In the past human resource management practices in the South African Public Service did not place any emphasis on the development and implementation of career management programmes or practices. The career paths of employees were largely dictated by the prescripts and measure applicable to the various occupational classes in the Public Service. Consequently the career development of public servants, especially lower level workers such as cleaners and labourers, was neglected. However, following the dawn of the democratic order in 1994, a massive process unfolded to rationalize and restructure the Public Service. With the advent of this new political dispensation for South Africa, the transformation of the human resource management practices of the Public Service received priority attention. In spite of the prominence given to career management in the South African Public Service by various government policies and white papers, it was suspected that career management, as a human resource management practice, is not receiving the necessary attention that it deserves. This study was therefore undertaken in order to determine the extent of implementation of career management programmes in the South African Public Service. Not only was the population group of the study made up of all government departments, a sample of four statutory organizations were also approached to participate in the study. The study was executed with the following objectives in mind: 1. To determine the state of affairs as far as the implementation of career management programmes in government departments are concerned. 2. To determine the reasons why government departments have not implemented and activated career management practices (if applicable). 3. To determine the nature of the practices that have already been put in place by departments. As a first phase to the study, a literature review was undertaken. During this review numerous articles and books written by reputable persons in the field of human resources management were studied. The literature research mainly focused on the purpose of career management, the role players responsible for it and the elements thereof. Emanating from the literature study, the research design and strategy were decided upon. A population group was identified and data was obtained from respondents by means of a questionnaire especially developed for this purpose. The data was statistically processed after which conclusions and recommendations were made. Recommendations made focused on the creating of an awareness of career management as well as practices that support it. These practices include career planning and pathing, performance management, co-ordinated departmental career development programmes, organisational needs audits, affirmative action and job descriptions.
Dissertation (MCom (Human Resources Management))--University of Pretoria, 2005.