CASUALIZATION AND EMPLOYEE COMMITMENT IN ETISALAT NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

This study is examining the relationship between casualization and employee commitment in Etisalat Nigeria. Allen and Meyer (1996) defined employee commitment as “a psychological status of an employee towards the organization that makes it less likely that the employee will voluntarily leave the organization” Lower levels of employee commitment amongst casual employees may arise because of the precarious nature of their employment (Campbell, 1996). Dessler et al, 2004) posited that “people have a psychological reference point to their place of employment. Once you put them in the temporary category, you are saying they are expendable and therefore they are less likely to exhibit loyalty and commitment to their organizations”.

Employee commitment has benefits for employers and employees (Mowday, 1998). For employees, commitment to work and in an organization represents a positive relationship that could ‘potentially add meaning to life’, whereas, for employers, having committed employees has the potentials for increased performance and reduced turnover and absenteeism. Employee commitment has also been linked tentatively to an organization’s efficiency, productivity, creativity and innovation (Mir, Mir & Mosca, 2002) as well as its profitability (Raab & McCain, 2002).

One of the few strong links in the literature is that between employee commitment to an organization and staff turnover. As Allen and Meyer explained ‘employee who are strongly committed are those who are least likely to leave the organization’ (1990).

The traditional industrial relations system based on the concept of full-time employees working within an organization is increasingly being challenged by the use of nonstandard work arrangements by employers. This changing nature of work has taken a new dimension with the adoption of flexible work arrangements by many firms globally. The theme running through many of the new approaches to management in today’s globalized economy is the development of a more flexible workforce which has become employers‟ new frontier in the management of human resources. However, these changing patterns of work (e.g. casual, contract, temporary, part-time employments, subcontracting, outsourcing/insourcing etc.) occasioned by Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP), have created concerns for workers and trade unions alike, especially in Nigeria. Job security, social security, terminal benefits and minimum conditions of work are some of the issues of concern. The push toward casualisation in Nigeria is evident of a continued effort by government and corporate elites to maximize profit at the expense of a long-term jobs policy, transparent governance and shared economic development. Casualization is a great malady that has engulfed the Nigerian workplace and banking and telecommunication sector in particular.

Casualisation as a form of labour practice has been defined by most management writers as the process by which employment shifts from a preponderance of full time and permanent positions to higher levels of casual positions. It can also be viewed as an employment of an irregular or intermittent nature (Rodriguez, 2009).

This is sometimes caused by some kinds of workplace politics which is the use of power within an organization for the pursuits of agendas and self-interest without regard to their effect on the organization’s efforts to achieve its goals. Some of the personal advantages may include access to tangible assets or intangible benefits such as status or pseudo-authority that influences the behavior of others. Both individual and groups may engage in this kind of act which can be highly destructive, as people focus on personal gains at the expense of the organization.

In life, one is suppose to either move horizontally or vertically but most telecommunication companies have forced their casual staff to remain static. As there is neither promotion nor increment in their salaries. Casual staff in most cases spends 15 – 20 years in the same employment status/designation. The worst is the disdain treatment casual staff are subjected to by some of the company’s so-called full staff. They are treated as inferior beings and demoralized.

Casual staff in companies is the grievous of all form of modern slavery. It is an aberration and infradignity for two set of employees one casual, the other ‘full staff’ to be performing the same job functions and at the end of the day, the ‘so-called full staff’ is paid higher remunerations, promoted, given the opportunities for further trainings and development in order to advance on the job while the other ‘casual staff’ is totally neglected. Experience abound whereby two individual who where employed in the same company, on the same day though in different employment tactics (i.e. full staff and casual), within the space of 10 years, the fellow employed as a full staff had risen to become a Manager while the other fellow employed as casual staff still remains at the same entry point/level where he was employed 10 years back. The only sin the latter committed was probably because he was a polytechnic graduate and was employed as casual staff.

Etisalat Nigeria, the case study in this research is owned by Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, branded trade name Etisalat is a multinational UAE based telecommunications services provider, currently operating in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. As of February 2014, Etisalat is the 13th largest mobile network operator in the world, with a total customer base of more than 167 million. Etisalat was named the most powerful company in the UAE by Forbes Middle East in 2012

Etisalat Nigeria is now in business for the last seven years and is one of the country's fastest growing network with over 23 million subscribers. Etisalat Nigeria provides network coverage in all 36 states of the federation (rolled out in under one-and-a-half years) covering most of the population, and has deployed more than 2,000 km of fibre to support broadband development. The company has a track record of introducing innovative products for mobile banking, which have made financial transactions convenient for customers and helped foster entrepreneurialism.

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Casualization goes beyond Nigeria and beyond telecommunication companies. Around the world in nearly every economic sector, good jobs are falling prey to corporate cost-cutting moves at the expense of working families. Too many jobs are being outsourced, contracted out, or reclassified under a barrage of legal definitions designed to keep pay down, benefits low, and unions out. Casualization of employment is growing at an alarming rate. More and more workers in permanent employment are losing their jobs and are being re-employed as or replaced by casual or contract workers. This state of affairs is viewed as employers’ strategies to cut cost; maximize profit and subject the employees under economic captivity. Casual work which is supposed to be a form of temporary employment has acquired the status of permanent employment in many organizations in Nigeria without the statutory benefits associated with permanent employment status. Casual workers are subject to lower pay, barred from their right to join a union, and denied medical and other benefits. Companies have devised antics by often hiring several part-time workers instead of one or two full-time workers to avoid their obligation to provide benefits, to divide the workforce, and to dissuade unionizing efforts. However, this research is out to find out the effect of this unfair casualization of staffs by some management of companies on the employee commitment.

1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The general objective of this study is to analyze the effect of casualization on employee commitment in Etisalat Nigeria while the following are the specific objectives:

  1. To examine the effect of casualization on employee commitment in Etisalat Nigeria.
  2. To determine the different causes of employee casualization.
  3. To examine the effect of casualization of organizational performance and productivity.

1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. What is the effect of casualization on employee commitment in Etisalat Nigeria?
  2. What are the different causes of employee casualization?
  3. What is the effect of casualization of organizational performance and productivity?

1.5     HYPOTHESIS

Hypothesis One

HO1: There is no significant relationship between casualization and employee commitment in Etisalat Nigeria.

HA1: There is significant relationship between casualization and employee commitment in Etisalat Nigeria.

Hypothesis two

HO2: There is no significant relationship between casualization and organizational performance and productivity in Etisalat Nigeria.

HA2: There is significant relationship between casualization and organizational performance and productivity in Etisalat Nigeria.

1.6     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The following are the significance of this study:

  1. The outcome of this study would enable the researcher to understand better the casualization and employee commitment in the telecommunication sector of Nigeria and also determined the extent to casualization has affected organizational performance and productivity in Etisalat Nigeria.
  2. At the social level, results from this study would enable the people express their views on casualization and employee commitment and the effect of this precarious trend on the employees, employers and the society at large. Academically, it would be a reference point for further research in this area of study, it will add to the body of existing knowledge in the field of Human Resource Practices as regards casualized employment tactics by organizations. Both employees, employers and the society would benefit from the findings of this study

1.7     SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The study covered the influence of Casualization on employee commitment of some selected Etisalat Nigeria workers in Edo State.

Despite the fact that Casualization cut across the length and breath of the telecommunication sector of Nigeria, only Etisalat Nigeria, Benin Center constituted the population of this study.

1.8     OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

Precarious life: this is a phenomenon which describe people (workers) leaving a life of social and economic uncertainty often coupled with extreme debt. This anxious class of people living such uncertain life is referred to as the "precariat".

Casualisation: It is the corporate trend of hiring and keeping workers on temporary employment rather than permanent employment, even for years, as a cost reduction measure. Casualization is a term used in Nigeria to describe work arrangements that are characterized by bad work conditions like job insecurity, low wages, and lack of employment benefits that accrue to regular employees as well as the right to organize and collectively bargain.

Casualisation model: This is a process whereby employers ignore workplace standards and workers’ social needs and create a strong barrier against workplace organizing.

Formal workers: They are also called regular company employees; they are hired directly by the company. They receive contracts that explain work conditions, wages, hours and benefits.

Casual worker: these are employees often employed by third-party contractors, under various types of part time and (or) short-term work arrangements. They are not part of any union structure. They earn lower wages than the regular workers, receive fewer benefits and can be fired at will.

Direct Labour Contract: this is an employment arrangement whereby an individual is hired as an independent contractor.

Service Contract: This is an employment arrangement which is not an individual contract, but an arrangement between a bank and a smaller company that provides specific technical expertise.

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