Sustainable outsourcing of students catering services at institutions of higher learning in Harare during the hyper inflationary period: 2003-2008
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This study was carried out to establish the perceptions of students, principals, dean ofstudents andfinance officers on outsourcing of catering services at institutions of higher learning in Harare during the period of the hyperinflation period in Zimbabwe. The variables in the study addressed issues that uncovered the impact, effects and value created through outsourcing catering services at institutions of higher learning. A survey was conducted in which four institutions of higher learning participated. Two types of data collection instruments were used. These were interview schedules and questionnaires. The questionnaires were used to collect data from three hundred and sixty students, (ninety from each institution) at four institutions of higher learning in Harare. Face to face interviews with key respondents comprising four Principals ofcolleges and one university dean of students and four finance officers at each of the institutions selected using purposive sampling were conducted. The proposition of the study was; outsourcing non-core business improves operational efficiencies of an organization, reduces operational costs and improves company focus. The major findings of the study were that students expressed discontent with regards the vendor's service quality and customer relations. Outsourcing of catering services created value at institutions through shedding off noncore activities and focusing on the core business of education, training and researching. The findings of the study enabled the researcher to arrive at a conclusion on sustainable outsourcing of catering. Recommendations to build a legal contract with clear objectives and service level expectations of the outsourcing institution were made.