Title: Assessing the challenges to employee training and development in Sub-Saharan Africa: a qualitative exploration

Authors: Paul Davis; Diana Amirbekova

Addresses: Business School, Kazakh-British Technical University, 59 Tole bi Street, 050000 Almaty, Kazakhstan ' Business School, Kazakh-British Technical University, 59 Tole bi Street, 050000 Almaty, Kazakhstan

Abstract: This study investigates the current state of employee training and development in Sub-Saharan African firms. A qualitative methodology designed around two hypotheses is applied adopting semi-structured interviews as the data collection method. Interviews were held in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Dar Es Salaam with 37 HR managers of private firms in 14 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. The research found that formal employee development is generally sporadic, ad hoc and lacking in strategic purpose in the participants' firms. Many employees receive no formal professional development. The reasons for this were found to be numerous and include low prioritisation of development; lack of funding; lack of time; favouritism; tribalism; and lack of experienced trainers. The two hypotheses were, therefore, confirmed by the research findings. The research has implications for HR managers and corporate trainers; private training consultants; company leadership; firms in general; and public policy makers.

Keywords: employee development; training and development; human resource management; Sub-Saharan Africa; professional development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2019.100637

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2019 Vol.19 No.3, pp.266 - 280

Received: 13 Oct 2016
Accepted: 03 Nov 2017

Published online: 06 Jun 2019 *

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