Human Resource Management in a Decentralized Context: Case of Dodoma Municipal and Chamwino District Councils
59 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2015
Date Written: February 14, 2015
This research report is based on a study on decentralized human resource management in two LGAs namely Dodoma Municipal and Chamwino District Councils. The study was motivated by the wider acknowledgement that decentralization of human resource management functions to lower levels of governance is crucial strategic policy agenda in the wake of new public management and local government reforms geared towards empowering LGAs in Tanzania.
The study attempts to assess whether HR functions are best performed by a centralized or decentralized governmental structure, an issue hitherto studied in the Tanzania context. It focuses on three HR practices which are recruitment and selection, training and development, and rewards. It explores the positive and negative outcome of HRM decentralization as well as determinants for effective HRM decentralization at Dodoma Municipal and Chamwino District Councils.
The study adopted case study design and employed triangulation by going beyond the sampled LGAs to include the Prime Minister’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PMO-RALG) and the Public Service Recruitment Secretariat (PSRS). Questionnaires, interview guides and document review were used to gather data.
The findings indicate that, both Chamwino District Council and Dodoma Municipal Council have no autonomy to recruit and select staff since the function is done by the Public Service Recruitment Secretariat. It was found that recruitment and selection is partially done in the LGAs by identifying vacancies and proposing the budget which has to be approved by the Ministry of Public Service and Ministry under which the staff category falls. This involvement of different ministries creates delays in decision making of HR matters. It surfaced that some flexibility were in the offing to empower councils to recruit low cadre personnel from nearby areas to reduce costs of recruitment while the public service recruitment secretariat would continue processing recruitment personnel in the professional cadres.
Although the government training strategy underscores that staff training should be primarily focused on enhancing job specific knowledge and skills, the findings indicates that some staff pursue training not related to their job spheres. This is not accidental because it is geared towards career attrition from low pay to high pay jobs.
It was found that rewards are centralized save for recommendation letters issued to hard working staff and incentives such as subsistence allowance. This system was necessitated by limited financial resources at the councils. These were indeed perceived as necessary but not sufficient motivation given the greater value of tangible rewards
It emerges that centralization and decentralization have merits and demerits. The appropriateness of whatever option greatly depends on the context.
Keywords: decentralisation, HRM, recruitment, rewards, selection
JEL Classification: O15, D73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation