AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

HRM In Academia: From Strategy To Enactment - A Multilevel Study

by Fathimath Shiraani

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: Human Resource Management; Higher Education; HRM Process; Intended HRM; Operationalised HRM; Perceived HRM; Mixed Methods
Record ID: 1310417
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5639


The purpose of this study is to examine the devolution and enactment of Human Resource Management (HRM) within a single higher education (HE) institution in New Zealand. Specifically, this study explores the HRM process by looking into some of the key variables identified in process models of HRM. This type of research is important as few, if any studies to date, have considered HRM process within an HE institution. To generate an appropriate range and depth of data, a mixed methods methodology was employed. Within this framework, a two-phase exploratory mixed methods sequential transformative design was adopted. This study examined interview data obtained from the Human Resource Division; combined with quantitative data, sourced via an online survey, obtained from Heads of Departments and faculty members. The study provides significant information on the process of HRM within a university environment. Specifically HRM strategy, communication, intended HRM, operationalised HRM, perceived HRM and reactions to HRM are examined. The examination of university setting along with intended HRM policies and practices revealed influential external and internal environmental factors affecting the university and its strategies. The main external factors are financial and internal challenges mostly relate to structure, bureaucracy, and staff attitude and perception. Subsequent finding on HRM strategy suggest that it is informed by both the operational needs as well as the institutional strategy. From the intended HRM policies and practices in place, there is strong focus around areas of academic leadership and recruitment. Transcending through the HRM process this study investigated how HRM is operationalised at the divisional level and the departmental level. The operationalisation of HRM appears to comprise more a shared responsibility between HODs and senior administrative staff working within the department. Results suggest that HR division influences HRM enactment by acting strictly in an advisory capacity. The investigation of ‘what’ is operationalised revealed that disconnect existed between what HODs’ claimed they offered and what faculty perceived what was actually implemented. Results on perceived HRM indicated that HRM policies and practices which were identified as important correspondingly had low perceived effectiveness and low level of satisfaction. Communication was emphasised as a crucial facet for HRM operationalisation and perceived HRM. Finally, examination of reactions to HRM revealed high levels of job satisfaction which does not necessarily correspondent with perceived HRM satisfaction. This study contributes to the extant literature by providing a realistic picture of the HRM process within a university setting and in doing so a number of important factors worthy of consideration in HRM policy design and implementation have been identified. These results should have some utility for HR practitioners, HODs, and senior administrative staff working in this sector.