Influence Of Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement On Industrial Harmony In The Devolved Public Health Sector In Kenya

Authors: Waweru B Mwangi et al.

DOI : 10.18639/MERJ.2023.9900079

Section : Original Research Article

Published Date : Jun 25, 2023


The health sector in any country is the greatest pillar of wealth generation. The life of citizens and by extension the economy depends largely on an effective and efficient health care system. A harmonious workplace that guarantees satisfaction of workers and employers aspirations is essential for enhanced services provision in the public health sector. Industrial harmony comprises of industrial democracy, employee loyalty, and shared vision. Since devolution of healthcare services in 2013, the Kenyan devolved public health sector has been affected by frequent short and often localized health workers’ industrial actions. The dilemma of the right of employees to industrial action and the citizens’ right to health care are two delicate and conflicting constitutional provisions that continue to elude policy and legislative environment. Industrial action is a protected right that every employee enjoys, however, there is need for a balance between the protection of these rights and the need to guarantee essential public services in order to safeguard citizens and their well-being. This study sought to determine the influence of collaborative stakeholder engagement on industrial harmony in the devolved public health sector in Kenya. The study used pragmatic research paradigm. The study research design was mixed methods research methodology. The study population was 3,355 medical workers in level 5 county referral hospitals, in the Central Economic Regional Bloc (CEREB). The study selected 351 respondents using stratified random sampling. In addition, 10 medical superintendents, 10 secretary generals from KMPDU and 10 from KNUN respectively were selected for participation in the study through purposive sampling. Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews. Data analysis involved both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Qualitative data collected through interview guide was analyzed using content analysis technique. Quantitative data collected using the questionnaire was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics comprised means and standard deviation while inferential statistics comprised simple linear regression to depict the relationship between the study independent variables and the dependent variable. The study established that collaborative stakeholder engagement had a positive and significant influence on industrial harmony (=.925, p-value=.000). The study concluded that collaborative stakeholder engagement enhances industrial harmony. The study recommends the expansion of communication/information sharing system so that workers can channel their issues without being victimized as well as establishment of effective internal dispute resolution mechanisms. The devolved healthcare facilities also need to build trust among healthcare workers by being considerate of their work welfare as well as involving them in policy formulation exercises.