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The impact of globalisation on human resources management policies and procedures in the South African public service: a study of selected national government departments
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Globalisation has a significant impact on human resources management policies and procedures in the public service. The driving forces of globalisation have affected human resources management in a variety of ways, for example, the impact of technology demands different skills and competencies from public officials. Globalisation is defined as “the process whereby the world’s people become increasingly interconnected in all facets of their lives, culturally, economically, politically, technologically and environmentally” (Streeten, 2001:169). Kirkbride (2001:14) states that globalisation is the integration of business activities across geographical and organisation boundaries. It is the freedom to conceive, design, produce, buy, distribute and sell products and services in a manner which offers maximum benefit to the organisation without regard to the consequences for individual geographical location or organisational units. This research examines the impact of globalisation on human resources management policies and procedures in the South African public service. The main problem is that the current training and development in the South African public service do not take due cognisance of globalisation to equip public officials to interact internationally effectively and efficiently. An inability exists to adapt to the changing strategic public human resources management needs from an international perspective. The problem of lack of knowledge and understanding by public officials of globalisation results in an inability to manage and execute international human resources management trends. There is a needed skill for achieving, maintaining, enhancing and implementing cutting-edge human resources management theories and practices for globally competitive human resources management. Usually, employees are not expected to work at tasks for which they received no training. In this context, it is necessary to note that with limited training public 7 officials are often placed in positions of having to muddle through as best they can without fully understanding of what is expected of them. Enhanced and continuous training can equip them with skills and knowledge that would create an organisation that is focused on outputs and performance rather than hierarchical control of procedures and processes towards reaching goals and objectives. Once the human resources in an organisation have been properly trained and motivated, they can be utilised effectively and efficiently to perform their tasks with dedication, competence and in the spirit of the Batho Pele principles. The main function of human resources management is to manage the acquisition, training, utilisation and maintenance of a sufficient number of competent personnel responsible for community-oriented service delivery. If training is neglected, then the nature of service delivery will be poor (du Toit & van der Walt, 1991:15). The management and utilisation of human resources in a globalised setting poses a particular challenge. Van Dyk, Nel & Loedolff (1992:15) defines training as the systematic process of changing the behaviour and attitudes of people in a certain direction in order to attain the organisation’s objectives. The changing nature of public service delivery has contributed to certain inadequacies in the public service and since governments are collaborating at a global level for improved service delivery, the public service is obliged to co-operate effectively and efficiently at an international level. In order to achieve this successfully, public officials need to possess relevant and applicable skills. The objectives of the study are to determine the impact of the globalisation process on the training and development of public human resources management policies and to understand how public human resources departments in selected state departments in the South African public service are adapting to the dynamic change in the field of public human resources management. The main finding of the research indicates that the aspect of training is a key element in improving the globalisation of public human resources management. 8 Training and development are essential to ensure that the South African public service is competent to perform effectively and efficiently in the global arena. Employees need to possess the necessary skills to function at an international level. The specific purposes of training are to communicate information that is applicable to practical situations. It is expected after training, for public officials to be able to demonstrate changes in the behaviour or performance that contribute to their abilities to deal skilfully without broader global problems. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on public service delivery.