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Workplace management strategies for retaining academic staff in private universities in the southern highlands of Tanzania

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https://www.eduzhai.net American Journal of Sociological Research 2017, 7(2): 77-84 DOI: 10.5923/j.sociology.20170702.03 Workplace Administrative Strategies for Retention of Academic Staff in Private Universities in Southern Highlands Zone, Tanzania Demetria Gerold Mkulu1,*, Jacinta M. Adhiambo2, Theonestina Katundano3 1Faculty of Education Foundation, St Augustine University of Tanzania, Mwanza, Tanzania 2Faculty of Education, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa Nairobi, Kenya 3Centre for Social Justice and Ethics, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa Nairobi, Kenya Abstract This study aimed at exploring workplace environment administrative strategies for retention of academic staff in private Universities in Southern Highlands Zone in Tanzania. Retaining employees remain a serious concern in higher education. This study was guided by the following research questions: What workplace administrative factors affect academic staff retention in private universities in Southern Highland’s zone in Tanzania? What administrative strategies have been put in place by private universities to enhance retention of lecturers in Southern Highland zone in Tanzania? The study was based on Herzberg theory. It adapted mixed methods research design, specifically convergent parallel mixed methods research designs. Cross sectional survey and phenomenology were employed. A total of 250 respondents from five private universities participated in the study. The major research instruments used were questionnaires which had a Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient of α = 0.930 implying that the instruments were reliable. Other instruments used included in-depth interview guide and document analysis guide. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 21.0 was used in analysis of quantitative data. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations while inferential statistics, included Chi- Square test for association and the results were presented using tables. Qualitative data was analyzed using open coding, axial coding, meaningful themes and summarization of data. The results indicated that workplace factors, administrative strategies contributed to academic staff retention. The findings also indicated that private universities in Southern Highland Zone had very low lecturers’ retention. The study recommended that management of private universities should as much as possible provide attractive workplace environment. Keywords Workplace Environment, Administrative, Retention, Academic Staff 1. Background to the Study Academic staff retention in private universities is a serious concern (Selesh & Naile, 2014). Private universities in Southern Highlands zone of Tanzania continue to experience very low lecturer retention. This has raised deep concern among university managers, administrators, parents, students and other stakeholders (United Republic of Tanzania, 2013). Poor academic staff retention has a direct effect on learners’ performance as universities loose quality lecturers and it takes time to get replacements. The educational report from United Republic of Tanzania (2013) indicates that private universities suffer more than other sectors. However, the Tanzanian Development Vision (2025) intends to give high priority to education and make Tanzania * Corresponding author: mkuludemetria@gmail.com (Demetria Gerold Mkulu) Published online at https://www.eduzhai.net Copyright © 2017 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved a centre of excellence. In addition, the United Republic of Tanzania (2013) asserts that despite efforts by the Ministry of Educational and Vocation Training (MoEVT) to retain human resources, there is very low lecturer retention. The private sector alone has 66.1 percent of lecturer turnover from private universities. A similar report from Basic Education Statistics in Tanzania (BEST, 2011) reveals that there is high academic staff attrition. The current study was anchored on Herzberg Theory of motivation (1959). According to Herzberg, employees’ needs can be categorized into two factors, namely hygiene and motivators. This theory gives guidelines to university managers on providing conducive environment to workers and promotes growth at the workplace taking into account what lecturers want from their work. The theory provides strategies for employees’ retention in private universities. Today, employees’ retention is the top priority of organizations due to increasing competition (Maliposa, 2014). However, workplace has a positive or negative impact 78 Demetria Gerold Mkulu et al.: Workplace Administrative Strategies for Retention of Academic Staff in Private Universities in Southern Highlands Zone, Tanzania on academic staff retention or attrition. Tickle (2009) conducted a study on workplace environment and the contribution to lecturer turnover in United States. It was found out that working condition, low remuneration and learners’ indiscipline led to low retention of academic staff in universities. Whereas Tickle’s study was done in a developed country, the current study was conducted in a developing African country. It employed mixed methods research paradigm for the purpose of triangulation to determine if it would arrive at similar findings. In relation to this study, Ravenswood, Markey, and Webber (2012) examined the impact of the quality of workplace environment on workers’ plan to leave the workplace environment. The study indicated that participants felt that workplace environment was not conducive. In addition, the study demonstrated that leadership styles led employees’ decision to quit. Furthermore, Alfes, Shantz, Truss, Soane, (2013) revealed that a workplace that allows people to participate in decision making increases job satisfaction and empowers employees to be more committed. It was in this regard that the researcher wanted to find out if similar findings could be found in Southern Highland zone in Tanzania. In a similar study, Akanbi (2013) examined the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on workers’ performance in Oyo State, Nigeria. The findings indicated that working environment, academic staff training, remuneration, and recognition, transparent conditions of service, and components of salary structures were key strategies for retention. The current study used mixed method research design with questionnaires, interviews and document analysis as tools for data collection. A study by Wambui (2014) measured the influence of management practices on lecturers’ retention at Kenyatta University in Kenya. The results showed that there was positive relationship between employee training, recruitment, lecturer’s welfare, facilities, academic staff career development and lecturer retention. It also noted that training empowers lecturer’s retention and decreases turnover. However, this study used a single, public university. A case study whose findings cannot be generalized to other Universities. The current study focused on five universities in southern highland zone in Tanzania. By using the mixed methods research design, it allowed the researcher to examine more closely and deeply the cultures of different private universities that directly and indirectly contribute to staff attrition or retention. Another related study by Namasaka, Wesangula and Mamuli, (2013) examined factors responsible for lecturer turnover at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kenya. Using a single case study. The study revealed that most academic staff members were dissatisfied due to poor conditions of work, insufficient career development, few opportunities for growth, and a perception of being devalued and unrecognized. Namasaka et al, did not indicate which instruments were used and the methodology employed. This makes it difficult to generalize its findings to an entire population. In addition, the study did not indicate the sampling procedures used, the current study used probability and non-probability sampling to determine the influence of the working environment on academic staff retention in private universities in Southern Highland Zone, Tanzania. In Kenya, Nderitu (2014) examined lecturer retention in two Christian sponsored universities. The target population was full time faculty in three departments: Biblical, Counseling, and Business. Questionnaire, interviews guide and document analysis was used for data collection. Purposive sampling was employed to select the two Universities used in the study. The findings demonstrated that academic staff lacked freedom. The universities had a very low number of lecturers. Findings from Nderitu’s study failed to indicate the real sample size. In addition, the study had a limited scope since it focused only on two Christian sponsored universities. The current study filled the gap by using five private both non-Christian and Christian universities out of ten universities with the sample size of 250 participants. The Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC, 2010) conducted a study on academic staff retention in public universities in Tanzania. The key findings showed that Tanzanian universities have very low levels of funding. Hence the universities could not offer competitive terms of service due to low levels of funding. Similarly, study observed that both monetary and non-monetary rewards in universities influences staff motivation. However, this study did not indicate the methodology used. While exploring on challenges facing academic staff in Tanzania, Mkude (2007) included private and public higher education institutions. The findings indicated that remuneration and conditions of service were the key issues that affected lecturers in Tanzania. They received very low salaries compared to the work done. Although opportunities for career development were provided to academic staff, 90 percent of their salary was retained. Furthermore, the study revealed that brain drain in Tanzania was due to low remuneration and poor working conditions. The current study would determine whether the findings by Mkude (2007) can be applied to the Southern Highland Zone. Administrative Strategies for Retention of Lecturers In Washington, USA, Lee, Eberly and Terence (2008) conducted a study on retention of lecturers. The study indicated that recruitment and retention of high-quality academic staff is more important today than before. Universities across the globe have emphasized the importance of retaining potential lecturers for university success. The study findings demonstrated that employees who perform better in the workplace are believed to have external employment opportunities available to them; hence they are more likely to leave. Lee et. al., observe that turnover in general is disruptive and costly. This is supported by Shrm (2012) and the Task Force Report on Teachers for All, TFA (2010). The weakness of Lee et al.’s (2008) study is American Journal of Sociological Research 2017, 7(2): 77-84 79 that it failed to indicate the methodology used. Also, it should be noted that this study was conducted in a developed country that is in USA. These are key gaps which the current study sought to fill. In addition, Calhoun (2009) assessed on job satisfaction and employee turnover, among state university lecturers in Olabisi Onbanjo University in Nigeria. Calhoun used a single instrument that is questionnaire, to collect information. The study findings indicated that gender influence on work-family roles contributed to lecturers’ decision to leave the university. Other findings were that employee attrition at the workplace was caused by lack of motivation, job insecurity, and large class sizes. The current study employed used both quantitative and qualitative methods which encourage the use of multiple world views and is therefore more pragmatic. In the same line Sives (2006) reported on lecturers, brain drain and educational resources in three Commonwealth countries, namely Jamaica, South Africa, and Botswana. The research framework was designed to explore both quantitative and qualitative impacts of lecturer turnover. The findings indicated that professional development and salary were the two main reasons why lecturers migrated to developed countries. It was also found out that 27.5 percent of lecturers wanted to work abroad after qualifying while 48 percent of lecturers in the universities also expressed an interest in working in developed countries. The previous study used only three countries out of 53 Commonwealth countries. This means that findings from this study cannot be generalized. In related study, Amutuhaire (2010) investigated the effect of remuneration on job retention for academic staff at Makerere University in Uganda. The study was anchored on the quantitative approach and used questionnaire to collect data from 159 lecturers. The findings showed that lecturers’ intentions to retain their job depended on satisfaction, remuneration, and job security. Amutuhaire recommended that university managers should devise means of making employment contracts more satisfying, remuneration packages more attractive and lecturer’s jobs very secure. The main limitation of Amutuhaire’s (2010) study was that it was based only on the quantitative approach and sampled a single university. To eradicate this weakness, the current study employed mixed methods research paradigm that is ideally different but essentially complimentary in a single study (Onwugbuzie and Wao, 2011). Furthermore, the current study used five universities out of ten. Another study by Ishengoma (2010) researched on internal brain drain and its impact on higher education institutions, capacity building and human resource development. Basing his study on Tanzania, the researcher used a case study design on a single institution, University of Dar es Salaam’s department of Education. The study focused on the movement of lecturers from old public universities to newly established public ones. The study revealed that the movement was eroding the human resource base of old universities, particularly the University of Dar es Salaam. 2. Research Methodology The study adopted convergent parallel Mixed Methods Research Designs. The designs allow quantitative and qualitative data collection in parallel then data from the different tools of data collection were analyzed separately and later merged for comparison and interpretation of the overall results as proposed by (Creswell, 2014; Onwugbuzie and Wao, 2011). MMRDs allowed the researcher to examine more closely and deeply cultures of different private universities that directly and indirectly contributed to academic staff retention or attrition. Both quantitative and qualitative methods had equal weighting in addressing the research problem. Quantitative data was gathered as per descriptive survey research design, while phenomenology design took care of the qualitative aspect of the study. The mixed methods facilitated the collection and analysis of data on cultural dynamics of the specified academic environment that could lead to attrition, and seek suggestions for retention. The study preferred the qualitative approach because it provided detailed data about human behavior and emotion, something that the quantitative approach may not achieve. Phenomenology design, according to (Joarder & Yazam, 2013) allowed the researcher to hear the concern of interviewee when they responded to the open-ended research questions. The researcher exploited the strengths of cross sectional survey to collect complimentary data that were reducible to meaningful inferable numbers. This study was confined to private universities in southern Highlands Zone in Tanzania. The target population in this study consisted of all academic staff, administrators, third year university students and Human Resource Managers in the Southern Highlands Zone. Participants were full time academic staff with a minimum service period of two years and above. This population was considered adequate to provide key information pertinent to the objectives of the study. Sample size and Sampling Procedure Both probability and non- probability sampling were employed in the study. The study sampled 100 academic staff, 40 administrators, 100 university students and 10 Human Resource Managers, giving a total of 250 participants. Research Instrument The current study employed the questionnaires, interview guide and document analysis guide. 3. Findings and Discussion This section presents the research findings on workplace, administrative strategies for retention of academic staff in private universities in Southern Highlands Zone in Tanzania. A detailed account and discussion of findings within the key thematic areas of the study have been presented. The finding on the demographic variables of the academic staff results are shown in Table 1. 80 Demetria Gerold Mkulu et al.: Workplace Administrative Strategies for Retention of Academic Staff in Private Universities in Southern Highlands Zone, Tanzania Table 1. Demographic Variables of the academic staff (n = 100) Variable Gender Male Female Age 29 and below 30 – 40 years 41 – 50 years 51 – 60 years 61and above Highest Education Qualification Master Degree PhD holder Experience 5 years 6 – 11 years 12 –16 years 17 –22 years Position Assistant Lecturer Lecturer Senior Lecturer Associate professor Faculty Education Art and social Science Law Mass Communication Marital status Single Married Divorce Widow(er) Others Frequency 50 50 3 32 38 27 - 83 17 62 28 6 4 83 4 11 2 25 25 25 25 12 72 6 2 8 Percent 50.0 50.0 3.0 32.0 38.0 27.0 - 83.0 17.0 62.0 28.0 6.0 4.0 83.0 Below 4.0 11.0 2.0 25.0 25.0 25.0 25.0 12.0 72.0 6.0 2.0 8.0 Table 1 indicates that the total number of academic staff was 100 with an equal distribution of males and females at 50 percent. The literature indicates that there are a gender difference within demographic groups; for example Wasyanju (2012) contends that young females may have different views and perception on issues compared to that of young males. This is likely to suggest that private University managers, administrators in the workplace should not depend on single motivator or hygiene variable alone to motivate academic staff on retention; rather a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors should be considered as an effective retention strategy (Herzberg, 1959). The distribution of participants by age was also seen to be important because there was a need to find out whether there was a relationship between academic staff by age and perceptions of the decision to quit. Data regarding the age of the academic staff were collected, analyzed and presented as in Table 1. It revealed that 3 percent of all the academic staff involved in the study was 29 years and below, 32 percent were between the age ranged of 30-40 years, 38 percent were between 41-50 years and lastly 27 percent were between 51-60 years respectively. The highest participants by age ranged between 41-50 years at 38 percent. This indicates that there was fair distribution of academic staff by age. Allen Worth earlier argued that attrition is higher among young and old lecturers compared to middle-aged ones and among the more experienced lecturers compared to less experienced ones. From the findings, majority of the lecturers were young lecturers compared to the older ones who are likely to lead to higher attrition as younger lecturers tend to move to new workplaces. Table 1 also indicates the highest profession qualification of the academic staff is likely to shape participants perceptions on issues of management and decision making to remain in the University or quit. According to Kabungaidze and Namakholwa (2013) for effective curriculum implementation, professional qualification is crucial. The highest academic staff qualifications in all the universities was found to be Doctoral holders at only 17 percent the rest 83 percent were Masters holders. All Academic staff who participated in the study were professionally trained, although majority of them were Masters holders. The statistics indicate that majority of the academic staff in private Universities in Southern Highland Zone have Masters and a very few have doctoral degrees. Two interviewees from one of the universities highlighted that they had introduced the coping mechanisms which would involve increased workload and employment of incompetent staff leaving a loophole in the area staff development assuming that the students would be taught properly. This makes one to wonder how a Masters’ holder would supervise a thesis of another masters’ student or how the quality and effective of university teaching would look like. The study revealed that there is need for the private university managers and administrators to attract qualified academic staff and each faculty, department need to have enough lecturers. The findings from Table 1 also indicate that 62 percent of the academic staff have worked for less than 5 years; 28 percent have stayed 6- 11 years; 6 percent of responds 12-16 years and 4 percent of the respondents worked for 17-22 years. The implication is that the length of time within a profession gives an individual the opportunity to learn, perfect and improve on the skills of that profession. This concurs with Smith (2011) who found out that the longer the period an employee serves in an organization, then the lower the rate of employee turnover. From the findings it was revealed that some of the academic staff served in various universities and that was an advantage to their whole experience. Moreover duration in a workplace is a good measure of how long academic staff is able to be retained in private universities or not. Very few of the academic staff qualified as Doctoral holders, the rest were mainly Masters with less than 5 years in the workplace. This concurs with American Journal of Sociological Research 2017, 7(2): 77-84 81 Body, Grossman, Ing, Lankford, Loeb and Wyckoff (2009) who asserted that demographic factors such as work experience or academic qualification consistently predicted low retention. The University managers and administrators appointed research supervisors from other disciplines to supervise students who are not of their disciplines. Some of them rarely comprehend the content. It was revealed that some private universities, in Southern Highland zone in Tanzania assigned academic staff to teach subjects outside their core competencies which negatively impacted on the teaching of students in different faculties. However, Dibble (2011) argue that lecturers need to be given only areas of their professional qualifications in order to enhance good academic outcomes from students and lecturers if not, then many are more likely to quit their workplace. The finding suggests that most of the academic staff have been in private universities for less than 5 years had left their work place. The University managers and administrators need to put in place the administrative strategies for retention of lecturers. Academic staff was also asked to indicate the faculties where they belonged in the workplace. A total of four faculties in each university were involved in the study as depicted in figure 1, the findings showed that among the four faculties which were involved in the study, faculty of education was leading in attrition, and low retention followed by social science, law and mass communication. From figure 1 assistant lecturers were 30 percent, position of lecturer held by 47.5 percent, senior lecturer by 17.5 percent; and Associate Professor held by 5 percent. This is likely to suggest that administrators in private universities who run offices have different ranks. Despite the positions held by most lecturers, many do not have the required qualification that would warrant them to be in such positions therefore the management need to create staff development programs for lecturers to obtain their doctorates in their respective fields. Workplace Factors that Contribute to Academic Staff retention This section presents findings on workplace factors influencing retention of academic staff in private universities in Southern Highland Zone which was the first research question. The researcher found out from the interviews that private universities in Southern Highland Zone in Tanzania lecturers had heavy workloads, low remuneration, lack of training, lack of recognition, lack of monetary and nonmonetary including assignments to teach large classes. They did not access some of the basic teaching facilities like ebooks, e-journals, class rooms, and computers. These, according to Jain (2014), may generate demoralization and weaken levels of academic staff commitment and make them leave the workplace. Figure 1. Administrators by Position 82 Demetria Gerold Mkulu et al.: Workplace Administrative Strategies for Retention of Academic Staff in Private Universities in Southern Highlands Zone, Tanzania Table 2. Workplace Factors that Contribute to Academic Staff retention Statement 5 Management recognize work accomplished Academic staff are given The University provides opportunity to learn new skills Scholarship for Lecturers University gives financial assistance in time University offers bereavement Academic staff employed on Permanent basis The university developed my skills There is no team work in this University 5 f% - 7(7.0) 22(22.0) 11(11.0) 9(9.0) 1(1.0) 3(3.0) 51(51.0) 4 f% 6(6.0) 30(30.0) 21(21.0) 45(45.0) 20(20.0) 13(13.0) 40(40.0) 20(20.0) 31(31.0) 3 f% 9(9.0) 20(20.0) 6(6.0) 29(29.0) 1(1.0) 11(11.0) 19(19.0) 6(6.0) 2 f% 29(29.0) 19(19.0) 36(36.0) 15(15.0) 44(44.0) 39(39.0) 38(38.0) 53(53.0) - 1 f% 56(56.0) 24(24.0) 15(15.0) 26(26.0) 36(36.0) 27(27.0 12(12.0) Mean 1.65 2.77 2.99 2.42 2.04 1.09 2.74 2.19 4.21 Std .880 1.302 1.43 1.3 1.04 1.16 1.22 1.107 1.01 The finding is in agreement with Gberevbie (2009) who argued that managers and administrators need to treat employees with respect and trust, provide feedback on performance and recognize achievement done by the academic staff. GEW (2013) put it that private university managers and administrators need to provide academic staff with more challenging duties to let them use their skills. Work satisfaction and attrition are strongly linked. Academic staff who are satisfied with their work are likely to perform their duties well and be committed to their job. Findings from interviews revealed that there was low rate of retention in most Private Universities as a result of poor remuneration, lack of training and lack of recognition in the work place. On this, one of the participant said: In private universities we receive very low and late payment of salary. Managers are not paying the salary at the right time while the civil servants in the state are receiving their salary exactly at the end of every month. Academic staff has to wait until the middle of the month or even at the end of the other month to get our remuneration (Fau, 10th August 2015). Table 2 shows particular cases that stand out with majority of academic staff who were in agreement with the statements. Almost half of the respondents stated that the University has scholarship program for lecturers 56 percent (M=2.42, S D=1.312). While 44 percent demonstrated that the university has a system of giving emergency loan to lecturers (M=3.08, SD=.950). Majority 82 percent of the academic staff agreed that there is no team work in the University (M=4.21, SD=1.008). This revealed that workplace has an effect on lecturers hence the main factor which contributed to the academic staff decision to quit or to remain in the university. The findings also indicate that academic staff is not given opportunity to learn new skills. However, lecturers need to grow by adding new skills and competencies. Most of the academic staff were not employed on a permanent basis which is one of the job security in the workplace, lecturers needed to have a sense of belonging in the work place. It was discovered also that private universities have had no system of giving loans to academic staff. Loan system is one of the highest motivators for workers and makes employees attracted to remain in the workplace. Recognition of the work done by academic staff is one of the motivators in the workplace as well as reward system to workers, yet they were not provided to academic staff. 3.1. Null Hypothesis (H0) One The study was interested to find out the relationship between workplace and academic staff retention. Table 3. Chi-Square Test for relationship between workplace and retention of academic staff Pearson Chi-Square Likelihood Ratio Value 28.781a 26.783 Df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) 6 .000 6 .000 N of Valid Cases 100 a. 8 cells (66.7%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is .17. b. P Value (0.000) is less than Alpha (0.05) Since p value of 0.000 obtained was less than 0.05, the null hypothesis was rejected. Based on the data, it was concluded that there was a significant relationship existing between workplace and academic staff retention in Southern Highland zone, Tanzania. We conclude that workplace environment contributes to academic staff retention. Workplace is the main factor for retention hence it needs to be motivating, so as to attract the external and internal workers to remain in the workplace environment. The finding is supported by Namasaka, et al. (2013) who contended that workplace environment is important for retention of academic staff only if it is conducive. 3.2. Null Hypothesis (H0) Two There is significant relationship between administrative strategies and retention academic staff in Southern Highland zone, Tanzania. A Chi- Square test was used to test the second null hypothesis. The results are as presented in table 4 below the test for null hypothesis was done using ChiSquare. The main findings of the research were summarized and presented based on the themes of research questions: American Journal of Sociological Research 2017, 7(2): 77-84 83 Table 4. Chi-Square Tests Efforts University use to retain lecturers Pearson Chi-Square Likelihood Ratio Value 6.463a 8.742 Df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) 2 .039 2 .013 N of Valid Cases 40 a. 2 cells (33.3 percent) have expected count less than 5. The minimum b. expected count is 6.463 for Pearson Chi-Square (2- sided) P Value is less than alpha therefore we reject the Null Hypothesis From Table 4, the calculated p-value is 0.039 which is less than 0.05 level of significance; therefore we rejected the null hypothesis and concluded that there is significant positive relationship between workplace administrative strategies and academic staff retention in private universities in Southern Highland Zone, in Tanzania. Research Question One The first research question was to ascertain whether Workplace affect academic staff retention in private universities in Southern Highland zone in Tanzania. The major findings indicated that there was a high relationship between the workplace environment and academic staff retention. Academic staff in private universities in Southern Highland Zone in Tanzania had heavy workload, low remuneration, lack of promotion, lack of training, lack of recognition, lack of monetary and non-monetary motivation including assignments to teach large classes. Academic staff did not access some of the basic teaching facilities like books, classes and computers. They are demoralized and have low levels of academic staff commitment and finally leave the workplace environment or even change the work. Research Question Two The second research question endeavored to get solutions on what administrative strategies have been put in place by private universities to enhance retention of lecturers in Southern Highland zone in Tanzania. From the findings, it was clear that most of the private universities have no specific administrative strategies in their workplace. The few universities that have strategies, well documented yet, do not implement them hence private university management should implement the documented strategies. The strategies included; creating conducive working environment, provision of timely remuneration, promotion of academic staff, reduction of the workload for quality service delivery and employment of qualified staff. 4. Conclusions The purpose of this study was to examine workplace administrative strategies for retention of academic staff in Private University in Southern Highland Zone in Tanzania. The researcher made the following inferences: Firstly, workplace in private universities fell short in several areas such as very low remuneration, career development, lack of promotion based on performance, insecurity, lack of appreciation at the place of work, very poor and not competitive remuneration which was evidenced by most respondents thereby leading to very low academic staff retention. Secondly, most of the private universities in Southern Highland Zone had no specific administrative strategies and where they existed they were not dully implemented. In addition, the study findings indicated that management in private universities in Southern Highland Zone in Tanzania do not support or improve work environment by adopting enhancement programs, competitive remuneration, rewards, training, recognition, good communication between academic staff and employers as well as good relations between management and lecturers. Private universities that were sampled did not have up- to date and well-articulated academic staff development plan geared towards achieving their ambitions and the needs of individual department and their members of staff. 5. Recommendations for Practice Based on the findings and conclusions of this study on workplace, administrative strategies for retention of academic staff in private universities, the study brought forth a number of concerns that require the attention of stakeholders in seeking measures to curb the issue of academic staff retention in private universities using the following recommendations: i. That the management of private universities in Southern Highland Zone in Tanzania should as much as possible provide attractive workplace for employees to boost their decisions to stay within the organizations. Create a supportive culture in the workplace by offering, competitive remuneration, providing reward, training, recognition, good communication between academic staff and employers and good relations among colleagues. There is a need to adopt some of the creative ideas to mobilize resources from the public, private sectors, other stakeholders, as well as international partners, to help them improve remuneration. ii. There is a need for managers and administrators of sampled private universities to consider devising administrative strategies for retention and implementing it so as to attract the external and internal employees. Managers and administrators should treat employees with respect and trust; they should provide feedback on performance and recognize achievement done by the academic staff. 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