EFFECT OF SELECTED HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON JOB SATISFACTION: A CASE OF THE FLORICULTURE INDUSTRY IN NAIVASHA SUB - COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT 
Various studies have shown that employees are key resources in an organization. In order for firms to be competitive, they must ensure that their employees are motivated and satisfied with their jobs. Consequently, the relationship between human resource management (HRM) and employee job satisfaction has received considerable attention from researchers in recent years. This is because studies have shown that dissatisfied employees are likely to negatively affect organizational performance. Therefore organizations must continue enhancing the management of their human resources which will result in high levels of job satisfaction and ultimately, high organizational effectiveness. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of selected human resource management practices namely; Training and Development, participation in decision making, communication, Occupational Safety and Health, supervision, and Rewards, on job satisfaction in the floriculture farms in Naivasha Sub - County. A descriptive survey research design was used in the research. The target population consisted of 41122 employees from forty 40 large flower farms in Naivasha sub-county. Simple random sampling was used to select 12 farms while stratified random sampling was used to select the respondents of the study, who constitute a sample of 21 Human Resource Managers, 139 Supervisors as well as 221 General workers. Data was collected using questionnaires. The data obtained was coded and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Data was analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics which included means, standard deviations, percentages, Pearson’s correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis and then presented in tables, pie charts and graphs. The study found that human resource management practices substantially influenced employee job satisfaction. The results of the Pearson’s Correlation analysis showed that hypothesized selected human resource management practices had significant relationships with employee job satisfaction. The results of the multiple regression analysis found that training and development, rewards, and supervisory support were the only significant predictors of employee’s job satisfaction while participation in decision making, communication as well as occupational safety and health were found not to be significant predictors of employee job satisfaction. This study thus suggested that the floriculture farms should implement effective HRM practices so as to improve employee job satisfaction.

CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 
Background of the study 
In a world that is becoming increasingly complex and dynamic, the importance of human capital as a resource that can potentially provide competitive advantage has become more important. Because a firm’s people are integral to its success, researchers interested in managing human capital have increasingly focused on HR practices as the levers through which firms might build the human capital that makes up resources and capabilities (Wright and Kehoe, 2008). 

The most important organizational issues faced by managers currently include eliciting the commitment of employees and ensuring staff retention. For organizations, the high cost of recruitment and selection, the lag and productivity loss during the assimilation period, the likely loss of business opportunity, poor customer relationship, and hidden cost of lost productivity have subsequently highlighted the importance of retaining committed employees as an aspect of survival for organizations (Chew and Chan, 2008). In response to these potential problems, organizations are striving to create a positive organizational climate in an attempt to retain valuable employees through various human resource management (HRM) initiatives. Some of these practices include ensuring effective recruitment and selection, providing equitable remuneration that reflects performance, recognizing efforts and contributions made by individuals, providing employees with sufficiently challenging and interesting work, and providing opportunities for training and career development (Wright and Kehoe, 2008). These efforts are aimed at improving human resource (HR) practices and workplace relations and, consequently, organizational performance through the shaping of employees’ attitudes such as job satisfaction and behaviours. 

Despite research which has shown that employees are a key asset in the attainment of organizational goals, media reports and academic research has shown that the management of employees in the flower farms in Kenya is ineffective (Dolan, Opondo and Smith, 2004). This has been attributed to poor work practices and maltreatment of employees in the workplace (Leipold and Mogante, 2013). Kenya has the oldest and most successful cut flower industry in Africa. It expanded from a small scale trade in the 1950s to be a very important supplier of cut flower in the world (Thoen et al. forthcoming). 

1.1.1 Human resource management and job satisfaction 
Armstrong (2009) defined human resource management as a strategic and coherent approach to acquiring, developing, managing, motivating and gaining the commitment of the organization’s key resources - the people who work for and in it. Storey (1995) defined human resource management as a distinctive approach to employee management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through strategic development of a highly committed and capable workforce. Wright and McMahan (1992) defined human resource management as the pattern of planned human resource deployments and activities intended to enable an organization to achieve its goals. It is clear from the foregoing that human resource management will influence an organization’s performance and the feeling of job satisfaction among its employees. 

Locke (1976) defined job satisfaction as “...a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experience”. Greenberg and Baron (1997) defined job satisfaction as an individual’s cognitive, affective, and evaluative reactions towards his or her job while Cranny et al (1992) conceptualized it as a combination of cognitive and affective reactions to the differential perceptions of what an employee wants compared to what he or she actually receives. 

Studies have shown that employee job satisfaction is negatively correlated with absenteeism and turnover intentions. Job satisfaction has been found to reduce employee turnover, which helps give stability to an organization’s long-term strategies. For instance, Pierce, Hazel, and Mion (1996) examined the effect of a professional practice model (PPM) on nurses’ job satisfaction and turnover. Their results showed that professional practice model significantly correlated with increased job satisfaction and lower turnover rates among staff nurses in a rehabilitation hospital. Moreover, higher job satisfaction has been found to be associated with increased productivity, lower absenteeism, non-lateness, lowered unionization, decreased grievances, less drug abuse and less inclination to retire (Hackman and Oldham, 1975; Saari and Judge, 2004). 

In the developed world there has been a lot of research done on the impact of human resource management practices on organizational performance and employee attitudes (Petrescu and Simmons, 2008). But surprisingly in the developing countries in general there has been very limited number of studies which have been done on human resource practices (Yaganeh and Su, 2008). 

Floriculture industry in Kenya 
The floriculture industry is Kenya’s top exchange earner, and employs between 50,000 and 60,000 people directly while around 2 million people benefit through related economic activities (Leipold and Morgente, 2013). It plays a leading role not only as a domestic player but also as an international player. Kenya’s export to the Dutch flower Auction in 2011 accounted for 44.6% of the total supply, making it the top supplier to the auction (Flora Holland, 2011). Kenya is the third largest Supplier of flowers and its floriculture industry has been on average having an annual growth rate of 24% over the last 10 years (Ksoll, Marchiavello and Morjaria 2009). Netherlands, on the other hand, is the leading supplier of flowers globally by value and volume followed by Columbia (Rikken 2011). Kenya overtook Equardo and Israel as second and third leading flower producers in the world (Ksoll et al., 2009). Traditionally, Kenya has had an advantage over other Sub – Saharan African flower producers whose industries are small and competitively weak (Wijnads, 2005). 

Gachanga (2002) pointed out that horticulture was the fastest growing sector of the Kenyan economy surpassing coffee as the nation’s second largest source of foreign exchange in agriculture. The Kenyan government reaps a lot of benefits from exporting flowers in terms of economic growth (Hale, 2005). In order to encourage investment, much energy and resources go into ensuring foreign investors have access to a high quality of life, while the people of Kenya, especially the workers, are struggling to access basic livelihood. Studies have shown that ironically, the greatest benefit from the industry are reaped by the businesses themselves, and a select few European owners, since the majority of owners are white Europeans (Dolan et al 2001; Food and Water Watch, 2008). 

Women comprise the majority workers in the floriculture industry, and this makes women’s issues particularly pressing. For instance, sexual harassment in the industry was described as “rampant” (War on Want, 2007). The nature of the work is to blame as women end up working in isolated places in huge green houses in which workers are spaced far apart and no one can hear or see what is happening on the other side (War on Want, 2007). In addition Women remain trapped in low pay kind of jobs as they lack training and education and the general negative cultural stereotypes and the management remain dominated by men.

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Item Type: Kenyan Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 71 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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