ABU Journal, Department Of Public Administration
Volume No: 3|
SUCCESSION PLANNING IN THE NIGERIAN PUBLIC SERVICE: A SUGGESTED METHODOLOGY
1-DR. ABDULHAMID OZOHU-SULEIMAN,2-DR. PHILIP ADEYINKA OYEDIRAN
1-DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF ABUJA, NIGERIA
2-DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE,UNIVERSITY OF ABUJA, NIGERIA
Succession planning as a critical task in human resource management is gaining currency in contemporary public administration. Both in terms of methods and requirements, emphasis on leadership succession planning is shifting away from the traditional routine filling of vacancies to a more innovative and proactive strategy to close gaps in leadership. This shift of emphasis itself is a consequence of the social flux that has thrown up developments and challenges some of which include: the emergence of New Public Management (NPM), the reforms of public service, and the emergence of knowledge-driven public sector organization with its attendant performance management criteria. All of these have combined to put pressure on the public service to ensure organizational growth, sustainability, flexibility and responsiveness through strategic placement of key personnel. Thus, the scheme of this paper is to propose a methodology for succession planning that will guarantee a seamless leadership transition in the Nigerian public service. Using documentary source and path-goal theory as theoretical underpinning the paper explore the rich literature on the subject matter to develop a blue print for a professionally manned public service. It observed that, leadership succession planning requires a painstaking approach to put in place the proverbial “square pegs in square holes”. A leadership development programme is adopted from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol in USA as case study. The paper concludes that; to reposition the Nigerian public service in order to provide the needed institutional support for democratic good governance, succession planning must adopt a futuristic and merit-based approach to the management of organizational leadership
This paper has demonstrated that leadership succession is an enormous organizational responsibility and unless effective succession planning is urgently integrated into organizational culture, most organizations will find themselves on the verge of a leadership transition crisis in the near future. Particularly in the public service, the critical challenge of developing leadership capital cannot be ignored. In an environment of retirements, reorganizations, and lean hierarchies, often with a depleted pool of mid-level supervisors, there are many obstacles facing public agencies in regard to developing and selecting future leaders.