Original Research

Suitability of human capital for better results of supply chain management: Lessons from national government department

Nontuthuko S. Nkwanyana
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 9, No 1 | a516 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v9i1.516 | © 2021 Nontuthuko S. Nkwanyana | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 December 2020 | Published: 28 July 2021

About the author(s)

Nontuthuko S. Nkwanyana, Department of Public Management and Economics, Faculty of Management Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa


Background: The establishment of supply chain management (SCM) throughout the public service promised better outcomes due to improved processes and governance. However, since inception, SCM has been criticised for inefficiency in achieving its mandate. As a system, it has been labelled as ‘yet again’ another failed government initiative, because communities at large believe that this system too is associated with a number of flaws.

Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the role that human capital plays in SCM in fulfilling end customer services in the public sector.

Setting: The study focused on the national government department, South Africa.

Method: To achieve the above objective, a quantitative research methodology was used to ascertain the adequacy of human capital dimensions as a factor of SCM in ensuring good customer service in the public sector.

Results: Findings indicate that there is: (1) a notable shortage of human resources; (2) scanty knowledge on the processes employed within SCM; (3) a lack of suitable training; (4) performance that is somewhat not in order and (5) the results of SCM, although with some desire, were also found not to be in good standing.

Conclusion: This study revealed that reasonable care has not been taken to make a favourable environment, through human capital, to achieve better results of SCM in the public sector, and when human capital is not set accordingly, performance of SCM is likely to be negatively impacted.


supply chain management; system; processes; procurement; human capital.


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