Effective Communication Processes: The Responsibility of University Management for Enhanced Organizational Justice (OJ)

Effective Communication Processes: The Responsibility of University Management for Enhanced Organizational Justice (OJ)

Nwachukwu Prince Ololube (Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Nigeria), Comfort N. Agbor (University of Calabar, Nigeria) and Peter James Kpolovie (University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9850-5.ch002
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Abstract

This chapter assessed the impact of effective communication on Organizational Justice (OJ) in the university system. Internet search revealed that there no empirical studies on the impact of effective communication on OJ in general and in university system in particular. This ground-breaking research is intended to expand our understanding and proves to be a useful addition to the theme of this study. Communication is a characteristic common to all organizations. It is permanent, in that it is always happening, and yet it can happen so slowly that it is rarely ever noticed. On the other hand, certain communication processes, type and style have been forceful enough to draw immediate changes in organizations. To this end, quantitative assessment design was employed and questionnaire was used to measure effective communication processes and the three parts of OJ as it applies to the university system. Lecturers from four public universities responded to a questionnaire that employed a seven-point Likert-type scales. The study found that effective communication processes has positive impact on OJ. Lecturers perceived that their production and service output are not proportionate because of the unfair treatment as a result of the ineffective communication processes.
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Introduction

Management is a field of study concerned with the operation of organizations. The practice of articulating the objectives and aims of school is at the heart of school administration. In school systems aims are decided by head teachers in the case of primary schools, principals in the case of secondary schools, and rectors, provosts, and vice chancellors in the case of tertiary schools. In a number of cases, this is done as teamwork in collaboration with senior colleagues. However, university administration is a corporate activity completed by the federal or state Ministries of Education through a national and state policy on education (Ololube et al., 2014).

Universities are often influenced by strains in the external milieu. In many countries, policies on education leave little room for schools to identify their own aims. Educational establishments are thus tasked with interpreting an external agenda rather than examining and addressing their own needs. Within this framework it becomes the role of university administrators or managers to respect government policies while developing innovative and alternative approaches that satisfy both local and national education needs, values and vision (Ibara, 2010).

University management principles are universal, which requires setting objectives, planning, supervising and motivating employees, controlling and co-coordinating activities, achieving goals and evaluating concerted efforts towards the achievement of goals. These management tasks call for the utilization of four types of resources: human, monetary, material, and communication. Human resources include employees and their skills, knowledge and experience. Monetary resources refer to the capital and investments used to finance the current and long-term operations and objectives of the school. Material resources include the physical facilities of the school and the equipment contained therein. Communication resources include the data and information used in the operation and planning of educational institutions (Ololube, 2013). The job of university administrators and/or managers is to combine and co-ordinate all of the resources at their disposal to achieve goals (Akinnubi et al., 2012).

The human resources of a university are arguably the most dominant resource in terms of the path to university prosperity, and every employee anticipates and desires justice in the workplace, particularly in terms of fair communication procedures in the determination of what to do and not to do, and interaction with superiors. If university employees are treated fairly, they tend to display a shared response in the form of optimistic and loyal behaviors. Justice in the university environment is important and motivates faculty to properly guide, teach their students and carry out outstanding research.

This study assessed the impact of effective communication on organizational justice (OJ) in the university system, because there are no empirical studies on the impact of effective communication on OJ in general and in university system in particular. This research is intended to expand our understanding and proves to be a useful addition to the theme of this study. The present growing level of competition amongst universities in the world, especially Africa has caused universities to diverse varied means to become increasingly relevant as global players in the academic field. However, the increasing conception amongst professional colleagues has been that university managers frequently do not exchange words either in writing (via memos, emails, official letters etc.) or orally in effective manner to enhance OJ. As such, there is the need to evaluate how university managers can through effective communication processes enhance OJ to propel the needed change within the university system. Secondly, it is presumed by faculty (lecturers) that the lack of effective communication processes causes approximately 85% of failure that prevents achievement of desired outcomes.

Generally, the purpose of this quantitative assessment stems from the presumption that the rationale or goals of university system provide a crucial sense of direction to the management of the system through effective communication (Ololube, Kpolovie, Egbezor & Ekpenyong, 2009). If the link between purpose and management is unclear, there is a danger of “unsuccessful management”, the immediate consequences of which include pressure on communication procedures and injustice in university management (Bush, 2003, 2006). Thus, this chapter aimed at tackling four hypotheses that are made to order to address the premise of this study:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Organization: An institution or agency that is established as a means to achieve defined goals.

University Management: Is the initiative by universit y manages/administrators to properly and effectively attend to the concerns, queries, proposals, grievances and feedbacks of students, academic and non-academic staff promptly.

Distributive Justice: Concerns the perception of an employee and/or group of employees regarding whether the gains earned are distributed justly. Employees make judgment on the appropriateness of fairness in the distribution of information.

Organizational Justice: Concerns how employees’ view fairness in the workplace. It means the perception of an employee and/or group of employees regarding the fairness received from an organization.

Effective Communication: This is communication that is clearly and successfully sent, delivered, received and understood aimed at resolving differences while building trust, fairness and respect.

Procedural Justice: Is fairness in the mechanisms, methods and processes used to determine outcomes. Procedural justice can be seen as the extension of equity theory to the allocation of resources in organization.

Communication Processes: Involves components’ such as sender of message, encoding of message, channel of communication, the receiver of message, decoding of the message and feedback.

Interactional Justice: Is concerned with employees’ perceptions of the fairness in the manner in which they are treated by colleagues. It involves the quality of treatment received by employees from their boss. It also relates to the proper choice in the use of medium of communication during decision-making processes.

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