Greener Journal of Social Sciences

Vol. 9(1), pp. 12-17, 2019

ISSN: 2276-7800

Copyright ©2019, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)

DOI Link: http://doi.org/10.15580/GJSS.2019.1.021919036

http://gjournals.org/GJSC

 

Description: GJSS Logo

 

 

 

 

A study of perspectives on cultural dimensions and employee performance in Zimbabwe State Universities

 

 

 

Dr. Faitira Manuere; Nelia Eta Marima; Taurai Manyadze

 

 

 

Chinhoyi University of Technology, Department of entrepreneurship and business management-Zimbabwe

 

 

 

 

 

ARTICLE INFO

ABSTRACT

 

Article No.: 021919036

Type: Research

DOI: 10.15580/GJSS.2019.1.021919036

 

 

The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of cultural dimensions on employee productivity in Zimbabwe state universities. Many studies have been done to establish the impact of organisational culture on company performance. However, a few studies were done to investigate the relationship between cultural dimensions and employee performance in the education sector. The themes of the study were quantified in terms of four cultural dimensions, such as power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity. The questionnaire approach was used to collect primary data from 400 employees of thirteen public universities in Zimbabwe. Data was analysed using the ANOVA and Pearson’s correlation Matrix. The results of the study revealed that there is a positive relationship between cultural dimension and employee productivity.

 

Submitted: 19/02/2019

Accepted:  22/02/2019

Published: 10/03/2019

 

*Corresponding Author

Dr. Faitira Manuere

E-mail: manuerefaitira@ gmail.com

 

Keywords: Cultural dimensions, employee performance, state universities, employee productivity, education sector.

 

 

 

 

 

 


INTRODUCTION

 

Zimbabwe has thirteen public universities and four private universities. The first university in Zimbabwe was the University of Zimbabwe and was established in 1957 (Shizha, 2011). In 1980 the government of Zimbabwe embarked on a massive expansion of university education (Nherera, 2000). In 1991 the National University of Science and Technology was born and this was followed by the establishment of the Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) in 1996 and Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) in 1998 (Shizha, 2011).


 

Table 1: A list of universities in Zimbabwe

University

Public/Private

Year Established

1.      University of Zimbabwe

Public

1957

2.      National University of Science and Technology (NUST)

Public

1991

3.      Africa university

Private

1992

4.      Solusi University

Private

1994

5.      Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE)

Public

1996

6.      Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU)

Public

1998

7.      Midlands State University

Public

1999

8.      Catholic University in Zimbabwe (CUZ)

Private

2001

9.      Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCU)

Private

2001

10.   Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT)

Public

2001

11.   Great Zimbabwe University (GZU)

Public

2002

12.   Women’s University in Africa (WUA)

Private

2004

13.   Lupane State University (LSU)

Public

2004

14.   Harare Institute of Technology

Public

2005

15.   Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU)

Private

2010

16.   Gwanda State University (GSU)

Public

2012

17.   Manicaland University of Applied Sciences (MUAS)

Public

2014

18.   Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (MUAST)

Public

2015

19.   The Zimbabwe National Defence University (ZNDU)

Public

2016

Source: Shizha (2011).

 

 


Universities in Zimbabwe are governed by Councils appointed by the Minister in charge of Higher Education and in terms of the Act of Parliament (for example, the National University of Science and Technology Act of 1990). University Councils make policy and the day to day running of the organisation is done by the Vice Chancellor and the management team. The university senate is the supreme organ that makes operational policy and strategy and the organ is chaired by the Vice Chancellor or one of the Pro-Vice Chancellors. The doctrine of both the council and the senate are supported by a myriad of university committees and subcommittees. The system of councils, the senate, committees and sub-committees provide the corporate governance needed by the university. University Deans are given the responsibility of managing the relevant Faculties while university departments are managed by chairpersons appointed by the Vice Chancellor in consultation with departmental board members. In 2006 the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) was established in order to manage quality assurance issues in Universities and to enhance employee productivity.  The government has the responsibility of funding all state universities using funds from the fiscus. These contributions constitute almost 95% of the recurrent expenditure and 100% of the capital expenditure. Therefore, employee productivity issues are significant because state universities are using public funds.

 

 

THE REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

 

According to Mathis and Jackson, (2009) the concept of employee performance refers to a family of concepts such as output quality, output quantity, the time-frame within which inputs are turned into outputs, and efficient and effective use of resources. Therefore, employee performance is the capacity of the employees to complete a given task successfully and to produce outputs that are measured and accepted by the supervisors as meeting the required standards.

According to Kenney (1992), employee performance is related to the objectives set by the company. The objectives represent the performance standards. Thus employee performance can be quantified (measured) in terms of production levels, effectiveness, efficiency, quality and profitability. Singh and Mohanty (2012:88) argue that productivity refers to a log of net sales over the total number of employees. Employee productivity refers to employee performance as measured by output per unit of input. In other words, employee productivity measures the relationship between inputs and outputs.

There are several factors that affect employee performance. These factors are quality of leadership, organisational culture, work environment and training (Hofstede, 1991; Northhouse, 2007; Harrison, 2000). The literature on leadership styles has shown that autocratic leaders are not capable of motivating employees to work harder (Armstrong, 2009). Organisational culture refers to the beliefs, values and behaviours that are needed by the organisation to enhance productivity or employee performance (Schein, 1990). The working environment which is supported by positive reward systems, profit sharing mechanisms and job enrichment practices motivate employees to direct both their physical and emotional sacrifices towards the achievement of set goals (Calsen, 2003). The literature on employee performance shows that employee training and development is intended to achieve three objectives, namely:

 

1.      To increase employee productivity.

2.      To achieve the goals set by the organisation, and

3.      To retain profitable employee (Belcourt et al, 2000).

 

Definitions of Culture

 

Tylor (1871) defines culture as “a complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.”Hofstede (1997) refers to culture as “the software of the mind, similar to a computer programme that controls behaviour.” Accordingly, organisational culture refers to “the embodiment of its collective systems, beliefs, norms, ideologies, myths and rituals” that motivate workers to become more efficient and effective on the workplace (Sudarsanam, 2010). Hofstedes (1980, 1987) quantified culture in terms of four dimensions that affect employee performance in most organisations today. These dimensions include; individualism, collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity-femininity. Table 2, shows the various cultural dimensions and their meaning:

 

 


 

 

Table 2: Culture dimensions and meaning

Cultural dimension

Meaning

1.      Individualism-collectivism

Individualism creates autocratic leaders in the workplace whereas collectivism focuses on group interests and workplace democracy.

2.      Power distance

In many organisations, superiors do not want to be criticised because they believe that they have a right to be feared and to be respected. In such organisations employees are treated as machines for production.

3.      Uncertainty avoidance

In some organisations, employees are burdened by a myriad of rules, regulations and procedures. In such organisations, employee creativity is compromised.

4.      Masculinity-femininity

The thrust of most organisations today is on gender equality and empowerment. More and more women are now employed to do those jobs that used to be dominated by men. However, the relationship between gender equality in employment and employee productivity is yet to be established.

Hofstede (1997).

 

 

 

The Conceptual Framework

 

Figure 1: Conceptual framework

Source: Hofstedes  (1997)

 

 


Research Objectives

 

1.      To investigate the effect of collectivism on employee performance.

2.      To establish the effect of power distance on employee performance.

3.      To find out the effects of uncertainity avoidance on employee performance.

4.      To explore the effect of masculinity-femininity on employee performance.

 

Hypothesis

 

H1        There is a positive relationship between individualism-collectivism and employee performance.

H2        There is a positive relationship between power-distance and employee performance.

H3        There is a positive relationship between uncertainity avoidance and employee performance.

H4        There is a positive relationship between masculinity-femininity and employee performance.

 

 

THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

 

This study used the explanatory quantitative research design to investigate the effect of various cultural dimensions on employee performance. Therefore, the questionnaire approach was used to collect primary data from 400 university employees. The convenient sampling technique was used to collect data from university employees who had a work experience of more than five years. The questionnaire consisted of both open and closed ended questions to ensure the reliability and the validity of the data collected. Data was analysed using a variety of methods, such as descriptive, correlation and regression analysis.


 

 

ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

 

Table 3: Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive Statistics

 

N

Mean

Std Deviation

Collectivism-individualism

106

1.763

0.5444

Power Distance

106

1.763

0.5344

Uncertainity avoidance

106

1.763

0.5266

Masculinity-femininity

106

1.763

0.5222

Validity N (listwise).

106

 

 

 


 

 

Table 3, shows that the average mean for collectivism-individualism is 1.763 while the standard deviation is 0.5444. The average mean for power distance is 1.763 while the standard deviation is 0.5344. The average mean for uncertainty avoidance is 1.763 while the standard deviation is 0.5266. The average mean for masculinity-femininity is 1.763 while the standard deviation is 0.5222. The results seem to suggest that the four cultural dimensions are not significant drivers of employee performance in Public Universities in Zimbabwe.


 

 

Table 4: Correlation Matrix

 

Employee performance

Collectivism-individualism

Power distance

Employee performance

Pearson correlation

1

0.566**

0.633**

Sig (2-tailed)

 

0.000

0.000

N

106

106

106

Collectivism-individualism

Pearson correlation

0.566**

1

0.733**

Sig (2-tailed)

0.000

 

0.000

N

106

106

106

Power distance

Pearson correlation

0.633**

0.733**

1

Sig (2-tailed)

0.000

0.000

 

N

106

106

106

 

 

Table 5: Correlation Matrix

 

Employee performance

Collectivism-individualism

Power distance

Employee performance

Pearson correlation

1

0.633

0.733

Sig (2-tailed)

 

0.000

0.000

N

106

106

106

Uncertainity avoidance

Pearson correlation

0.633**

1

0.733**

Sig (2-tailed)

0.000

 

0.000

N

106

106

106

Masculinity-femininity

Pearson correlation

0.6777

0.733

1

Sig (2-tailed)

0.000

0.000

0.000

N

106

106

106

** Correlation is significant at 0.000(2-tailed).

 

 

Table 6: Regression coefficients

 

Understanding coefficients

Standardised coefficients

t

Sig

  Collinearity Statistics

B

Std error

Beta

Tolerance

VIF

(Constant)

·        344

·        136

 

2.611

·        014

 

 

Collectivism- individualism

·        097

·        091

·        111

1.044

·        298

·        456

2.222

Power distance

·        077

·        118

·        066

·        066

·        376

·        333

3.166

Uncertainity voidance

·        543

·        122

·        564

4.666

·        001

·        333

2.877

Masculinity- femininity

·        188

·        086

·        178

1.723

·        060

·        443

2.466

 

 


Table 4 shows that collectivism – individualism correlates positively with employee performance and the relationship between the independent and the dependent variable is supported by the value of 0.566. Power distance is positively correlated with employee performance and the relationship between the variables is strong with the value of 0.633. Uncertainty avoidance has a positive correlation with employee performance and the strong relationship is supported by the value of 0.633. Masculinity –femininity correlates positively with employee performance and relationship is strong at 0.777.

 

Table 6 shows that collectivism-individualism beta co-efficient value is pegged at 0.111 and the insignificant value of 0.298 is greater than 0.05, here it can be concluded that collectivism-individualism has positive insignificant effect on employee performance. Power distance beta coefficient value is 0.066 and has insignificant value of 0.376 which is greater  than 0.05, hence  it can be concluded that power  distance has a positive insignificant effect on employee performance. Uncertainty avoidance beta coefficient value is 0.564 with a significant value of 0.001 which is less than 0.05, hence it can be concluded that uncertainty voidance has a positive significant effect on employee performance. Masculinity-femininity beta coefficient value is 0.178 and the significant value of 0.060 is greater than 0.05, hence it can be concluded that masculinity-femininity has a positive insignificant effect on employee performance.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

Research on culture and employee performance is critical to the survival of modern organisations. Authorities in public universities have to think globally. Employees in public universities come from different cultures. Culture controls the beliefs, attitudes and the values that employees bring into the organisation. Therefore university authorities must understand the cultural backgrounds of the people they are employing. The results of this study demonstrated that culture has a positive influence on employee performance. This study focussed on four cultural dimensions, such as collectivism-individualism; power distance; uncertainty voidance; and masculinity and femininity. However, this study did not examine other human resources practises such as, resistance to change, and its effect on employee performance. It is strongly suggested that further studies could be conducted on the interesting subject.

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Armstrong, A. (2009) "A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice" (10th Edition), United Kingdom, Kogan Page Limited.

Belcourt, M., Wright, P. C., and Saks, A. M. (2000). "Managing performance through training and development", in Nelson Series in Human Resources Management, 2nd Edition.

Hofstede, G. (1991). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. London, UK: McGraw-Hill.

Hofstede, G. (1997). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the mind. London. McGrawHill.

Kennedy, F. (1992). Management Made Easy. South Carolina.Omron Publishers.

Mathis, R., L, and Jackson, J. H. (2009). Human Resource Management. Mason, OH, USA: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Northouse, P. G. (2007). Leadership Theory and Practice. London: Sage Publications.

Harrison, R. (2000). Employee Development. Silver Lakes, Pretoria. Beekman Publishing.

Schein, E. (1990). Organizational Culture. American Psychologist, 45 (2), 109 - 119.

Singh, R, and Mohanty, M. (2012). Impact of Training Practises on employee productivity: A Comparative study. Interscience management Review, 2 (2), 87-92.

Sudarsanam, S. (2010). Creating Value from Mergers and Acquisition, London. Pearson Education Ltd.

Tylor, E. (1871). Origins of Culture. New York. Harper and Row.

Hofstede, G. (1980). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. London, McGraw-Hill.

Nherera, C.M. (2000). Globalisation, qualifications and livelihoods: The case of Zimbabwe. Assessment in Education, 7 (3), 335-363.

Shizha,E.,and Kariwo,M.T.(2011).Education and Development in Zimbabwe: A social, political and economic analysis.Boston.Sense Publishers.


 

 

Cite this Article: Manuere F; Marima NE; Manyadze T (2019). A study of perspectives on cultural dimensions and employee performance in Zimbabwe State Universities. Greener Journal of Social Sciences, 9(1): 12-17, http://doi.org/10.15580/GJSS.2019.1.021919036.