International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET)
Volume 10, Issue 03, March 2019, pp. 1056–1064, Article ID: IJCIET_10_03_103
Available online at http://www.iaeme.com/ijmet/issues.asp?JType=IJCIET&VType=10&IType=3
ISSN Print: 0976-6308 and ISSN Online: 0976-6316
© IAEME Publication
Scopus Indexed
Osibanjo O. A; Falola H. O; Adeniji, A.A
Department of Business Management, Covenant University,
Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria
Adeyeye. J.O
Department of Business Administration, Federal University,
Abakaliki, Ebonyi
*Correspondent Author E mail: [email protected]
The level of employees’ utilization in the world of work determines the level of the
organisational growth and sustainable development. The main objective of this study is
to examine the effect of manpower underutilization on the performance of selected
public ministries and parastatals in Ogun State, Nigeria. A descriptive research method
(Structural Equation Model (AMOS 21)) was applied, to analyse the two hundred and
twenty-five copies of valid questionnaire completed by public servants in Ogun State,
Nigeria using stratified sampling technique. The results show that strong relationship
exists between Human Resource underutilization and organizational performance.
Therefore, we can conclude that skill underutilization, knowledge underutilisation,
skill/job mismatch and untapped human resource potentials have effects on
organisation effectiveness
Key words: Human Resource, Knowledge Underutilization, skill underutilisation,
Untapped Human Resource, Performance, Public Servant.
Cite this Article: Osibanjo O. A; Falola H. O; Adeniji, A.A; Adeyeye. J.O,
Measuring Manpower Underutilization and Performance of ICT Driven Government
Ministries and Parastartals in Nigeria, International Journal of Civil Engineering and
Technology 10(3), 2019, pp. 1056–1064.
The most important asset of any organization is its human resources and the level of employees’
utilization is directly proportional to the performance of an organization. Performance can be
viewed as a result-based perspective of the firm (or individual, or government) that shows the
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Measuring Manpower Underutilization and Performance of ICT Driven Government Ministries
and Parastartals in Nigeria
relationship between input and output processes (OECD, 2001). Improved performance implies
that every unit of input is well managed to achieve a greater proportion of output. Indeed,
employees and employees of labour are increasingly seen as key elements of competitive
advantage (Allen, & Wright, 2007; Boxall, & Purcell, 2003; Pfeffer, 1998). Meanwhile, studies
have focused on unemployment (Dabalen and Adekoka, 2000, Uwem and Ndem, 2012),
demand for manpower and labour market (Ugwonah and Omeje, 1998, Godwin and Johnson,
2012) but less attention is given to underutilization of human resource (William, 2010).
Underutilization has been identified as individuals likely to be those working in less skilled
occupations, idleness because of insufficiency of work volume etc (Flynn, 2003; Nord, 1989,
Jensen and Slack, 2000). Organizations therefore seek to understand how their human resources
can be managed for sustainable competitive advantage and optimal performance (Dyer, &
Reeves, 1995). Consequently, for the purpose of this paper, human resource underutilization
describes a system that is characterized by underutilization of skills and knowledge, job
mismatch, redundancy among others.
However, the rate at which human resource underutilization is growing in the government
ministries, agencies and parastatals in Nigeria has become a thing of concern and it is obvious
that steps taken by the government and stakeholders have not solved the problem. It is
imperative to note here that human resource underutilization is linked with underutilization of
skill, knowledge, untapped skills, skill mismatch, unproductive use of human resources, among
others. All these directly or indirectly can affect productivity level of any organization. To this
end, this paper seeks to critically examine the effect of human resource underutilization on
organizational performance in the Nigeria public sector. The significance of this work stemmed
from its objectives as follows:
Examine how skill underutilization affects organizational effectiveness
Analyze the effect of knowledge underutilization on organisation performance
Evaluate the impact of untapped skills and talent on the organizational efficacy
Analyze the effect of job mismatch on organizational efficiency.
The survey became necessary because of the worrying rate of Human Resource
underutilization and unproductive attitudes of employees towards work in the government
ministries and parastatals. However, this study is essential because: it help identify the
challenges and subsequently proffer suggestions that will help employees to identify their
esteem and contribute their quota with the aid of technology; organizations will be better
structured and be more efficient and productive; society will be more enhanced and the
economy will improve.
2.1. Underutilization of Skills and Organisation Performance
Underutilization of skills is argued to be insufficiency of work volume which makes workers
to be working below their ability and capability (Geneva, 2008, Buchanan 2010). Skill
underutilization refers to as incompatibility of education and occupation (Bosnia and
Herzegovina, 2008). There is nothing more demoralizing than feeling underutilized as a result
of taking job that is not proportional to the level of skills and ability possessed. Meanwhile,
skill underutilization within the workplace represents a lost opportunity for both organizations
and individuals which will invariably affect overall productivity (Borghans, and Grip, 2000)
Skills acquired are said to be underutilized where existing skills are not being harnessed and
the resources invested in fostering the skills are not being optimized. Skill underutilization
could also be described as failure to make active use of acquired skills, may lead to depreciation
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Osibanjo O. A; Falola H. O; Adeniji, A.A; Adeyeye. J.O
of existing skills. Furthermore, skills not optimally utilized may lead to a loss of already
acquired skills (OECD 2011)
2.2. Job Mismatch and Organisation Performance
Job mismatch refers to inappropriate or wrong placement of employees and it is likely to be on
high side when there is high rate of unemployment and people are ready to take up any available
job (Brink, 2000; Wolbers, 2002). Felstead (2011) identified job mismatch between the skills
of the job-holders and required skills to perform the job effectively and efficiently. However,
job mismatch happens when the level of education or acquired skills by the job holder exceeds
the level of educational requirement to do the job adequately (Wolber, De-Graaf, & Ultee,
2001). Meanwhile, a great number of skilled graduates get job outside their disciplines, which
could be as a result of inappropriate relationship between educational system and economy
(Idumange, 2004).
2.3. Underutilization of Knowledge and Organisation Performance
In this contemporary world, education is perhaps the most important means to acquire
knowledge through learning (Wolbrer, 2002). Human capital theory posited that the skills
acquired in education represent human capital which must be properly utilized (Becker, 1964).
However, Knowledge underutilization occurs as a result of inability of the individual employee
to create, acquire, capture, share and use the acquired knowledge for optimal performance
(Armstrong, 2006).
2.4. Untapped Human Resource Potentials and Organisation Performance
The goal of any organisation is to maximally engage their human resource potential for effective
performance (Boxall, & Purcell, 2003). Furthermore, employees are reservoirs of untapped
potentials and the ability of the management to unravel these potentials will be of great benefits
to the organisation (Miles, 1965). However, employees are uniquely endowed and government
has the responsibility to strategically disentangle employee’s potential for excellent
performance (Godwin and Johnson, 2012)
2.5. Underlining Theory of Human Resource Management
Mile theory of human resource management was specifically designed to explain how
management can tap into employees’ potentials for optimal performance. Miles 1965 posted
that all workers are reservoirs of untapped resources and the ability of the management to take
advantage of them will go long way in achieving organisation goals and objectives. He noted
that organizations can earn employees’ total commitment and optimal performance through
favourable working environment and policies that will encourage or motivate them to willingly
put in their best toward actualization of organisation set goals. He opined that every worker
comes into an organization with a variety of resources that management can tap into for optimal
Furthermore, he emphasized that the resources include not only physical skills and energy,
but also innovative, creative ability and the capacity for responsible, self-directed, selfcontrolled behavior that can be harnessed to gain competitive advantage. Miles suggested that
for organizations or employers of labour to earn employees’ commitment towards optimal
productivity, they should not only focus on controlling employees or getting them to “buy-in”
to decisions, which are the characteristics of scientific management and human relations.
Instead, management should create a conducive working environment that fosters employee
creativity and risk taking to maximize and tap into the resources that employees bring to the
job. Miles explained that his human resources model “recognized the untapped potential of
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Measuring Manpower Underutilization and Performance of ICT Driven Government Ministries
and Parastartals in Nigeria
most organizational members and advocated participation as a means of achieving direct
improvement in individual and organizational performance.” In his view, Douglas McGregor’s
Theory X and Theory Y (1960) noted that some persons are naturally lazy and do not like work
and can do anything to avoid work. To such persons, he identified rewards or punishment as
factors that can make them work. Be that as it may, the theories are very useful and relevance,
because they alert the management or employers of labour what they need to do to earn
employees’ optimal performance toward the actualization of the organization optimal
This study will give attention to the effect of underutilization of human resource on
organisational performance in the Nigeria public sector using Ogun State public servants as a
case study. However as obtained in the reviewed literature, we proposed the following model
depicted in figure I
Figure 1 Proposed Study Model
3.1. Research Methodology
The empirical data for the study were collected through a well-structured questionnaire, which
was prepared and distributed among the Public Servants in Ogun State capital, Abeokuta,
South-West Nigeria. The reason for the choice of location for the study is because it is the state
capital and as well plays host to the headquarters of most of the agencies or parastatals. The
research instrument is divided into two sections; the first tends to obtain the respondent biodata
while the second part contains the items regarding the constructs of the subject matter. Fivepoint Likert scale (5-Strongly Agreed, 4- Agree, 3-Undecided, 2-Strongly Disagree, 1Disagree) that best describes the extent to which the respondents agree with each item in the
questionnaire was used. Descriptive methods of analysis were used to analyze the data. The
opinions of the respondents on each question were weighed using simple percentages. This is
done to ascertain the average opinion of the respondents. A total of 280 copies questionnaires
were administered within the scope of selected location, having sorted the returned
questionnaires, only 225 copies of questionnaire representing 80% were validly used while 48
copies (20%) were either discarded due to improper filling or unreturned. The study tends to
add to the existing study on Human Resource issues and organization performance.
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Osibanjo O. A; Falola H. O; Adeniji, A.A; Adeyeye. J.O
Statistical analysis in the form of frequency and percentage was used to describe respondents’
profiles. The data are shown in the following table.
Table 1 Demographic and Socio-economic Characteristics of Respondents
50 yrs & Above
M.Sc/MBA & Above
Year of Experience
10– 19
20 years &above
Marital Status
Educational qualification
Following from Table I, 124(55.1%) of the sample size was male while 101(44.9%) were
female, which implies that the population of male respondent is higher than female. Meanwhile,
136(60.5%) (Cumulative) of the respondents were within an economically active population.
Moreover, 128(56.9%) of the respondents were married, while 78(34.7%) were single and
19(8.4%) were either divorced or separated, though the reason for their present marital status
could not be ascertained as at the time of documenting this report. Regarding the years of work
experience; 82(36.4%) of the respondents had worked between 1 and 9 years; while 93(41.3%)
have put in between 10-19 years; 50(22.2%) have spent 20 years and above, which makes the
respondents authority in responding to the items.
Table 2 Standardized Regression Weights: (Group number 1 - Default model)
H1 Significant
H2 Significant
H3 Significant
H4 Significant
Note: C.R. = Critical Ratio; S.E. = Standard Error; * significant at 0.05
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Measuring Manpower Underutilization and Performance of ICT Driven Government Ministries
and Parastartals in Nigeria
Based on the acquired results, it was found that there were significant contribution models
between the four dimensions of human resource underutilisation namely skills underutilization,
knowledge underutilization, skills mismatch and untapped human resource potentials on
organization productivity. Table II above shows the significant correlation between variables
Figure 2 The Result of Structural Model of Data Collected
4.2. Model Testing
Structural equation model analysis (SEM) was adopted to test relationship dependent and
independent variables of the proposed hypotheses to determine the extent of fitness of the
indices. Comparative Fit Index (CFI); Normed Fit Index (NFI); Relative Fix Index (RFI);
Incremental Fix Index (IFI); Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA); CMIN are
the model fit indices used to indicate the acceptability of fitness. Tabachinck and Fidell, (2007),
Hu and Bentlar, (1999) and Bentler and Bonett (1980) posited that the acceptable model fit
benchmark value for the indices is 0.90 or greater, however, the results obtained showed that
all the fits indices are above the minimum acceptable value indicating a good fit. The fit index
are as follows: NFI = .993; CFI = .999; IFI = .998, TLI= .999, CMIN=. 961. Further to the
results of the structural model depicted in figure 2, the model results showed the regression
(Knowl_Underutil); Skill Mismatch (Skill_Mismatch); and Untapped Resource
(Untapped_Resour) on organisation performance (Org_Performance). Besides, all the variables
tested under independent construct have positive path coefficients as factors that tend to
enhance org_performance. However, the path coefficient scores (regression weights) of the
observed constructs explain the regression between the studied variables. The regression weight
between skill underutilisation and organisation performance is .106 (p<0.001) which indicates
that when skill underutilisation goes up by 1 (standard deviation), organisation performance
goes up by 0.106 (standard deviations). The implication of this is that when there is no enabling
environment that will challenge employees to thick outside the box, the organisations might not
be able get the best out of the employees. This validates the findings of Osibanjo et al, (2016)
who posited that not have challenging task could also result into job stress which invariably
may impact on the level of performance of the employees.
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Osibanjo O. A; Falola H. O; Adeniji, A.A; Adeyeye. J.O
Meanwhile, the regression weight for skill underutilisation in the prediction of organisation
performance is significantly different from zero at the 0.001 level. The implication is that
productive utilisation of employee skills will enhance organisation performance. In a related
development, the effect of knowledge underutilisation on organisation performance was posited
with the path coefficient of 0.179 (p <001). Therefore, when knowledge underutilisation goes
up by 1, organisation performance goes up by 0.179, therefore, the regression weight for
knowledge underutilisation in the prediction of organisation performance is significantly
different from zero at the 0.001 level. The implication is that the more the organisation utilises
its employee knowledge the better for the organisation. This was in line with the submission of
Falola, Olokundun, Salau, Oludayo,and Ibidunni (2018).
Meanwhile, the effect of level of skill/job mismatch on organisation performance is positive
with the regression weight of .050 (p<0.001). When skill/job mismatch goes up by 1 standard
deviation, organisation performance goes up by 0.050. The regression weight for skill/job
mismatch in the prediction of organisation performance is significantly different from zero at
the 0.001 level. The implication of this is that when employees are not given opportunity to
choose where they think they can maximally unleash their potential for the betterment of the
organisation, it might result in poor performance. This was in line with the findings of Oludayo,
et al (2018) who posited that flexi work arrangement enhances performance particularly when
employees are rightly and appropriately placed. Furthermore, it is important to state that
untapped human resource has a strong relationship with organisation performance and its effect
is positive with coefficient value of .001 (p<0.05). Evidently, untapped resource goes up by 1,
organisation performance goes up by 0.001. In other words, the regression weight for untapped
resource in the prediction of organisation performance is significantly different from zero at the
0.001 level. This finding corroborates with the submission of Ibidunni et al, 2016. The
implication is that if employees are not properly placed, it might make their work uninteresting
and thereby affecting their performance.
The survey examined the effect of underutilization of human resource on productivity in the
public sector in Nigeria. This study was limited to public servants in Ogun State, South-West
Nigeria. All the relationships proposed among the variables in the research model were tested
and it was found that relationship exists amongst the variables having subjected the collected
data to empirical analysis with the use of Structural Equation Model. However, the results of
the findings indicated that human resource underutilization affects organizational effectiveness
and productivity, which implies that effort must be made to ensure that employees’ skills and
knowledge are fully utilized and ensure that the specialization is taking into consideration
during placement. The overall result showed that proposed hypotheses tested were accepted. It
is therefore recommended that Individual should be more proactive and seek to be more creative
and actively engaged to contribute their quota through their professional skill. Therefore,
government, employers of labour and decision makers should endeavour to create enabling
environment and favorable policies that can motivate employees to be more productive and
Covenant University Centre for Research, Innovation and Discovery is deeply appreciated for
its financial support.
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Measuring Manpower Underutilization and Performance of ICT Driven Government Ministries
and Parastartals in Nigeria
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