Human capital development (HCD) risks in the African hospitality industry

Cashandra Mara, Cookie Govender, Anoosha Makka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study was inspired by an interest in understanding how African hospitality managers view human capital development (HCD) or training risk, which, as an emerging field, is worthy of investigation. Human capital risks may result from management actions or inactions and may cause financial or reputational damage, loss of talent and dynamic capabilities. Examples of HCD inactions may be failure to transfer training, lack of agreement between line managers and HCD practitioners' priorities, or lack of insight into the organisation's strategic direction. A sample of 32 managers in 12 hospitality organisations in Namibia and South Africa was interviewed to explore their perceptions of HCD risk. It was found that little knowledge exists about HCD risks. Similar risks were found to be prevalent in the hospitality industries in the two countries, which were high employee turnover, low levels of employee and management commitment, which resulted in poor performance. Theoretically, this article contributes to the body of knowledge on HCD in the unique African context. Its practical contribution is that it creates awareness about HCD risk and the benefits of managing it.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAfrican Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Hospitality industry
  • Human capital development
  • Namibia
  • Risk
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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