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Reforming public sector: Facing the challenges of effective human resource development policy in Ghana

K.B. Antwi (Department of Geography & Tourism, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana and Bradford Centre for International Development, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK)
F. Analoui (Bradford Centre for International Development, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 13 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to explore and understand the public sector reform (PSR) as it affects local governments in Ghana within the context of challenges facing human resource capacity building and development policies.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting an exploratory case study design, the research triangulated both secondary and primary sources of data. Primary data generated from self‐completing questionnaire and interview schedule tools covering 105 local government employees selected from national, regional and district levels. Semi‐structured interviews also solicited views from 16 senior public officers and managers in nine public and quasi‐public organizations. These primary sources were complemented with relevant secondary documents from the organizations investigated.

Findings

Amongst others, it was found that Ghana's PSR has significantly influenced the strategic direction of human resource development policies of the decentralized local government service. Major human resource capacity challenges manifest three‐dimensionally as: policy, task/skill/organization and performance motivation induced.

Practical implications

Addressing the human resource capacity challenges has enormous strategic and financial resource implications for policy makers in transition and developing economies, due to their over‐reliance on external donors for funding.

Originality/value

Unlike previous studies, this empirical study did not explore human resource capacity issues of elected officials; rather, it focused on public servants (technocrats) implementing local political decisions. Of much value is that the results were from the perspective of the frontline local government staff whose day‐to‐day inputs are critical for effective decentralization.

Keywords

Citation

Antwi, K.B. and Analoui, F. (2008), "Reforming public sector: Facing the challenges of effective human resource development policy in Ghana", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 600-612. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621710810877848

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited