ADMINISTRATORS’ LEADERSHIP SKILLS, MANAGEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES AND UNIVERSITY PRODUCTIVITY IN NORTH-CENTRAL NIGERIA
Managing universities for improved productivity and overall growth and development of the nation requires administrators with appropriate leadership skills and adequate management support services. However, these requirements are perceived to be lacking, resulting in low educational output. Although previous studies have examined some factors that improve university productivity index, enough attention has not been paid to administrators’ leadership skills (ALS) and management support services (MSS). This study therefore investigated the relationship among administrators’ leadership skills, management support services and university productivity in North-central, Nigeria. The objectives of the study were to: (i) examine the level of leadership skills of university administrators (human, technical and conceptual); (ii) examine the adequacy of management support services (staff development, research and welfare); and (iii) determine the relationship among administrators’ leadership skills, management support services and university productivity (teaching, research and community service). A causal-correlation survey research design was used for the study. Multistage sampling technique was used to select five out of seven federal universities, 380 out of 1058 university administrators, 382 out of 5053 non-teaching staff, 383 out of 4259 lecturers, 383 out of 101, 821 students and 251 out of 658 beneficiaries of university community service programmes. Five validated researcher-designed instruments entitled Staff Assessment of Administrators’ Leadership Skill Questionnaire (SAALSQ), Administrators’ Assessment of Adequacy of Management Support Services Questionnaire (AAAMAAQ), Lecturers’ Assessment of Research Productivity Questionnaire (LARPQ), Students’ Assessment of Teaching Productivity Questionnaire (SATPQ) and Beneficiaries’ Assessment of University Community Service Programmes Questionnaire (BAUCSPQ) were used for data collection. Reliability co-efficients of the instruments determined through test-retest method were 0.78, 0.76, 0.72, 0.64 and 0.68 respectively. Descriptive statistics were used to answer the research questions, while Pearson Product Moment Correlation statistics and Multiple Regression Analysis were used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 alpha level. The findings of the study were that: i. administrators’ human, technical and conceptual skills were fairly adequate with mean values of 1.55, 1.14 and 0.97 respectively; ii. research, staff development and welfare support services were adequate with mean values of 4.47, 4.40 and 3.71 respectively; iii. MSS and ALS combined are significantly related to university teaching productivity with (B=0.937, Se 0.017, tc=54.33>tt=1.69 and B=0.058, Se=0.0.017, tc=3.36>tt=1.69; Fc=76.55), iv. MSS and ALS combined are significantly related to university research productivity (B=0.47, Se= 0.05, tc=9.33>tt=1,69 and B=0.31, Se=0.36, tc=6.13>tt=1.69; Fc=751.97); and v. MSS and ALS did not have significant relationship with community service productivity (F=3.525, p>0.05). The study concluded that administrators’ leadership skills and management support services are predictors of university productivity in North-central, Nigeria. The implication is that if university administrators’ leadership skills and management support services are adequate, university productivity will improve. The study therefore recommended that universities should increase ALS and MSS to improve university productivity, especially community service productivity.