Journal of Contemporary Management - Volume 11, Issue 1, 2014
Volume 11, Issue 1, 2014
Importance and improvement of manager-employee relationships in a natural resources mining company in AfricaSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 385 –405 (2014)More Less
The mining industry in Africa faces very specific challenges, relating to different cultures, beliefs, standards, geographical areas, remuneration, ethics, communication and management relationships. Mine management and employees are therefore challenged on a daily basis to manage these challenges, something which is even more difficult in a global economic and competitive environment.
The purpose of this study was to confirm the importance of the manager-employee relationships and the improvement thereof in a natural resources mining company in Africa. The population included professionals and specialists in fields such as engineering, technical services, geology and human resource management. Different commodities are mined and consist of copper, cobalt, coal, platinum, fluorspar, bauxite and other non-ferrous divisions. The countries under study were Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa. A total of 784 questionnaires were distributed to the different mines via the SurveyMonkeyTM website with a response rate of 51%. A principal axis factor analysis was conducted to determine the most important factors concerning the manager-employee relationships.
The results confirmed the importance of the manager-employee relationships in the successful operation in the mining companies in Africa. Suggestions are outlined to improve the manager-employee relationships.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 406 –430 (2014)More Less
This paper highlights the benefit of using Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) to facilitate a thorough understanding of the complexity in multi-stakeholder settings. This is demonstrated by means of applying SSM to a sugarcane production and supply system. The methodological approach featured a combination of SSM with qualitative research methods. SSM has not been applied in the sugar industry context and the amount of research that explores sugarcane supply chains holistically is limited.
The SSM application revealed pertinent issues, such as the transition from a corporate-owned sugar mill to a largely grower-owned mill, the presence of an insular view, resistance to change and deficient systemic commitment, the quality, quantity and consistency of cane supply and mill-related topics. The paper further reflects on some of the challenges that were encountered while applying SSM, like the inability to implement tangible improvements.
Despite these challenges, the paper concludes by highlighting the merit of SSM for today's managers, given its vast potential to facilitate a holistic insight.
Factors that contribute to road accidents caused by heavy commercial vehicles : a South African perspectiveSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 431 –450 (2014)More Less
This article contributes to an understanding of transportation within a South African context. In spite of growing road safety campaigns, the number of heavy commercial vehicles (HCV) on the roads and the associated accidents increases. Within this context, the purpose of this article is to explore and provide insight into factors that contribute to accidents caused by these vehicles and to provide potential solutions to decrease the number of HCV-related accidents.
The article presented is based on a theoretical approach, and reveals that the main factors contributing to the increase in HCV accidents are road conditions, vehicle factors and human factors. An exploratory study was conducted and potential solutions are provided to decrease the number of HCV-related accidents. This could be achieved with support and financial investments from the government and logistics companies.
This article contributes to the limited existing body of research on this topic and provides an understanding of accidents caused by HCVs within a South African context.
The ability of the Altman Z-score to predict the relative success of industrial companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock ExchangeSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 451 –469 (2014)More Less
Business failure prediction models, such as the Altman Z-score, are promoted as tools to assist with business turnaround and managerial decisions. While much research has been performed on such models ability to predict business failure, there is limited research relating to these models ability to predict future success and improved performance.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether the Altman Z-score was capable of predicting the relative level of financial success one year after the financial results on which the Z-score was based. Ordinary least squares regression is used to draw insights from a sample of 13 companies listed under the Industrial sector (J257) on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Findings from the analysis reveal inconclusive results on the Z-scores ability to accurately predict financial success. Drawing from the findings, managers in the Industrial sector in South Africa who are seeking to improve the performance of their companies, as well as investors and portfolio managers, should use caution when interpreting the results obtained from the Altman Z-score.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 470 –490 (2014)More Less
This study contributes to an understanding of how consumer misinformation, leading to negative perceptions, can encourage the anti-consumption of some green products. Multiple methods were used to gather data, with the intention of bringing multiple points of view to the emerging misinformation surrounding the consumption of E10 fuel.
The market acceptance and uptake of Zimbabwe's E10 has remained pessimistic, yet elsewhere in the world, the same blend has been packaged as a 'premium, super brand'.
The study utilizes methodological triangulation to generate richer data, and deeper insights about the socially constructed meanings surrounding the commercialisation and consumption of blended fuel. The study uncovers a host of misinformation patterns and misconceptions ranging from technical issues concerning the fuel's composition, engine compatibility, mixed pricing views as well as policy-related issues. Revealing how blended fuels have succeeded elsewhere, the study shows how blended fuel misinformation can be handled through mandatory blending and market education on E10 economic benefits. The study's findings contribute to an understanding of how consumer misinformation spread through the market and in turn, how such misconceptions can negatively affect a product's image, sales and market share. Thus in managing these misconceptions, the study underpins the need for adequate consumer education and improving market access of E10 as the project has the potential for creating jobs, improving fuel supply in Africa, while upholding a green environment.
Perceptions of senior staff regarding factors impacting organisational culture at a South African universitySource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 491 –509 (2014)More Less
The purpose of this article is to determine the factors impacting organisational culture at a selected university. An institution's culture originates from various sources, such as leadership and socialisation, and is manifested through, amongst others, shared symbols, beliefs and practices. The impact of organisational culture is reflected in several key aspects of institutional functioning, such as coordination and control systems and human resource practices. The task of senior staff in developing a strong organisational culture is crucial since it is decisive in effecting institutional success.
A positivistic research approach is followed. A probability sample of 266 respondents, both senior academics and administrative staff, was surveyed at a selected university in South Africa using a self-administered questionnaire. The structured equation modelling confirmatory analysis confirmed that six of the seven tested factors impact organisational culture at this university. Six statistically significant relationships were found between degree of flexibility, degree of teamwork, task directiveness, degree of formalisation, leadership styles, decision-making and organisational culture.
It is suggested that senior staff at universities take into consideration the impact of these factors to nurture organisational culture and subsequently ensure institutional success.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 510 –533 (2014)More Less
These days, visitors to airports are more discerning than before and continuously seek new and meaningful experiences. This approach has caused airports to evolve from being, simply, a point of transit for visitors into elaborate attractions; providing much more facilities and services. The notion of experiences is, however, an abstract concept which makes it difficult to measure and, furthermore, experiences differ from individual to individual. In this context, it is important that airport management should understand the type of experiences that visitors seek within an airport environment in order to create higher levels of satisfaction which, ultimately, would result in increased revenue.
The purpose of this exploratory research was to identify the key success factors that influence the experience of visitors in the context of an international airport. Determining the key success factors (KSF) may provide management with knowledge of those key areas within an airport that are viewed as necessary for a memorable airport experience by the visitors. Quantitative research was conducted by means of a self-administrated questionnaire and a total of 490 (n) questionnaires were obtained during the research period.
A factor analysis identified seven KSFs which will facilitate airport management in creating and managing a memorable experience for visitors.
The value of a price differentiation strategy for small retail and wholesale businesses amongst price-sensitive consumersSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 534 –555 (2014)More Less
The rationale for this study is to determine how small formal retail and wholesale businesses compete against increasing competition mainly from businesses located in new shopping malls in Soweto. This study focuses on price (as part of the value package) as a differentiation strategy option. According to small business management literature, price is not necessarily the preferred option for small businesses to compete upon. However, in a previously disadvantaged, price-sensitive area such as Soweto the research question is 'how important is price as a differentiation strategy and marketing aspect for small businesses amongst price-sensitive buyers, while facing tough competition from large retailers in nearby shopping malls'?
The research was conducted by means of a questionnaire and personal interviews with a sample of 650 small businesses in Soweto.
With this quantitative study, it was found that small formal retail and wholesale businesses in Soweto have to compete in terms of price, and those businesses that use price differentiation as a strategy and as the most important element of their value package (through low prices and best value prices), tend to survive and grow.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 556 –573 (2014)More Less
The paper describes a case study of a community health model that was developed and piloted at a University based clinic run in partnership with the South African Department of Health (DOH). The aim was to strategize, innovate and implement a collaborative care model strengthened by available technological resources that could improve the health and social outcomes of a struggling community.
The 5 C's e-Health framework for developing countries was applied to the case and compared to the Human Resources for Health 2030 strategy of Government to inform the development of a community care team (human capital based and enabled by an electronic management system) that could share patient health and social information, synergise resources and inform future community developments.
Exploring the relationships between selected demographic variables and the rewards expected by students when following a career in accountingSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 574 –592 (2014)More Less
Studies show that the rewards expected from following a career in accounting vary depending on certain demographic criteria. The primary objective of this study is to establish whether relationships exist between selected demographic variables and the rewards students expect to receive when following this career.
The respondents in this study were students of accounting at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). A total of 246 usable questionnaires were returned. An exploratory factor analysis was performed and Cronbach's alpha coefficients calculated to assess the validity and reliability of the measuring instrument. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was undertaken to assess the hypothesised relationships.
The findings showed that several differences existed with regard to the rewards expected from the career between male and female respondents, as well as between respondents from different ethnic groups and years of study. No differences were, however, found between respondents of different ages.
The influence of online store interactivity on customers' shopping experience : an empirical investigationAuthor M. MpinganjiraSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 593 –612 (2014)More Less
This paper examines the concept of interactivity in the context of online stores. The aim is to investigate its influence on customers' shopping experience and intentions to revisit online stores. The study followed a quantitative research approach. Data was collected from 201 online shoppers from Gauteng, South Africa using a structured questionnaire. Version 21 of the SPSS/AMOS software was used to analyse the data.
The findings show that factors relating to web system interactivity, namely navigation ease and customisation are important predictors of enjoyable online shopping experience. Factors relating to personal interactivity, namely two-way communication and customer communications were not found to have significant influence on shopping enjoyment. Shopping enjoyment was found to have significant influence on online customers' intentions to revisit online stores.
The findings contribute to a better appreciation of the need for ensuring that internet technology is applied in ways that take into consideration human needs. Specifically, the findings point to the need for online managers to pay attention to interactivity levels of their websites in order to ensure that customers have an enjoyable shopping experience at their online stores.
Inter-organisational relationships with large enterprises as a source of competitive advantage for small and medium enterprisesSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 613 –636 (2014)More Less
SMEs are recognised to have potential to be the engine for job creation and economic growth of nation. However, the prevailing intense competitive business environment driven by globalisation and rapid technological developments poses challenges and therefore realisation of their potential. Enterprises require technological know-how, financial resources, human resources and leadership capabilities to build their competitive advantage, thus being able to compete effectively. However SMEs have limitations with regard to resources and capabilities that are required to achieve a competitive advantage, a prerequisite to survive and be successful in the globalised economy.
This study examined how the resources and capabilities that SMEs access through inter-organisational relationships with large enterprises influence their competitiveness. A sample of 309 SMEs that have supply relationships with large mining enterprises in South Africa was used to collect primary data.
This study found that SMEs can access the resources and capabilities required for competitive advantage through supply relationships with large enterprises and these resources and capabilities are significant for their competitive advantage. Finance was however found not to be significant for competitive advantage.
Managers' views regarding optimisation of local content in the automotive component industry in KwaZulu-NatalSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 637 –653 (2014)More Less
The purpose of the study is to determine the impact optimisation of local content in domestically assembled vehicles will have on the future growth potential of the automotive component sector. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among 47 managers who were selected randomly using anonymous questionnaire. The respondents indicated that the two major challenges faced by the automotive component industry were, the local manufacturers pricing in comparison to global manufacturers was higher and the high level of dependence that local manufacturers have on foreign licences. A large percentage of the respondents believe that to optimise local content in locally assembled vehicles, government intervention and support will have to be at a high level. Improving internal competitiveness, rationalisation to achieve economies of scale and maximising government support are some of the key drivers to achieving optimal local content in the automotive component industry.
Exploring the use of computer-mediated communication for knowledge management in project environmentsSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 654 –676 (2014)More Less
The concept of utilising computer-mediated communication and social media applications as knowledge transfer agents within project environments is explored and a conceptual model for rapid dissemination of knowledge between resources across the various project phases is proposed. The model takes into account the use of tacit and explicit knowledge transfer between different project resources working within the same project phase.
Five research questions were posed and, in order to answer these, interviews were conducted with respondents within a number of large organisations that utilise computer-mediated communication. Barriers to knowledge transfer mentioned in literature were found to exist in these South African organisations in 2013. A number of problems relating to the use of social media or computer-mediated communication for knowledge management in project environments were identified.
Suggestions are made for improving the use of social media for project knowledge management. Specific applications that organisations use for transferring knowledge were identified and these findings are incorporated into the conceptual model.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 677 –702 (2014)More Less
In recent years, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has received increasing attention from both academics and practitioners. However, most past research has concentrated on large businesses. It appears as if there is a gap with respect to the inquiry of the relationship between CSR and the business reputation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The primary objective of this study was to identify and empirically assess the impact of the CSR factors that influence the business reputation of SMEs in Kampala, Uganda. A structured self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 750 potential SME respondents. The respondents were identified by means of purposive sampling and the data from 383 usable questionnaires were analysed. An exploratory factor analysis was carried out, and Cronbach-alpha coefficients were calculated to assess the discriminant validity and reliability of the measuring instrument respectively. Relationships between variables were assessed using Structural Equation Modeling.
The empirical results of this study indicate that Workforce-oriented CSR activities, Society-oriented CSR activities, Market-oriented CSR activities and Regulated CSR activities significantly influence the Business reputation of SMEs.
Author R.V. WeeksSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 703 –722 (2014)More Less
The economic meltdown and 9/11 in many respects were watershed events; they triggered unexpected effects that collectively have played a fundamental role in reshaping an emergent global landscape. It is one characterised by unprecedented technological innovation, socio-political upheaval, contextual uncertainty and as often termed to be "Black Swan" events that are extremely disruptive and have a significant impact on communities and institutions. The convergent emergent systemic effects and the uncertainty and unpredictability it engendered have exposed fundamental difficulties associated with traditional management practices based on ordered systems.
The research study methodology underpinning this paper is that of a multidisciplinary literature review directed at exploring management perspectives that are deemed to be more effective for dealing with a context of innovative and discontinuous change.
A key finding emerging from the research is the need to make use of the appropriate methodology for managing coexisting ordered and complex systems. Further found is the need for a culture of resiliency to deal with the transition from chaos to complex and ordered states.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 11, pp 723 –745 (2014)More Less
This research determined what factors motivated visitors to attend the Neil Diamond concerts in South Africa and the critical success factors that influence attendees' experience when attending a live music performance. Surveys were conducted at all four Neil Diamond concerts held during April 2011, where a total of 1820 questionnaires were administered.
The statistical analyses were conducted in three stages where stage one included factor analyses, stage two included the cluster analysis based on the motives and finally, an analysis of the significant differences between the motivational clusters of visitors at the four Neil Diamond concerts was undertaken.
Two clusters were identified, and named the Neil Diamond Fanistas and the Neil Diamond Curious. According to the t-test, four motivational factors contributed to differentiating the two motivational clusters from one another. These included: Excitement and group affiliation, Socialisation, Artist affiliation and unique experience and Entertainment. Apart from this, significant differences were identified with regard to the socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics as well as the aspects regarding the critical success factors for a memorable experience.