Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Frank Horwitz and Pawan Budhwar
Chapter 18: Human resource management in Africa
The modern global business environment is highly competitive, requiring firms to combine and use their productive resources effectively. Every organization, whether public, private or non-governmental (NGO), does this through people (Tessema and Soeters, 2006). This has contributed to the view that people are firms’ core competence (Adeleye, 2011), their most important resource, and can be the most critical source of their competitive advantage (Cappelli and Crocker-Hefter, 1996; Chew and Horwitz, 2004). Ghebregiorgis and Karsten (2007) and Guest (2002) suggest that since people are an organization’s most important assets, their development and deployment offers a distinctive and non-imitable competitive advantage. This has spurred interest in the effective management of human resource, as well as intense research scrutiny of human resource management (HRM) by both management scholars and practitioners, resulting in the build-up of extensive literature that addresses various issues around the effective management of people in organizations (Kamoche, 2011; Guest, 2002). Some of these issues include recruitment and selection, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation, diversity management, just to mention a few. A number of theoretical frameworks such as the resource based theory, the human capital theory, and the expectancy theory; all underscore the criticality of effective development and deployment of human resources, and HR practices to organizational performance (Tessema and Soeters, 2006). Together, the literature suggests that HRM represents a complex package of concepts and practices.
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