Succession planning practices among public healthcare facility managers: a case study of Kakamega County

Ochola, Felix Samuel Onyango
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Strathmore University
Succession planning and management have been identified as a solution through a continuous transfer of skills and competencies. Succession planning and management have been noted to enhance performance and safeguard organization continuity. This dissertation aimed to assess succession planning practices among public health facilities managers. Specific objectives included assessment of institutionalization succession planning policy, talent management, and career development strategies among the public health facilities managers. The study employed a qualitative case study design. The target population was 162 public health facility managers. The sample size of 32 (20 from Level 2, 8 from Level 3, 3 from Level 4 and 1 from Level 5 health facilities) was estimated from theoretical saturation limit and stratification done through proportional allocation. The purposive sampling technique was used to determine the facilities to be visited due to access challenges. The researcher collected data using semi-structured, in-depth interviews. An audio recording was the primary method of capturing the data. Analysis of the data was done through thematic analysis. On the first objective, the study results showed that the majority of the respondents were not aware of succession planning. The policy had not been institutionalized in the department of health. The managers did practice succession planning to various levels depending on the complexity of the facilities they managed. The practice of talent management also varied across facilities with different levels of complexity depending on the size of the facility and the needs. The managers reported that talent management had a positive impact on health facility performance. Lack of uniformity of practice was also noted. The majority of managers in the department of health were underprepared for managerial duties. There was congruence among facility managers that career development had a positive impact on management preparedness and that it could help solve several issues including the appointment of staff that are not interested in management to managerial positions. The study concluded that managers that were interviewed did not practice succession planning and management as per the government policy. The study observed that the lack of spearheading of succession planning and management by the county department of health resulted in disjointed, lack of coordinated succession planning practices among facility managers. The study recommended that the county department of health spearhead the implementation of succession planning and management, while facility managers look into the adoption of talent management and career development strategies. Future studies can look into succession planning and its effect on performance in more complex health organizations like referral hospitals. A possible area of study also includes the effect of succession planning practices on departmental performance. Perception of senior managers on the challenges of succession planning was also suggested for the future study area.
Dissertation submitted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Masters (MBA) Degree in Healthcare Management