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Human resource management and decentralization in Botswana and South Africa

Phirinyane, Molefe B. (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This study seeks to understand the relationship between decentralisation and human resource management in Botswana and South Africa. The study 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. This 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. The study used a mixed methods approach consisting of both qualitative and quantitative research methods, applied to a sample of local authorities in Botswana and the neighbouring North West province of 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.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Campbell, Adrian (1958-) and Amis, Philip (1956-) and Curtis, Donald A.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:International Development Department
Subjects:H Social Sciences (General)
JF Political institutions (General)
JS Local government Municipal government
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:836
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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