1.1 Background of the Study
Man relates with others in his environment in order to understand others and also be understood by them. This make no man live in isolation but rather living together to help each other for their endless satisfaction of needs. An institution whether it is profit-oriented or non-profit-oriented cannot achieve their basic goals without mutual understanding between management and staff. Therefore the soundness and the acceptability of any institution or any organization can be determined by the impact of interpersonal communication.
Although the role of interpersonal communication in the corporate world has become so challenging due to the presence of new communication technologies such as cell-phones, pagers and hand-held computers. These have reduced the frequent face-to-face relationship among staff and their head (superior). It has also in turn made the flow of communication to be more abundance in form of corporate e-mails, newsletters, press releases and departmental meetings.
Though, the technologies have given institutions the fast track on communication, it also down-play the importance of face-to-face communication. As the result of changing the landscape among the employee and superior, it indicated the crucial relationship in an organization. According to Scott and Mitchell (2003, 21) “interpersonal communication serves for four basic purposes, express feeling, influence, reinforce the former structures of an organization through using channels of communication”. With all indication, interpersonal communication is the origin that nourished relationship between one person to another both in official and unofficial settings. From the definition so far, which suggests that; mutual relationship between the superior and his subordinate in an institution or organization should maintained for the effective productivity verbally or non-verbally.
Apparently, interpersonal communication is paramount in creating a wonderful atmosphere for employee’s performance in Imo State Polytechnic as a result of well planned deliberate and sustained effort in the establishment of mutual understanding and maintenance of free flow communication. Employees are allocated with specific responsibility for the overall development and monitoring of policies in relation to their superior or departmental heads. Interpersonal communication policies encourage an institutional image in a very comfortable manner.
According to Steward and Cash (1985:6) interpersonal communication is a “micro group, such as board meeting, academic staff meetings and round table discussion. That begins as soon as there is face-to-face situation which someone undoubtedly wants to influence a certain opinion”. From the inception, man is a social being and human interaction is as old as man. Historically, reflecting to the biblical account, interpersonal communication is prior in human life and during God creation, he first communicated with angels by saying “let create man in our image. After man was created, God realized that, it is not good for one to live in isolation” which communication was one of the main reason God created woman. “I will make him a suitable help mate for him”.
A woman was brought into the picture for the purpose of communication. The recognition of man interdependence brought about interpersonal communication today which extends from man-to-man and woman-to-woman relationship. The effort being made here is to identify that one need another for the achievement of a certain goal. Another interesting part is, how man care to relate with man. This can be initiated through the spirit of humanism which propelled Eve to share the forbidden fruit with Adam having being schooled privately by serpent.
Therefore, the interdependent is clearly demonstrated from the inception of man’s Creation. At any degree, human being must depend on one another for the achievement of a certain goals. All these, are the essence of interpersonal communication. Interpersonal communication cannot exist in a vacuum, there must be involved, in other words, they must be a close relationship among the communicators. Study indicates that, interpersonal communication is important for our health apart from achieving goals. Therefore, lack of interpersonal communication double the chance of getting sick. Interpersonal communication among staff and head or superior offers the only channel for removing difficulty in person-to-person relationship through understanding based on full information in Imo State Polytechnic. If interpersonal communication and employee productivity are not utilized, it is rightly referred one of current problem facing an institution, such as Imo State Polytechnic. How does this problem manifest. What brings the manifesto of this predicament? I shall delve deeply into it.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Every individual operate according to a system of value; whether it is verbalized and consistently worked out or not. In selecting goals, choosing modes of behaviour and resolving conflict, man is influenced at every turn by his conception of what is good and desire for. However, responding positively to the policies of the institution or organization is always a challenge.
Lack of mutual understanding between subordinates and superiors, unfriendly atmosphere, due to either the stoppage or irregularities in circulation of circular or any other means of information also create a communication gap between staff and the management. Because of such discrepancies which usually lead to a crack in relationships, the issue is: Could interpersonal communication influence employee productivity in Imo State Polytechnic?
1.3 Objective of the Study
The objectives of this study are to:
1. find out the ways information flows in Imo State Polytechnic toward official activities in the school;
2. find out how interpersonal communication affects employee’s attitudes to work in Imo State Polytechnic;
3. determine the various strategies used for the transmission of information by employees in the school;
4. determine the effectiveness of those strategies in work performance.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What are the various ways information flows in Imo State Polytechnic?
2. How does interpersonal communication affect employees’ attitude toward work in Imo State Polytechnic?
3. What extent does various strategies used for the transmission of information can be determined by employees’ in the school?
4. How does the effectiveness of the strategies in work performance determine?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study has become a necessity from the height of labour force in the country. The level of awareness in Nigeria demand is that workers should have full information on matters affecting their duties and well being, because poor communication can be high in both personal and working sphere. Maintenance of relationship between the superior and subordinate save time in strike grumbling.
In position with Imo State Polytechnic located in Umuagwo, Ohaji, a study of this kind, will contribute effectively for the benefit of an institution for the actualization of a certain goal. This body of knowledge creates an opportunity to any institution or an organization to established mutual relationship and understanding between staff and management.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work is used in measuring the effect of interpersonal communication and employees’ productivity in Imo State Polytechnic.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
During this research work, a lot of constraint beginning from the choice of topic to the finishing part was faced by the researcher. The difficulty was on how to construct a good topic and to be the original owner. The researcher came across an unfavourable time fixture among staff and incorporated character due to constant engagement on the official duty assign for them by their superior.
The researcher finally met with them (respondent) they couldn’t freely answered all the questions and suggest that, it was due to their ethical policy or other reason best known to them, which greatly robbed this frame work an opportunity to gather all the necessary important data on time that would add more to this research work.
Also combining the normal academic activities with this research work was staining the greater challenges during the administration of questionnaires was encountered as some of the respondents were reluctant personally, the researcher was bombard with financial limitation due to lack of helping hands considering our economic situation, this sincerely affected the capability and restricted all the movement in terms of visiting places and purchase of textbook for an Excellency. But at last, this research work at lease recorded a commendation, success.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following are the definition of terms in which some functions conceptually and some are operationally based on the success of this research.
Conceptual: According to Oxford Advance Learner, defined interpersonal as a connection in relationship between people. As a concept, interpersonal deals with mutual understanding among people.
Operational: Interpersonal is said to be a type of communication that deal with an official cordiality between the subordinate and the superior such as personal suggestion and understanding of what it is being shared in the working environment. It deals with interchanges that exist through relationship among staff in Imo State Polytechnic. It has to do with face-to-face settings whether formally or unstructurally. Steward and D. Angelo (1988:22) described “interpersonal” as a term used to label a kind and type of communication that occurs when people involves in choosing to talk and listen in a way that maximize their own and other people humanness.
Conceptual: According to Oxford Advance Learner, communication is the activity or process of expressing ideas and feelings or method or sending information especially on telephone, radios and computer etc.
Operational: Communication is a verbal and non interchange of information in an official setting which passes through a superior to the subordinate or vice versa in an understandable term. It links discontinuous part of a living world to one another. With all indications, communication among humans beings is the act of transmitting idea and attitudes from one person to another therefore, man cannot communicate.
Conceptual: According to Oxford Advance Learner, employee is a person who is paid to work for somebody; he/she is paid or rewarded at the end of the month or after discharging his duty.
Operational: A set of people that is employed in an institution both teaching and non-teaching for the achievement of a certain goal in Imo State Polytechnic.
Conceptual: Oxford Advance Learner states that, productivity is the rate which a worker, company or a country produces goods and the amount produced. Compared to how much time, work and money is needed to produce them.
Operational: It is the process of combining utility of an institution or organization input by planning, coordinating, organizing, controlling, directing and remunerating for the purpose of producing output (goods/services) desired by Student of Imo State Polytechnic so that, the institution aim will be accomplished.
Conceptual: Interpersonal communication according to Oxford Advance Learners, interpersonal communication is the act of sharing meaning, changing of ideas through face-to-face communication.
Operational: Interpersonal communication have to do with the Nature of communication in relationship with others either by birth or naturally through labour force, where meaning are shared interchangeable from one person to another.