HUMAN CAPACITY UTILISATION AND INNOVATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN LAGOS STATE
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1.1 Background to the Study
Education is the soul of a nation and the key to its secured future. Utilisation of human resources is the extent to which available employees are deployed effectively for the maximum achievement of individual, organizational or national goals. It is the relationship between the output produced with the given resources and the potential output that can be produced if capacity was fully used. Ocheni et al. (2013) noted that human resource utilisation implies maximum use of competent staff, their employment at strategic places and the creation of enabling environment for the practice of acquired skills. The teaching and non-teaching staff form the backbone of the human capacity in an educational institution. The success or the failure of any system of education depends on the quality and quantity of resources made available to it and the use to which such resources are put (Adeogun, 1989), therefore, human resource utilisation is seen as a key factor in the growth and development of an organization.
On the other hand, innovation capability is defined as a firm’s ability to identify new ideas and transform them into new/improved products, services or processes that benefit the firm. To exist and thrive, every firm must have some specific capabilities. Different authors have initiated the studies on capabilities under different labels such as human resources (Penrose, 1959; Barney, 1991), distinctive competencies (Selznick 1957; Snow and Hrebiniak, 1980), specific skills (Richardson, 1972), invisible assets (Itami and Roehl, 1987), a repertoire of routines (Nelson and Winter, 1982), core competencies (Prahalad and Hamel, 1990), absorptive capacity (Cohen and Levintal, 1990), organizational capabilities (Chandler, 1992; Dosi et al., 2000), technological capabilities (Lall, 1992), and marketing capability (Kotabe, et al., 2002). All these taxonomies refer to specific capabilities that the firm creates and uses strategically in order to identify market gaps to be filled with new offerings of value.
Modern technology and all of its rapid changes are entirely driven by innovations originating in the human brain. Human cognition is intangible, yet it determines the creations of humans and how we perceive and interpret the world. The creation of innovative ideas and technologies is considered uniquely human, and it is fundamental to advances in all sectors and aspects of human life (Marlin-Bennett, 2004). However, most organizations fail to utilize their human capabilities to the optimum extent, because they are focused on task-based execution approaches (e.g., the operation of equipment) rather than developing and deploying the resource of human capital to increase productivity. Nevertheless, firms have long been alerted to the advantages of making the management of people their number one priority (Drucker, 2018).
In classical economic theory, human capital is regarded as an exogenous factor in economic development, rather than the main contributor. According to Blundell et al., 1999, the concept of human capital comes up from a recognition that an individual’s or an organization’s choice to invest in human capital such as educating or training their employees is similar to choices about other types of investments. Human capital investments involve a cost that the individual or organization expects to gain a return on in the future such as increasing their productivity. However, more recent studies have shown that human capital, through education, innovation, and constant improvement, make a significant contribution to economic growth and development (Pelinescu, 2015; Dakhli and De Clercq, 2004).
This relates to the endogenous growth theory, which argues that economic growth is driven by the improvement and enhancement of human capital to constantly create new, effective, and efficient processes and ideas from within the organization or system itself, without recourse to external factors of any sort (Grossman and Helpman, 1994).
Education refers to a set of techniques for imparting knowledge, skills and attitudes (Angacgh, 1989). It also involves a set of theories that purport to explain or justify the use of these techniques. However, despite the importance of education in Nigeria, there are reports that Nigeria’s system of education is deteriorating. This challenge within the country’s education has been attributed overtime to several factors that fall under the broad category of underutilisation of human capacity.
Though, several educational policies and strategies have been put in place to address these challenges. However, these strategies have not been able to achieve the desired goals. Hence, the pertinent questions will be to know the relationship between human capacity utilisation and innovation capability in attaining a sustainable educational development system.
1.3 Research Questions
An examination of the research problem raises the following fundamental research questions for this study, and these are:
- What is the extent of human capacity utilisation by primary schools in Lagos State?
- What is the contribution of employees to the innovation of primary schools in Lagos State?
- What is the effect of human capacity utilisation on the innovation capability of employees in primary schools in Lagos State?
1.4 Objectives of the study
The general objective of this study is to assess the utilisation of human resources being deployed in the primary education sector in Lagos state. The specific objectives of the study are to:
- Determine the extent of human capacity utilisation by primary schools;
- Examine the contribution of employees to the innovation of primary schools;
- Assess the effect of human capacity utilisation on the innovation capability of employees in primary
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study provides relevant information on the innovativeness of human resources in the educational sector in Lagos State. It will help the government and employers to identify areas and give an insight on necessary actions to be taken to maximize the potential of the human resource available to them.
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