AN ASSESSMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AMONG NGOs IN TECHIMAN MUNICIPALITY

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1.1.0 INTRODUCTION

The role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in development of less developed countries, Ghana inclusive, cannot be overemphasized. In Ghana, NGOs operate in almost every sector of the economy providing support to governments' development efforts. These NGOs are international or local organizations and in some instances, community-based or faith-based organizations. They are non-profit oriented organizations and as their name implies, are non-governmental entities (BANGO, 2009). A mention can be made of NGOs in all districts, municipalities and metropolises, including the Techiman Municipality in the Brong Ahafo.

NGOs engage human resources for their operations which according to Ivancevich and Matteson (1987) are common and most valuable assets to every organization. The management of these human resources in these organizations is of great significance; given the current trends of globalization and technological development and their related influence on organizational structure and strategic management which have greatly influenced the organizational environment, making the handling of human resource issues more complex than before (Goss, 1997). Richard Donkin puts it that how work is been done today is different from how it was done 50 or 100 years ago and that there have been defining moments in the relationship between employers and employees thus, requiring changes in the management of people today as against the past (Donkin, 2001).

Individualism and consumerism as in the socio-cultural dimension of organizations have all greatly influenced the organizational environment.

Issues of human resources have become more global than before with resulting international human resource implications such as employment instability. Again, there are changes in the skills and competencies needed by a labour force. For instance, computer-literacy has in recent years become a basic requirement for some employment ventures. Technology also allows some employees to work from their own homes. According to Barnatt (1995), there is even the prediction that business of the future will be conducted in cyber-space through virtual organizations.

In human resource terms these demand new forms of training emphasizing the need to contribute not only effort and skill but also to take responsibility for the marketing and after service care of outputs (Goss, 1997). In particular, it demands employees who are capable of innovation and flexibility, prepared to take risks and embrace new ideas rather than simply following rules and complying with superiors' instructions (Evans and Doz, 1989). These circumstances call for organizational reawakening-NGOs inclusive to the tune of human resource management that will ensure organizational survival and growth, hence the necessity and criticality of the assessment in this study to ascertain the how of its practice in the face of the changes.

1.2.2.0 PROBLEM STATEMENT

The number of NGOs in Ghana in recent years is on the increase. The local and community ones, especially, are mostly established and managed by individuals or with a few staff (BANGO 2009). NGOs play very significant roles in development. NGOs create and offer employment as they engage human labour for their operations. How these organizations manage their human resource is critical and worth knowing. This is particularly so because the practice of traditional personnel management has been mistaken by many for human resource management (Goss 1997).

"Human resource management addresses the issues of staffing, performance appraisals, compensation and benefits, training and development, employee and labour relations, safety and health and human resource research. Human resource management is responsible for how people are treated in organizations. It is responsible for bringing people into the organization, helping them perform their work, compensating for their labor and solving problems that arise" http://bbamba.info/Articles/HR/Human-Resource-Management.html. According to Goss (1997:1), human resource management in its broad terms "claims to be the novel approach to the management of people that reflects a concern with the flexibility and adaptability of labour and the integration of human resource issues with an organization's wider goals and objectives" In a simple sense, human resource management implies employing people, developing their resources, utilizing and compensating for their services. It focuses, though not exclusively, on: human resourcing, assessment, human resource development, reward, commitment and employee involvement and welfare as basics (Goss 1997) - a definition considered for this study. Traditional personnel management on the other hand is about the management of people that reflects the formulation and monitoring conformity to rules and procedures (Goss, 1997).

In his 'ideal type', Storey (1992) distinguishes between human resource management and traditional personnel management. To Storey, human resource management emphasizes on open-ended contracts rather than rule-bound job descriptions. Management and the workforce assume to share a common interest in the success of the organizational.

Labour-management relations are a matter of strategic concern as they impact upon business performance and customer services. Individual performances are rewarded with little focus on pre-determined rights and expectations.

Storey on the other hand, sees traditional personnel management as emphasizing on clearly defined contracts and written rules where management action is governed by conformity to procedures and customs and practice. Here, the workforce is monitored and controlled by management based on the assumption that each has a divergent interest. 'Good' labour relation is key concern but is dealt with in a piecemeal fashion. With little focus on individual performances, the same rewards and opportunities are offered to all employees, determined on the basis of collective agreements. Seniority and procedural agreements are key in this situation.

Goss sees human resource management and traditional personnel management as "soft human resources management" or humanistic and "hard human resource management" or instrumental. For Goss, there is little agreement over the exact detail of human resource management as it is positioned on a continuum from humanistic (where the human dimension is highly recognized, people are measured above other non-human resources and are managed differently, in a manner that recognizes and respects a basic humanity) at one end to instrumental (where people are treated as equivalent to any other kind of resource and to be managed according to principles of profit maximization and cost minimization) at the other (Goss 1994).

The recognition of variation between traditional personnel management and human resource management has not resolve many of the tensions apparent in the human resource management debates of academics and practitioners. Many of these remain driven by arguments over how human resource management is being practiced in organizations (Goss, 1997). Higgs (2002) is of the view that although the phrase "our people are our most important asset" has become a cliché, for several years, just a few organizations recognize and practice such a principle in their daily activities.

For Higgs, it is perhaps because, until recently, there had not been much evidence as regards the impact of people management on organizational performance. Bilmes (2002) in Pickford (Ed), (2003:37) says "whiles companies pay lip service to the importance of their people, in reality they invest in anything else…to enhance performance." "Yet the most obvious and overlooked, source of strategic advantage is to use people better". All these views and more point to the fact that, there is lack of clarity as regards how organizations really manage the human resource in the drive to enhance performances despite their recognition of the significance of the concept of people management.

Employees argue that employers are holding on to traditional personnel management that ignores their interest; which according to Goss (1997), numerous organizations claim to have practiced long before the human resource management 'label' became popular. Employers on the other hand, think they are practicing human resource management. The lack of clarity on how human resource management is indeed being practiced creates inconsistencies and contradictions on the handling of human resource of NGOs in the Techiman Municipality. The results are employee apathy, high labour turnover and organizational inefficiencies (BANGO 2009). An assessment of how NGOs are practicing human resource management will thus contribute to resolving the prevailing tensions.

1.3.0 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.3.1 Main Research Question

How do NGOs in Techiman Municipality practice human resource management?

1.3.2 Research Sub-questions

1. How do NGOs in Techiman Municipality carry out human resourcing?

2. What is the nature of human resource assessment among NGOs in the Municipality?

3. How is human resource development practiced by NGOs in the Municipality?

4. What is the rewards situation among NGO in the Municipality?

5. Is there commitment and employee involvement in the management of NGOs in the

Municipality?

6. How do NGOs handle welfare issues of their employees in the Municipality?

1.4.0 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

1.4.1 Main Research Objective

The main objective of this study is to find out how NGOs in Techiman Municipality practice human resource management.

1.4.2 Research Sub-objectives

a. To find out how NGOs in the Municipality carry out human resourcing

b. To examine the nature of human resource assessment among NGOs in Techiman

Municipality

c. To explore how NGOs in the Municipality practice human resource development

d. To assess the rewards situation among NGO in the Municipality

e. To discover if there is commitment and employee involvement in the management of

NGOs in the Municipality

f. To find out how NGOs handle welfare issues of their employees in the Municipality.

1.5.0 STUDY AREA

The research will be conducted among selected NGOs in Techiman Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. The Techiman Municipality is well known for its commercial and agricultural activities in the region. The Municipality has 22 registered NGOs (BANGO 2009). The concentration of these organizations in the area is probably due to the fact that the municipality is made of diverse people with diverse needs that require their services.

The operations of these organizations are of much interest to me and worth researching into. Since NGOs operate from a similar environment, findings of the situation in organizations in the area will not fall short of being representative of those in the region in particular and the nation at large.

1.6.0 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY

Human resource is the most common and most valuable asset to every organization. The way this asset is managed means a lot to the survival of every organization. While academics and practitioners of human resource management agree on the existence of both traditional personnel management and human resource management as means of managing human resource, there is still tension over which of the two is really being practiced by organizations and how? This negatively affects organizational behavior and performance (Goss, 1997). The study is therefore not only going to assess and give a prescription of which of the two is in practice but also to contribute towards resolving the prevailing tensions and improving organizational performance.

In addition, it is hoped that my study will prompt other researchers and trigger their interest to research further on the area, using my study as the basis. This will lead to new findings on the topic, adding to the knowledge base of society.

This study will also help identify efficient ways of managing human resource for organizational growth and success.

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW.

2.1.0 Introduction

Literature review, according to Brown (1996), guides the researcher and exposes him/her to various works on his or her topic of research. Given the significance of human resource management issues in organizational set up, there have been a good number of writings and, for that matter, contributions making up a lot of existing literature in the area for review. In this section, literature will be reviewed to reflect these concepts and theories. Gaps in these will be identified, examined and amended. An example of the review is as done below

2.2.0 Human Resourcing

"Human resourcing can be regarded as that area of human resource management that is concerned with the quantitative and qualitative planning of work and organization". For Goss, "This is a diverse area that ranges from traditional manpower planning geared towards the achievement of equilibrium, to organizational design and development", (Goss 1997: 19). Here manpower planning and performance management are more of quantitative approach to human resourcing whilst the issue of flexible working practice as an example of organizational design is more of qualitative in nature.

2.2.1.0 Manpower planning

Manpower planning, according to Bennison (1984), as developed in the 1960s, was intended to manage the head-count of an organization in line with predicted trends in performance by modeling in-flows and out-flows of labour, taking into account possible changes in labour conditions.

Being mathematically inclined in its approach, manpower planning had the advantage of applying mathematical/scientific decision-making techniques in the process with the aim to ensuring precision; the truth however is that it is least practicable and mostly only accessible to the numerate and thus encourages a conservative and uncritical acceptance of existing categories of manpower and career structure (Pearson, 1991)

I therefore will agree with Bennison (1984) that the notion that it is possible to estimate the future manpower needs with the precision necessary to match policies of supply is quite fallacious. For him, demand is particularly susceptible to changes in the outside world.

This is very true because events like wars, commodity prices and foreign exchange rates amongst others pose problems in managing economies which in turn affect the growth rates of organizations and hence their manpower needs predicted in advance of time using mathematical/scientific principles.

This is what makes the chaos theory of bounded instability in strategic management of manpower important; which requires not leaning on past experiences as an infallible guide into the future and accepting that the future is inherently unknowable, and that it cannot be planned on conventional forecasting sense. Evan and Doz (1989) were therefore not wrong when they observed that living in uncertainty means managers have to develop new cognitive skills; the sensitivity of 'duality', that is balancing of opposing pressures such as local and global and competitive and cooperative events.

2.2.2.0 Performance management.

3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1.0 Introduction

This chapter examines the approach to data gathering in the research process and so is very critical in ensuring the reliability and validity of findings. It encompasses many areas of importance as examined below.

3.2.0 Research Design

3.2. 1.0 Data collection tools

To conduct the research to collect primary data, I will use surveys, semi-structured interviews, observations and a case study. With the surveys, the door to door approach will be used. The surveys will yield quantitative data on labour turnover, manpower planning and other forms of 'general' data. This will also be appropriate to use in dealing with the large population that will be involved, to relatively save time.

The semi-structured interviews will be used in exploring specific data such as views and opinions on issues of welfare and rewards. It will also be of help in generating in-depth and specific qualitative information on the problem to complement findings generated from the surveys. Since some of the human resource management practices such as commitment and employee involvement and welfare can be observed, I will do observation of some of these practices to consolidate and validate findings yielded by the surveys and interviews. In fact, this will yield first hand information on the problem. I cannot assess human resource management among all NGOs given the fact that they are many. Choosing some NGOs for a case study is therefore appropriate to do.

Other sources of data for the study will include secondary sources such as articles and newspaper publications.

3.3.0 Sampling Details

3.3.1.0 Sampling techniques

In the selection of sampling units (respondents) for the surveys, I will resort to the use of the simple random sampling technique to give all units equal chances of being selected to ensure universal representativeness and to enable me minimize to biases as much as possible. Since there is a list of the NGOs, I will specifically use the lottery or fishbowl method of the simple random sampling technique to select the organizations and in each, survey the first two employees that I will meet. Of the members of boards of directors and executives of NGO networks, I will also apply the same sampling technique.

For the sampling unit for the interviews, I will use the combination of purposive and accidental sampling techniques (selection of respondents by chance) where appropriate; targeting employees of the NGOs, executives of NGO networks in the region to which the selected NGOs belong, executive directors of the NGOs, members of boards of directors and the Municipal Social Welfare Director. I will participatorily observe human resource management practices in the organizations. The issue of case study emerges since a selection of some NGOs will be done for the study.

3.3.2.0 Sampling units

The sampling units will include employees, owners and boards of directors of NGOs, since they are directly involved in the practices of the organizations and so will have first hand information about the situation as prevails in the organizations. Executives of NGO networks in the region to which the selected NGOs belong and the Municipal Director of Social Welfare will also be contacted for information on the problem since they work hand in hand and will have records of information relevant to the study.

3.3.3.0 Sampling size estimation and sampling frame.

A pre-research investigation has revealed that none of the NGOs in the area has staff strength of more than six. Given an average of five staff per organization, the 10 NGOs to be selected will have 50 staff with about the same number of members in their boards of directors. This makes a total population of 100. Out of the 100, I will sample out four units from each organization made up of one board member, the Executive Director and any other two employees, summing up to 40 units for the surveys. There are three NGO networks in the region of the study area: BANGO, NGOs in Health and Coalition of NGOs in Human Rights. From each network, a member of the executives will be added to the 40 units and that of the Municipal Director of Social Welfare to make a total sampling size of 44 for the surveys. The interviews will be scaled down to five selected NGOs. From these, a member from each board of directors, all executive directors and an employee each with a member from each network will be interviewed. The Municipal Director of Social Welfare will also be interviewed. In all 19 units will be subjected to the interview process. The sampling frame thus becomes 63 units of all respondents to the study.

3.4.0 Data Analysis and Presentation.

My analysis of data will start with the data collection in the form of reflections. Upon finishing the collection, I will review surveys, interview transcripts and field notebooks. I will do a summary of the data and code open-ended questions to enable me organize them into themes in line with the objectives set. This will be done in the case of qualitative data. In the case of quantitative data from surveys, I will organize them into tables, graphs and charts using SPSS. I will also use some measures of central tendency such as the mean, variance, standard deviations and regression to analyze relationships and do chi-square analysis to test for statistical significance to ensure that findings are different from chance. I will then draw particular patterns, interpret them, draw conclusions and write the report

ORGANIZATION OF THESIS

The research will be organized in five chapters to make presentation clear and orderly as outlined below

Chapter one is a general introduction into the study. The problem statement, research questions and objectives, justification of the study and a brief profile of the study area will all be captured in this chapter

Chapter two will cover a review of literature on the study. It will explore existing literary gaps on the topic. Conceptual issues and their operational definitions as well as the theoretical bases of the study will also be dealt with here.

The research methodology will go into chapter three. It will clearly indicate the research design, sampling techniques, sampling units, sampling size and frame, sources of secondary data and the analysis of data and presentation. It thus deals with the approaches that will be employed in the collection of data to address the problem.

Chapter four will represent findings of the research activity. Data collected will be analyzed and organized in this chapter with discussions in response to the research questions. Secondary data will also be examined in line with findings.

Chapter five will summarize the main findings of the research and draw conclusions. Here too, the research problem, questions and objectives will be revisited.

DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS

This section examines the confines within which this study is to be conducted. It also tries to put key concepts in the study in perspective. It looks at some concepts used in this study most of which are adopted from Goss (1997).

The study will try to assess the human resource management situation of NGOs, using the following basic parameters: human resourcing, human resource assessment, human resource development, rewards, commitment and employee involvement and welfare

Human Resourcing: this simply has to do with planning the strength of human resource to match organizational requirement of it. It encompasses manpower planning that use mathematical tools to predict organizational need of human resource, performance management that examines organizational objectives against individual performance and the allocation of rewards and the adoption of flexible work practices to ensure organizational efficiency (Goss, 1997).

Human resource assessment: concerns itself both with the selection and recruitment and in-service appraisal of employees in line with organizational objectives in a manner that ensures effectiveness and efficiency (Goss, 1997).

Human resource development: this takes a look at how organizations develop their human resource through training and mentoring: thus, their investment in the development of employees (Goss, 1997).

Rewards: this refers to the remuneration packages available to employees in return to their effort put into the running of an organization. The form this takes, and how relational it is to motivation for greater on the job performance is key (Goss, 1997).

Commitment and employee involvement: as Goss (1997:86) put it, "commitment usually refers to the ability of a workforce to continuously perform to its maximum capacity". How this is secured is critical in the organization.

Employee involvement is about the empowerment of the workforce to enable them to perform effectively by exercising greater control over their jobs and the decisions that affect them

Welfare: welfare deals with issues that have to do with the well-being of employees in an organization and is central to the growth of the organization.

4.0 TIME SCHEDULE

The research will be carried out in 14 calendar months as indicated in table 1

PHASE 1

PHASE 2

PHASE 3

PHASE 4

From-To

(2010)

From-To

(2010)

From-To

(2010)

From-To

(2011)

ACTIVITY

METHOD

PROPOSAL WRITING

March-June

Conceptualizing research problem and doing some reading on it.

March

Writing of proposal

March/April

Proposal submission

May

Defending proposal

June

LITERATURE REVIEW

July-August

Searching and reviewing literature on the topic

July/

August

DATA COLLECTION

September-December

Creating targets' awareness of the exercise

Writing letters to them about it

.

September

Following up to meet them personally

September

Designing questions for both surveys and interviews

September

Pretesting question and making adjustment where necessary

September

Administering questions/collecting data

Surveys

October

Interviews

November

Observation

October-December

DATA ANALYSIS, REPORT COMPILATION AND SUBMISSION

January-April

Reviewing transcripts and summarizing data collected

January

Organizing qualitative data into themes and doing SPSS analysis of quantitative data into tables, charts and graphs and other trend and relationship analysis with measures of central tendencies.

January-February

Compiling report

March

Proof reading

April

Submission of report

AprilTable 1. Research time schedule.

PHASE 1

PHASE 2

PHASE 3

PHASE 4

From-To

(2010)

From-To

(2010)

From-To

(2010)

From-To

(2011)

ACTIVITY

METHOD

PROPOSAL WRITING

March-June

Conceptualizing research problem and doing some reading on it.

March

Writing of proposal

March/April

Proposal submission

May

Defending proposal

June

LITERATURE REVIEW

July-August

Searching and reviewing literature on the topic

July/

August

DATA COLLECTION

September-December

Creating targets' awareness of the exercise

Writing letters to them about it

.

September

Following up to meet them personally

September

Designing questions for both surveys and interviews

September

Pretesting question and making adjustment where necessary

September

Administering questions/collecting data

Surveys

October

Interviews

November

Observation

October-December

DATA ANALYSIS, REPORT COMPILATION AND SUBMISSION

January-April

Reviewing transcripts and summarizing data collected

January

Organizing qualitative data into themes and doing SPSS analysis of quantitative data into tables, charts and graphs and other trend and relationship analysis with measures of central tendencies.

January-February

Compiling report

March

Proof reading

April

Submission of report

April

5.0 BUDGET

An estimated amount of One Thousand Four Hundred and Forty Three Ghana Cedis, (GH¢ 1443.00) as in table 2 will be required to conduct the research.

Table 2. Research budget.

Activity

Item/Quantity/

Frequency

Unit Cost

Total Cost

GH¢

PROPOSAL WRITING PHASE

24.50

The use of internet

5 X 2 hours

GH¢ 1.00

10

Communication

1 MTN card

GH¢ 7.50

7.50

Printing of proposal

20 pages

30GP

6

Binding

GH¢ 1.00

1

LITERATURE REVIEW PHASE

96.00

The use of internet

20 X 2 hours browsing

GH¢ 1.00

40

Printing of 20 pages

30GP

6

Buying other literature

50

DATA COLLECTION PHASE

212.50

Transportation

5 trips to and from study area

GH¢ 20.00

100

Internal movement at study area

20

communication

4 MTN cards

GH¢ 7.50

30

Printing of questions

25 pages

30GP

7.50

Photo copying of questions

25 pages X 44 units

GH¢ 1.25

55

DATA ANALYSIS AND REPORT COMPILATION PHASE

1,110.00

Printing

150 pages X 2 (first and second drafts)

50GP

150.00

150 pages X 6 (original copies)

GH₵ 1.00

900.00

Binding

6 copies

GH₵ 10.00

60.00

Grant Total

1,443.00

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