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Organisational Politics Affect Agric Productivity, Says Professor Ladebo

A Professor of Agricultural Extension Management in the College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD) of the University, Professor Olugbenga Ladebo, with special interest in organisational behaviour, has analysed the perception of organisational politics on productivity as part of his contribution to research.
   
The University Don, who also disclosed that his second contribution to knowledge bordered on social exchange, said that this was a variable that he employed to explain stress on the job, especially among extension workers in Nigeria, saying “I examined two extension organisations and the Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) and I was able to use this exchange variable to explain their level of stress”.
   
Explaining further on what motivated his line of research, Professor Ladebo said it started when he was working on his literature review for his PhD programme and he came across the theme of organisational performance, that had so much confusion surrounding its definition, conceptualisation and operationalisation.  According to him, most scholars were unable to differentiate the concept from efficiency, such that 90 per cent of articles on organisational performance actually employed efficiency variables.
   
“Over time, scholars have bundle up the two concepts and I was able to come up with my own research focus; institutional performance, to look at, and assess the performance of educational institutions in Nigeria and I was fortunate that, at that time, a scholar in the United States of America did his PhD on the topic and came up with a scale. He was the first person to come up with variables and scales to assess the institutional performance in the world. He supplied me with the whole bunch of documents that I used for my PhD which I started with”, he said.
   
Speaking on his contributions to research, Professor Ladebo disclosed that the first area had to do with the perception of organisational politics. “I submitted the research paper in 2004 and it was published in 2006. Initially, the paper was rejected, but the editor in his wisdom saw my analysis and result, and he decided to produce and guide me, through over a period of 13 months so as to rewrite it. I rewrote it four times under the guidance of the editor”, as he stated that the result of such an effort produced must not be allowed to waste away.    On some of the challenges encountered in his research, Professor Ladebo said they include problems from colleagues, funding and students. The University Don, who acknowledged that there had not been sufficient funds, pointed out that “I still believe an individual can fund his or her research with the little funding that we have, if judiciously used”. Other challenge is student’s attitude, saying “we cannot do it alone as Professors or researchers but we still need the cooperation of postgraduate students and they are no more available for research because they are only interested in their degrees. A PhD graduate must publish at least two articles before he or she can be awarded a certificate, it is a compulsory requirement in countries like Japan and United States of America”.
   
Professor Ladebo revealed that he had discovered some exceptional behaviour among his research respondents by researching into their homosexuality, which he noted, was a controversial topic in the country. “We were able to identify students that have trait X. And based on such parameters, there is nothing that differentiates the homo-sexual from others. If you say that the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of a homo-sexual is lower, it is because they are under pressure from coming out, of being in the closet not because they are homo-sexuals. There is a burden they are carrying, if we talk about morality, then; who has the moral right to judge them? Even the pastors on the pulpit are not morally right to judge. They are dying in silence because of our hypocritical attitude. From the biblical standing, the bible does not condemn anybody. Those countries that are wise are giving them their rights and we should look in that direction. I am working on the research, hoping I will be able to present it for an Inaugural Lecture. The big picture is to influence policy framework in the country. I have records that I can use to back up what I have said”.
   
Condemning the attitude of some University Dons to research, Professor Ladebo noted that a researcher could contribute to his/her field without necessarily winning an award. He pointed out that many times, scientists like to have their names included in research that they have not contributed to and cannot defend if the lead investigator is absent.
   
“One of the reasons is that they are putting pressure on scholars to blend with the societal values, that is why we expect an average level lecturer or teacher to express the same level of affluence as seen in the larger society and this should not be so. In order for an average lecturer to reach this level, he or she must cut corners and that is what we are seeing”. Making a case for research in agriculture, Professor Ladebo called for research mandate in agriculture in the country. “For instance, this University does not have a research mandate. We were created for the purpose of agriculture, Prof. Olusegun Oshinowo, a retired Professor of FUNAAB, published a report in 1999 but I do not know if it has been updated, but as I speak with you, I am not aware of any other research mandate for the University, otherwise, we would not have scholars as it would have formed the basis for our promotion”. Comparing Nigeria with advanced countries in terms of research, he said “there is no research and we are actually stagnant. The little research work that is going on today is based on students’ projects and most of these projects are not thoroughly supervised. In Germany, your thesis will be turned into a book for you, to attain a level of seriousness but here, it is not so. Only select few scholars are involved in meaningful research today in the country".
   
Speaking on other areas of research interest to him, the University Don said he would like to research more into organisational behaviour with special interest in the area of diversity and homo-sexuality, which fall under this field.  “In some countries, their rights have been recognised but socially, they are still finding their feet, they need to be recognised because they are no different from other people, their physiology is not different and psychologically, they may be different but it does not make them less human. It is only when we recognise them that we can attend to their problems and I believe it is a spiritual problem. We as individuals have personal and spiritual problems".
   
While giving far-reaching recommendations, Professor Ladebo said “my main concern is to change the psyche of our students to read, saying there is no shortcut to success. We have to encourage our students to have a positive attitude towards studying. We, Professors need to be given time to work on more research works. The moment you become a Professor, and you are given a post, there is no time for you to do research work because you will move from one endless meeting to another. We, Professors need time to work more on our research work”.