Original Research

Exploring academic staff retention strategies: The case of Ghanaian technical universities

Esmond N. Kuuyelleh, Mohammed Alqahtani, Emmanuel Akanpaadgi
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 20 | a1975 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v20i0.1975 | © 2022 Esmond N. Kuuyelleh, Mohammad Alqahtani, Emmanuel Akanpaadgi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 April 2022 | Published: 25 October 2022

About the author(s)

Esmond N. Kuuyelleh, Department of Secretaryship and Management Studies, Faculty of Business and Management Studies, Bolgatanga Technical University, Bolgatanga, Ghana; and, Department of Management, Faculty of Business and Law, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Mohammed Alqahtani, Department of Business Administration, College of Business, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
Emmanuel Akanpaadgi, Department of Secretaryship and Management Studies, Faculty of Business and Management Studies, Bolgatanga Technical University, Bolgatanga, Ghana


Orientation: The crippling effects of staff turnover on higher education performance and success are disruptive and influence the core of national human capital development and thus call for a swift response using retention strategies.

Research purpose: This article sought to explore the nature of academic staff retention strategies of technical universities in Ghana.

Motivation for the study: Literature on academic staff retention strategies in the context of Ghanaian technical universities appears to be limited, scattered and lack theoretical underpinning. This exploration is needed especially that institutions in the sector has been upgraded to the status of universities; and thus, attracting and retaining highly skilled academic staffs remains key.

Research approach/design and method: Using organisational equilibrium theory, this qualitative research drew primary data from four technical universities through semi-structured interviews and applied the thematic analysis technique.

Main findings: Although Ghanaian technical universities are making considerable effort towards the development of feasible retention strategies to retain academic staff, the evidence points to the role of two major sets of factors (work-related and economic factors) that form the crux of managements’ strategic policy response.

Practical/managerial implications: Work-related and economic factors were the main factors that encourages retention of academic staff of Ghanaian technical universities. Retention strategies of technical universities should be deepened and correspond with the recognised factors that enhance academic staff retention.

Contribution/value-add: This study, with the findings, articulates retention strategies of technical universities which can be adopted to retain highly skilled and talented academic staffs. The body of knowledge on retention strategies is extended from both empirical and theoretical perspective.


retention; qualitative study; technical universities; Ghana; higher education


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