Factors Affecting Effective Succession Management in the Civil Service in Kenya: A Case of Ministry of Water and Irrigation

Kirui Benard Kiptoo, J. Kiplangat, H. Kidombo


Effective succession management can play a very important role in ensuring positive growth in an organization. However, in Kenyan context especially in the civil service this issue has received less attention from past researchers hence the need to undertake this study. Organizations all over the world are faced with succession challenges prompted by, among other factors; demographic shifts, stagnation in one level in employment and effects of natural attrition. The affected institutions respond by instituting necessary succession management measures aimed at ensuring availability of capable human resources for consistent service delivery. The Kenya Civil Service faces career succession and stagnation management problems manifested by the ageing Civil Servants with an estimate of 58% of the total workforce aged thirty five years and above. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors affecting succession management in the civil service. This study was carried out in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation headquarters in Nairobi. The target population was 300 civil servants in the middle and senior management level (job groups K and above) in the ministry of water and irrigation headquarters. Seventeen percent (17%) of the target population were sampled for the purpose of this study. The data had been analyzed using quantitative methods that involve simple descriptive statistics based on frequency tables and percentages and SPSS package for data analysis. The study has revealed that there is lack of effective succession management in the ministry of water and irrigation. Succession management initiatives were reported to be inconspicuous and incongruous owing to the fact that majority of the human resource management functions are performed by external agencies namely the public service commission of Kenya and Directorate of personnel Management. The Ministry should explore the possibility of forming a succession management committee to streamline succession issues and make provisions for outgoing officers to pass-on special skills to the likely successors in programmes akin to apprenticeships. It is also recommended that human resources managers should be empowered to carry out comprehensive Human resource management functions in their respective ministries

Keywords:Succession Management,Stagnation,Civil service,Apprenticeships,Human Resources,Kenya

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