Swot Analysis and Organizational Development in the Nigerian Public Service

Abstract: The public service in Nigeria has suffered setbacks which are largely attributed toineffective and inefficient management. The general poor service delivery of publicservice organizations can be attributable to the inability of these organizations todevelop proper evaluation strategies that would assist them refocus on their coremandates. A relatively new concept in organizational management, SWOT is a toolthat assists organizations assess themselves by evaluating their internal and externalcompetencies, 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. Conclusion: In today’s organizational context, performance has assumed a pivotal role in the face off rapid changes in the domains of globalization and technology. To survive, grow and succeed in achieving their objectives public enterprises in Nigeria must become aware of their strength, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges.

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This can be achieved by using SWOT analysis in performance management decisions. In the Nigerian public service, annual budgets and annual performance evaluations areused in managing performance-outcomes and behavior. These deal with the past and not futuristic. The use of SWOT analysis framework can help improve enterprises ‘efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability. This will turn around the Nigerian public service and enable it to achieve the national goals and remain an influential institution and as an instrument of public service delivery and development.

Nevertheless, while useful for reducing a large quantity of situational factors into a more manageable profile, the SWOT framework has a tendency to over-simplify the situation by classifying the organization environment into categories in which they may not always fit. The classification of some factors as strengths or weakness or as opportunities or threats is somewhat arbitrary. Perhaps what is more important than the superficial classification of these factors is the organization’s awareness of them and the development of a strategic plan to se them to its advantage. In view of the expected benefits of SWOT analysis, we recommend that public service organizations should take advantage of this management tool to improve on their overall performance and service delivery. SWOT analysis will expose these organizations to their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so as to assist them to take evidence based decisions about strategies that will focus on effectively achieving their core mandates and visions.