The Mediating Role of University Industry Collaboration on the Relationship between Human Resource Development, Infrastructure and Performance of Universities in Kenya
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There have been calls to universities in developing countries to strengthen their linkages with the industry. These calls have based their premise on enhancing the performance of the universities. Empirical evidence to support the calls has been minimal given that little research has been done in Africa on this phenomenon. This paper adopted a human resource development perspective to explain the role of the phenomenon of University-Industry –Collaboration (U-I-C) in the performance of universities. The study was done in Kenya drawing its respondents from 16 universities both government and private sponsored. Data was obtained from 130 respondents from a broad range of managers in various units of the universities. The results indicate that the Human Resource Development (HRD) Infrastructure for the universities in Kenya is at the level of importance (Mean=3.7;s.d=0.99), U-I-C is at a high level (Mean=3.7; s.d=1.04) and performance is rated at a moderate level (Mean=3.5;s.d=0.99). The results on the test of the two hypotheses of the study indicate that HRD Infrastructure is positively related with university performance and that it explains % of the variation in the university performance. Further, U-I-C partially mediates the relationship between University HRD Infrastructure and Performance. The study concludes that U-I-C is relevant to universities in Kenya since the strength of the relationship between University HRD Infrastructure and performance depends on the phenomenon of U-I-C. While the findings are considered to provide the needed empirical support for the adoption of U-I-C among universities, they raise implications both to the management of universities in Kenya and the multidisciplinary theory supporting HRD practices in organizations.