1.1. Background to the Study

In this 21st century, the workplace is a fast-paced, dynamic, highly motivating environment that comes with a lot of benefits and opportunities to those who work within it. The dynamic and ever-changing demands of the corporate world leads to an increase level of stress, most particularly for individuals who are always working under pressure in organizations such as banks, hospital or clinic, etc. However, pressure on its own has its positive effect in enhancing performance, but too much pressure can result into stress which has negative effects.

Globally, employee performance has received a lot of attention from researchers all over the world. Hammoud and Osborne (2017) observed that in the United States of America, different organisations and institutions have experienced negative employee performance in the areas of employee effectiveness and lack of employee efficiency. Employee performance is the combined result of effort, ability, and perception of tasks (Meswantri, & Ilyas, 2018). This is imperative for organizational outcomes and success. Many factors influence employee performance; and workplace environment factors stands out as the key determinants of performance. It is the key multi character factor intended to attain outcomes and has a major connection with planned objectives of the organization (Manafzadeh, Ghaderi, Moradi, Taheri, & Amirhasani, 2018). Favourable workplace environment guarantees the wellbeing of employees as well as enables them to exert themselves to their roles with all energy that may translate to higher performance (Boren, 2014).

According to Warraich, Ahmed, Ahmad, and Khoso (2017), stress is defined as the negative psychological and physical reactions that happen in a person due to his or her lack of ability to cope with the demands being made on him or her. That is, tension from extra-ordinary demands on a person. It is however observed that, stress is not essentially bad; but it is an opportunity when it offers potential gain. It becomes aggravated when a person finds out that he or she can exercise little control over it. Hu, Chen, Chen, Shen, Lin and Chang (2015) highlighted the following as the causes of stress, which are not limited to: lack of time management, unclear job descriptions, feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, lack of ability to get things done, poor communication, poor personal relationships, quality and complexity of tasks. Corroborating the above, Basit and Hassan (2015) identified stress-related illnesses as the major reason for low productivity levels among employees in an organization. An increasing pressure at work leads to stress, which made it the number one factor leading to illness.

Quite a number of empirical studies have shown mixed results in relation to the effect of job stress on employee performance. A number of these recent findings showed that work load, time pressure, role conflict, lack of motivation, role ambiguity, reduction of resources, harassment, and many other factors affect employee performance (Abbas & Raja, 2015). Highest incidence of work related health issues on an average has accounted for about 23days of lost per individual. Productivity dropped as a result of the stress level and it mainly affect industries such as the defense, teaching, public administration and even social care accounting for 9.9 million days of medical or sick leaves from 2014-2015, (Hayes, B., Douglas, C., & Bonner, 2015).  Job stress and employee performance should be recognized, as a collective issue with huge effects on the overall welfare of the employees, the organization, society and the economy of the country as whole (Oh, Uhm, & Yoon, 2016).

Across Europe and America, the concept of performance has been confirmed to have a significant influence on both young and olds (Choi, Lee, Sim, Lee, & Park, 2017; Jeffrey, & Prasetya, 2019); In Asia, stress was confirmed to have a significant influence on young individuals, poor, and old (Chen, Uen, & Chen, 2016). Studies conducted in Africa by Muthoni (2015) confirmed that, individuals were faced with a growing challenge of stress due to the nature of job demands and other factors like work load or pressure, lack of finance, role conflict, relationship failure, etc. In a similar study by Mwakughu (2016) among medical employees confirmed that in excess of 70percents of employees experienced stress in the course of carrying out their duties, which implied that, stress had negative impact on their performance.

Work load has turn out to be a serious issue among many organizations these days. Yet, only a small number of studies have dedicated their study on the impact of work load (Soelton, Pebriani, Umar, Triwulan, & Wilantara, 2018) and findings revealed that work load resulted in leading to high efficiency costs due to being led significantly on high rejection rates of offers (Chigozie, 2017). Ayaz, Alamgir and Khan (2017) and Bamba (2016) revealed that with work load or pressure it has undeniable affected the attitude of employees towards risk. In addition, it increases the physiological stress of employees which ultimately would increase in risk taking (Daniel, 2019) and prevent employees from strategic thinking. Thus, an employee ability to cope relies on his or her personality and lifestyle externally.

In Nigeria, Adisa, Gbadamosi and Osabutey (2016) claimed that an individual plays an integral role in an organization and as well as the family, for that reason, balancing role conflict in work and family is an imperative concept which is of great importance to both public and private organizations. Therefore, the employee ability to achieve satisfaction between work and other activities is an important factor in determining the performance of an employee at the workplace. In addition, organization policies on work life balance are key ingredients for the efficient and success of an organization that relies on its employees for the attainment and accomplishment of organizational goals (Uddin, Mahmood, & Fan, 2018).

Nanzushi (2015) opined that the work environment in which employees are surrounded plays an important role in influencing their satisfaction and convenience and eventually their job performance. Similarly, Theorell, Hammarström, Aronsson, Bendz, Grape, Hogstedt and Hall (2015) stated that the quality of the workplace environment impacts on employees’ job performance. However, a Searcy, Dixon and Neumann survey (2015) observed that employees in the insurance industry have made the point that working in insurance companies is stressful with a high output demanded from employees and a lot of times long hours of shifts well beyond the stipulated working hours also demanded of them without any overtime payment. According to Ajala (2016) this has affected the job performance of employees in insurance companies.

Employee performance refers to an employee accomplishment of something or mere working effectiveness. In an organization, performance is realized at the levels of organization, process and individuals and the interrelationships among these will define the vantage points of the organization. Employee performance is seen as a key factor that contributes significantly to an organization performance. In this contemporary corporate world, with growing competition in the business arena, organizations are dedicated to enhance employee performance so as to improve organization profitability, market reach and brand recognition.

Based on the above, there is barely any inclusive study focusing on stress on employee performance in the education sector. Thus, this study seeks to bridge this gap in knowledge by examining the effect of stress on employee performance in Babcock University, Ogun State.

1.2. Statement of the Problems

The issue of stress among organizations has been hovering for a lot of years. However, in recent time, there has been a wide range of studies conducted on stress among employees generally. Stress is not always negative or harmful and indeed, the absence of stress is death (Arbabisarjou, Ajdari, Omeidi, & Jalalinejad, 2016). Luthans (1989) affirmed that at some point in human lives, we all need some degree of stress to function normally. From his perspective, mild stress level may not be entirely bad for employees as a means of improving their job performance. However, empirical studies conducted on the rate of stress among Nigerian workers by Ajayi (2018) and Asika and Ade-Serrano (2015) have revealed that regular high stress level coupled with other factors (such as socio-political and economic) has contributed to the drop in performance and productivity of the Nigerian workers (Ajayi, 2018). Aside from the severe national economic effects of such declining performance and productivity, job stress as well poses serious health problems (Ajayi, 2018).

The present turbulent business environment in Nigeria requires employees and organizations to reexamine their practices. For instance, banking is a very stressful job with long working hours, severe competition, ethical issues, regulatory bottlenecks and troublesome customers. Stone and Deadrick (2015) opined that individuals in human service profession like banking are regularly required to spend extensive time engaging with other people and when customers’ problems are not solved instantly, the situation may turn out to be more uncertain and frustrating.

Another study on the existence of stress in the service sector by Ajayi, Ojo and Mordi (2015) showed the existence of stress causing factors in the service sector with higher level of stress found among the executive than the non-executive. The issue of stress among employees could be better solved if only the factors leading to stress were properly identified and assessed. The question of how stress affects employees’ performance is a significant one given the nature of contemporary and competitive corporate world and the challenges faced by employees in Nigeria.

Quite a lot of studies have been carried out to examine the effect of stress on employee performance in Nigeria, however, as far as the researcher know, there is no work done on the effect of stress on employee performance in the educational sector, using Babcock University. This is a gap this study seeks to fill by examining the effect of stress on employee performance in Babcock University.


1.3. Objective of the Study

The main objective is to assess the effect of stress on employees’ performance in Babcock University. In order to achieve the main objective, the following specific objectives are:

  1. to assess the effect of work load on employees effectiveness
  2. to examine the effect of working environment on employees efficiency
  3. to examine the effect of domestic challenges on job output
  4. 4.      to investigate the combined effect of stress related factors on employees performance in Babcock University.

1.4. Research Questions

The following research questions are poised for the study.

  1. What is the effect of work load on employees’ effectiveness?
  2. How does working environment affect employees’ efficiency?
  3. What is the effect of domestic challenges on job output?
  4. What is the combined effect of stress related factors on employee’s performance in Babcock University?

1.5. Research Hypotheses

The research hypotheses for this study are formulated in their null form.

  1. Ho1: Work load has no significant effect on employees’ effectiveness
  2. Ho2: Working environment has no significant effect on employees efficiency
  3. Ho3: Domestic Challenges has no significant effect on job output
  4. Ho4: Stress related factors has no significant effect on employees’ performance

1.6. Operationalization of the Variables

The dependent variable is employees’ performance, represented by Employee Effectiveness (EEF), Employee Efficiency (EE), Job Output (JO) and Employee Performance (EP). On the other hand, stress, being the independent variable, is proxied by Work Load (WL), Working Environment (WE), Domestic Challenges (DC), and Stress (ST).

Where Y= Dependent variable

             X= Independent variable


Y= f(X)

X= Stress


X = f(x1, x2, x3, x4)

x1= Work Load (WL)

x2= Working Environment (WE)

x3= Domestic Challenges (DC)



Y= Employees’ Performance

Y= f(y1, y2, y3)

y1 = Employee Effectiveness (EEF)

y2 = Employee Efficiency (EE)

y3 = Job Output (JO)


The functional equations are given as:

y1 = f (x1) ------------------------eq (i)

y2= f (x2) --------------------------eq (ii)

y3 = f (x3) -------------------------eq (iii)

Y = f (x1, x2, x3)------------------eq(iv)

The econometric equations are given as:

y1 = α0 + β1x1 + µi……………….. eq(1)

y2 = α0 + β2x2 + µi……………….eq(2)

y3 = α0 + β3x3 + µi……………….eq(3)

Y = α0 + β1x1 + β2x2 + β3x3 + µi…..eq(4)

Where α = the constant value, β = the coefficient of the independent variable, µi = the error term in the equation.

1.7. Scope of the Study

The study is limited to the effect of stress on employee performance in Babcock University, Ogun State. The unit of analysis of the study is the entire employees (academic and non-academic) of Babcock University, Ogun State at Junior, Middle, Senior, and Management level positions. The population is given as 1,500, while a sample of 315 was selected from the study using the Yamane formula. The simple random sampling technique will be adopted to administer the questionnaire, in order to ensure that both male and female employees have equal chance of being selected for the study, while data gathered will be analyzed using the regression and ANOVA analysis. The geographical location for this study is Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria. The time frame for the study is employees working in Babcock for a period of 5years and above (2015 till date).

1.8. Significance of the Study

The outcome of this study is important to management as they cannot ignore the influence of stress in attaining academic or organizational goals. The goal of every organization is to achieve optimum result, and this can however be achieved when the employees work and add value to the organization at their best. In addition, it will help management in designing and putting in place together welfare incentives for the workforce in order to spur employees towards job satisfaction.

This study will as well be significant to industry in the sense that it will help provide knowledge in adjusting or modifying the factors leading to stress so as to improve the performance of the employees as well as that of the organization. In addition, it will help industry management to have a structured and policy in place that will be of benefit to both organization and employees going forward.

The study is important to the government since they have the capacity to formulate policies and guidelines that will be of positive interest to employees.

The findings will be of significance to University authorities as it will provide them with enough information that can be used to respond to the issue of stress as it concerns staffs. In addition, the information gathered will enable University authorities set up a center for guidance and counseling and the need to create awareness for both students and staffers experiencing stress to visit for counseling and further assistance.

The findings will be of benefits to the society at large in order to identify the factors leading to stress and how best to manage these factors. In addition, it will enlighten the general society on the reason to give employee welfare a priority since they are the driver of an organization to goal accomplishment.

1.9. Brief History of Babcock University

Babcock University (BU) as it is now known actually began on September 17, 1959 as Adventist College of West Africa (ACWA). Established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a senior college for training church workers from the West African sub-region, ACWA opened its doors with only seven ministerial students.

By 1966, when it graduated the first set of Bachelor of Arts degree holders in its own name, enrolment included students taking Business Administration as potential accountants within and outside the Church; and two-year Pre-Nursing students in preparation to pursue a nursing career at the Church’s School of Nursing at Ile-Ife, Osun State. History was made in 1975 when ACWA became the first institution in Nigeria to sign and operate an affiliation agreement with Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA. This relationship enabled it to award Bachelor of Arts degrees from Andrews University in Biology, Business Administration, History, Religion and Secretarial Studies.

1975 was also the year ACWA was renamed Adventist Seminary of West Africa (ASWA) in response to the dynamics of its socio-political environment. In 1983, restricting local factors again necessitated the phasing out of the Bachelors programmes in Biology and Business Administration. In 1988, ASWA reached another academic milestone through an affiliation agreement with the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary of Andrews University, which authorized it to offer Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. Master of Arts in Religion was added in 1990 and both programmes were operated during Summer sessions from 1997 to 2007. In order to attain national recognition for its status and programmes, an attempt to obtain a local affiliation with University of Ibadan, under the name “Babcock College” was initiated.

The process of affiliation with the University of Ibadan was still in progress when the Federal Government of Nigeria included Babcock University as one of the first three private universities in the country, announced on April 20, 1999. At a public ceremony presided over by the then Honourable Minister of Education, Mr. Sam Olaiya Oni, at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, on May 10, 1999, the Certificate of Registration No:002 was handed over to BU Pioneer Chancellor and Chairman of the University Council, Pastor Luka T. Daniel in his capacity as the President of the Africa-Indian Ocean Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Proprietors formally inaugurated the University on June 17, 1999. Being a pioneer private University in Nigeria since 1999, Babcock has continued this legacy of upholding a cutting-edge excellence in education. Babcock now has a postgraduate school which took off in the third quarter of 2010 and a medical school which took off in January 2012.