The human resource field has taken a strong stand in the global competition for prominence and performance. (Bartholomew et al 2000, p 86-321).This paper interrogates the relevance or otherwise of various information units that are produced by the mixed method approach stating the case for the prominence of the approach in the contemporary human resource pretext.
It will go further to try the propositions of the approach through a proposed research on the impact of organisational retrenchment strategies on job satisfaction in a case study from the Uganda public service.The volatile nature of the environment makes human resource management a key determinant of the success of the organization. (Bassanini and Duval 2006).
In the prospect of providing a solution this paper underscores the analytical options available to managers in need of information. It provides a manual or employers who need to adopt a retrenchment strategy as part of a downsizing method of their staff.
This also acts as a justification to such managers in relying on a specific source of information or data (Deniva, 2000). As for employees this proposal will allow them comprehend better the place that retrenchment has in their career paths and more so provide them with alternatives in information gathering and presentation.
An examination of the Ugandan civil service retrenchment policy and process provides an appropriate human resources practice scenario for investigation.
Retrenchment can be objectively defined to be a government based initiative and policy that seeks to reduce the number of employees and subsequently as well, as comply with the prevailing, market conditions that demand cost reduction at every situation (World Bank Group 2000).
The creation of retrenchment strategy was a response to the continued abuse of the employee by employers in matters such as low pay and unqualified management structures that were marred with corruption moonlighting abuse of office and misuse of state property (Hauptmeier et al,2006).
The reform agenda that is suggested by the Civil Service Reform had specific objectives. These objectives are the fundamental principles that the human resources laws and procedures uphold in the short and medium term.
The public service is still oversized and needs to be drastically cut down for purposes of efficiency and economy (Cenfetelli 2004). At the same time, there is an urgent and pending need to provide the appropriate skills, strategies and tactics for the effective and consistent management of public resources.
Inadvertently the state as the greatest employer in Uganda needs an urgent solution to facilitate their strategies to control and regulate this situation for the benefit of both the employees and the employers. This proposal will recommend the most appropriate reference and information resource in the diverse human resource sector.
The state and government as well as other stakeholders such as private sector employers and employees stand to benefit from the recommendation analysis and review of the various uses of information in human resources with specific interest in the Ugandan civil service.
The Ugandan human resource system has for a long time served the country’s population in different capacities. In fact the system has made several attempts at making sure that it keeps at bay the whims of corrupt members to ensure that the labour forces is much more effective and efficient in its performance of its duties (Mugabi, 2006).
The country’s retrenchment plan is designed to motivate the employees by guaranteeing them a secure future in the organisation depending on the provisions of the retrenchment plan (Houser, 2008). The retrenchment strategies have failed both in substance and form in ensuring that the strategies adopted sustained and maintained a strictly stable level of satisfaction among the employees.
Other organisations in the public and private sector such as multinational national and local companies and nongovernmental organisations have adopted generic retrenchment practices that are more employees friendly(United Nations Development Group 2003). Organisations and state management across the globe also recommend the techniques that involve a multi-stage retrenchment process.
The technique begins with evaluation of the personnel in aspects such as cutting on the personnel development expenditure, using unpaid or lower cost labour, sharing of personnel reassessment of equipment needs of the employees as well as re evaluation of staffing ratios. This allows the management to separate the redundant employees for selection for retrenchment and trim down the labour force (Joumard et al, 2004)
It then re valuates the revenue from sources with characteristics such as increased cost of service, ensuring efficiency in service delivery as well as a standard benchmark for minimum service (Ingraham and Rosenbloom 1992). Any employee who fails to meet these standards in revenue generation will be considered for retrenchment. (Wilbur 2008).
Human resource scientists have suggested that the justification for the relationship between retrenchment and the general motivation levels of the individual workers was the objective of their employment. The retrenchment strategies had little connection to workers of different ages and age groups (Slabbert et al 2003, p 65-99).
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggests that an average of one in ten (7%) workers is considered for retrenchment in organisations intending to cut costs. Up to two-thirds (65%) of retrenchments are expected to be compulsory (CIPD 2011).
To put the discussion into perspective a constituent approach to the various options available to managers will suffice. Managers have a range of primary and secondary methods for obtaining information for human resource purposes.
Primary methods are more interactive and involve manual gathering of data from the subject phenomenon. They involve collecting data for the first time. There are two commonly accepted primary approaches to research; the qualitative and the quantitative.
There are many ways of distinguishing between these two approaches, which can also overlap or complement each other, as in mixed methods designs. However, the basic difference between these methodologies are described by (Mertens, 2009)
The study employs the conventionally recognised questionnaire methods that allow the researcher to engage the subject stakeholders in the retrenchment process. The questionnaire allows the researcher an opportunity to adjust the questionnaire to suit the research and the objectives of the research.
This method is cheap and easy to understand and use. They are also easy to administer to the individual respondents of the research (Jupp, 2006).
The research will also take advantage of online research methods of research. Online research methods vary from online focus groups, online surveys, and online questionnaires, web based experiments as well as clinical trials performed online.
Focus groups allow the researcher to gain an in-depth analysis of the attitudes beliefs and anecdotal data from a large group of respondents (NTSIKA 2001). They take advantage of group dynamics to generate more ideas through individual interviews and reflections.
Secondary methods provide a construction of information from studies that draw upon data that has been collected by someone else. Secondary methods provide the researcher with an opportunity to gain an upfront insight into the research questions and also develop a foundation on which the research is founded (Bartholomew 2000, p 283-321).
Secondary methods engage two main types of sources internal and external sources. Internal sources are those that come from within the organisation entity or subject of research. External data on the other hand is obtained from outside sources (Houser 2008).
Internal sources of secondary information are a cheap and convenient way of obtaining answers to research questions (Buys and Havenga 2006, p86). The three main internal secondary sources are sales and marketing reports, accounting, financial records, and miscellaneous reports (Sachinis 2003, p137). They are fundamental measure of the performance of the human resources.
Companies consider this information when compiling and creating performance indicators. These sources are important in understanding the good practice of various organisations. In this proposal, these internal sources and methods were scarcely relied on since there is little information available due to government restrictions (Cenfetelli 2004)..
External secondary sources present a great wealth of data on almost any topic. These sources are meant to comprise of federal government as well as statistical agency report. They also include others such as publications from trade associations, general business publications and academic reports as well as industrial reports (Buti et al 2003).
Academic reports such as research papers journals and books contain the relevant philosophical and theoretical analysis justifications and explanations. These however fail to present the reality of the situation in the market as it is (Flick’s 2009).
An analysis of the existing secondary information from industrial and academic sources disclosed that the majority of the employees who fell in the retrenched category had a high education qualification and therefore had enough qualifications for the job (Kelly 2001).
Industry reports such as company reports from the various employer bodies and employee organisations and trade unions provide a historical and obligatory statistic of the situation in the market (Wilbur 2008).
Industry reports from independent bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development also provide an updated reference and analysis that makes the proposal more relevant to modern trends(Logan & Machado, 2002).
These sources however raise questions of viability since these institutions have vested interests and make their data mere references and not authorities (Mertens 2009). This makes it more credible to undertake the research as compared to relying on these sources.
The research will approach the data collection process from a quantitative and qualitative stand. These two approaches are often said to overlap and complement each other at times.The quantitative approach engages in actual practical experiments that are used to gather information on the subject matter (Havenga 2005, 41-50)
Strengths and weaknesses
Data collected from academic materials presented serious viability concerns since most of these resources were outdated and backdated to more than ten years. The level of reliability of this information is therefore questionable (Balogun and Hailey 2004).
This however does not defeat their purpose in establishing a factual stand for and against the retrenchment process. These inconsistencies are complemented by the use of primary sources in the form of questionnaires and interviewed as well as focus groups.
The retrenchment process is quite sensitive since it could affect the long-term reputation of the company if not handled adequately (Houser, 2008). The major stake holders are the
The employer is relevant to the research because he motivates and spear heads the process in other organisations that undertake the retrenchment process. They are therefore appropriate respondents to the contentious issues that affect the retrenchment process. Their responses are expected to be motivated by self interest and the need to defend the retrenchment process as being the only way out(Hass et al 2008, p94).
This will however be handled by consulting several employers. Employees are the victims and the appropriate respondents to the retrenchment process since they are on the receiving side.
Most of them are expected to avoid responding to the questionnaires due to the fear of victimisation and possible retrenchment (Charney and Liebcap 2002 pp1-34). They will however be motivated by the promise of anonymity as well as concentration on the online surveys that collect information from a wide range of employees.
The state is the greatest employer in Uganda and therefore takes the greatest responsibility for the retrenchment process(Bassanini and Duval 2006). The state representatives are however expected to be reluctant to provide information as to the modalities they use since these are considered confidential.
This information will therefore be gotten from alternative secondary sources from industry reports and academic analysis. (McLean et al 2004, p6).
The research will present the information and data conclusions in this form of graphs and charts that will support the results of the interviews and questionnaire results. These will be further supplemented by pie charts retrenchment on the labor force. They will be used to explain to senior management the effects of the retrenchment process as well as the consequences of adopting a specific strategy.
The employer and employee will also have the benefit of understanding how specific retrenchment processes operate through descriptive schematics and flow charts that are self explanatory and easy to follow and interpret.
The data generated from the secondary sources will be analyzed and presented in the form of a report containing diagrams and illustrative diagrams, descriptions and schematics that are easier to understand. The charts and diagrams show the general and specific trends of the retrenchment practice. This will allow the estate as well as other employers in selecting the most widely used retrenchment strategy.
Employees will receive newsletters that have interpreted analysis and comments on the findings of the report. The comments will contain recommendations on the suitability or otherwise of the retrenchment schemes that their employer has adopted.
Balogun, J. & Hailey, H. V. (2004) Exploring strategic change. New York: Prentice Hall.
Bartholomew, K.et al. (2000) Coded semi-structured interviews in psychological research. In H.T. Resi & C.M. Judd. Handbook of Research Methods in Social and Personality Psychology. Cambridge: University Press. 286-312.
Bassanini A. and Duval R. (2006) “Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: reassessing the Role of Policiesand Institutions”, Economic Department of the OECD, working paper, 486.
Buti, M., Franco D. and Sylvester E. (2003) Revisiting the Stability and Growth Pact: Grand Design or Internal Adjustment, CEPR Working Paper, 3692.
Buys, P. & Havenga, J.J.D. (2006) Entrepreneurial Functionality of New Venture Creation Learners. Unpublished paper: University of Johannesburg, p86.
Cenfetelli, R.T. (2004) Inhibitors and enablers as dual factor concepts in technology usage. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 5(11). Web.
Charney, A.H. & Liebcap, G.D. (2002)“The contribution of entrepreneurship education: An analysis of the Berger programme”: International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (3):1-34.
CIPD. (2011) Labour Market Outlook CIPD: London.
Deniva, (2000) 1999 Annual Report, Kampala: DENIVA. Nd.
Flick, U. (2009) An introduction to qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Hass, B. et al. (2008) From Analyst to Leader: Elevating the Role of the Business Analyst Management Concepts, 2008. Vienna Leesburg Pike p94:
Hauptmeier ,S.et al. (2006)“Expenditure Reform in Industrialised Countries: a Case Study Approach”,European Central Bank working paper, 634, p 234-567.
Havenga, J.J.D. (2005) “Perspectives on post-employment: Balancing wealth and community wellness” Management Today. 20(10). 41-50.
Houser, J. (2008) Nursing research: Reading, using, and creative evidence. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Ingraham, P. and Rosenbloom, D. (1992) The Promise and Paradox of Civil Service Reform. Pittsburgh.University of Pittsburgh Press.
Joumard, I. et al. (2004) Enhancing the Effectiveness of Public Spending: Experience in OECD Countries”, OECD Economics Department Working Papers, 380.
Jupp, V. (2006) The Sage dictionary of social research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Logan, C.and Machado, F. (2002) Afrobarometer Round 1: Compendium of Comparative Data from a Twelve-nation Survey, Afrobarometer Working Paper 11,. Nd.
McLean, G., et al. (2004) (Eds.) Human resource development as national policy. Advances in Developing Human Resources, August 6 (3).
Mertens, D.M. (2009) Research and evaluation in education and psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Mugabi, J.B., (2006) Civil Society Index Fact Finding Studies, DENIVA, Kampala: unpublished paper.
NTSIKA. (2001) State of Small Business in South Africa (Annual reviews). Johannesburg. RSA: NTSIKA Enterprise Agency.
Sachinis, K. (2003) The importance of a post-employment strategy in addressing the outcome of globalization. Ph-d – Dissertation. Rand Afrikaans University Johannesburg, p137.
Slabbert, J.A et al. (2003) Managing Employment Relations in South Africa – Global perspective. Durban: Butterworths. p 65-99.
United Nations Development Group. (2003) Indicators for Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals: Definitions, Rationale, Concepts and Sources, United Nations, New York.
Wilbur, K. (2008) Integral theory and practice. Binghamton, NY: SUNY Press.
World Bank Group, (2000) Supporting small and medium enterprises. Key to increasing employment in developing countries. Web.
Appendix One: Spector Job Satisfaction Survey
|PLEASE CIRCLE THE ONE NUMBER FOR EACH QUESTION THAT COMES CLOSEST TO REFLECTING YOUR OPINION.||Disagree very much |
Agree very much
|1||I feel I am being paid a fair amount for the work I do.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|2||There is really too little chance for promotion in my job.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|3||My supervisor is quite competent in doing his/her job.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|4||I am not satisfied with the benefits I receive.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|5||When I do a good job, I receive the recognition for it that I should receive.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|6||Many of our rules and procedures make doing a good job difficult.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|7||I like the people I work with.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|8||I sometimes feel my job is meaningless.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|9||Communications seem good within this organization.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|10||Raises are too few and far between.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|11||Those who do well on the job stand a fair chance of being promoted.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|12||My supervisor is unfair to me.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|13||The benefits we receive are as good as most other organizations offer.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|14||I do not feel that the work I do is appreciated.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|15||My efforts to do a good job are seldom blocked by red tape.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|16||I find I have to work harder at my job because of the incompetence of people I work with.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|17||I like doing the things I do at work.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|18||The goals of this organization are not clear to me.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|19||I feel unappreciated by the organization when I think about what they pay me.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|20||People get ahead as fast here as they do in other places.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|21||My supervisor shows too little interest in the feelings of subordinates.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|22||The benefit package we have is equitable.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|23||There are few rewards for those who work here.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|24||I have too much to do at work.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|25||I enjoy my co-workers.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|26||I often feel that I do not know what is going on with the organization.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|27||I feel a sense of pride in doing my job.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|28||I feel satisfied with my chances for salary increases.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|29||There are benefits we do not have which we should have.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|30||I like my supervisor.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|31||I have too much paperwork.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|32||I don’t feel my efforts are rewarded the way they should be.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|33||I am satisfied with my chances for promotion.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|34||There is too much bickering and fighting at work.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|35||My job is enjoyable.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
|36||Work assignments are not fully explained.||1 2 3 4 5 6|
Appendix Two: Quantitative Survey
For each the following questions, please use a sliding scale of 1 to 5 in which 1 = complete disagreement, 2 = disagreement, 3 = neutral, 4 = agreement, and 5 = complete agreement.
Now please take the Spector Satisfaction Survey (subjects redirected to the Spector Scale) for remainder of survey session.
Thank you for your participation.