Swot Analysis and Organisational Development in the Nigerian Public Sector

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The public service in Nigeria has suffered setbacks which are largely attributed to ineffective and inefficient management. The general poor service delivery of public service organizations can be attributable to the inability of these organizations to develop proper evaluation strategies that would assist them refocus on their core mandates. A relatively new concept in organizational management, SWOT is a tool that assists organizations assess themselves by evaluating their internal and external competencies, challenges, opportunities and threats, with a view to enhancing their performance. Using secondary data and a purely descriptive approach, the paper examines the concept of public service and organizational development and prescriptively presents SWOT as one such tool that can enhance the performance of public service agencies. Keywords:

SWOT, Organization, Organizational development, Performance, Human resource, Public service.

Organisations exist to meet the needs and wants of a society. They use inputs from the environment and transform them into outputs such as food, clothing, housing, medical care, transportation as well as other things that add meaning to human existence (leisure and recreation). The extent to which these organisations achieve their objectives depends on several factors.

Many organisations have failed to meet the objectives or purposes of their formation. This scenario is most noticeable in underdeveloped countries where many managers lack the requisite managerial skills in management. It is one thing to formulate individual and organisational objectives; and another thing to achieve the set targets, sustain task-level and later improve on performance.

In Nigeria, the failure of many public enterprises to meet the objectives or purposes of their establishment has since become a thing of serious concern to many people. Although there are many reasons why organisations fail, this paper argues that public enterprises in Nigeria fail largely because of lack of self-awareness. That is, the absence of a systematic performance appraisal system that would analyse their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so that they can focus their activities into areas where they are strong and where the greatest opportunities lie. SWOT is one such systematic appraisal system, and it is an acronym for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT).

The objective of the paper is to prescribe and argue that public service organizations can become more effective by using SWOT analysis to determine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and thus formulate useful strategies for ensuring organisational development and success. The paper is divided into four sections. Section one consists of introduction, objective and methodology. Section two presents conceptual analysis and examines the public service in Nigeria as well as SWOT. Section three takes a look at how the SWOT framework can be used as a tool for organizational development, while section four presents the conclusion and recommendations.

The paper, mainly a positional paper adopts a prescriptive as well as a descriptive and an analytical approach and relied on secondary data in presenting and analysing the concepts, and the issues involved in the subject matter.

Public Service in Nigeria
The Nigerian public service “is a product of colonialism, established as an instrument of British colonialist from the late 19th century” (Esu, 2008). According to Tukunboh (1990) the system of state enterprises started in 1898 when the British colonial administration undertook the railway transport project from Iddo in the then capital city of Lagos to the...
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