Institutional factors influencing academic staff turnover in public technical training institutes in Meru county, Kenya
Academic staff turnover has not only become a major problem in Kenya but also across many other countries in the world. It comes with high cost and other adverse effects in the provision of quality services in the institutions of higher learning globally. Turnover of employee in any organization can have either positive or negative impact since it comes with its cost. The Government of Kenya is currently pursuing a new development blueprint (vision 2030) covering the period 2008 to 2030. This blue print identifies Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) as a major pillar in its achievement. This is because TVET institutes plays the role of furnishing skills required to improve productivity, raise income levels and improve access to employment opportunities in various sectors. The study aimed at investigating the institutional factors influencing academic staff turnover in public technical training institutes in Meru County, Kenya. The study objectives aimed at determining the extent to which working environment, manager’s supervisory support, communication system and compensation influence academic staff turnover in public technical training institutes in Meru County. Theoretical background for the study was provided by the Herzberg’s (1959) two factor theory also known as Herzberg’s motivational hygiene theory and dual factor theory. The research adopted descriptive survey design. The study comprised a sample size of 124 academic staff members derived from a target population of 180 members. Also included were 27 heads of departments. Two different sets of questionnaires were used as the main research instruments one for the academic staff and the other for the heads of departments. The collected data was analyzed using both quantitative methods. It was the presented in tables, pie-charts and graphs. Qualitative data was analyzed through narrative summary analysis technique. The findings of the study revealed that the academic staff turnover in the investigated institute was high and the respondents concurred that it was influenced to a very and great extent by; working environment (non-conducive) agreed by a mean of 71.1% academic staff and 80.6% heads of departments, inappropriate attributes of manager’s supervisory support with a mean agreement of 70.6% heads of departments and 76.1% academic staff, communication system with a mean of 4(great extent) and average standard deviation of 0.57, and compensation as agreed by a mean average of 4 (great extent) with average deviation of 0.475. The study concluded that academic staff turnover was influenced by factors such as low compensation, poor working environment, poor communication systems and inappropriate manager’s supervisory support. The study recommended that the Boards of Management should liaise with the relevant government ministries in order to address these turnover triggers to ensure retention of the teaching staff in public technical training institutes. The study suggested the following areas for further study; similar studies may be done in other counties across the country to establish other institutional factors influencing academic staff turnover, a study on factors influencing the performance of board of managements in Technical Training Institutes, institutional challenges facing the academic staff, institutional factors influencing the academic staff and the institutional factors influencing the turnover of the non-teaching staff in Technical Training Institutes.