1.1 Background to the Study
From the time immemorial, communication has been an everyday process in all fields and between all people. It is a fundamental tool of relating to different people. Hicks and Gullet (1975) have broadly stated that communication necessitates co-existence of people in the world. They further say that through communication, people share knowledge and combine efforts and this enables them to develop and expand their store of knowledge, technology and culture. Communication serves as a linking process by which parts of a system are tied together. The importance of communication to human life cannot be overemphasised, for without communication, no society can exist, no social structure can form or endure, since communication is the fundamental social process permeating all aspects of social life. Michael (1992) in his study on Development and Communication explains that without communication no organised action is possible. Social systems can only form and endure if the participating persons are linked to each other by communication.
The survival of any organisation depends on effective communication. Effective communication is therefore a prerequisite for a school to achieve its objectives. Without effective communication among the school administrators, teachers and students, disharmony and poor working environment may result. Luthans (1989) in his studies has pointed out that organisation ineffectiveness arises partly out of the difficulty in the exchange of information between the members at various. Some managers believe that poor communication wastes more time and money than any other organisational problem, as communication has such a vital influence on the success of any organisation.
A Principal in any given secondary school is responsible for the day to day running of a school and its success in academic performance. The responsibility of motivating the staff and improving the academic performance and general standards within the school lies solely on him or her. When they perform their duties well, the academic performance is likely to improve, (Muyiera, 2002). Doobs (1961) stated that the communicator (Principal) must be located with respect to his position in the communication network. He may initiate a communication, act as an intermediary between a communicator and audience or at first function as an audience and later retransmit the communication he or she has received. A principal is charged with monitoring communication. He or she stays informed about who is communicating with whom and about what in regard to the school setup. The Principal monitors communication networks both formal and informal that operates in school and community to ascertain message distortion of one kind or another. He or she also seeks facts, perception and ideas from other people. He needs to encourage accurate and full communication throughout the school organisation.
The mode and way of communication used in a given school will affect the way people interact, and it will have an impact on the general atmosphere of the school, which in turn will affect the general quality of instruction that teachers receive, (Muyiera, 2002). Communication directs the behaviour of people in an organisation. The Principal therefore through appropriate communication pattern, should be able to realign and modify the attitude of teachers, students and the whole school community towards achievement of set targets in a school. The management process that a Principal is involved in, basically revolve around communication. Effective communication as one of the aspects of management plays a paramount role towards the success of any organisation, school or institution. Any communication barrier therefore may interfere with the accomplishment of the set objectives of a school. It is on this basis therefore, that this study sought to examine Principals’ communication strategies and teachers’ productivity in public secondary school.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Education system in Nigeria has experienced frequent management problems that have been linked to communication. In the management schools in Nigeria, two important variables are employed, that is, human resources management and effective communication in a particular cultural setting. Managing human resources in the school is not an easy task. For a staff to able to give learning instructions, effective communication process is needed for a desired output. Human resources person must have the skills, knowledge and teaching methods which are carried out through communication in the system. Hence, to guide the investigation communication and human resources management and their compliance with culture in Nigeria schools system. This study will therefore examine Principals’ communication strategies and teachers’ productivity in public secondary school.
1.3 Research Objectives
The general objective or main objective of this study is to examine Principals’ communication strategies and teachers’ productivity in public secondary school. The specific objectives are:
i) To examine the effects of communication on teachers’ productivity
ii) To identify the roles of effective communication in the educational sector
iii) To find out the modes of communication preferred by teachers in secondary schools in Nigeria
iv) To determine the prevailing conditions which reduce effective communication between the Principals and the rest of the school community
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What are the effects of communication on teachers’ productivity?
ii) What are the roles of effective communication in the educational sector?
iii) What are the modes of communication preferred by teachers in secondary schools in Nigeria?
iv) What are the prevailing conditions which reduce effective communication between the Principals and the rest of the school community?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were postulated to guide the conduct of this study;
i) There is a significant correlation between Principal’s effective communication and teachers’ productivity
ii) There is no significant influence of communication strategies employed by Principals on teachers’ performance
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this research will be beneficial to the Principals for it makes suggestions for improvement in communicating effectively in the schools. The Principals will also be made aware of the effects of communication on academic performance. The content of the findings will also be a source of information for students, teachers in colleges and universities. The Nigerian Union of Teachers will use this information to identify the areas, which need to be addressed when offering in-service courses to Principals. The knowledge gained will be useful in promoting good relationship between Principals, teachers and students through appropriate communication.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
This study had some limitations which include the problem of diverse coverage of locations of the schools as they are spread around the country. There was also the problem of time and uncompromising attitudes of some respondents encountered during the study as some respondents refused to fill the questionnaire while some respondents were not available to answer the questions despite several visits.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Communication Strategies: Refers to the forms or modes of passing information from the source to the receiver. The mode can either be verbal, non-verbal or written.
Communication: The exchange of information and meaning between two or more parties.
Principal: Refers to a school manager or executive male or female in charge of running of the school.