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The mainobjectiveof the study was to ascertain the effect of human capital development on employee commitment in the Judicial Service of Ghana. The specific objectives were to assess the human capital development practices in the Judicial Service, to assess the level of commitment of employees of the Judicial Service, to find the impact that human capital development has on the commitment of employees in the Judicial Service and to ascertain management commitment towards human capital development in the Judicial Service. The research design adopted was descriptive. Questionnaires were designed to collect data from the research population which comprised the registrars and staff of the Judicial Service in the Western Region of Ghana. Convenient sampling was used for selecting 100 staff and purposive sampling for 50 management. Data was analyzed by the used of SPSS software. It was concluded that the level of human capital development in the Judicial Service was very low. The management commitment towards the human capital development was also on the lower side.The study showed a high level of affective commitment, but a very poor continuous organizational commitment and normative organizational commitment. Human capital retention at the service was poor. And there was less distributive and procedural justice at the service. The overall effectof the study was that, even though human capital development in the Judicial Service was low, employees are affectively committed to the Judicial Service. This means human capital development has an insignificant impact on employees’ commitment level. The study recommends that Management should reviewthe quota system, organize periodic training programs, allocated more resource for training programs across the regions to enhance employees’ development level which in effect would make employees more committed to the service.


1.1       Background of the study

Organizational leaders have over the past years, concentrated on the development of strategies and policies to outweigh their competitors, measures to increase their financial returns and viability of their businesses, without taken a critical look at the role employees play to the success of the organization in totality. Recently, leaders of organizations and institutions including the Judicial Service of Ghana have increasingly started recognizing the role employees play in the development and success of businesses. They have realized that having skillful, experienced and motivated employees in the organizations and institutions can make a significant difference. The skills, experiences and abilities acquired by employees either through learning, on the job training, training and development is what is referred to as Human Capital (Blundell, 1999). It is such qualities that increase the employees' value in the business. 

According to literature the main value of an organization or institution does not lie in its systems, controls, or machinery and equipment but rather the Human Capital.  In as much as technology and data systems may evolve, nothing can substitute the value of the Human Capital.  It is a known fact that big organizations in the world are recognized by the attitudes and talents their employees display (Martinez, 2013).An organization cannot survive if there are no competent and skillful employees. Organization runs with the help of individuals who contribute in their own small way in its success and productivity. Employees spend maximum part of their day in offices and strive hard to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization.

From the aforementioned, it can be ascertained that the importance of effective human capital and human capital development in organizations and institutions cannot be overemphasized. Without employees’ resources which include, knowledge, skills, ability, there can be no performance (productive endeavor) upon which any anticipation of results can be based.The concept of “human capital” has gained tremendous attention in today`s study. Human capital can be defined as the collective stock of skills, attributes, knowledge, and expertise of employees which further plays an integral role in increasing the productivity of the organization.

Human capital in particular represents the individual stock of knowledge embedded in the firm’s collective capability to extract the best solutions from its individual employees (Bontis, 2001). It embraces both the broader human resource considerations of the business workforce (traditionally known as the labor market) and the more specific requirements of individual competence in the form of knowledge, skills and attributes of managers and the employees they manage.

Ishikawa and Ryan (2002) suggest that it is the stock of human capital that predominantly determines the earnings of individuals. Armstrong (2006) defines human capital as all human abilities whether innate or acquired attributes whose value could be augmented by appropriate development investments.  In the opinion of Mayo (2001), the essential difference between Human Capital Management (HCM) and Human Resource Management (HRM) is that the former treats people as assets while the latter treats people as costs. Kearns (2005) believes in HCM “people are value adders, not liabilities’ ‘while in human resource management (HRM) “people are treated as significant cost and should be managed accordingly’’ Fombrun et al., (1984) quite explicitly presents workers as a key resource that managers use to achieve competitive advantage for their companies.

Employee commitment is a central issue in organizational research because it is a leading factor to business success. A strong body of academic literature presents various concepts, theories, and models that attempt to advance people’s understanding of underlying motives of employee commitment. Employee commitment issues in the context of globalization have become critical to both scholars and practitioners because of radical changes occurring in the nature of workplace structures and job markets (Grensing-Pophal, 2002; Erez et al., 2001). 

It is an undeniable fact that motivation is that guiding principle that enables people to stay focused and committed on the path of success regardless of the challenges that may be encountered. In this contemporary time few organizations believe that human capital constitutes one of the strategic assets of any organization which can lead them to success or if not to decline. Unless and until the employees of any organization are committed and motivated there can be no progress or achieve success in which the Judicial Service is no exception. Employee commitment cannot be measured directly; it is an invisible, internal, and theoretical construct (Pinder, 1997). In order to observe it, researchers employ existing theories and models that capture certain aspects of employee commitment. 

 Meyer & Allen (1991) as stated in Brown (2005) developed a framework to measure three different types of organizational commitment; namely Affective, Normative and

Continuance Commitments. Employees with affective commitment are emotionally attached to the organization thus enhancing their involvement in the organizational operations. Affective commitment employees stay with the organization because they want to and not because they need or ought to.

Normative commitment employees rather feel they have an obligation to stay with the organization because they ought to whiles Continuance commitment employees compare the cost of staying in the organization with that of leaving. Where the cost of leaving is higher than the cost of staying they will be compelled to stay because they think it is necessary. They further argued that employees could have varying degrees of all three commitments. For instance, an employee can have a strong attachment to an organization and at the same time a sense of obligation to remain. Another employee may enjoy working for the organization but also recognize, from an economic point of view, that leaving the organization would bring hardship. Another employee may have the desire, need, and obligation to remain with the organization (Brown 2005) op. cit.

It can be deduced from the above framework, that human capital development can be strongly linked to normative and affective commitments. This is because when employees are given the opportunity to develop their talents they become obliged, motivated and committed to stay and be more involved in the activities of the organization. The question is, does this commitment exist in the Judicial Service? The focus of this research is to determine the extent to which human capital development impacts on employee commitment in the Judicial Service.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Human resource is a critical success factor and most valuable and strategic asset which integrates other functional areas of the organization. The concept of human capital development has gained tremendous attention in the recent times of rapid technological change and high competitive environment. For employees of an organization to work at their maximum effort to determine the success of the organization, there is the need for management to implement policies that give the employees the opportunity to develop their talents, retain them and commit them to the objective of the organization. It is a fact that individuals who are given the opportunity to develop their talent and obtain high level of education and skills are more committed to the goals and objectives of the organization and can produce more output.   

Human capital includes the intangible resources of abilities, effort, and time that workers invest in their work (Davenport and Prusak, 1998). Human capital is considered one of the core components of intellectual capital and is a critical resource in many industries such as software development, management consulting, productive organization as well as financial services. Individuals, organizations, and nations increasingly recognize that high levels of skill, competence and commitment are essential to future security and success. 

It is common knowledge that as individuals acquire more education and training during a lifetime drives the production of goods and services, new innovations in the marketplace and also contributes to the perpetual succession of the organization. But currently, such linkage between these human capital elements and employee commitment is not well established in the public sector especially in the Judicial Service.

The 1992 Constitution of Ghana establishes the Judiciary under Chapter Eleven as the Institution vested with the exercise of final Judicial Power of Ghana. The Chief Justice as the Head of the Judiciary is charged with the responsibility for administration and supervision of the Judiciary as the third arm of state, the Judiciary derives its independence from Article 127 which guarantees both financial and administrative independence of the institution.“The Judicial Service which is the Public Service Institution has set for itself to promote the smooth and efficient administration of Justice to all manner of persons without fear or favour, affection or ill-will thereby creating an enabling environment for good governance”.

In fulfillment of this mandate, the Judiciary under the authority of the Chief Justice intends to uphold the independence of the Judiciary, show commitment to the truth and proper interpretation of the constitution and laws of Ghana. The viability of the Judiciary in a nation is extremely vital factor in the rule of law and more broadly in economic development. Aside its numerous roles in the democratic dispensation, Judicial Service perform the following functions;

Protects fundamental rights: Judicial Service acts as the defender of the individual right, it prevents the individual’s right from being violated. Judicial Service is the watchdog of rights and liberties of the people. Guardianship of the Constitution: The Judicial Service becomes the umpire and regulates the legal actions of the states and central government when there is conflict in jurisdiction and authority since there are several law making and executive authorities.

Interpretation of the law: Determining facts of laws and to apply them to particular circumstances. Law-making function: Judicial Service while interpreting the existing laws also performs the role of law maker when the provision of the existing laws may be ambiguous or sometimes when two or more laws of a particular government appear to be in conflict under a given circumstances.

The Judicial Service has been noted for its vibrant and justice in the execution of jurisdictions and duties since its inception. Judicial Service workers ethically are expected to exhibit exceptionally high standards to maintain public confidence in the court system.  However, most of the Judicial Service staff are denied the opportunity to develop their talents rendering them having low level of education, not abreast with the use of sophisticated equipment and technology, not committed to their work, ineffective and incompetent which negatively affects effective and efficient justice delivery thereby leading to delay in cases determination and loss of public interest in the Judicial Service. 

Studies have shown that corruption and low level of commitment in the Judicial Service have engulfed many countries undermining justice in many parts of the world, denying victims and the accused persons the basic human right to a fair and impartial trial (Transparent International Global Corruption Report, 2007).

A survey conducted by the Ghana Integrity Initiative using courts in three selected cities, i.e. Accra, Tema and Kumasi, concluded that the phenomenon of Judicial corruption is real, their data and information gathered, demonstrates convincingly that the issue of corruption, unethical behavior and low level of commitment are not merely perceptions but of reality and that occur with frightening regularity within the Judiciary (Ghana Integrity Initiative, 2007).It is assessed that effective human capital development practices make employees more loyal and committed to the organization. The research therefore, seeks to determine human capital development practices in the Judicial Service and how these impact on employee commitment.

1.3       Objective of the Study

The objectives of the study are grouped into two. These are general objective and specific objectives.

1.3.1      General Objective:

The main objective of this research is to ascertain the effect of human capital development on employee commitment in the Judicial Service.

1.3.2     Specific Objectives

The specific objectives are as follows;

1.  To assess the human capital development practices in the Judicial Service.

2.  To assess the level of commitment of employees of the Judicial Service 

3.  To determine the impact that human capital development has on the commitment of employees in the Judicial Service.

4.  To ascertain management’s commitment towards human capital development in the Judicial Service.

1.4   Research Questions

The researcher intends to investigate the following;

1.  What are the human capital development practices in the Judicial Service?

2.  What is the level of commitment of employees of the Judicial Service?

3.  What are the impacts that human capital development has on the commitment of employees in the Judicial Service?

4.  What is the level of management’s commitment towards human capital development in the Judicial Service?

1. 5      The scope of the study

The study is specifically limited to the Judicial Service of Ghana with a focus in the Western Region. The Judicial Service as a public service institution and law enforcement institution is with the mandate to promote the smooth and effective administration of justice to all manner of persons living in Ghana irrespective of their Country of origin (Constitution, 1992). It is also responsible for the day to day administration of the courts and tribunals of the land.  The area of study was chosen due to high concentration of all categories of courts needed for this research and also because of the availability and accessibility of information.

 More so, the area of the study was chosen because it would cut down cost of transportation of the researcher to go round all over the Country accessing information. The required target population for the research is available in the study area. There are two category of judicial workers; line and staff. The line is the Magistrates and Judges who perform the core function of the service while the staff is the management that support in effective adjudication of justice (Turkson, 2007). The research focuses on the staff rather than the line. Time and convenience is also another factor that necessitated the chosen area as the researcher combines administrative work with the research work. 

In all 150 respondents were used for the research. 

1.6   Significance of the study

This research is to provide an overview of human capital development and its effect on employee commitment in the Judicial Service. The significance of this study is to help draw attention to the fact that human capital development is an invaluable human resource practice that the Judicial Service needs to evaluate in order to attract the right persons, enlists them, retain them and motivate them appropriately to impact on performance. This will therefore usher in an era of quality service and its delivery in the Judicial Service. The information and issues raised in this research would be a very useful asset to the justice delivery community in the Western Region and the entire Judiciary. This would further enhance raising the image of the Judicial Service and thereby making Ghana a very competitive Nation in justice delivery. Furthermore, it would also add to literature to help other researchers who would like to research further into human capital development and employee commitment. The research will help policy makers make suitable policy recommendations about human capital development in the Judicial Service in Ghana.

The study would be significant not only to the development of Judicial Service but to Ghana as a whole. This is because developing employees competency and commitment enhances investors’ confidence level in the judicially, thereby increasing the level of investment in the Ghana economy. It will also improve efficient, effective and pragmatic justice delivery to all manners of justice seekers. The research would throw a challenge to employees in the public sector to be patriotic and committed in discharge of their duties.

1.7       Overview of Methodology

This survey employed questionnaires as research tool for data collection. The methodological framework for this study was based on qualitative analysis. The population of this study comprised management and staff of the Judicial Service. The research on its outlook reflects the entire Judicial Service in Ghana but for convenience, the survey was limited to selected Courts in the Western Region for data collection. 

Primary data was collected in order to solicit responses directly from the field. The data collected, constituted the basic information from which discussions and conclusions was drawn for decision making. The sample size for the study was limited to 50 Registrars and 100 staff. The total sample size was therefore 150. 

At the end of the entire data collection process, the data was entered into Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS)   software for analysis. A code book was generated to help in the data entry. Plausible checks were also conducted and inconsistent data were cleared appropriately. Descriptive statistical tools such as tables and percentages were used to analyze the result. Likers scale questions were matched out through crosstabs to see if they were internally consistent and statistical test was also conducted. A linear regression model was developed to establish the effect of human capital development on employee commitment in the Judicial Service of Ghana.

1.8       Limitation of the Study

The first limitation was the time scope for the project. The time limit for undertaking and completing the research in relation to the deadline for submitting the final thesis was quite insufficient. The time constrain necessitated the study to be confined to some selected Courts in the Western Region of Ghana. Difficulty in obtaining relevant information from the Courts and difficulty in getting respondents’ full attention due to their busy schedules, fears of releasing confidential information without prior approval from the higher authority and lack of many current books and articles on the topic in libraries were great challenges. Financial constraints in printing questionnaires, searching for information from relevant sources, as well as travelling to contacting other research work were also very big challenges to the researcher. Assessing adequate financial resources and research assistants to carry out the research was a grate limitation. Combining academic work and the research work with administrative work could not be overlooked when it comes to considering the limitations of the study.

1.9    Organization of the Study

This section describes the content of chapters and sections.

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