An assessment of human resource management practices in the polytechnics

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The issue of human resource management has become paramount and complex as the polytechnics continue to expand their academic facilities and programmes. The research was an integrated study of the current HRM practices in selected polytechnics and focused on four staffing practices. Three sets of questionnaire were designed for three different groups of respondents. The findings confirmed the expected inadequacies with some modest satisfactory practices. Evidence pointed to the absence of established HR departments in the polytechnics, and majority of officers performing HR functions were non-HR 4 specialists. Short-term, ad hoc and exigency approaches were adopted to address the situation instead of establishing long-term strategic human resource planning. The institutions were further handicapped by lack of an HRIS and computerized skills inventory. On the contrary most of the polytechnics studied have well-established and documented recruitment and selection procedures. Reliance was more on external recruitment and promotions formed only a small proportion of internal recruitment. The findings however revealed that the current training and development activities do not go far enough. Training and development policies differed from one institution to the other, and in most cases the policies were not well defined. The results also indicated that there is a weak link between training and development and performance appraisal. Selection for training, in most cases, does not depend on performance appraisal but on other factors such as long service and qualification. Evidence also showed that not all the polytechnics practiced performance appraisal and that the system is flawed and ineffective in the institutions which claimed to practice it. The recommendations drawn are measures designed to harmonize and improve the HRM policies and practices in all the polytechnics in Ghana.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Economics and Industrial Management in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Administration, 2006