Performance contracting and service delivery in selected Kenyan public universities
Wambua, Peter Philip
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Performance contracting has largely been considered as the remedy to the quality of service delivery in public universities in Kenya. However this has not been the case and therefore, this study intended to analyze the disconnect between the implementation of performance contracting as a management tool in public universities in Kenya in 2012. It specifically sought to: (i) determine the extent to which employees' teaching workload affected the level of service delivery in selected public universities in Kenya; (ii) evaluate employee's administrative work systems contribution to service delivery; (iii) examine the effect of employees' participation in community service on the quality of service delivery; and (iv) establish the relationship between organizational factors and the level of service delivery in the study area. The study used a descriptive design to describe some aspects of performance contracting and make directional predictions on its effects on the quality of service delivery by university lecturers. Empirical evidence was collected from three (3) public universities comprising 848 lecturers among the 5,630 working in the seven (7) public universities in Kenya using questionnaires. In total 142 staff members were randomly selected as questionnaire respondents. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a multiple regression based on a General Linear Model (GLM). The descriptive findings showed that a majority of lecturers were aware of performance contracting in their universities but understood it in different versions and terminologies. The prediction of between-subjects effects of employees' teaching workload on the level of service delivery established a strong relationship between the two at least at 90% confidence interval (CI).Moreover, the F-test confirmed at least at 90% C1 that there was a strong relationship between administrative work systems and the level of service delivery, and that it was not due by mere chance. Results of objective three upholds the working hypothesis stating that employees' participation in community service was positively related to the level of service delivery at university level in Kenya. Other tests of between-subjects effects established at least at 90% C1 that the level of service delivery was also significantly reliable on an organizational environment that was conducive for academic work. The study concluded that the university tangibles, and reliability of the lecturers as well as their responsiveness, assurance and empathy significantly depend on their teaching workload, administrative work systems, participation in community service and involvement in organizational matters. Hence, the researcher recommends that there should be stakeholders' consultation and involvement, proper management by objectives practices and setting of challenging and attainable targets. The universities shall endeavor to engage academic teaching staff in designing the targets of performance contracting to create their awareness and train them on the same. They shall also provide some socio-economic incentives to motivate academic teaching members of staff improve the quality of their services. The management of universities shall establish a body to develop, sustain, monitor and evaluate the performance contracting practices across public universities. It shall also extend its resources towards establishing causes of weak administrative work systems and participation in community service, which were sometimes unable to significantly explain the quality of service delivery in the selected public universities of Kenya. The researcher was able to link performance contracting to outcomes in public universities.