Analysis of Psychological Contracts and Discrectionary Behavior in Nigerian Academics: The Role of Academics Staff Union of Universities


  • Mustapha Olanrewaju Aliyu University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  • Ambali Taiwo Toyin University of Ilorin, Nigeria



Psychological contracts, citizenship behavior, deviant behavior, ASUU


In the history of tertiary education in Nigeria, there had been incessant strikes to draw the Government’s attention to a range of problems that have continued to hinder the education sector. Despite the various phases of industrial action, embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), this action has not been able to bring a permanent solution to its demand. As a result, the study examines the analysis of psychological contracts in Nigerian academics: the role of academics’ staff union of Universities. The study was anchored on social contract theory to explain how every human competes with each other for the resources they desire. in-depth interview (IDI) was employed to collect qualitative data from two management staff members (from the registry unit) and two members of the Academic Staff Union (from the ASUU leadership). Thematic analysis was used to transcribe, identify, and analyze the data collected from IDI. The qualitative findings revealed that university academics were dissatisfied with their working conditions, underfunding, shortages of facilities and equipment, and, most importantly, the quality of service, which had resulted in multiple industrial unrests, brain-drain, and plans to transfer high-skilled academics to other universities. The study found that the Breach of Psychological Contracts (BPC) affected academics in a variety of ways, with a preference for Organisational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) and Deviant Workplace Behaviour (DWB). Unfortunately, the proclivity for DWB surpassed the proclivity for OCB. It was recommended that building psychological linkages between organizational and staff goals should help universities integrate employee behavior.

Author Biographies

Mustapha Olanrewaju Aliyu, University of Ilorin, Nigeria

Dr Aliyu Mustapha Olanrewaju has been a lecturer at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria since 2014. He received his PhD degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the University of Lagos, Nigeria in 2021. Since 2014, he has been a frequent speaker in both national and international conferences. Currently, he is working on his new book, titled “Introduction to psychology” which will be published in the year 2022. Mustapha currently lives in Nigeria and he enjoys travelling and meeting new friends.

Ambali Taiwo Toyin , University of Ilorin, Nigeria

Dr Ambali Taiwo Toyin has been a renowned scholar, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Adult and Primary Education, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. She has taught in industrial and labour education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Dr Ambali has authored and co-authored in reputable journals and books at national and international echelons. She’s currently a Head of Department.