EFFECT OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON PERFORMANCE OF PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES IN KENYA

ABSTRACT 
Human Resource Management is a strategic approach to managing human resources of an organization. The way an organization manages people can influence its performance. Public universities are labour intensive institutins which depend on people for effective service delivery. This study sought to establish the relationship between strategic human resources management practices and performance of public universities in Kenya. The study was guided by the following specific objectives: To establish the effect of resourcing practices on performance of public universities; to determine the effect of reward management on performance of public universities; to assess the effect of training and development on performance of public universities and to determine the combined effect of resourcing practices, reward management and training and development on performance of public universities in Kenya. This study informs the government and the management of public universities on the effect of strategic human resource management practices on performance thus enabling them improve performance. This study also lays down the foundation for similar studies for scholars. The study was a census survey with a target population of the public universities in Kenya and their constituent colleges. The response rate of 58% was obtained which was 18 out of 32. Senior human resource management officers and administrators were the respondents in this study. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire administered to the various respondents. Once collected the questionnaire were edited for completeness before being entered into the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Computer Package for Analysis. It was clear from the research findings that strategic human resource management practices have a significant effect on the performance of public universities in Kenya. Further, the findings revealed that reward management, training and deveopment and resourcing practices respectively influenced the performance of public universities. Based on the study findings the following recommendations were provided: Management of public universities to develop and employment policy that encourages job security; invest in human resource information systems to automate resourcing practices; government to ensure that selection in public universities is based on equal employment opportunity principle, management to link the compensation package with performance of employees, conduct a staff competency analysis in order to address training and development needs.further public universities and other stakeholder in higher education should try to focus on the emerging treads new on strategic human resource management practcises

CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 
1.1 Background of the Study 
A consensus has emerged among scholars and practitioners alike that the business environment has become more competitive than in the past because of globalization (Busienei 2013). Businei 2013 argues that in order to survive in this new era, businesses must focus even harder on their competitve strengths so as to develop appropriate long - term strategies.The researcher further state that the way an organization manages people can influence its performance. In particular HRM practices such as resourcing practices, job design, employee participation and empowerment, team-based production systems, extensive employee training and performance-contingent incentive compensation are widely believed to improve the performance of organizations (Busienei, 2013 ). Impact of human resource management practices on organizational performance has been a widely researched area for years. Results of studies, from developed countries to developing countries have been time and again showing that HR practices have significant impact on organizational performance (Busienei, 2013). But unfortunately very insufficient number of studies have been conducted in this area of context in Kenya and other developing countries (Busienei, 2013). Considerable evidence suggests that investments in training produce beneficial organizational outcomes (Barrel, 1994). The effectiveness of skilled employees will be limited, however, if they are not motivated to perform their jobs. 

According to Dessler (2008), higher institutions of learning can adopt various HRM practices to enhance employee skills as well as motivate them to work harder towards achieving the set targets. Higher institutions of learning can improve the quality of current employees by providing comprehensive training and development activities. Considerable evidence suggests that investments in training produce beneficial organizational outcomes (Knoke 1994). The effectiveness of skilled employees will be limited, however, if they are not motivated to perform their jobs. Organizations can implement merit pay or incentive compensation systems that provide rewards to employees for meeting specific goals. Performance management as a process explicitly recognizes that in today’s globally competitive industrial environment, every employee’s efforts must focus on helping the company to achieve its strategic goals. 

1.1.2 Human Resources Management Practices in Public Universities in Kenya 
Munjuri (2011) argues that higher education institutions pursue multiple goals namely: Human capital development, most notably through classroom instruction for students; providing additional services to aid students in their development of human capital – through such mechanisms as tutoring, mentoring, child care, thoughtful scheduling; provision of services to the local community and knowledge production goals through faculty research programs. The researcher went on to clarify that human capital production and the role of instructors and managers in achieving this goal provides meaningul success and effectiveness in institutions of higher learning. Yet even within this narrower definition of the goal of broad-access institutions, the meaning of success or effectiveness is difficult to define or measure (Munjuri, 2011).There has been rapid expansion in the higher education sector of Kenya. More people are seeking higher education from the few universities we have. The university education system is also isolated from the society. A meaningful modern education system should stimulate all aspects of human intellectual potential. It should not simply emphasize access to knowledge, but also uphold the richness of local cultures and values, supported by valuable disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, including philosophy, literature and arts (Kipkebut, 2010). 

The report by World Bank (2004) points out that higher education institutions, such as universities, colleges and polytechnics, are labor intensive organizations; they depend on people for the delivery of their services.The reports confirms the institutions the quality of the staff ininstitutions of tertiary education is thus central to their effectiveness, in the same way that it is to all people-centered organizations (Munjuri 2011). In business and the professions there is a wide recognition that the skills of their staff need to be continually strengthened and enhanced. In the face of challenges from national and international competitors the better companies are investing more resources in the continual training and retraining of employees at all levels. They focus not only on the competences of their staff, but also give time to stressing the need for commitment to the organization’s goals and to promoting a capacity to chage. Should not be the same be true of our institutions of higher education? They are crucial to national aspirations for economic development and, if such capacity building aims are to be achieved, the institutions will have to make the most effective use of all their human resources (Munjuri, 2011). 

1.1.2 Performance of Public Universities in Kenya 
Higher Education is undergoing considerable change. These changes are in response to amultiplicity of factors: the development of information and communication technologies, globalization, internationalization and regionalization, an advancing network society, an ad- vancing knowledge society, socio-cultural trends, demographical trends and the marketization in higher education, including the changing roles of governments. But scholars and critics alike have never stopped blaming they system, which most of them went through, and their critiques are somewhat justified. (Kirimi, 2007; Waithaka, 2012) agree that university perfor- mance in Kenya is too rigid resulting to bad consequences whereby there is mass exodus of lecturers seeking green pastures to other outside country universities. 

Studies have confirmed that the nature of training provided by Kenyan public universities does not adequately prepare the higher cadre human resources does not adequately prepare the higher cadre human resources that are required for development. In an editorial article in the Daily Nation (July 12, 2007) it was observed that Education in Kenya has largely operated in isolation from the economic sector it is supposed to serve. The result has been that its products have at times been found wanting in vital skills that have hampered their absorption into the economic mainstream. The university education system is also isolated from the society. A meaningful modern education system should stimulate all aspects of human intellectual poten- tial. It should not simply emphasize access to acknowledge, but also uphold the richness of local cultures and values, supported by the valuable disciplines of the humanities and social sciences (Clarke, 2001). 

Human resource management practices are critical for success in any higher institution of learning. The commonly utilized human resource practices to enhance perforamnce include but not limited to: recruitment and placement, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation and benefits and employee relations and the issues and challenges encountered in the implementation of these practices among others. However, this study will look consider resourcing practices; reward management; training and development to enhance performance which is operationalized by; labour turnover, employee job satisfaction, employee empowerment, and employee job commitment. Scholars have argued that recruiting and selecting high potential employees at some point in time doesn't automatically guarantee that they will perform effectively (Olando, 2006). Training is an expensive venture and organizations need some assurance of return on investment on training, in the form of enhanced productivity. The total reward concept emphasizes on combining intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to get a complete package. Organizations use performance-related pay as an extrinsic motivator to recognize and reward those employees that meet the set performance targets. Intrinsic motivation is provided when people feel that the work they do is intrinsically interesting, challenging and important and involves the exercise of responsibility, autonomy or freedom to act, and opportunities for advancement and growth. This argument is consistent with the conclusions made by Pfeffer (1994) and Busienei (2013).

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Item Type: Kenyan Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 53 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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