Original Research

Exploring the use and influence of human resource policies within South African municipalities

Lonwabo Makapela, Nontsikelelo D.P. Mtshelwane
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1534 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1534 | © 2021 Lonwabo Makapela, Nontsikelelo D.P. Mtshelwane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 December 2020 | Published: 30 April 2021

About the author(s)

Lonwabo Makapela, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Nontsikelelo D.P. Mtshelwane, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: There is a gap between the administrative expertise held by the human resource (HR) function and the delivery of services.

Research purpose: The purpose of this article was to explore the perceptions of both the HR managers and employees, on how HR policies are communicated and experienced, respectively, within South African municipalities.

Motivation for the study: To help policy users within the South African municipalities gain deeper awareness and understanding of the influence their use of HR policies has on employees’ morale and performance within the workplace.

Research approach/design and method: This qualitative study utilised an interpretivist paradigm and a qualitative descriptive strategy. A convenience, quota, purposive and inclusion criteria sample comprising three HR managers (n = 3) and 12 employees (n = 12) was used. Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted and analysed by employing thematic analysis.

Main findings: The findings of the study indicated that HR managers experience a lack of clear guidance from draft recruitment-and-selection policy and draft learning-and-development policy, and employees experience challenges with regards to the lack of communication on performance management.

Practical/managerial implications: This study promotes fairness and equality during the use of the three mentioned HR policies in order to provide all employees with the necessary developmental opportunities within municipalities.

Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to the body of knowledge concerning the establishment of a municipal culture that values human capital, prioritises the growth and well-being of employees and understands the valuable link between human resource management and service delivery.


Keywords

human resource policies; South African municipalities; recruitment and selection; learning and development; performance management; AMO theory

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