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Article Published In Vol.5 (Sept-Oct-2017)

The Effect of Employee Competence on the Relationship between Employee Age and Employee Performance in Kenyan State Corporations

Author : Christopher Masinde INDIATSY and Professor Peter K’OBONYO

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A number of studies such as Omari (2014) have established that age has a statically non significant relationship with employee performance. This has initiated the need to find possible factors that may influence this relationship as age alone is not sufficient to determine employee performance. This study sought to investigate the influence of employee competence on the relationship between employee age and employee performance in Kenyan state corporations. The study was anchored on Expectancy and Human capital theories. Expectancy theory posits that, performance depends not only on the magnitude of efforts exerted but also on other factors such as individual abilities and traits. Human capital theory posits that widespread investment in human capital in terms of education and training creates in the labor force a skill base indispensable for economic growth. The philosophical foundation adopted for this study was logical positivism. A descriptive cross sectional survey research design was used to explore the relationship between the study variables. Employee performance was dependant variable, employee age was independent variable and employee competence was a moderating variable. A sample population of 384 was established using the Webster (1995) formula. The number and type of respondents were picked by use of stratified simple random sampling techniques. Primary data was collected on employee age, employee competence and employee performance using a structured questionnaire comprising a five point likert type scale. Data was analyzed by use of both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Both correlation and regression analysis techniques were used. Pearson Product Moment Correlation (r) was used to assess direction (positive or negative) and strength of the relationship between the study variables. Stepwise regression analysis was used to test the hypothesis that relationship between employee age and employee performance is moderated by employee competence. Results indicated that employee competence moderated the relationship between employee age and employee performance. The result implies that State corporations in Kenya, when making decisions involving employee’s age, such as hiring, placement, promotion, compensation, retirement and termination, should bear in mind the fact that the influence of employee age on his or her performance is affected by his competence. They should come up with age and competence management practices to tap the full potential and enhance the performance of various age categories f their employees. The study extents the body of knowledge in age management practices. Policy makers in Kenyan State Corporations will use the findings to effectively undertake organization decisions on age and competence management practices in aligning them to policies that will enhance the corporations’ prosperity through increased performance. There is need to have a similar study in private sector firms and NGOs to determine how the relationship between employee age and employee performance can be influenced by other variables and how the organizations compare with the State Corporations.

Keywords: Employee age, Expectancy and human capital Theory, Employee competence, Employee performance and state corporations.

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