Investigating the role of Human Resource Development (HRD) policy formulation, implementation and regulation of academic staff in two case study Nigerian Polytechnic institutions
, PhD thesis, University of Salford.
The context of dramatic change in the Nigerian Polytechnic education sub-sector has made issues that relate to the effectiveness of academic staff development policies and the programs they support critical. Yet the nature and practice of academic staff development within this sub-sector has continually been a subject of concern with claims that resources are inadequate, activities are marginal, and goals are not met. In the light of such considerations, this research investigates the role of Human Resource Development (HRD) policy formulation, implementation and regulation of academic staff in two case study Nigerian polytechnic institutions as a means of examining the nature, extent and causes of human resources underdevelopment in the sub-sector more generally.
Extensive fieldwork research was conducted involving semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, documentation and archival records, so as to achieve a triangulation of data. The qualitative evidence was analysed by the employment of thematic analysis to explore the implementation of HRD policy and to provide more in-depth understanding of the critical issues affecting academic staff development.
The researcher used the analytical framework of Van Horn and Van Meter’s theory of policy implementation (Van Meter and Van Horn,1975) supplemented by Lipsky’s (2010) street-level bureaucracy to penetrate issues and challenges, debates and current concerns posed in critical areas of HRD policy implementation for academic staff. The researcher contends that applying Van Horn and Van Meter’s theory of Policy Implementation (Van Meter and Van Horn, 1975) supplemented by Lipsky’s (2010) street-level bureaucracy in understanding and analysing issues relating to the practice of academic staff development has the potential of providing robust learning and feedback structures well-suited to institutional inquiry and adaptation that will assist Nigerian Polytechnic to adapt to the challenges of an unpredictable future.
Even though the research findings identified some perceived policy successes, perceived policy failures were also identified with reference to implementation as follows: insufficient funding, policy misinterpretation, inadequate leadership commitment to HRD, lack of an enabling policy environment, absence of well-articulated strategy to guide HRD development, lack of accurate HR needs assessment, lack of political will to implement policies, corruption, ethnicity, nepotism and the politicization of HRD effort, all of which account for HRD policy implementation challenges.
In highlighting these perceived constraints in HRD development of academic staff in the case study Nigerian Polytechnics the study recommends that management ensure the strengthening of administrative capacity to drive and implement policy and also the provision of efficient and effective leadership with strategies that favour development-oriented growth on-the-job for academic staff. Furthermore, it suggests academic staff development initiatives are taken in consultation with all stakeholders with feedback about HRD, which is clear and consistent.
Contributions of this research work to knowledge on the academic, practical, theoretical and methodological levels are evident with the research being a major attempt at carrying out an exploratory study on HRD for academic staff in polytechnics in a developing country context. Thus, the findings of this research have extended the frontiers of existing HRD theory by broadening the amount of knowledge about HRD policy implementation for academic staff but from a developing country context. Practically, the study has significant implications for both practitioners and decision makers, such as: the need to place more serious attention to the effective implementation of HRD policy for academic staff and the need to develop a workable strategic framework for academic staff development; adoption of a strategic action plan to deal with the current practices and approach to academic staff development that has inhibited the effective implementation of HRD policy; and evolving a funding model that ensures prudent allocation of the necessary resources that will achieve the effective implementation of academic staff development policy since funding stand out as a major challenge. The researcher recommends several directions for further research.
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