Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Human resource management and decentralization in Botswana and South Africa

A thesis submitted to the University of Birmingham by Dr Molefe Phirinyane, who is a Research Fellow at the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA).The study explores the relationship between decentralisation and human resource management in Botswana and South Africa. It is situated within the context of the New Public Management (NPM) that has influenced the Human Resource Management reforms that the two countries aspire to adopt. The study’s main finding is that although strategic human resource management (SHRM) and decentralisation are frequently assumed to go together and are both advocated by the BrettonWoods institutions. In the cases researched SHRM reforms have been accompanied by a tendency towards centralisation. This implies a trade-off between SHRM and decentralisation in Botswana and South Africa.

In both countries the implementation of HRM reforms in local government has been slow due to other considerations – political factors in the case of South Africa and professional bureaucratic issues in Botswana, reflecting the different path dependencies of the two countries. This study argues that from the cases studied even though developing countries may implement similar reforms based on similar policy  advice or prescription, a combination of factors such as social and organisational culture that are not transferable between countries account for the difference in outcomes. Click here to acccess the thesis. A copy of the thesis is also available in the BIDPA Library.

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