Research Proposal On Talent Management In Public Sector: Case Study In Saudi Ministry Of Education - Higher Education Department
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Figure 1: Strategic Talent Management (Source: www.emeraldinsight.com, 2012) 7
1. Introduction to Research Topic
In any organisation or industry, the most crucial factor that determines the success or failure is the level of development of the most important resource – human resources (Barden, 2011). According to Rivkin et al. (2009), the reason why human resources are considered to be the most unique is because of the fact that they possess the intelligence and ability to analyse different factors and make effective decisions related to application and utilisation of all the other resources in order to achieve organisational goals. This view is also supported by Lawler (2012) who believes in the fact that unless and until the human resources are able to effectively and efficiently make important decisions in a professional environment, the goals and objectives cannot be attained.
Lawler (2012) states that what makes the management of the human resources so important in a professional setting is that they have the ability to learn and adapt to the requirements. Hence, for any industry, society or even for a nation to succeed, it is vital that educational and professional developments take place at the grassroots level. This point of view brings to light to aspects that need to be focused upon. How important is talent management in the public sector in a nation and how is the same relevant to the Ministry of Education and Department of Higher Education of the nation? With the focus on the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this research proposal presents to the reader how the same assessment can be done to ascertain the present situation.
1.1 Aims and Objectives
As it has been observed that the level of developments in higher education department is crucial in determination of the efficiency of human resources, this research narrows down the focus on Saudi Arabia.
The objective of the research is to be able to assess the effectiveness of talent management in the Public Sector – precisely of the Ministry of Education with regard to Higher Education Department. The following research aims is expected to help in achievement of this objective:
2. Literature Review – Relevance to Professional or Academic Field
One of the most significant changes that have been observed in case of talent management over the years is that there has been a change in viewing employees of an organisation from mere providers of labour to contributors to the competitiveness of organisations (Har et al. 2010). Babbie (2010) strongly expresses his opinion in support of the view and states that even public institutions and bodies are no longer different than those of private entities, which have long embraced the concept.
Given the fact that higher education departments and ministries in any particular nation provides the path of transition from primary and secondary education to professional education, focusing on the sustenance of effective workforce is of utmost importance (Das and Baruah, 2013). The change in view point of the industry related to talent management has led to the development of various concepts related to retention, rewards and motivation (Scarbrough, 2013). The relevance of this factor to that of talent management in the Higher Education Department or Public Sector in Saudi Arabia is that not only are policy makers required to stay abreast of the trends, they need to ensure that human resources are managed with equal prompt and importance as compared to private sector firms and organisations (Afiouni, 2007).
Vasquez (2014) has pointed out a crucial factor – talent management and human resources management, even though related to the same aspects, are not completely same. Where human resources management refers to the overall process of procurement, development and utilisation of manpower, talent management is more focused on the aspect of development and retention of efficient human resources in an organisation (Gaye, 2010). It also needs to be highlighted that talent management is being rapidly seen as a top priority as far as human resource management is concerned. The views of Rothwell (2011) suggest that as much as 50% or more of all the efforts in human resources management is directed at talent management in competitive organisations.
With the question of competitiveness, many believe that there is a major difference in the outlook of policymakers when it comes to the public sector and the private sector. As in case of the public sector, the existence of an organisation and growth is not dependent on profitability (Ghazzawi, 2008), policymakers are not as much as keen as in case of private sector to focus on enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the policies and strategies of human resources management (Fitz-enz and Davidson, 2012). Rothwell (2011) believes that in case of Saudi Arabia, it has had an impact on the efforts of Public Sector policymakers as well. This is because of the fact that in the private sector, the policies for remuneration and working conditions are comparatively lesser lucrative as the public sector (Aletraris, 2010). Accordingly, it is believed that this has led to the development of some form of complacency within the public sector organisations as it is a fact that there is lesser turnover as compared to private sector (Spierings, 2009). It has its negative impacts as well. It is because of the fact that employees are less likely to leave public sector jobs in Saudi Arabia, they become more likely to not actively pursue growth and development professionally (Lavania et al. 2011).
This trend is seen as a potential threat to sustainability of a coercive professional environment in the future, especially in case of education and development (Santhapparaj and Alam, 2005). The reason is the nation’s key resource itself. The wealth of Arabian countries is attributed chiefly to its major export – oil and petroleum products (Michaels et al. 2010). Given the fact that fossil fuels are a non-renewable form of energy, in the future the Gulf countries will need alternative means of sustaining their nation where knowledge and development will be crucial. Gaye (2010) is of opinion that the nation, especially the Ministry of Higher Education needs to make accommodations for future contingencies from now on, which translates into making the human resources more abreast with the current trends in education. This automatically means that it is essential for the Ministry of Education to focus on talent management initiatives which will make the provisions from now to face the challenges waiting in the future.
Many might question as to what are required in case of effective talent management, which are different from normal human resource management strategies being followed? The answer to this very question lies in the fact that Talent Management is not only limited to traditional HRM practices, but it incorporates a holistic approach to ensuring sustenance of an organisation’s competencies, the core source of which are employees of the organisation (Smylie and Wenzel, 2009). Shaffer (2008) highlights that the key pillars of talent management are acquisition, deployment, development, engagement and retention. For the acquisition of employees, the leaders need to effectively plan out the organisation’s goals and objectives of the organisation – the following aspects of deployment, development, engagement and retention need to be aligned with the both short term and long term goals of the organisation (Kazi and Zadeh, 2011).
These are crucial factors and the effectiveness of this research work will only be established when the primary research process throws light on existent practices of talent management within the Ministry of Education – specifically to the Department of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia.
Figure 1: Strategic Talent Management (Source: www.emeraldinsight.com, 2012)
3. Research Approach and Methodology
3.1 Research Hypothesis
Research hypotheses are two contradictory sentences, symbolising different research outcomes to be established from the analysis of primary and secondary data (Blaikie, 2009). With respect to this study, the following research hypotheses have been developed, either one of which will be established indicating outcome derived from the research:
H0 – Talent management principles and practices prevalent in Department of Higher Education under Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia is highly effective.
H1 – Talent management principles and practices prevalent in Department of Higher Education under Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia is not very effective.
3.2 Research Approach
Identification and adoption of the most suitable research approach for the research study is crucial, and the same need to be carefully assessed keeping in mind the nature of the research work (Bryman and Bell, 2011). Different research techniques call for different research approaches. In case of this particular research process, derivation of outcome will be based on the analysis of both primary and secondary data collection, which will be collated to identify important factors for establishment of research outcome. Hence, the research approach found to be suitable is that of deductive research approach (Cooper and Schindler, 2010).
3.3 Research Methodology
Selection of the correct research methodology is also vital to obtain correct and most effective research outcomes (Hair and Money, 2011). As it has been planned that the research will include analysis of responses from sample population and focus groups, the two methodologies considered to be very appropriate for are qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. As the researcher plans on not intervening in sample population and focus group responses, Experimental methodology was ruled out. Also, due to the fact that time and resources were a constraint, Meta-analysis methodology had also been ruled out (Saunders et al. 2009).
4. Research Strategy
The final and most important requirement that needs to be addressed before proceeding with the research work is developing a research strategy related to collection and analysis of primary and secondary data (Saunders et al. 2009). Given the nature of study, the researcher will be aiming at collecting both primary and secondary data.
While for secondary data, already published information will be obtained from sources such as books, websites and journals, for collection of primary data focus will be given on sample population and focus groups. The researcher intends on developing a questionnaire containing a set of close-ended questions to be distributed and collected from 50 employees of the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education Saudi Arabia. From the same organisation, two Directors of Operations will be considered for interview process as part of the focus group. Their responses and views will be analysed in conjunction with already gathered secondary data to obtain the research outcomes.
5. Expected Outcomes
The researcher is expecting to obtain outcomes in line of the research hypothesis H1 as he is of the perception that there needs to be greater improvement within the Ministry of Higher Education and Department of Higher Education in terms of talent management. At the same time, the researcher is also expecting that there will be a few limitations in the derivation of outcomes. This is due to the unforeseen circumstances that may take place in case of collection and analysis of primary data (Rivkin et al. 2009).
6. Schedule and Budget
The above chart indicates the planned schedule for the research which is estimated to cost approximately 500 Saudi Riyal, accounting for the stationery and printing charges for questionnaire forms and others. Overall, the research is expected to take a total of 7 weeks from the date of commencement. The division of time has been accordingly presented as above.
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