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1.1 Background to the Study

In every association, be it a political or business, etc. we have the labour and management team in an organisation engaged in cordial relationship in order to achieve the organisational objectives.

The success of an organisation depends on the system that the employer uses to relate to their employees and also the kind of motivational factors or benefits that the employers uses to motivate their employees to ensure that the employees remains loyal with the management even in times of crisis.

The problem of decline productivity in an organisation is caused when an aggrieved employee is usually not happy and have poor attitude towards work which will affect productivity of the organisation. Therefore, the need for cordial relationship between employers and employees is necessary.

According to Nwachukwu (2000) employees who are well paid and also given fringe benefit(s) will be able to work harder to achieve higher productivity. Labour and Management are key groups in every organisation because they are the forces upon which the organisational activities are piloted.

According to Fashoyin (2005) stated that labour can be define as a group of workers organised in a work place; while management is a group of workers entrusted with the daily running and administration through directing and controlling all its activities for the organisation to achieve her set objectives.

These two groups normally have conflicting aims and objectives. For management, it is the cost control, which will lead to return to shareholders; while for labour it is the objective(s) of the members to the achievement of better wage(s) for both parties, to achieve their objectives, collective bargaining should be made and encouraged for maintenance of industrial peace and harmony which in effect improves workers productivity.

According to Cecunc (2004) productivity can be defined as “an index expressed as the rate of output over input”. Thus, the productivity of labour is a function of circumstance under which employee(s) works. If the entire environment is relatively conducive, it becomes comparatively higher than when the work environment constitutes a threat to the workers and comparatively productivity will be very low.

Declining productivity in Nigeria has become a persistent concern of economic and business analysts over the past years and the decline continues and so does the search for solutions (Bowman, 1994; Burnstein and Fisk, 2003; Balk, 2003). Dozens of organisations have attempted to solve their workers productivity problems by application of various innovative management practices.

According to Lambert (2005) labour productivity is rarely measured directly but inferred from changes in employees’ attitude and behaviour such as organisational commitment, organisational citizenship behaviour and job satisfaction.

By implication, a conducive working environment promotes productivity. This environment is one made up of good relationship between the management and the workers. This good relationship is characterised by recognition of these important motivators:-

     i.        Advancement of the workers by incorporating programs;

    ii.        ensuring personal growth of the employees;

  iii.        assigning of responsibilities to subordinates by management;

  iv.        recognition of achievements by the workers and instant rewards from management;

   v.        provision of some machinery which ensures work security for the workers; and

  vi.        provision of other environmental factors as motivator(s): such as good medical facilities, decent accommodations etc. It is often argued that the ultimate aim of business units is to maximize profit of firm(s). Thus, management of business units make frantic efforts to make the firm(s) productive in order to enhance profit.

In conclusion high productivity cannot be achieved without good and cordial relationship(s) between workers and management. Since one of the primary objective of many business firms is maximization of profit and this it cannot be achieved without high productivity.

      1.2 Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria, productivity seems to be on the decline in business organisations. Nigeria workers have a very poor attitude to work and visit to most industries revealed that many workers are not present in the office during working period due to one reason or the other.

The neglect of the workers in most firms has generally resulted to low productivity. This neglect results to dissatisfaction on the part of workers which leads to negative attitude(s) towards their job with the resultant negative impact on the workers performance.

Based on the above factors stated, poor management/labour relation(s) practices have been identified as among those factors which bring about decline in productivity in business organisation. This study was aimed to find out the effect of management/labour relation(s) practices on workers productivity and at the end come out with valid solutions to this problem.

On the account of the above statement of problem, the following research questions were formulated for the study:-

1.   What are the effects of management/labour relation practices on workers productivity, particularly worker in Unilever Nigeria Plc? ;

2.    What type of leadership style could enhance and quicken productivity in industries? ;

3.   What are the ways of improving labour and management relationship in Unilever Nigeria Plc? ; and

4.   What is the impact of performance evaluation on workers productivity in Unilever Nigeria Plc?

      1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to find out the effect of management/labour relation(s) practices on workers productivity and to determine the reasons for low productivity in business organisation(s).

Specifically, the study attempts to:-

1.   Find out the effect of management/labour relation practices on workers productivity;

2.   find out the type of leadership style that could enhance and quicken productivity in business organisation(s);

3.   to suggest ways of improving labour and management relationship;

4.   find out the method of evaluation and measure of performance of workers.

      1.4 Hypotheses of the Study

The hypotheses of this study are:

H0:       Poor management/labour relations practices do not affect workers productivity.

H1:       poor management/labour relations practices affect workers productivity.

      1.5 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study was on the effect of management/labour relation practices on workers productivity with Unilever Nigeria Plc in Ado Odo/Ota, Ogun state as the case study management staff, senior staff and junior staff are all involved in this study. A critical appraisal of workers welfare was undertaken.

      1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will be useful to both manufacturing industries and non- manufacturing industries in Nigeria, since both represents employers of labour and will need high productivity of workers in order to achieve their objectives.

This study will also help employees in organisations to have the mind to work effectively since putting more efforts in the work could help increase the productivity and income of the industry. This increases the room for more bonuses to workers.

The findings of the study will also be beneficial to the entrepreneur since more entrepreneurs are employers of labour and it will help to achieve their major objective of being in business and, that is, profitability.

Also, the result of the study will also serve as a guide to entrepreneurs on how to achieve high productivity.

Finally, the findings of the study will be beneficial to future researcher(s) who may be interested in further study on the effect of management/labour relation practices on workers productivity.

      1.7 Limitation of the Study

This research is limited by inability to get enough secondary materials. Another notable limitation to this research project is time; which was major problem as the academic and extracurricular activities and unforeseen circumstances occurred which encroached on the time available. Also financial constraints and access to the organisation’s information and its members of staff to cooperate hindered the research in various ways.

      1.8 Definition of Terms

The definition of some terms that were used in the study is given below:

Management:the act of getting things done through and in with people. It can be seen as an organisation with human activities directed towards specific end(s) or goal(s).

Labour:that part of productions input derived from human efforts. It is also all human resource mental and physical, both inherited and acquired used in the process of production.

Productivity:a measure of overall production efficiency, effectiveness and performance of the individual organization.

Production:the creation of utilities to satisfy wants, or the application and utilization of all economic activities that take place for human satisfaction.

Labour Relation:how employers and employees work together to create a fair workplace.

Industrial Action:action taken by employees of a company or organisation as a protest, especially striking or work to rule.

Strike:deliberate refusal by a group of workers to work at all or complete withdrawal of effort by the employees.

Motivation:the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something.

Working Condition:the issues relating to safety and health such as toilet facilities, noise, heat, fumes, overtime requirement etc.

Worker: a person who works, especially one who does a particular type of work for fixed compensation in business organisation or non-business organisation.

Input: all resources used in production.

Output: the product realize out of the utilization of the input.

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