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The Effect of Reforming Human Resource
Management on Tanzanian
Public Sector Governance
By : Nuru Kalufya
University of DSM Business School
Poor functioning public sector institutions and weak governance
in many developing countries (WB, 2000)
Public sector management reforms to improve the state of the
public sector governance (Ashour, 2004; Chalu, 2014; Haque
and Aziz, 1998; Sulle, 2011; Therkildsen, 2001).
Public sector governance focuses attention more discretely
upon governance within the public sector generally, or a
designated level of government in particular so as to make
public policy more accountable and transparent to society
(ANAO, 2014; Costantinos, 2011).
The recent reform measures move African public service into the
concern for reformed HRM (Mutahaba, 2015).
HRM reforms are the key changes that affect the management
of HR and modernize the practice of HRM in public sector in
order to promote public sector governance (Common, 2010;
The reforms in public sector has been influenced by the
NPM which embraces HRM reforms as a key element
(Common, 2010; Kim, 2000).
NPM based reforms is not ‘one size fits all aspect’ as it
varies between the implementing countries (Hood, 1991;
Polidano, 1999; WB, 2009).
Under contingent perspective, the reasons for differences
may arise due to ethical congruence, political support,
culture and technology level from one country to another
and from one organisation to another (Chalu, 2014).
However, some of the studies in HRM reforms (Kim, 2000;
Lufunyo, 2013; Mutahaba, 2015) did not consider the
effect of these contingent factors on the outcome of the
Despite the fact that the basic resource and most vital
asset of any organisation is its people and HRM is the
core of the reforms in public sector (Ashour, 2004;
Common, 2010; Kim, 2000),…
… there is increasing focus on the issue of ethical
conduct among public employees (Antonakasa,
Konstantopoulosb and Seimenisa, 2014; Ashour, 2004;
Lufunyo, 2013) which indicates the lack of HRM.
Nevertheless, the HRM aspect is often forgotten and
even downgraded when reforms are designed and
implemented (Kim, 2000; Poor and Afghan, 2013;
In Tanzania, HRM reforms were initiated to build more competent
government by curbing the challenges associated with
traditional system of HRM practices and promote public
governance in the sector.(Rugumyamheto, 1998; URT, 2008; WB,
The changes in HR practices include performance measurement,
decentralization of HRM and establishment of open recruitment
However, it is argued that traditional systems in managing
employees still exists in the Tanzanian public institutions (Sulle ,
2011). HRM has been further centralized and placed in the hands
of PO-PSM, leaving other institutions with very little freedom (Bana
and McCourt, 2006 cited in Sulle, 2011).
Furthermore, basic elements of HRM reforms are scantily studied
and documented (Carmeli, 2004; Tidemand and Msami, 2010).
Also there is a little analysis on HRM in Tanzania public sector
(Mutahaba, 2015; Tidemand and Msami, 2010; Therkildsen et al,
Many studies on HRM reforms were done outside
…did not study decentralization of HRM amongst the
…did not analyse applicability of NPM theoretical
perspectives as basis for NPM based reforms
…did not consider contingent factors under which
public organisations adopt policy innovations such as
Studies done in Tanzania were on PSR as a whole and
mainly on LGAs part and many of them focusing on
Statement of the Problem
According to NPM model, in order for public sector reforms
to be successful, they need to incorporate reforms in HRM
practices. However, integration of HRM practices in
reforms in public sector is still debatable (Kim, 2000;
Mutahaba, 2015; Poor and Afghan, 2013; Therkildsen, 2006).
Despite the fact that Tanzania has embarked in ongoing
HRM reform initiatives, recent reports signify lack of
governance in majority of public institutions and
inadequacy in management of HR practices (National
Audit Office, 2014). Moreover, there is paucity of empirical
studies on NPM based HRM reforms particularly with analysis
of NPM theoretical perspectives and moderating effect of
Objectives of the study
The Main objective of this study is to examine the
effect of HRM Reforms on Public Sector Governance.
Specific objectives are:
To examine the influence of Performance
Measurement on Public Sector Governance
To examine the extent HRM Decentralization is
implemented in relation to Public Sector
To examine the influence of Open Recruitment
System on Public Sector Governance
To assess the moderating effect of contingent
factors on HRM reforms and Public Sector
Significance of the study
There is little information on the effect of HRM reform on public
Previous studied conducted on HRM reforms did not consider
applicability of the public administration theories and the
moderating effect of contingent factors on both reforms and
governance in public sector.
Prior studies conducted in Tanzania focused on reforms in LGAs
part. By employing the quantitative approach covering both
MDAs and LGAs, this study will be able to bridge the observed
gap emanating from prior studies.
This study will contribute to theoretical knowledge by testing the
applicability of the model that our study intends to test.
Practically the finding of this study will contribute to policy
formulation in matters concerned with HRM reforms in Tanzania.
Also in its other programs and plans so as to foster the quality of
public services and achievement of its strategic programs.
Scope of the Study
Tanzanian Public Institutions as they are the actors within which
HRM reforms were focused on (URT, 2011).
Covering MDAs and
LGAs in Dar es Salaam,
Dodoma and Kigoma.
New Public Management (NPM) Theoretical Perspectives
Principal – Agent Theory played an important part in the
NPM paradigm (O'Flynn, 2007) and makes clear
accountability relationship management (Agent –
public employees) to shareholders (Principal – citizens).
The theoretical origins of NPM did not cater for
contingent factors in HRM reform. NPM based reforms is
not ‘one size fit for all aspects’ as it varies between the
implementing countries, so in order to generalize it,
contingent factors are to be emphasized as on when
and how NPM can be successfully adopted (Hood,
1991; Polidano, 1999; WB, 2009).
Empirical Literature Review
Knill and Balint (2008) distinguished HRM reforms between two
models; Weber’s bureaucracy model (BM) and NPM model. NPM
model was defined as universal and internationally approved
principle representing ideal model for HRM reforms.
Kim (2000) indicated that previous reforms in Korean government
failed because they did not alter bureaucrats’ old behavior and
was designed for a centralized mode of operation which
prevented it from coping with increased pace of world changes.
Common (2010) indicated that deep politisation of administrative
system provided considerable reform implementation problems.
Mutahaba (2015) attested that most African countries failed to
give adequate attention to HRM issues in reform agenda of their
public services, which led unsuccessful results of the reform
implementation. The author argues that, although NPM has been
adopted, there are concerns of eroding the traditional means of
ensuring accountability in the sector.
H1: Performance Measurement has a significant positive
relationship with Public Sector Governance
H2: Decentralization of HRM has a significant positive
relationship with Public Sector Governance
H3: Open Recruitment System has a significant positive
relationship with Public Sector Governance.
H4: There is significant moderating effect of Contingent
Factors on HRM reforms and Public Sector Governance
H4a: Contingent Factors has a significant moderating effect on
the way performance measurement promote public sector
H4b: Contingent Factors has a significant moderating effect on
the way decentralization of HRM promote public sector
H4c: Contingent Factors has a significant moderating effect on
the way open recruitment system promote public sector
Operationalization of variables OP Variables.xlsx
Variable Type Tool Definition Measure
– Likert Scale
Process to make sure that desired productivity is being achieved through
ratings from OPRAS
KSA clearly defined,
understood, shared, agreed
upon and evaluated.
– Likert Scale
Tendency of delegating HR practices from CG to LG's administrators and
managers in order to allow more autonomy and flexibility in daily HRM
while following CG strategies and regulations (PwC, 2005)
HR practices dececntralised to
LG, managers with sufficient
skills and competencies,
communication strategies btn
CG and LG, and information
accessibility and sharing btn CG
– Likert Scale
When job vacancies are published on relevant platforms, in a required
language, selection panels are established systematically, selection criteria
are published together with job advert, time period btn vacancy
publication and deadline for applying regulated, offer applicants right to
receive adequate feedback and right to appeal, and the burden of
openness is placed on employer (Deloitte, 2014)
Posts filled by open method,
time taken to hire/fill positions,
posts advertised openly
– Likert Scale
When employees are accepting responsibities for their own actions and
doing right things accurately and on time.
abilities, and morale.
– Likert Scale
implying consistently candid and open management communication
(Heskett, 2015) that employees and key stakeholders see the same
information that senior leadership sees (Clarke, 2010) in order to generate
trust that fosters cooperation and quick decision making and execution.
communication channels and
strategies in organisations.
Research Philosophy – Positivism paradigm
Research Design - The cross-sectional survey design
Research Approach - The deductive approach
Location of the study - Public Institutions in Dar es Salaam,
Dodoma and Kigoma regions
Population of the Study- public sector employees in Tanzania
mainland public institutions grouped in MDAs and LGAs. The unity
of inquiry will be the Executives and Human Resource officials .
Sampling Procedure – Multistage Sampling which will base on
Probability sampling that will include – Stratified and simple
Sample Size – 400 respondents
Research Methodology cont…
Data Collection Methods - Structured questionnaires will be
used adopted from Coordination for Cohesion in the Public
Sector of the Future (COCOPS) Survey by Hammerschmid
et al, (2013).
Public documents showing trends of HRM reforms and
Public Sector Governance will also be reviewed.
Reliability - Cronbach's Alpha will be applied in calculating
Validity - Exploratory factor analysis will be applied in
Data Analysis Techniques - SEM will be used because it
enables the researcher to assess and interpret complex
interrelated dependence relationships (Hair et al. 2010,
Link to SDG and Cultural Transformation