An Analysis of the Application of Human Resource Management (HRM) Practices in Agricultural Farms: Perception of Farm Employees


  • M.P.A.S. Fernando Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka
  • K.N.N. Silva Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka



Human resources in organisations are the organisational assets that direct organisations towards their goals. Human Resource Management (HRM) is the process of managing those valuable assets while improving their performance. This study aims to analyse the HRM function of agricultural farms, which have a unique organisational function in contrast to other business firms. Furthermore, we used two different farming businesses under two different management systems as private and public. Recruitment and selection, performance evaluation, reward management, training and development, discipline and grievances, health and safety, leadership and motivation, working conditions and relationships were analysed as the key HRM practices of these farms. Moreover, this study has attempted to contrast these HRM practices under public and private management systems and finally aims to give suggestions and recommendations to improve the HRM practices in agricultural farms. The primary data were collected from 40 employees from each farm which were selected using simple random sampling via a pretested questionnaire.  Descriptive analysis and Wilcoxon signed rank test were used for the data analysis.  According to the results, the private farm (Mean:3.88) has the formal recruitment and selection practices and but not in the public farm (Mean:3.45). Reward management practices are well functioning in the public farm (Mean:3.25) than in the private farm (Mean:3.1). The performance evaluation process of the private farm (Mean:2.93) is more informal, and the public farm (Mean:3.65) has a formal evaluation process for permanent employees. Furthermore, the public farm (Mean:3.3) does not have  a good health and safety management process compared to privately owned farm (Mean:4.05). The public farm (Mean: 3.02) does not conduct scheduled training programmes for their staff when compared to private farms (Mean:4.05). Both farms do not conduct proper orientation programmes for their newly recruited employees. Nevertheless, the overall satisfaction towards the working conditions and relationships, discipline and grievance management, and leadership and motivation of both farms were satisfactory. Finally, this study recommended that reward management, health and safety management, training and development should be improved in public farms, while reward management and performance management should be further improved in private farms.

Keywords: Function of HRM, Employee Perception, Private Farm, Public Farm