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AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF HUMAN RESOURCE PRACTICES IN HIGHER INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING
Updated: Aug 18, 2022
Education is the key to personal development of an individual. It changes the attitude and behaviour of the individual. In the process of education, people learn how they can better survive in the fast progressing world. With technology advancements, innovations and new discoveries in the fast changing world demands people to develop themselves so they can meet the challenges of the future. Education is one of the most powerful instruments that can bring out changes in community, society and particularly in the future dusting of nation (Shami, 1999). Higher education plays a vital role in the economic development of the country. Through research, new ideas and innovation can generate; which help in promoting higher education in the development of human resources. In order to manage the activities in the universities and higher education institution needs effective human resource management
Human resource management according to Bratton and Gold (2007) is a strategic approach to managing employment relations which emphasizes that leveraging people's capabilities is critical to achieving sustainable competitive advantage. It is a practice that goes with competence and professionalism in dealing with people and the organization policies for the achievement of goals. . Human resource is the key elements to run any organization. Its importance becomes pivotal when it is being related with a service and skilled organizations like universities. In other to manage human resource in an efficient manner, most organizations possess human resource management division which manages human resource in an efficient way. Arm strong (2010) further defined human resource management as a strategic, integrated and coherent approach to the employment, development and well-being of the people working in organizations and this has a strong conceptual basis drawn from the behavioural sciences and from strategic management, human capital and industrial relations theories. This theory was able to stipulate that human resource management entailed policies, practices, and systems that was able to influence employees’ behaviour, attitudes, and performance. Many companies refer to human resource management as involving “people practices”. A good human resource practices has a great effect on both public and private universities. Studies have revealed that successful and good effective implementation of these human resource practices empowers university employees and improve their performance positively (Shahzad et al, 2008; Chen et al, 2009). Arthur (1994), Pfetter(1994)has also revealed these findings. An organization performs best when all of these practices are managed well. At companies with effective human resource management, employees and customers tend to be more satisfied, and the companies tend to be more innovative, have greater productivity, and develop a more favorable reputation in the community (Raymond A. Noe, 2011). Employing new labor forces entails the implementation of human resource management (HRM) practices. These practices include recruitment, selection, and hiring of the workforce. Once individuals are hired, they need to be incorporated into the company’s framework through training and socialization. Appraising the progress of these employees and motivating them via compensation are also key components of human resource management (Schuler & MacMillan, 1984). How to select, train, appraise, compensate, and communicate with one’s domestic workforce can seem daunting enough. Successfully managing employees who do not share the same opinions, values, and outlooks as those found in the company’s country of origin can pose a myriad of issues which, if not handled knowledgeably, can negate the advantages of entering new markets. Because of the increasing pressures and interconnectedness of the global market, researchers are now studying how well human resource management practices can be transposed across different countries and which practices need to be modified to fulfill their respective purposes (Begin, 1992, Budhwar & Khatri, 2001).
Several studies have shown that the effectiveness of human resource management practices depend on how well these methods fit with the culture in which they are implemented (Debrah, McGovern, & Budhwar, 2000; Huo & Von Glinow, 1995). Huselid (1995) found that employees being effective will depend on impact of human resource management on their behaviour. Brown and Heywood (2005) state that ‘performance appraisal represents, in part, a formalized process of worker monitoring and intends to be a management tool to improve the performance and productivity of workers’ Brown and Benson (2003) found that employees’ commitment and productivity can be improved with performance appraisal systems. Studies have linked human resource practices to business performance. Huselid et al. (1997) studied the effect of human resource management on corporate firm performance of 293 U.S. firms and the effectiveness of these human resources were divided into two types namely; human resource management effectiveness including compensation, recruiting and training, employee/industrial relations, selection tests, appraisal, employee attitudes and the second being strategic human resource management effectiveness including team work, employee participation and empowerment, employee and manager communications, management and executive development, etc. Their study revealed that there is positive connection between strategic human resource management effectiveness and firm performance, but technical human resource management effectiveness is not in any way related to firm performance, but they found a relationship between human resource management effectiveness and productivity of firms. Current literatures also revealed that human resource management practices are connected with positive operational (employee’s productivity and firm’s flexibility) and quality performance outcomes (Chang and Chen, 2002; Ahmad and Schroeder, 2003; Kuo, 2004; Sang, 2005). The accumulated research evidences show that effective human resource management practices can have substantial impact on business performance. Chang and Chen (2002) performed a comprehensive study to evaluate the relationship between human resource management practices and firm performance of Taiwanese high-tech firms in Hsinchu science-based industrial park. Using data from 197 participating firms, the study found that human resource management practices such as training and development, teamwork, benefits, human resource planning, and performance appraisal have significant effect on employee productivity. And in addition, benefits and human resource planning are negatively related to employee turnover. Ahmad and Schroeders’ (2003) study attempts to generalize the efficacy of seven human resource management practices proposed by Pfeffer (1998) in the context of country and industry, focusing primarily on the effects of these practices on operations. The seven human resource management practices include employment security, selective hiring, use of teams and decentralization, compensation/incentive contingent on performance, extensive training, status differences, and sharing information. The operational performance includes cost, quality, delivery, flexibility, and organizational commitment. Their findings give overall support for the relationship between the seven HRM practices and operational performance. Frye (2004) examined the connection between equity based compensation and firm performance and found positive relationship between the two. He further argued that for human capital intensive firms compensation plays a crucial role in ‘attracting and retaining highly skilled employees’. As universities are human capital intensive organizations compensation practices of a university can aid in recruiting and retaining highly skilled and competent lecturers. Incentive pay plans positively affects the performance of workers if combined with innovative work practices like ‘flexible job design, employee participation in problem-solving teams, training to provide workers with multiple skills, extensive screening communication and employment security’. HRM policies that are related to training and development and employee compensation are central in the HRM literature and its similar factors have been reported by several other researchers such as Becker and Huselid (1998, p. 74). Huselid (1995) laid emphasis on the best practice to adopt which is known as the selection practice, stating the selection entails the inflow of best quality of skill set and will be inducted by adding value to skills inventory of the organization. He went further to stress on importance of training as a complement of selection practices as a medium through which the organisational culture and employee behavior can be aligned to produce positive results. By increasing employee participation, the firm will gain from increase in productivity of the employee as a result of increased commitment of the employee. Financial participation schemes were more beneficial for the organisations than the associated cost (Summers & Hyman, 2005). Use of best HR practices shows a stronger association with firm’s productivity in high growth industry (Datta, Guthrie, and Wright, 2003). One of another aspect of human resource management practices is job definition, which is the combination of job description and job specification. Qureshi and Ramay (2006) state that job definition clearly states duties, responsibilities, working conditions and expected skills of an individual performing that job. Ichniowski, Shaw & Prennushi (1995) while observing productivity of steel workers have found that complementary human resource practice System effects workers performance. However, Sels et al. (2006) found significant relationship between human resource management practices and employee outcomes In total, all the important human resource management practices includes; recruitment and selection practices; attracting potential employees and choosing employees, placement practices, promotion practices, grievance procedure, pension/social security, human resource planning, training and development ;teaching employees how to perform their jobs and preparing them for the future , performance management practices; evaluating their performance, Compensation practices; rewarding employees (c and creating a positive work environment (employee relations). An organization performs best when all of these practices are managed well. Ghana is becoming centre of educational excellence in the region and for the past decade. The unranked page features the 2018 Ghanaian University Ranking of 66 officially recognized Ghanaian higher-education institutions meeting the following unranked selection criteria such as offering at least four-year undergraduate degrees(Bachelor’s degrees) and or postgraduate degrees(Masters or Doctoral degrees), being accredited, licensed and or chartered by the appropriate Ghanaian higher education-related organization, delivering courses predominantly in a traditional face-to-face ,non-distance education format. According to the unranked university Ranking, University of Ghana Legon is rated the first best university in Ghana for 2018 calendar, and Central University is rated the 12th university in Ghana. These ratings were unbiased Looking at the ranking, a public university such as university of Ghana Legon is topping the charts as a premiere university in Ghana; the topmost university in West Africa sub-region and 7th in the whole of Africa with our private universities such as Central with a rank of 12 in Ghana. Are they lacking in many things especially in funding, research culture, how are their human resource management practices such as training of the employees(on-the-job-training), selecting the best candidate for the job, job definition, compensation, career planning, and employee participation, productive politics, highly qualified staff, etc.
Human resource practices in Ghana have an effect on both private and public universities. No adequate exploratory research has been conducted on human resource management practices at higher institution of learning. Therefore, it was imperative to review human resource management practices in the universities. It was due to this reason that the researchers selected to investigate the human resource management practices in public and private universities. 1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Human resource management has made significant inroads into the Ghanaian corporate world. The enormous benefits of properly managing human resource cannot be over emphasized. This research is on the basis why most public universities are performing better than private universities, and what kind of effective human resource management practices were used by these public universities to enable them to be on top in Ghana. Another problem is also why private universities are not adopting these methods of public universities to make their institution better academically and overall general performance as a whole 1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS To investigate the research problem earlier stated and to rightly address the focus of this study more objectively, certain questions have been raised. It is believed that obtaining the right answers to these questions will lead to the achievement of the objectives of the study. The questions are as follows: 1. What is the productive effect of human resource practices in public and private universities in Ghana? 2. How important is human resource practices in the growth of private and public universities in Ghana? 3. What is the effect of human resource practices on the performance of public and private universities in Ghana? 4. Why are public universities performing better than private universities, and what type of human resource practices are contributing to these growth? 5. Why are private universities so reluctant to adopt the strategies used by these public universities to make their institutions grow? 1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The aim of this study is to examine an exploratory study of human resource practices in higher institutions of learning using public and private universities in Ghana as case study 1. To examine the productive effect of human resource practices in public and private universities in Ghana 2. To examine how important is human resource practices in the growth of private and public universities in Ghana 3. To identify the effect of human resource practices on the performance of public and private universities in Ghana 4. To examine why public universities performing better than private universities, and what type of human resource practices are contributing to these growth 5. To examine why private universities are so reluctant to adopt the strategies used by these public universities to make their institutions grow 1.5 PURPOSE OF STUDY The aim of this study is to determine the performance of private and public universities through effective human resource management practices. . The target population for the study was staffs and students of public and private universities in Ghana. A preliminary investigation carried out revealed that this study had a population size of not less than five hundred (500) people and this served as the sample size for the study. This study collected date from two main sources; primary and secondary data sources. The primary data are those collected and analyzed by the researcher from the field mainly through responses obtained from the respondents to questionnaires and interviews. The researcher also relied on secondary data which are data already collected for some other purpose by another person other than the researcher. The sources included journals, newspaper, magazines and the school library. The questionnaire as an instrument was self-explanatory and consisted of only closed questions. The questionnaire had three sections; Section A – Demographics, Section B - Impact of Human Resource Practices in your Organization, Section C – Performance of public and private Universities using University of Ghana and Central University as a case study, Section D – Resistance to change by Universities 1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY This study will provide insight to universities on the effect of various human resource practices and how it affects performance and will enable them to take necessary action in order to improve overall organization performance of both the organisation and the students as well. The management of higher institutions of learning in Ghana would find this study very informative and useful to them in their daily operations. This study will enable the government to implement and develop human resource practices in public universities, using University of Legon as a case study and also aid the CO-owners of private universities like Central University to improve on how to better university performance both for the academic ad non-academic staff. This study paves a way for other researchers in this field towards identifying areas for further research. This study will equip management/board of directors, co-owners of universities, government owned universities and higher institution policy makers with the knowledge of effects of human resource management practices and it's applicability in managing activities. It will help to shape management policy on all human resource management practices. Management will also benefit from the recommendations and gain a better picture and understanding of why human resource practices is essential in running a higher institution and how it's better application can enhance productivity in the universities. This lays the foundation for other similar studies with extensions in developing countries. However, in this respect, recommendation for further research will be presented at the end of this exploratory study. 1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY This study was conducted in two leading universities in Ghana; private and Public University namely. Its focus would be on human resource practices namely; recruitment/selection, training/development, compensation, career development, etc, which has been used to demonstrate the human resource practices seen in private and public universities. The study would be mainly carried out in Central University and University of Ghana, Legon. 1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS The two present variables are the human resource practices and higher institutions of learning .Human resources practices adopted by organizations such as universities (both private and public) and also how these practices can affect the performances of these organizations. Human resource practices are the means through which through your human resource personal can develop the leadership of your staff, and it occurs through the practice of developing extensive training course or motivational programs such as devising systems to direct and assist management and performing ongoing performance appraisals. Higher Institutions of Learning These are often delivered at the university academics, colleges, seminars, conservatories Higher education. They award academy degrees or professional certificates. CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter is aimed at reviewing the exploratory study of human resource practices in both private and public universities and how these practices have contributed to the success and growth of these universities. It also reveals how the development of human resource practices has become a pivotal strategy used by universities to make their employees adaptive to a changing environment. Defined by Storey (1995) Human resource management is a distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to obtain competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and skilled workforce, using an array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques. It is clear that human resources management is an important part of today’s business management. Human resource management (HRM) refers to the policies and practices involved in carrying out the ‘human resource (HR) aspects of a management position including human resource planning, job analysis, recruitment, selection , orientation, compensation, performance appraisal, training and development, and labour relations (Dessler, 2007). HRM is composed of the policies, practices, and systems that influence employees, behaviour, attitude and performance (Gerhart and Wright, 2007). Human Resource management are informal approaches used in managing people (Armstrong, 2010). HRM practices as sophisticated selection methods, appraisal, training, teamwork, communications, empowerment, performance related pay and employment security. Busiennei  posits that research based on HR practices has identified several HR practices and failed to group them under the broad areas HR in which they belong. This approach makes it impossible to explain clearly the contribution of a certain broad HR area to performance. Studying HR practices by specifying broad area in HRM such as training, reward management, recruitment among others is likely to end up with findings that do not map to a very specific issue. Rather HRM practices should be several in any broad HRM area in researches dealing with HR practices. Dimba (2008) deals with this by generating several measurement scales for each HR practice identified. Thus a broad research area such as training cannot be used as HR practice unique According to busienei . According to Khatri (2000), people are one of the most important factors providing flexibility and adaptability to organizations. Theories on best practices or high commitment theories suggest that universally, certain HRM practices, either separately or in combination are associated with improved organizational performance. Researchers have also found that those well-paid, well-motivated workers, working in an atmosphere of mutuality and trust, generate higher productivity gains and lower unit costs (Pfeffer, 1994). HRM practices differ from one country to another and the factors which affect the HRM practices include external and internal factors. In order to develop a sound HRM system, the organization should have effective HR practices. HRM practices refer to organisational activities directed at managing the pool of human resources and ensuring that the resources are employed towards the fulfillment of organizational goals (Schuler and Jackson, 1987; Schuler and MacMillan, 1984; Wright and Snell, 1991). HRM practices may differ from one organization to another and from one country to another (Huselid, 1995]. Pfeffer (1994; 1998), argued the most appropriate term is “Best HRM Practices”. But according to Chandler and McEvoy (2000) , one of the lingering questions in HRM research is whether or not there is a single set of policies or practices that represents a ‘universally superior approach’ to managing people . Theories on best practices or high commitment theories suggest that universally, certain HRM practices, either separately or in combination are associated with improved organizational performance. Researchers have also found that those well-paid, well motivated workers, working in an atmosphere of mutuality and trust, generate higher productivity gains and lower unit costs (Pfeffer, 1994). Several attempts have been made from time to time by different researchers to identify the type of HRM practices in different sectors. Initially Pfeffer (1994) identified 16 practices which denote best practice. Performance extensive training reduction in status difference sharing information, in one another study, Redman and Matthews (1998) identify an ‘HRM bundle’ of key practices which support service organizations quality strategies, these being: Careful recruitment and selection, for example, ‘total quality recruitment’, ‘zero defects recruitment’, ‘right first time recruitment’. Extensive remuneration systems, for example, bonuses available for staff willing to be multi-skilled team working and flexible job design, for example, encouraging a sense of cohesiveness and designing empowered jobs. Training and learning, for example, front line staff having enhanced interpersonal and social skills. Definition of Human Resource Management Though the term HRM is widespread, the definition of the term has remained varied and elusive. Storey (1995) therefore defines HRM as: “A distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of highly committed and capable workforce, using an integrated array of cultural, structural and personnel technique” The term Human Resource Management (HRM) is a strategic, integrated and coherent approach to the employment, development and well-being of the people working in organisations. To Boxall et al, (2007), it is the management of work and people towards desired ends. Som, (2008) described HRM as carefully designed combinations of such practices geared towards improving organisational effectiveness and hence better performance outcomes. The Concept of Human Resource Management (HRM) The concept of Human Resource Management was first defined by Bakke (1966) who said that the general type of activity in any function of management is to use resources effectively for an organisational objective. The function which is related to the understanding, maintenance, development, effective employment and integration of the potential in the resource of „people‟ I shall call simply the human resources function. However, HRM emerged fully fledged later when the Michigan „matching model‟ (Fombrun et al, 1984) and what (Boxall 1992) calls the Harvard framework developed by Beer et al (1984) made statements on the HRM concept revealing the need to take HRM beyond just selection and compensation to broader issues that demand more comprehensive and more strategic perspective to an organisation‟s human resources. The matching model of HRM held that HR systems and the organisation structure should be managed in a way that is congruent with organisational strategy and further explained that there is a human resourcecycle that consistsof four generic processes or functions that are performed in all organisations; selection, appraisal, rewards and development. The Harvard framework is based on their belief the problems of historical personnel can only be solved when general managers develop a viewpoint of how they wish to see employees involved in and developed by the enterprise and of what HRM policies and practices may achieve those goals. Without either a central philosophy or a strategic vision which can be provided only by general managers – HRM is likely to remain a set of independent activities, each guided by its own practice tradition. This called for the need to have a long-term perspective in managing people and consideration of people as potential assets rather than merely a variable cost. As Armstrong (1987) puts it „HRM is regarded by some personnel managers as just a set of initials or old wine in new bottles. It could indeed be no more and no less than another name for personnel management, but as usually perceived, at least it has the virtue of emphasizing the virtue of treating people as a key resource, the management of which is the direct concern of top management as part of the strategic planning processes of the enterprise. Although there is nothing new in the idea, insufficient attention has been paid to it in many organisations‟. Theoretical Issues on Human Resource Management and Performance Theories on people management have been sifted, going through so many phases. From the perspectives of Taylorism, bureaucratic theory, theory X and theory Y till the breakthrough with Elton Mayo‟s Hawthorne experiment which began another phase of people management known as human relations. The era of personnel management surfaced which has metamorphosed into the present day Human Resource Management. Since then, HRM has captured the interest of many studies churning out loads and loads of findings that sometimes generate debates and disagreements. Theories and Perspectives of Human Resource Management There are several theories underpinning the practice of HRM. Two of these theories; Resource-based View and Ability and Motivation and Opportunity theories appear to be the most popular theoretical frameworks applied in the studies that link HRM and organizational performance. The Resource-Based View (RBV) theory which blends concepts from organisational economics (Penrose, 1959) and strategic management (Barney, 1991) has it that HRM delivers added value through the strategic development of the organisation‟s rare, valuable, imperfect to imitate and hard to substitute human resources. The RBV establishes that competitive advantage no more lies in natural resources, technology or economies of scale, since these are easy to imitate but rather competitive advantage is dependent on the valuable, rare and costly and hard-to-imitate resources that reside with the human resources of an organisation. HRM‟s role is to ensure that the organisation‟s human resources meet those criteria. The Ability, Motivation and Opportunity (AMO) theory also argues that the formula; Performance = Ability + Motivation + Opportunity to participate provides the basis for developing HR systems that attend to employees‟ interests, namely their skill requirements, motivations and the quality of their job. (Appelbaum et al, 2000; Bailey et al, 2001; Boxall and Purcell, 2003) HRM practices therefore impact on individual performance leading to overall organisational performance if they encourage discretionary efforts, develop skills and provide with the opportunity to perform. Adding to the array of concepts and theories is the term Human Capital which was originated by Schultz (1961). Human capital is the stock of competencies, knowledge, experience, social and personal attributes including creativity and innovation, embodied in the ability to perform work so as to produce economic value. Dess & Picken, (1999) assert human capital is generally understood to consist of the individual’s capabilities, knowledge, skills and experience of the company’s employees and managers, as they are relevant to the task at hand, as well as the capacity to add to this reservoir of knowledge, skills and experience through individual learning. This theory is concerned with how people contribute their knowledge, skills and abilities to enhancing organisational capability and the significance of that contribution. This is rather broader in scope than human resources. HRM practices refer to organisational activities directed at managing the pool of human resources and ensuring that the resources are employed towards the fulfilment of organisational goals (Schuler & Jackson, 1987; Schuler & MacMillan, 1984; Wright & Snell, 1991). It was observed that majority of studies define HRM in terms of human resource practices or systems or bundles of practices. Divergent views exist on the nature of HRM. Several studies define HRM in terms of individual practices (Batt, 2002) or systems or bundles of practices (Capelli and Neumark, 2001).
There appears to be no one fixed list of generally applicable HR practices or systems of practices that define human resource management. The question of how HRM impacts on organisational performance has ignited three perspectives. The universalistic perspective (Boxall and Purcell, 2008) projects a bundle of high performance „best practices‟ that should be adopted by organisations to yield organisational performance. this implies that business strategies and HRM policies are mutually independent in determining organisational performance (Katou and Budwar, 2007) The contingency perspective proposes that in order to be effective, an organisation‟s HR policies must be consistent with other aspects of the organisation. Rather than adopting best practices, a fit must exist between HRM and business strategy. (Schuler and Jackson, 1987; Dany et al, 2008) This is also described as „vertical fit‟. Boxall and Purcell (2003) argue that both perspectives; best practice and best fit might be right in each in their own way. However, the actual design of HR practice depends to some extent on the unique organisational context. The third which takes the contingency perspective a step further is the configurational perspective (Ulrich and Brockbank, 2005). This has a holistic approach that emphasises the importance of the pattern of HR practices and is concerned with how this pattern of independent variables is related to the dependent variable of organisational performance. Configuration has been defined by Huczynski and Buchanan (2007) as „the structures, processes, relationships and boundaries through which an organisation operates‟. All perspectives are relevant in exploring the linkage between HRM and performance. Delery and Doty (1996) examined the relationship between HR practices and profitability in a sample of banks in the US. They found that, in general, HR practices were positively related to profitability, in testing universalistic, contingency and configurational approaches toHRM. Human resource management as a concept has frequently been described with two distinct forms; soft and hard.The soft model whilst stressingthe importance of integrating HR policies with business objectives; emphasises on treating employees as valued assets and a source of competitive advantage through their commitment, adaptability and high quality skill and performance. Employees are proactive than passive inputs into productive processes, capable of development, worthy of trust and collaboration which is achieved through participation (Legge, 1995).this model in contrast to the hard model places emphasis on “human” and is associated with the human relations school of Herberg and McGregor (Storey,1987) The hard HRM model focuses on the qualitative, calculative and business-strategic aspects of managing the “headcount” has been termed human asset accounting (Storey, 1987). The hard HRM approach has some affinity with scientific management as people are reduced to passive objects that are not cherished as a whole but assessed on whether they possess the skills or attributes the organisation requires Legge, 1995; Vaughan, 1994;Storey, 1987; Drucker et al, 1996; Keenoy, 1990).
Recruitment and Selection „Recruitment which is the process of generating a pool of capable people to apply for employment to an organisation and selection which is the process by which managers and others use specific instruments to choose from a pool of applicants a person or persons more likely to succeed in the job(s) given management goals and legal requirements‟ Bratton and Gold (2007, p 239). Recruitment and selection can play a pivotal role in shaping an organisation‟s effectiveness and performance, if organisations are able to acquire workers who already possess relevant knowledge, skills and aptitudes and are also able to make an accurate prediction regarding their future abilities. Performance improvement is not only a result of well functioning system but also depends on effective human resource strategies that succeed in recruiting and maintaining a committed and motivated workforce (Al-Ahmadi, 2009)Recruitment and selection has become ever more important as organisations increasingly regard their workforce as a source of competitive advantage. It is often claimed that selection of workers occurs not just to replace departing employees or add to the number but rather aims to put in place workers who can perform at a higher level and demonstrate commitment (Ballantyne, 2009). This function of HR is presented as a planned rational activity made up of certain sequentially-linked phases within a process of employee resourcing, which itself may be located within a wider HR management strategy. The process of recruiting and selecting may come in four stages: defining requirement, planning recruitment campaign, attracting candidates and selecting candidates (Armstrong, 2010).
Training and Development A formal definition of training and development is any attempt to improve current or future employee by increasing an employee‟s abilityto perform throughlearning, usually by changing the employee‟s attitude or increasing his or her skills and knowledge. While training is seen to be the process of imparting specific skills, development is said to be the learning opportunities designed to help employees grow. According to (Armstrong 2001:543) training is the formal and systematic modification of behaviour through learning which occurs as a result of education, instruction, development and planned experience. Training has the distinct role in the achievement of an organisational goal by incorporating the interests of organisation and the workforce (Stone R J. Human Resource Management, 2002). For training to have a better effect on performance, its design and delivery should be well executed. Training remains a vital to enhancing employee performance. The organisational commitment or “the relative strength of an individual‟s identification and involvement in a particular organisation” (Pool & Pool, 2007, p. 353) depends on effective training and development programs. According to these authors, organisations demonstrating keen insight make provisions for satisfying the training needs of their current workforce. Cheng and Ho (2001) indicate that adequate training produces marked improvements in employee communication and proficiency of performances as well as extending retention time. Moreover, when programs target communication skills with co-workers, there are significant increases in profit as well as a greater number of reported positive working relationships that are formed. Also, training and education have been shown to have a significant positive effect on job involvement, job satisfaction, and organisational commitment (Karia & Asaari, 2006). Moreover, poor performance reviews due to inadequate job training can produce employee dissatisfaction and conflict.
Compensation Compensation processes are based on compensation philosophies and strategies contained in the form of policies, guiding principles, structures and procedures which are devised and managed to provide and maintain appropriate types and levels of pay, benefits and other forms of compensation. This constitutes measuring job values, designing and maintaining pay structure, paying for performance, competence and skill and providing employee benefit. However, compensation management is not just about money, it is also concerned with that non-financial compensation which provides intrinsic or extrinsic motivation (Bob, 2011). Compensation has a motivational effect and therefore implies that having a compensation structure in which the employees who perform better are paid more than the average performing employees is vital to enhancing organisational performance (Hewitt, 2009). The growing recognition and consensus that compensation promotes productivity is consistent with the early work of Peter Drucker (1956) that states “happy workers are productive workers.”
Appraisal/Performance Management Performance appraisal of employees is the systematic evaluation of employees‟ performance and potential for development during a certain period of time by supervisors or others who are familiar with their performance. It is one of the oldest and widely used management practices. Performance appraisal is an indispensable tool for an organisation because the information it provides is highly useful in decision making regarding issues such as promotion, merit increases transfer, discharge, training and development. Not only is performance appraisal useful for the above issues, it may also increase employee‟s commitment and satisfaction Wiese and Buckley, (1998). However, there has been a great realisation that it is more important to focus on defining, planning and managing performance than merely appraising performance Pareek and Rao, (2006). The increased competitive nature of the economy and rapid changes in the external environment has forced many organisations to shift from reactive performance appraisals to proactive performance management to boost productivity and improve organisational performance (Nayab, 2011). Prasad (2005) defines performance management as the process of planning performance, appraising performance, giving its feedback, and counselling an employee or teams to improve performance. As Armstrong (2006) put it, performance management is a systematic process for improving organisational performance by developing the performance of individual and teams. Performance management is one of the most important developments in the field of HRM probably propelled into visibility in the early 1980‟sas a result of the growing importance of total qualitymanagement. Employment Security Studies by Delery and Doty (1996); Bjookman and Fey (2000) have emphasised the significant correlation between employment security and organisational performance. According to Pfeffer (1998) benefits of employment security, aside workers‟ free
Contribution of knowledge and their efforts to enhance productivity, it also encourages people to take a longer-term perspective on their jobs and organisational performance. In a study of the financial performance of 192 banks, John Delery and Harold Doty observed significant relationship between employment security and the bank‟s return on assets, an important measure of financial performance. Employment security maintained over time helps to build trust between people and their employer, which can lead to more cooperation, forbearance in pressing for wage increases and better spirit in the organisation. The idea of employment security does not mean that the organisation retains people who do not perform or work effectively with others; of course performance does matter. Employment security is fundamental to the implementation of most other high- performance management practices such as selective hiring, extensive training, information sharing and delegation. Companies are unlikely to invest the resources in the careful screening and training of new people if those people are not expected to be with the firm long enough for it to recoup these investments. Similarly, delegation of operating authority and the sharing of sensitive performance and strategic information requires trust and that trust is much more likely to emerge in a system of mutual, long-term commitments. Employee Voice (Involvement and Participation) The direct participation of staff to help an organisation fulfill its mission and meet its objectives by applying their own ideas, expertise and efforts towards solving problems and making decisions is termed as employee involvement. Research has shown that organisations that tap the strength of their people will be stronger and more aggressive than those that cannot. Firms will never realize the full potential of employees if they regard people as automatons or mere cogs in a wheel. In the long run, such companies‟
Inefficiencies attract competition, and unless the management philosophy changes, they will disappear (Apostolou, 2000). So many studies have shown how much of an impact employee participation can have on the performance and well being of an employee, team or the entire organisation: improved organisational decision-making capability, and reduced costs through elimination of waste and reduced product cycle times (Apostolou, 2000); improved attitude regarding work (Leana, Ahlbrnadt, &Murrel, 1992); empowerment, job satisfaction, creativity, commitment and motivation as well as intent to stay (Apostolou, 2000; Light, 2004); increased employee productivity across industries (Jones, Kalmi, & Kauhanen, 2010) Information Sharing and Knowledge Management As Pfeffer (1998) asserts, information sharing is an essential component of high- performance work systems for two reasons; first, the sharing of information on things such as financial performance, strategy and operational measures conveys to the organisation‟s people that they are trusted and the second is that even motivated and trained people cannot contribute to enhancing organisational performance if they do not have information on important dimensions of performance and in addition training on how to use and interpret that information. An enterprise that makes real a shared culture that is in actual fact unbreakable through information flow will be a competitive one. When the sharing of information is a vital component of the entire enterprise‟s culture, this can surely impact the effectiveness of the enterprise. When people work together, share ideas, and sometimes wrangle, they build on one another‟s ideas for the benefit of the enterprise. The lack of communication and information sharing disrupts works and brings about enterprise mediocrity.
In a study by Brian Hackett (2000) titled, “ Beyond Knowledge Management: New Ways to Work and Learn,” knowledge management is defined as,” An integrated, systematic approach to identifying, managing, and sharing all of an enterprise‟s information assets, including databases, documents, policies, and procedures, as well as previously unarticulated expertise and experience held by individual workers.” In essence, it is gathering all the information and resources of a corporation and making them available to the individual employee. In turn, the employee uses these resources to create new innovative processes and thus, gives back to the firm. Job design Job design refers to work arrangement or rearrangement aimed at reducing or overcoming job dissatisfaction and employee alienation arising from repetitive and mechanistic tasks. Through job design, organisations try to raise productivity levels by offering non- monetary rewards such as greater satisfaction from a sense of personal achievement in meeting the increases challenge and responsibility of one‟s work. Job enlargement, job enrichment, job engineering, job rotation and job simplification are various techniques used in a job design exercise. Opatha (2002) „Job design is the functions of arranging task, duties and responsibilities in to an organisational unit of work‟. The process of job design has been defined as, “...specification of the contents, methods, and relationships of jobs in order to satisfy technological and organisational requirements as well as the social and personal requirements of the job holder.” (Buchanan, 1979) It can also be the process of putting together various elements to form a job, bearing in mind organisational and individual worker requirements, as well as considerations of health, safety, and ergonomics. In this rapidly changing business environment, it is has become even more critical for jobs design to meet the requirement of challenging work. Changing technology, advanced communication, and changing organisational structures have all
impacted job design. To be more responsive to the rapid pace of change, jobs must have some degree of built-in flexibility. This flexibility is achieved through careful attention to job design. Job simplification standardizes work procedures and employs people in clearly defined and highly specialized tasks. Job rotation and job enlargement were designed to take advantage of specialization of labour from the job engineering approach (Luthans, 2005). Job rotation allows an employee to work in different departments or jobs in an organisation to gain better insight in to operations. Job enlargement can be used to increase motivation by giving employees more and varied task. Job enrichment is the technique which entails the inclusion of greater variety of work content, requiring a higher level of knowledge and skill, giving workers, autonomy and responsibility in terms of planning, directing, and controlling their own performance, and providing the opportunity for personal growth and meaningful work experience (Garg & Rastogi, 2006). A wealth of studies show that there exists a correlation between job design and performance Al-Ahmadi (2009) indicated that the nature of job itself was found positively correlated with performance , which indicates that satisfaction with amount of variety and challenge in one‟ s job actually influence performance. Job design gives a clear direction to how tasks are performed and this leads a positive change in job performance and analysis as a result of which the organisational productivity is enhanced though efficient work performance. Career Planning Career planning is the deliberate process through which someone becomes aware of his or her personal skills, interests, knowledge, motivations, and other characteristics; acquires information about opportunities and choices; identifies career-related goals; and establishes action plans to attain specific goals (Dessler, 2008). According to Edgar
Schein career planning (Manolescu, 2003) is a continuous process of discovery in which an individual slow develops his own occupational concept as a result of skills or abilities, needs, motivations and aspirations of his own value system. In HRM, career planning seeks to identify to identify needs, aspirations and opportunities for individuals‟ career and the implementation of developing human resources programs to support that career. A well-planned career development system along with internal advancement opportunities based on merit, results in high motivation among employees, which has an impact on firm performance (Milkovich & Boudreau, 1998). In a broader sense, career management which is defined by Mayo (1991) as the design and implementation of organisational processes that enable the careers to be planned and managed in a way that optimizes both the needs of the organisation and the preferences and capabilities of individuals has become one of the most important elements in HRM. Byars and Rue‟s (2000) explanation of career management is that, it is a joint- responsibility between individuals, organisation, and employees‟ immediate managers. Individuals‟ responsibility, which covers two main areas: preparing their own career plans and putting the plan into practice are termed as career planning and career strategies respectively. The organisation‟s and the immediate managers‟ responsibilities, ifcombined together would generate another dimension which is best named as organisational career management. Organisational Performance Researchers have different opinions of what performance is. Organisational performance continues to be a contentious issue in the management research circles. Javier (2002) equates performance to the famous 3Es; economy, efficiency and effectiveness of a certain programme of activity. According to Richard et al (2009) organisational performance encompasses three specific areas of firm outcomes; financial performance
(profits, return on assets, return on investment, etc), product market performance (sales, market share, etc), and shareholder return (total shareholder return, economic value added, etc.). Organisational performance is the organisation‟s ability to attainits goals by using resources in an effective and efficient manner Daft (2000). We can put organisational performance as the actual output or results of an organisation as measured against its intended outputs, that is; goals and objectives. Performance should not be confused with productivity; according to Ricardo (2001), productivity is a ratio depicting the volume of work completed in a given amount of time. Performance is a broader indicator that could include productivity as well as quality, consistency, effectiveness, efficiency and other factors. A study by Chien (2004) found that there were five major factors determining organisational performance, namely: 1. Leadership styles and environment 2. Job design 3. Organisational culture 4. Model of motive and 5. Human resource policies
The concept of performance borders on both what has been achieved and how it has been achieved. Organisational performance can be measured in a number of different ways. The most obvious way to measure what has been achieved and the approach used in many studies, is by reference to key performance indicators (KPIs) which are usually to do with financial results(profitability) or productivity. Measuring the „how‟ is more difficult.It has to rely extensively on qualitative assessments of organisational capability or effective. Theoretical frame work Human resource management is an approach to manage human resource of an organisation.The human resource is a living and active input that operates the other factors of production. I t people who in a firm can individually contribute to the achievement of its objectives and help these firms to survive and prosper.Busieniel(2013) suggested a number of human resource practices, which he believed could improve organisational performance, Using our recent times, these practices has aided public universities in Ghana such as university of Ghana , Legon to be the premiere university in Ghana since 10 years now. Designing integrated human resource practice systems at the university level is one of the most powerful ways to ensure the creation of value for all stakeholders. With today's competitive environment ; especially between government owned institutions(public universities) and private owned universities, higher performing universities have learned to deploy human resource practices to enhance competitive advantage .These practices includes; recruitment and selection , training and development , compensation practices(benefits policy), career development,staff empowerment,cost management ,etc. It is admitted that the strategic use of these mentioned HRM practices positively impacts the organisation's performance, using a good example as the University of Ghanalegon, which is noted t be the best university in west africa and in Ghana. Huselid et al (1997) has stipulated that such a success is as a result of hr practices that has positively influenced the university's performance. Such performance has been established between hr practices and productivity, turn over. According to Adeyeye et al 2007, there is less use of hr practices in small firms due to lack of resource; small firms make less use of best HRM practices than larger firms .Lets say that the large firms are the public universities, while the small firms are the private universities; Larger firms such as university of Ghana Legon, benefits from resource availability, while smaller firms like central university, Ghana are constrained by the lack of resources. As the university grows, its growth theory indicates a positive link between firm size, complexity and best human resource practices. Its growth in size also makes the university more complex and the drive to develop more formalized procedures and policies. Public universities demand a greater human resource and are reasonable to expect that complexity in terms of layers of management would lead to greater demand for practices such as recruitment, selection, performance appraisal, etc. Let's assume that public universities in Ghana employ 1000 academic and administrative staff, using the following hypotheses H1: Staff recruitment and selection practices in public universities are different from those in private universities H2: Staff performance appraisal and training practices in public universities are different from private universities H3: Staff compensation and rewards in public universities are different from private universities H4: Staff career developments in public universities are different from private universities H5: Staff empowerments in public universities are different from private universities H6: Management costs in public universities are different from private universities.
Staff Empowerment: Employee recognition may be in the forms of awards, employee merits, promotions and monetary incentives. However, a simple saying of thanks and round of applause can also become a good form of recognition that may boost the morale of a certain worker. The importance of recognising your personnel is as important as making them productive and achieving organizational goals. That’s why, a failure to properly recognize your best assets (human resources), may result to a total organizational disaster. The responsibility of employers and managers to recognize employees does not only extend to their ability to quickly judge people – whether these people are worthy of acknowledgement or not. Their obligations should also stretch to their abilities to rightfully diagnose and deeply monitor their personnel for their hidden acts that help the organisation. Career Development: A career is defined as the combination of sequence of roles played by a person during the course of a lifetime. It is a lifelong process including the variety of work roles (paid and unpaid). Employees should have a multifaceted progression and development at work and at a personal/individual level. Employees need encouragement and support in reviewing and assessing their goals and activities to be successful in their job performances. Employees need an opportunity to grow by supporting them through career developmental programs, not just for the individuals but the organisations that employ them. Top management support is important for employees and also the organisation as well. Career development is a tool for attracting, motivating and retaining good quality employees. It is one of the key practices which influence organisational performance. Cost Management: The true cost of poor Hr practices is overlooked by most instituitions until they run into problem. Hiring, compliance and employee discipline and termination, retention, performance management, workers compensation, and other practices all add to a very large financial burden if not executed properly.
Conceptual frame work This conceptual framework simply indicated below shows the independent and dependent variables proposed by the study. Mugenda and Mugenda(2003) define a variable as the measurable characteristics that assumes different values among the subjects. Kothari, (2004), defines a dependable as one of that depends upon other variables or is a consequence of other variables. An independent variable is that which is antecedent to the dependent variable. The dependent variable, "higher institutions of learning" is the subject of this study and is the one that is influenced by the independent variable human resource practices(training, recruitment& selection, compensation, career development, staff empowerment, cost management,) The institution performance is indicated by web ranking and completion rate,number of students enrolled, research input, number of graduates. The study can be conceptualized as shown below According to Smith (2004), an organisation 's performance measures the output of a particular procedure, then modifies the procedure to increase the output, increase efficiency, or increase the effectiveness of the procedure. Higher institutions have clear roles and should be able to provide education and training within a structure that combines research and teaching. They should also provide professional training in fields such as medicine, engineering, law, architecture and should also operate as research centre’s responsible for carrying out research in a broad range of disciplines. They should also play a part in regional development; developing international contacts and as well as play a social function in fostering intellectual and social development of the society. Studies have confirmed that the nature of training provided by public universities prepares the higher cadre human resources that are required for development. This study will how use these following measures of performance(research output, web ranking, student enrolment, completion rate of students, number of graduates,) in universities in Ghana to compare between private and public universities and rate which has an effective human resource practice and how such practices has improved organisational performance. Research output: These are the tangible results of research and are the primary means of communicating the results academic inquiery. Metrics associated to research are applied to the measurement of research quality and the impact of an indviduals scientific group as well as the institution and the rising national level.Sulot(2012),described research as the systematic attempt to provide answers to questions.Research should be carried out in universities so that they can produce better new and better goods and services as well as developing new and better ways of offering, distributing an impacting knowledge in the students. Rising research is an indicator of economic growth. The importance of research to a university cannot be over emphasised(sulot 2012). It is an important factor in evaluation and is an essential requirement in promotion. University lecturers need to increase their research productivity, according to perry et al (2000). Web ranking: According to web biometric, universities are ranked based on academic web, research output, scholarly communication and economic relevance of technology transfer to industry, community engagement, and other factors considered as rate of impact, openness and academic excellence. If web performance of a university is below the expected position according to their academic excellence, university authorities should reconsider their web open access and transparency policy, promoting substantial increases of the volume and the quality of their e-publications. (Web metric 2015). Using this as in the case of central university, might be rated lower than their academic performance. Most cyber metric lab, offer information according to web presence assessment of the scholarly content, visibility and impact of university on the web.
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