TITLE PAGE                                                                                               i

CERTIFICATION                                                                                        ii

APPROVAL PAGE                                                                                     iii

DEDICATION                                                                                                   iv

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                                                                v

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                              vi

LIST OF TABLES                                                                              viii

ABSTRACT                                                                                                   ix

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                                   

Background of the Study                                                                          1

Statement of the problem                                                                           10

Purpose of the Study                                                                     11

Significance of the study                                                                    11

Research Questions                                                                             13

Hypotheses                                                                                                                 13

Scope of the study                                                                                                      14


Conceptual Framework  15

  • Accounting                                                                                                15
  • Accounting Personnel                                                                   17
  • Tertiary Institution                                                                                  18
  • Job Satisfaction                                                                                19
  • Condition of Service (Compensation, salaries and fringe benefits)   26
  • Workplace Environment                                                          29
  • Interpersonal Relationships                                                      34
  • Appraisal and Promotion Systems                                                  39
  • Job Security                                                                                      42
  • Schematic Representation of the Conceptual Framework            46

Theoretical Framework 47

  • Maslow’s  Theory of Needs                                                   47
  • Herzberg’s Two factor Theory                                                      47
  • Expectancy Theory                                                             48

Related Empirical Studies 49

Summary of Literature Reviewed 54


Design of the Study                                                                   56

Area of   the Study                                                                                                     56

Population for the Study                                                               57

Sample and Sampling Technique                                                     57

Instrument for Data Collection                                                     57

Validation of the Instrument                                                                58

Reliability of the Instrument                                                               58

Method of Data collection                                                          59

Method of Data Analysis                                                                     59


Research Question 1                                                                               60

Research Question 2                                                                               62

Research Question 3                                                                       64

Research Question 4                                                                               66

Research Question 5                                                                           68

Test of Hypotheses                                                                          70

Hypothesis 1                                                                                     70

Hypothesis 2                                                                                        73

Hypothesis 3                                                                                         74

Findings of the Study                                                                           76

Discussion of  Findings                                                                           78


Re-Statement of the Problem                                                                    84

Summary of Procedures Used                                                              85

Summary of Findings                                                                        87

Implications of the Findings                                                               89

Conclusions                                                                                                 89

Recommendations                                                                                           90

Limitations of the Study                                                             90

Suggestions for Further Studies                                                           91



A: (Questionnaire)                                                                       100

B: Request for Validation of a Research Instrument                   102

C: Distribution of Population of Accounting Personnel in Tertiary Institutions in Abia State, Nigeria 108

D: Reliability Test                                                                  109


Table                                                                 Page No 

1——— Mean Responses of Accounting Personnel on their Job

Satisfaction with regard to Conditions of Service in the Tertiary institutions                                                                                    61

2——— Mean Responses of Accounting Personnel on their Job

Satisfaction with regard to the workplace environments                           63

3——— Mean Responses of Accounting Personnel on their Job Satisfaction with regard to Interpersonal Relationship   in the Tertiary Institutions                                                                                    65

4——— Mean Responses of Accounting Personnel on their Job Satisfaction with regard to Appraisal and Promotion                                67

5               Mean Responses of Accounting Personnel on their Job satisfaction With regard to job security in the tertiary institutions                               69

6——— t-test Analysis of Mean Responses of Accounting Personnel

on their Job satisfaction with Regard of service                                        71

7——— ANOVA Analysis of Mean Responses of Accounting Personnel

———- on their Job satisfaction with Regard to the workplace environments 

 based in their Experiences in Tertiary institutions                                      73

8              ANOVA Analysis on Mean Responses of Accounting Personnel on their Job satisfaction with Regard to job security based on their Educational Qualifications.                                                                        75


The major purpose of this study was to determine the job satisfaction of accounting personnel in tertiary institutions in Abia State, Nigeria. Specifically the study, determined the job satisfaction of the accounting personnel. With regard to conditions of service (compensation, salaries and fringe benefits), on their workplace environments, interpersonal relationships, appraisal and promotion systems and job security in tertiary institutions in Abia State. Five research questions and three null hypotheses were answered and tested respectively for the study. Related literature and some related empirical studies were reviewed. The study adopted descriptive survey research design and was conducted in tertiary institutions in Abia State.  The population for the study comprised 75 accounting personnel who are engaged in accounting work in the four tertiary institutions in Abia State, Nigeria. Due to the manageable size of the population, the entire population was studied and there was no sampling.  A structured questionnaire made up of 65-items was developed from the literature by the researcher. The structured questionnaire titled Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (JSQ) was face validated by three experts. The instrument was trial tested at Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). Twenty copies of the validated instrument were administered to 20 accounting personnel FUTO.  Cronbach Alpha method was used to determine the internal consistency of the items and a reliability coefficient for each of the five clusters are 0.14, 0.21, 0.13, 0.21 and 0.09 respectively summing up to 0.78 was obtained. Seventy-five (75) copies of the questionnaire were administered to the respondents by the researcher with the help of two research assistants. All the copies of the questionnaire were retrieved and analyzed using real limit of the mean as follows: Very Much Satisfied (VMS) 3.50 – 4.49, Satisfied (S) 2.50 – 3.49, Somewhat Satisfied (SS) 1.50 – 2.49, Not  Satisfied (NS) 0.50 – 1.49. T-test statistic was used to test null hypothesis 1 while ANOVA was used to test null hypotheses 2 and 3 at 0.05 level of significance. Based on the data collected and analyzed, the study found that accounting personnel in tertiary institutions in Abia State were not satisfied with 16 items of conditions of service, 6 items of workplace environment, 8 items of interpersonal relationship, 14 items of appraisal and promotion systems, and 7 items of job security in tertiary institutions in the state. On the null hypotheses tested, gender, years of working experience and educational qualifications were not sources of significant differences (p < 0.05) in the mean ratings of the respondents. Based on these findings, the researcher among others recommended that there should be timely and regular payment of salaries to accounting personnel and other personnel in tertiary institutions in the State, and that there should be regular in-service training for accounting personnel to motivation them. The condition of service of the accounting personnel in tertiary institutions in the State should also be improved by the institution authorities and government.



Background of the Study

An organization’s effectiveness depends on the rate of achievement of the stated goals and objectives. An effective organization should have cooperation, a sense of commitment and satisfaction within the sphere of its influence (Adeyemo, 2004). The author further emphasized that people are not only indispensable component but an integral part of that sphere of influence.  To understand the critical importance of people in the organization is to recognize that the human element is synonymous with the organization. A well-managed organization usually sees an average worker as the fundamental source of its improvement (Adeyemo, 2004). When an employee is employed in an organization, the employee brings with him certain motives and needs that will affect his performance and job satisfaction.

Job satisfaction is an important aspect of human resource management in organizations. Job satisfaction is how contented an individual is with his or her job. Agu and Udoh (2012) defined job satisfaction as a positive emotional feeling; a result of one’s evaluation towards his job or his job experience by comparing between what he expects from his job and what he actually gets from the job. Akpofure (2006) defined job satisfaction as a sentiment about one’s profession or in terms of specific aspects of the career or job, which can be linked to specific outcomes such as work commitment, job and productivity. Statt (2004) viewed job satisfaction as the extent to which a worker is contented with the rewards he or she gets out of his or her job particularly in terms of intrinsic motivation. In the same vein, Kaliski, (2007) noted that job satisfaction as the key ingredient that comes from recognition, income, promotion, and the achievement of other goals that lead to a feeling of fulfillment of self desires and organizational goals. In the context of this study, job satisfaction is the extent to which a worker’s needs (both material and psychological) are realized by the individual while performing on a job.

Confident workers prefer jobs that allow them use their skills and abilities to offer a variety of tasks and have freedom to perform their job effectively and efficiently (Luddy, 2005). It has to be noted, that work has to present those things that are important to an employee, which might cause the employee to have a strong desire to remain in the organization and exert a high level of efforts on behalf of the organization. Generally, workers including accounting personnel cherish promotion, regular payment increase in salaries, and welfare packages as well as good conditions of service. Collectively, these strengthen their commitment to the organization. Employee job satisfaction should, therefore, be an indispensable goal of every organization.  

Employee job satisfaction can be categorized into intrinsic and extrinsic satisfaction. Intrinsic satisfaction is related to job contents, and include things like: the work itself, recognition, achievement and promotion (Akpan, 2013). Sweeny and Mcfarln (2005) stated that the larger the gap between what employees has and what they want from their jobs, the less satisfied they are. Therefore organizations should be oriented towards treating workers fairly and with respect. In such a case, the assessment of job satisfaction may serve as a good indicator of employee effectiveness. High levels of job satisfaction may be the sign of a good emotional and mental state of employees. Secondly, the behaviour of workers depending on their level of job satisfaction will affect the functioning and activities of the organization’s business. It can be inferred that job satisfaction will result in positive behaviour while dissatisfaction from the work will result in negative behaviour of employees. Similarly, job satisfaction may serve as an indicator to improved organizational activities (Aziri, 2011).

A number of factors can influence job satisfaction of workers in the work environment in which an individual is employed (Adams and Bond, 2000). Organizational climate leads to the employee satisfaction (Aziri, 2011). Financial benefits, autonomy, comfortable work environment, good boss and flexibility provided by employers are some important factors which cause employee job satisfaction (Diala, 2011). Sharing their views, Mosammod and Nurul (2011) stated that there are varieties of factors that can influence a person’s level of job satisfaction. Some of these factors include compensation, the level of pay and benefits, reward, recognition, wages, promotion system within a company, the quality of the working conditions, leadership and social relationships, the job itself (the variety of tasks involved, the interest and challenge the job generates, and the clarity of the job description/requirements). The factors that relate to the environment are communication, employee recognition among others, while those that relate to the individual are emotions, genetics and personality (Thomson 2006). Those that relate to socioeconomic status include family nature, community and condition of services (compensation or pay, fringe benefit, bonus).

The conditions of service comprised compensation or pay, fringe benefits and bonus. Different people interpret compensation differently. Dessler (2012) defines compensation to mean all forms of pay to employees arising from their employment. Similarly, Chiu, Luke and Tang (2002) explained that compensation is a very valuable tool for retention, lower turnover and   a motivator for an employee in commitment with the organization which enhances attraction and retention. The authors further stated that compensation also works as communicator when it is given to employee against his services which shows how much an employee is valuable for its organization. With reference to this study, compensation is defined as the employer’s feedback for an employee’s work, which is usually in monetary value, given in return of their services. Compensation or remuneration consists of wages, salaries and fringe benefits (Akpan, 2013). It is aimed at rewarding work done so that employees can be attracted to the job. Salary is the prime factor for the motivation and job satisfaction, and it is a contributing factor to job satisfaction of personnel (Armstrong, 2006). One of the important tasks of the accounting officers is to determine the rates of monetary compensation of workers. Akpan stated further that this is important because a good compensation policy influences both the performance and productivity of the workers and determine whether the worker would stay long in the organization. An employee will not be willing to exert effort unless he or she is paid, and the employer will not be willing to pay unless the employee works (Chimanikire and Muzondo, 2007). Pay is an imperative factor for job satisfaction; however, another related factor is the workplace environment.

Workplace environment, according to Hayne (2008), is the employees’ work place, work instruments, the work itself, organization policy, and organizational rules. The author, presented factors such as temperature, lighting, ventilation, hygiene, noise, working hours and resources as part of workplace environment. Hasun and Makhbul (2005) defined workplace environment as a place being provided by the employer to their employees that could support the employees’ performance at work. Asigele (2012) defined work environment as attractive and supportive environment that brings individuals into a profession, encourage workers to remain in the workforce and perform effectively. The worker would rather desire workplace environment that will result in greater physical comfort and convenience. The absence of such workplace environment, amongst other things, can impact poorly on the worker’s mental and physical well-being (Baron and Greenberg, 2003). Robbins (2009) advocates that working conditions will influence job satisfaction, as employees are concerned with a comfortable physical work environment. In turn, this will render a more positive level of job satisfaction. The author affirmed that factors such as temperature, lighting, ventilation, hygiene, noise, working hours, and resources are all part of working conditions. Naturally, poor working conditions will only provoke negative performance among employees. With reference to this study, workplace environment is a place and atmosphere that provide conditions which enable accounting personnel to perform effectively, making best use of their knowledge, skills, competences, and the available resources in order to provide high-quality accounting services. Apart from the work environment the job satisfaction of the employees can be influenced by their level of interpersonal relationship within the organization.

Interpersonal relationship refers to all interactions and engagements in which individuals get into as they perform their jobs, including supervisor–subordinate relationships, peer or co-worker relationships, workplace friendships and customer relationships. Interpersonal relationship at work consists of the interaction between co-workers or managers and employees. Dugguh and Dennis (2014) defined interpersonal relationships as ways the employees relate with peers, managers and subordinates. Jousef (2002) described interpersonal relationships as part of the satisfaction in employment contract that is social to employees. Employees working together ought to share a special bond for themselves to deliver the best level of the work. George and Jones (2008) stated that it is essential for individuals to be honest with each other for a healthy interpersonal relationship and eventually positive ambience at the workplace.  The authors further stated that interaction on a regular basis is important for healthy relationship. This can be achieved through meetings at least once in a week to promote open communication. In the context of this study, interpersonal relationship is the strong association among accounting personnel working together in tertiary institutions in Abia State. A good interpersonal relationship among workers creates conducive environment and opportunity for employees’ advancement and promotion. The appraisal and promotion system as well as opportunity for advancement in the work place therefore influences the workers satisfaction.

The opportunity for advancement and promotion involves electing employees from the present job or position to a higher level in the organization. If possible, employers permit and support them to acquire higher certificates so that they could become experts themselves, be more valuable to the practice and more fulfilled individuals (Dugguh and Dennis, 2014). Robert and John (2003) defined advancement and promotion as that which provides opportunities for personal growth, increased responsibility and social status of an employee. Dessler (2012) defined promotion as what happened when an employee makes a shift in the upward direction in organizational hierarchy and moves to a place of greater responsibility. Job advancement and promotion are very important in all sectors around the world, whether in the private sector and the public sector. Advancement in organization involves discovering new working atmosphere, improvement, progress, development, the advancement of knowledge, and learning among other factors that are determined by personnel hierarchy in an organization. In the context of this study, promotion is the process through which personnel are moved to a different position that carries greater responsibility and compensation higher than the employee’s present position. 

The deciding factor for the position of any individual in the hierarchy is his talent, because the higher the level of talent any individual possess, the higher will be his position in the hierarchy. Promotion is important as it carries a significant change in the wage package of an employee. Moreover, a raise in salary indicates the value of promotion (Baker 2004). Promotion follows a defined set pattern which is outlined in the employment bond. Drafke and Kossen (2002) postulated that many people experience satisfaction when they believe that their future prospects are good. The authors maintained that this may translate into opportunities for advancement and growth in their current workplace, or enhance their chances of finding alternative employment. They maintain that if people feel they have limited opportunities for their career advancement, job satisfaction may decrease. Luthans (2005) also stated that promotions may take a variety of forms and are generally accompanied by different rewards, which would add to the satisfaction of the worker. Job security is another factor related to job satisfaction of workers.

Job security is one’s expectation about continuity in a job situation. Akpan (2013) defined job security as employee feelings over loss of job or loss of desirable job features such as lack of promotion opportunities, current working conditions, as well as long-term career opportunities. Dugguh and Dennis (2014) defined job security as freedom from threat of layoff, frequent queries, harassment, discrimination and bullying among others. The authors further stated that when there is no job security, an employee’s needs for higher growth will be blocked. Arabi (2000) defined job security as the feeling of having a proper job and the assurance of its continuance in the future as well as the absence of threatening factors. Personnel’s job security is assured after confirmation of appointment. If individual A feels that he/she will continue on his/her job until the end of his/her service and will not be threatened by individual B to play his/her proper job roles and tasks, such person enjoys job security (Arabi, 2000).  In job security, Thomas (2006) noted that there are issues such as job changes, sack, retrenchment and suspension. With reference to this study, job security is defined as employee feelings over loss of job or loss of desirable job features such as lack of promotion opportunities, current working conditions, as well as long-term career opportunities. A steady employment or job security is a determinant of job satisfaction, although its importance varies in relation to position in the society and gender of the individual.

Gender is the socially ascribed attribute that differentiates feminine from masculine (Okpara, 2006).  Nworgu (2004) used the word gender to describe certain characteristics of men and women which are culturally and socially determined while those that are biologically determined are regarded as sex. According to Arabi (2000), gender is defined as behaviours and attributes expected of individuals based on being born either male or female.  In the context of this study, gender is defined as socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that are considered appropriate for male and female. Mortimer, Finch and Maryyama, 2009) stated that the relationship between gender and job satisfaction is inconsistent, that women have higher job satisfaction than the male counterparts. Nnamani, and Audu, (2005) stated that women, despite having strong psychological attachment to work have lower expectations and therefore employ different social comparison processes to men when evaluating the jobs.  Malik (2011) stated in one of his studies that the level of job satisfaction among the male was much less as compared to female. Irrespective of the gender, male and female accounting personnel working in the accounting unit of tertiary institutions are involved in related accounting tasks as recording; selecting and interpreting. The differences and similarities in their job satisfaction are, however, uncertain.

In affirmation, the America Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) (2010) stated that accounting is the process of recording; classifying, selecting, measuring, interpreting and communicating financial data of an organization to enable users make decision. This definition identifies the major activities found in accounting, which include recording and summarizing of data, usually expressed in monetary terms and subsequent interpretation of the resultant accounting information. This definition also emphasizes that accounting has to do with transactions and events that have financial implications. In the context of this study, accounting is about record keeping and using the records in preparing financial statement that would show the result of operations of an entity and its financial positions. Accounting is information system about the financial statement of money held in trust, expressed in credit and debits. Accounting is generally useful for effective management of financial resources of an organization through accurate recording, analysis and interpretation of business transactions (Anao, 2002). Accounting records are used for tax assessment and helps to prevent fraudulent practices. It incorporates recording, measurement and reporting of the financial positions of an organization. These functions are being performed by accounting personnel.

The Accounting personnel is an officer responsible for performing and overseeing the basic, day-to-day functions of an organization’s accounting department including payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable among others. Longe and Kazeem (2012) defined accounting personnel as the employee responsible for record keeping and who is involved in the application of professional competency or knowledge and skill in presenting accounting information to assist management in decision making. The accounting personnel include, chief financial officer (CFO), certified public accountant (CPA), controller, advanced accountant and book keeper. They are responsible for the daily performance of the accounting department’s basic operations, including creating and maintaining invoices for account receivables, writing checks, processing stop payments, requesting and maintaining information for vendors, filing and document storage. These functions are performed in the tertiary institutions by the accounting personnel in the bursary department.

Tertiary institutions are the providers of higher education, and it is the educational level after the completion of secondary school. Tertiary institutions, according to Osakwe (2012), are centres for excellence, places where people are trained to become professionals to contribute to the knowledge and skills required for national development. Tertiary institutions are the centres for imparting higher education which is an indispensable developmental cornerstone for any country. In relation to tertiary institutions, accounting personnel are experts and graduates of financial accounting who work in the bursary department of tertiary institution to manage the financial resources of the school. Accounting personnel who are satisfied with their job will perform better and have overall higher performance, in terms of delivering accurate and proper records. Unfortunately, the interaction of the researcher with some of the accounting personnel in tertiary institution in Abia State revealed that the productivity and level of commitment to work by the accounting personnel seems to be very low. This could among other factors be the direct effect of lack of job satisfaction. Hence, this study was carried out to investigate the of job satisfaction of accounting personnel in tertiary institutions in Abia State.

Statement of the Problem