An evaluation of the contribution of human capital management practices on achievement of sustainable competitive advantage in the retail services sector of Zimbabwe : The case of OK Zimbabwe (February 2009 to December 2011)
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The field of human capital management has enjoyed a remarkable ascendancy during the past two decades, as both an academic literature and focus of management practice. Firms have increasingly recognized the potential for their people to be a source of competitive advantage. Creating competitive advantage through people requires careful attention to the practices that best leverage these assets. This research interrogated whether Human Capital Management could be used as a driver of organizational performance (organizational, financial, and HR outcomes) for OK Zimbabwe within its set objectives. OK Zimbabwe is one of Zimbabwe’s largest, well known retail store chains operating through fifty branches nationwide covering in excess of 74 000 square metres of retail trading floor space. The specific research objectives of the study were to: identify human capital management practices that create sustainable competitive advantage; analyse the recruitment, selection and training of employees at OK Zimbabwe; evaluate the integration of HR factors and strategy at OK Zimbabwe for the period February 2009 to 31 December 2011 and analyse the performance measure and its impact on commitment of employees. The study’s was proposition was that Human Capital Management contributed to the creation of sustainable competitive advantage at OK Zimbabwe over the period of the study. A total of 135 questionnaires were distributed either as a hardcopy or electronically to the respondents. The respondents were 5 directors, 15 were Executive Managers, 20 were senior managers, 35 were middle Managers and 60 were general staff. The response rate was 72.4%.The study came up with a number of conclusions and recommendations. Some of the conclusions were that OK Zimbabwe has an emphasis on employees’ engagement but there is no way of measuring staff engagement. The Human Resources Department is not playing a strategic role and that there is strong evidence that HCM activity are currently downstream to business strategy. From this, the research proposition was confirmed on the basis of plausible evidence that human capital management could be a source of sustained competitive advantage for Zimbabwean corporate entities in general and the OK Zimbabwe in particular. The study makes a number of recommendations. OK Zimbabwe needs to consider seriously the importance of integrating HR factors and strategy at Board level. The Head of HR needs to have a voice at the highest level if the company is to craft effective and credible HR practices that deal with the various challenges it is facing and that proper recruitment and target selection processes to be developed in all units to ensure skilled and competent people who have a motivational fit are recruited and retained. The study identified area of future research that focuses on providing more detailed and generalisable findings to add to the knowledge base, exploring how firms can leverage people as a source of competitive advantage.
Additional Citation InformationTigere, C. (2012). An evaluation of the contribution of human capital management practices on achievement of sustainable competitive advantage in the retail services sector of Zimbabwe : The case of OK Zimbabwe (February 2009 to December 2011). (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Zimbabwe.
SubjectCorporate change and development
Human resourcing strategies
Human capital management