Original Research

The validation of a human resource management professional competence model for the South African context

Nico Schutte, Nicolene Barkhuizen, Lidewey van der Sluis
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 41, No 1 | a1290 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v41i1.1290 | © 2015 Nico Schutte, Nicolene Barkhuizen, Lidewey van der Sluis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 June 2015 | Published: 15 September 2015

About the author(s)

Nico Schutte, Department of Industrial Psychology, School of Management Sciences, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa
Nicolene Barkhuizen, Department of Industrial Psychology, School of Management Sciences, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa
Lidewey van der Sluis, Department of Industrial Psychology, School of Management Sciences, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa; Leadership and Management Development, Nyenrode Business University, the Netherlands


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Abstract

Orientation: The last two decades have seen a great interest in the development of human resource management (HRM) professional competence models to advance the value-add of HR practitioners in organisations. However, empirical research on competency requirements for HR practitioners in the South African context has not been forthcoming.

Research purpose: The main objective of the present research was to validate a HRM competence measure for the assessment of professional HRM competencies in the workplace. Motivation for the study: Competency models can assist HR professionals in supporting their organisations to achieve success and sustainability.

Research approach, design and method: A cross-sectional research approach was followed. The proposed HRM Professional Competence Model was administered to a diverse population of HR managers and practitioners (N = 483). Data were analysed using SPSS 22.0 for Windows.

Main findings: Exploratory factor analysis resulted in three distinguishable competency dimensions for HR professionals: Professional behaviour and leadership (consisting of the factors Leadership and personal credibility, Solution creation, Interpersonal communication and Innovation), Service orientation and execution (consisting of the factors Talent management, HR risk, HR metrics and HR service delivery) and Business intelligence (consisting of the factors Strategic contribution, HR business knowledge, HR business acumen and HR technology). All factors showed acceptable construct equivalence for the English and indigenous language groups.

Practical/managerial implications: Managers can utilise the validated competence measure to measure the performance of HR practitioners in the organisation.

Contribution/value-add: This research adds to the limited HR professional competence measures that currently exist.


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