Retention of academics in Ugandan private universities: the role of human resource practices.
Wanda, Mary Nalwanga Mutyaba.
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The study assesses the retention of academics in private Ugandan Universities and focuses on the role of human resource management practices in ensuring retention. There is rapid growth in the number of universities in Uganda which calls for a large number of academics that should be retained to offer services. Hence, human resource practices were explored to assess the extent to which these practices are currently able to retain staff and also to determine specific challenges and strategies to academic staff retention. The study was conducted in six chartered Private Universities in Uganda, namely, Ndejje, Uganda Christian, Uganda Martyrs, Bugema, Nkumba University and Kampala International Universities. A quantitative cross sectional survey design applying both quantitative and qualitative techniques was adopted. Academics, HR officers and members of Top Management at the universities were selected using cluster sampling (academics) and simple random sampling respectively. Data was collected using questionnaires which were distributed to academics and HR and Top Management officers were interviewed. The findings show that all the six HR practices were adopted but with varying degrees of magnitude; training and development has the greatest impact on academics‟ retention followed by compensation; academics believe that management is most concerned with recruitment and selection followed by performance appraisal, HR planning, industrial relations, training and development and compensation. Further still there exist significant intercorrelations amongst the human resource practices; the HR practices significantly account for the variance in determining academics retention; there is a significant difference in the perceptions of academics varying in biographical profiles (age, education, position, tenure, gender and the biographical profiles of academics significantly influence their intentions to quit. On the basis of these findings recommendations have been drawn to ensure enhancing the positive effects and to counteract the negative effects of academics‟ retention and the challenges to academics‟ retention. Also recommendations on the basis of the biographical profiles‟ influence on the academics intention to quit.