Best Practices In Human Resources Management. Lessons From The Zimbabwe Open University.

Daniel Ndudzo


The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which the Zimbabwe Open University was complying with
international best practices in human resources management. The study used documentary evidence such as the
Zimbabwe Open University Strategic Plans 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, the ZOU Act chapter 25:20, the Labour Act
of Zimbabwe chapter 28:1 and the International Labour Law such as Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No.
100) and the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111). All these Conventions
provided rules and regulations that provided invaluable benchmarks concerning the rights and duties of workers,
employers, unions and governments in regulating the workplace and settlement of industrial disputes. The
Human Resources personnel and other ZOU employees from various departments were interviewed to provide
information on ZOU practices in human resources management. The thrust of this research was to describe a
prevailing phenomenon, thus a descriptive survey design was the most appropriate tool to use.
In this study, best practices in human resources management were analysed under the following concepts; job
analysis and design, recruitment and selection, staff training and development, performance management,
compensation management, employee relations, fairness and equity, employee diversity and management
The study revealed that the Zimbabwe Open University was a people oriented organisation where management was
concerned about upgrading the welfare of staff and ensuring vibrant stakeholder co-ordination and networking.
The research concluded that to a larger extent the University was compliant with International best practices in
human resources management. However, the study recommended that the University should improve on the
coordination of its performance appraisal system, concurrently carry out staff training programmes to boost staff
skills in Open and Distance Learning, implement psychometric tests during interviews of candidates for senior
positions and urgent steps must be taken by ZOU to have a registered employee code of conduct.

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