cases, it reaches the end of the next semester. In addition to that, some of the lecturers missed their lecture period and some don‟t even cover the course outline and even when they do it is in a rush. In the interactive session, some academic staff said they teach large class of more than 500 students and supervise students‟ projects of almost 200. Therefore during examination and continuous assessment (C.A) test lecturers do have sleepless nights in order to mark students‟ scripts. This is in line with the findings of Qadimi and Praveena (2013), that most teachers who teach large classes of students missed their lecture periods due to body pains, dizziness et cetera; some would be hospitalized for health challenges due to fatigue of marking too many scripts during assignments and continuous assessment (C.A). Kusi, Mensah and Gyaki (2014) also mentioned that teaching large class, marking too many scripts during continuous assessment test and exams, poor working condition, extra-curricular activities, lack of in-service training, rigid promotion guidelines, lack of recognition for good efforts, supervision of students‟ project work and alike, increased job stress among academic staff of the University of Education Winneba campus, Ghana which resulted to their low productivity.
In addition to the academic workload, the academic staff are involved in the administrative work of the institutions such as Deans of schools, examination officers,
programme advisers, Head of Departments, Co-ordinators of student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), Teaching Practice (TP), Field Trip (FT), distance learning programme and diploma programme. These and other administrative responsibilities coupled with academic workload rendered the academic staff less efficient and ineffective in their job career. Kipkebut, (2010 cited in Jane, Mike & Namusonge, 2012) mentioned that Kenya and other African countries‟ academic staff who combined academic work with the institution administrative work have less or no time for research and publications.
The work lives of academic staff in Nigerian Federal and State colleges of education are not easy; in fact, they are in the eye of the storm due to stress. This situation is arising from diverse factors thus: pressure from public to improved Nigerian certificate in education graduate output, pressure to generate knowledge through research that will give the nation a competitive advantage in the global market, too much of academic workload emanating from teaching and administrative responsibilities, not so suitable work environment, family expectations and the pressure to grow on the job et cetera which result to stress (Amina & Raymond 2014). This current study aims to examine the relationship of job stress and job efficiency of agricultural education academic staff in colleges of education in North-wesr Zone, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of the study is to determine the relationship between job stress and job efficiency of agricultural education academic staff in colleges of education, North-West, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study are to:
1. determine the relationship between job stress provoked by workload and job efficiency of academic staff of agricultural education in North-west, Nigeria.
2. examine the relationship between involvement of lecturers in administrative work and job efficiency of agricultural staff in colleges of education, North-west, Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
In line with the specific objectives, the following research Questions are
1. What is the relationship between job stress provoked by workload and job efficiency of agricultural education academic staff in colleges of education, North-west, Nigeria?
2. What is the relationship between involvement of lecturers in administrative work and job efficiency of academic staff of agricultural education in colleges of education, North-west, Nigeria
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Based on the research Questions, the following hypotheses are raised:
1. Job stress provoked by workload has no significant relationship with job efficiency of academic staff of agricultural education in colleges of education, North-West, Nigeria.
2. Involvement of lecturers in administrative work has no significant relationship with job efficiency of academic staff of agricultural education in colleges of education, North-West, Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study provided information to the following:
Authorities of both government and private colleges of education
National commission for colleges of education
Academic lecturers and individuals that may read the work
Researchers with interest in similar field
The findings of the study provided information to both authorities of public and private colleges of education on the relationship between job stress on job efficiency of their academic staff and measures to adopt in tackling stress among their staff.
The National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) benefit from the findings of the study by formulating policies that will help academic staff (lecturers) in colleges of education to carrying out their academic workload without undergoing through stress situations.
Result of this study provide information to academic staff and individuals who will have time to go through the work on effects of stress on job efficiency of lecturers and how to cope the stress in order to maximise productivity and competency in their work.
The research work is beneficial to researchers who have interest in similar study serving as a guide and foundation for further research.
1.7 Basic Assumption of the study
Based on the specific objectives and the problems of the study, the researcher made the following assumptions. Thus:
1. Job stress provoked by workload have no relationship with job efficiency of agricultural education academic staff in colleges of education north-west, Nigeria
2. Involvement of lecturers in administrative work has no relationship with job efficiency of agricultural education academic staff in Colleges of Education in North-west, Nigeria.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The study will be restricted to federal and state Colleges of Education that offer Agricultural Education programmes in North-west zone, Nigeria. The reasons for the choice of the colleges of education is to enable the researcher obtain manageable population size for the study.
The respondents in these Colleges of Education will be delimited to academic staff (lecturers) under the department of agricultural education of each college of education. This is because they are fully part of the academic staff of their colleges from whom the researcher hope to get accurate information needed for the research study.
The study was restricted to the indices of academic job stress thus; work overload, teaching of large classes of students and combination of academic work, institutional administrative work and any other stress indices of academic staff. Job efficiency of academic staff can be assessed based on; how prompt academic staff conducts research study? How frequent academic staff attend academic conferences? How long (time) does it take to release students‟ result? How consistent is the promotion of academic staff? Also the number of journals published by the academic staff vis-à-vis their number of years in service will also be considered.