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LINKAGES BETWEEN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND FOOD SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: A CASE OF FAST FOOD COURTS IN NAIROBI CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT


Jane Muthoni Weru

Office of the Deputy President, Kenya

James Njenga Njoroge

Max-Edge Kenya LTD, Kenya

Robert Nganga

Kenya School of Government, Kenya


ABSTRACT

This paper examines human resource management (HRM) practices and food safety management system focused on continuous improvement and the linkages between them in food courts in Nairobi Central business District.  This research used a multiple-methods approach, qualitative and quantitative; to assure the research validity. The target population of the study was limited to 200 food courts with 5-10 employees in Nairobi city. The sample obtained from the target population was through simple random sampling whereby 30% of the 200 food courts in Nairobi Central Business District was randomly picked.  Findings show that efforts by these continuous quality improvement activities are largely informal.  The research found out that aspects of food safety management practices and quality improvement were obtained through informal suggestions from customers, empowerment through supervisors, and close control of costs by the owners. Feedback from customers was controlled and limited to long serving employees and regular customers. Prominent HRM practices identified for this study include recruitment and selection, Training and development, performance management and remuneration. Under recruitment and selection employees were sourced through referrals from employees and during interviews the employee quality most sought was the willingness to work.  Under training and development, the training methods included training by supervisors, work methods, and on the job - training.  The personal/social skills were the most important contents of any training as opposed to technical skills required to do the job. Typical primary compensations provided were wages and salaries, while a variety of different benefits were provided.  Most of the firms did not have systematic appraisal and the appraisers were mostly the owner and supervisors. The analysis of the relationships between HRM practices and Food safety management practices showed several positive correlations. The practice of suggestions had a high correlation with the use of interviews by supervisors for employee selection, the use of supervisors as appraisers and the use of appraisal results for training. The owners who were well informed of food safety standards tended to have employees trained about safety skills. The use customer feedback was found as having a high correlation with the use of appraisal results for training.


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