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


  • Mustapha Olanrewaju Aliyu University of Ilorin



Psychological contracts, citizenship behaviour, deviant behaviour, 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.