Journal of Contemporary Management - Volume 6, Issue 1, 2009
Volume 6, Issue 1, 2009
Author R. WeeksSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 1 –21 (2009)More Less
Services is not only the fastest growing sector of the global economy, it in many cases constitutes the major source of revenue for many institutions within business and industry across the world, including South Africa. In the case of South Africa, services represent over 65% of the country's gross domestic product. Seen within this context it is no surprise that services science management has gained the attention of both academics and managers in most developed nations and there increasingly is a growing awareness as to its importance within developing countries as well. It is in effect suggested that it is rapidly becoming the hart beat of many a contemporary South African institution. The purpose of this paper is therefore to shed light on a few of the key issues, in relation to services science management from a South African perspective, by researching and discussing a few pertinent questions, namely:
- The nature of the South African economy and the importance of the services sector to future economic growth;
- The nature of services and the associated management implications thereof;
- The challenges associated with integrating manufacturing and services at a strategic and operational level;
- The need for a new services paradigm of management.
Word-of-mouth marketing as a referral marketing tool - an exploratory study of the travel agency industry in South AfricaAuthor M. Roberts-LombardSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 22 –38 (2009)More Less
Organisations can make use of high levels of customer service delivery to stimulate positive word-of-mouth referrals. Referral marketing is primarily applied by organisations when the budget is the marketer's largest limitation. The purpose of the paper is to indicate what the current status is of the relationships which travel agencies in South Africa have with their referral market and will provide recommendations to the management of travel agencies in the country regarding the improved application of the principles of relationship marketing to this market. The target population for this study was 350 travel agencies of which 210 managers and / or owners of travel agencies participated through personal interviews in the completion of questionnaires. Data analysis was done by calculating averages and standard deviations, Explorative Factor Analysis, Cronbach Alpha-values and practical significance by means of effect sizes. The findings stipulate that the owners and managers of travel agencies must create and establish more integrated relationships with strategic suppliers to increase the value offering of their (travel agencies) products and services to customers. The travel agency hereby ensures that the needs and wants of customers can be satisfied more successfully which, in the long run, can lead to positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 39 –63 (2009)More Less
The purpose of this paper is to initiate the discourse on conflict, identity and health, specifically with regard to the sense of coherence (SOC) in South African Coloured managers, thereby contributing towards improving these issues in a culture-specific, organisational context. More specifically, the aim is to present selected research results from an explorative qualitative case study in the frame of recent theoretical discourses.
Certain components of the SOC contribute to managers' coping with, and staying healthy in cross-cultural conflict situations. Results from the case study demonstrate how the identity of South African Coloured managers is affected in (cross-cultural) conflicts, as well as how these managers create SOC components, such as comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness, to constructively cope with cross-cultural conflicts, thereby enhancing their personal health.
Author H.E. BrandSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 64 –80 (2009)More Less
The aim of the study was to explore the factors within an international medical organisation that could be utilized to increase employee commitment. Two questionnaires were utilized as measuring instruments on a stratified random sample of employees at all levels within the organisation. The results show that the most influential organisation commitment driver factors or categories within the organisation were rewards and affiliation. When evaluating the perceptions of employees of the organisation's workplace commitment practices, it was evident that the organisation was not meeting its employees' expectations.
In general, the employees are moderately committed to their employer. A significant percentage (33 per cent) reported extreme levels of commitment, while a small percentage (12 per cent) reported low levels of commitment.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 81 –96 (2009)More Less
Logistics management is a complex task within both manufacturing and construction industries. Effective logistics management involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, materials handling and packaging. Until recently, investment in logistics was focussed mainly on the flow from companies to markets. However growing concerns for the environment and the conservation of resources have created new logistical approaches to manage the distribution function more effectively, and make better use of the resources available to an organisation. One such approach is the concept of reverse logistics. Reverse logistics uses various methods to give scope for back-loads of finished products, components, waste and reusable packaging from consumers to manufacturers. Back-loads, which are logistics against the forward flow, allow manufacturers to reduce costs by using distribution vehicles' return journeys to create income or value addition. This concept is now being developed to create novel solutions to the reduction of pollution, costs and vehicle movements, while maintaining high customer service levels. This paper develops the concept of reverse logistics in a construction context in order to improve materials availability whilst simultaneously improving construction and demolition (C&D) waste management and reducing vehicle movements. The paper ends by describing a case study in Cape Town, South Africa in which the concept was applied in modelling the integration of materials delivery and construction and demolition (C&D) waste removal operations in order to reduce costs and vehicle movements.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 97 –120 (2009)More Less
Managing the change process throughout a project's life cycle is complex and should be understood, planned for, implemented and measured by the project manager, supported by organisational systems and processes for enhanced project success. The aim of this research was the development of an assessment tool to measure change dynamics across the four stages of a project life cycle, being: the conceptual / initiation-, the planning-, the implementation-, and the post-implementation stages. A triangulation method was followed inclusive of a three-phased research design including a thorough literature review, item development and scale development using the principles for scientific scale development and psychometric testing. A non-probability sample of 85 (49.4%) South African and 87 (50.6%) international project managers mainly working in the United Emirates were used. The assessment tool developed consisted of 103 items. Item-scale and reliability analysis, together with Tucker's phi results, confirmed the reliability, internal consistency and structure of the assessment tool for both the South African and international samples. Cronbach alpha coefficients of 0.937, 0.974, 0.931 and 0.875 were calculated for each of the four phases of a project life cycle respectively. This tool should be useful as both a measurement and a diagnostic instrument for organisations and project managers to improve change management in the project environment.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 121 –137 (2009)More Less
The purpose of this research is to determine to what extent intellectual capital is recognised and developed in the South African horseracing industry. The industry can be defined as an oligopoly, with Phumelela and Gold Circle the key organisations. Phumelela and Gold Circle's intellectual capital recognition and development is examined and compared. Intellectual capital is defined according to three categories - human, structural and relational capital. Intellectual capital's organisational importance is also discussed. The empirical study is conducted by examining the annual reports and financial statements of Phumelela and Gold Circle. Specific structured interviews with key industry role players are also referred to. Recommendations are made to assist in the industry's task of managing and developing intellectual capital.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 138 –150 (2009)More Less
This article highlights the concept of queue management as a fundamental aspect of the perception of service quality by customers frequenting the retail outlets of an international industrial gas and welding company. To date, research into queuing theory only provides a perspective regarding FMCG retailing. The perceptions of customers regarding inefficient queue management and service delivery were investigated in the industrial retail setting in order to gain perspective on the overall value offered by the company. A hypothesis was made that customers were experiencing service inefficiencies due to system constraints. Based on the internal and external empirical findings, the hypothesis was rejected, but several other problem areas regarding service efficiency and customer relationship management in the industrial retail environment were identified which may be of use for other industrial retailers. A suggested model for mitigating the problem areas was subsequently outlined.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 151 –169 (2009)More Less
Contact centres have sometimes been called "21st century sweatshops", yet the South African government has made them a strategic target for job creation. This paper explores whether a balance can be achieved between the often conflicting goals contact centre management set for agent performance and customer service, examining this from the perspectives of both agents and their managers. Semi-structured interviews and questionnaires were used to gain an understanding of issues relating to agent performance metrics and customer service. Data came from seven call centre managers and 91 agents within different industry sectors in the Western Cape region of South Africa. All centres were found to have a range of suitable measures and activities, but some experienced difficulties in aligning metrics with contact centre objectives to provide superior customer service. Overall, the centres studied were found to possess management approaches that predominantly favoured agent empowerment as opposed to a production line process. While both utopian and dystopian elements were present, the environment was different from that of the publicized "call centre sweatshop", providing agents with the flexibility to be customer-centric.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 170 –192 (2009)More Less
The South African mining industry faces unique challenges to remain sustainable. A sustainable competitive advantage can be achieved through continuous innovation and the creation of new ideas, often termed as corporate entrepreneurship. This article undertakes a multi-disciplinary investigation, where corporate entrepreneurship is interrogated as it permeates the entire firm, and contributes to the overall performance of an organisation. Based on a consolidation of various theories, models and frameworks, several constructs are identified in order to measure corporate entrepreneurship. A sample of 103 respondents at the managerial level is surveyed and descriptive and inferential statistics are used to analyse the data. Findings indicate that levels of intrapreneurship are mediocre, although effect sizes indicate practical significance. Specific recommendations are made how each of the dimensions constituting corporate entrepreneurship can be enhanced.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 193 –213 (2009)More Less
A previous paper has presented the results of a web-based national questionnaire survey of the opinions of South African quantity surveyors relating to the relationship between job satisfaction and racial classification. This paper examines job satisfaction within the context of age. Issues explored included demographic factors; factors influencing job satisfaction; choice of career; age, gender and race in the workplace; and age and harassment and discrimination at work. Unlike evidence documented in the literature, very few significant differences exist between the two respondent groupings, except with regard to: the importance of maternity and paternity leave entitlements above statutory minima; the extent to which the management of firms is seen to be male dominated; the importance of gender representivity at work as a means of combating discrimination; and the importance of respecting individual diversity within the workplace. Instances of harassment and discrimination (especially racial and gender) at work are not uncommon, although age per se is not seen as a significant factor.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 214 –228 (2009)More Less
Project governance has become part of the project management vocabulary. As a formal definition of the term lacked, it has been used in various contexts that caused confusion and misunderstanding. This paper provides a formal definition for 'project governance' based on a Delphi study. Combining the results from the Delphi study with existing corporate governance principles led to a concept project governance framework that was validated and developed further by means of two primary case studies and 15 secondary case studies. The end result is a final project governance framework that provides a practical checklist for the governance of major capital investments.
The use of the focus group technique in management research : the example of renewable energy technology selection in AfricaSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 229 –240 (2009)More Less
Quantitative management research on the African continent is often hampered by the lack of large data sets and the unreliability of electronic as well as conventional communication. This paper advocates the use of qualitative methods, in particular the focus group technique, to overcome these difficulties. The focus group technique has been extensively used in social sciences research and in this paper its use in management research is investigated and applied. The paper further advocates the use of triangulation to improve the reliability of qualitative management research. An example of the selection of renewable energy technology in Africa is used as basis for this investigation. In this case the focus group technique was used to identify thirty-eight factors during the exploratory phase of a larger research effort. The focus group technique was used in conjunction with the nominal group technique. The authors make recommendations on how the focus group technique can be successfully applied in management research.
Marketing education internationally : an investigation of undergraduates motivations to study abroadAuthor M. MpinganjiraSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 241 –252 (2009)More Less
Efforts aimed at attracting more international students have become an area of both institutional and national government concern in most major hosting countries. This is due to the many benefits associated with hosting international students, resulting in stiff competition on the market. This study is aimed at understanding the factors that motivate students to undertake their undergraduate studies abroad. The findings show that there are many reasons behind the decision to study abroad. Seeking high quality education with worldwide recognition was however found to be of major importance followed by the opportunity to experience living abroad and its associated benefits. The inability of some countries to meet their local demand for educational services also forces some students to seek studies abroad. Knowledge of these factors is important for the development of effective marketing programs at both institutional and country level aimed at attracting a lot of students and avoiding retention problems.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 253 –273 (2009)More Less
The paper investigates the potential of a stage / phase and gate process as a general approach to manage project risks. The use of stages / phases and gates as a project management approach is well established in literature and industry. However, the approach has primarily been used for product development projects, and opinions differ as to the number of stages / phases and what tasks should be completed in each stage / phase in general. Furthermore, the risk management potential of such an approach is not well established in literature. The risk managing potential that is considered in this investigation is both overall and within project phases by considering project lifecycle phases as stages. A case study is presented to illustrate this potential for progressively lowering risk through such a stage / phase-gate project management approach.
Customer retention practices of group, or branded hotels, as compared to private or owner-managed hotels : an exploratory studySource: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 274 –297 (2009)More Less
There is room for improvement when it comes to customer retention in the hotel industry in South Africa. This study explores the importance attributed to customer retention practices by the managers of group or branded hotels, as opposed to private or owner-managed hotels. For group or branded hotels, as well as for private or owner-managed hotels, the overall importance attributed to customer retention activities does not differ significantly. It is hoped that the findings of this study will add to the relatively limited research into services marketing in the hospitality industry - and specifically in the hotel sector.
Author G.C. MwanzaSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 298 –309 (2009)More Less
This paper is concerned with the management activities involved in changing strategies and address important issues to do with the structuring of organizations and the resourcing of strategies, both important in change. However, designing a structure and putting in place appropriate resource do not of themselves ensure that people will make a strategy happen. This begins by explaining important issues that need to be considered in diagnosing the situation an organization faces when embarking on strategic change, in terms of the types of change required, the variety of contextual and cultural factors that need to be taken into account, and the forces blocking or facilitating change. This paper discusses the management of strategic change in terms of the styles of transformation change and the role played by the strategic leaders and other change agents in managing strategic change.
Scarcity, requirements and remuneration of applicants with management qualifications in the private-, public- and higher education sectorsAuthor C. NieuwenhuizenSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 310 –324 (2009)More Less
The appointment of academics in the field of Management and Business Management in Higher Education has become virtually impossible and the problem is exacerbated by the quest for appointments from the designated groups. This problem was identified over a period and at various universities with universities head hunting scarce academic staff from each other and with some attempts at the private sector, usually to no avail.
The aim of the research was to determine the reasons for and possible solutions to the difficulty in attracting and retaining academics, with specific reference to academics from designated groups, with management qualifications to Higher Education.
The results indicate that there are a major scarcity in the field of management and business management not only in Higher Education but in the public- and private sectors as well. The numbers of vacancies and scarcity in the private- and public sectors are extremely high whereas the major problem in Higher Education seems to be attracting candidates at significantly lower salaries compared to the private- and public sectors and even compared to non-academic managerial positions in universities. In addition the required qualifications and other requirements are much higher in Higher Education than that in the private- and public sectors.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 325 –360 (2009)More Less
Purpose: To determine how innovation and corporate entrepreneurship can be fostered in Development Finance Institutions (DFI) by means of an innovation and corporate entrepreneurship training programme.
Problem investigated : Development finance institutions are regarded as catalysts for development that needs to address both the market and public failure that results from underdevelopment. There is a need for an improved understanding of what the current state of entrepreneurial orientation is within the DFI's as catalyst of development. An investigation into how innovation and corporate entrepreneurship in development finance institutions can be fostered needs to be investigated.
Design / methodology / approach : This research is designed as a formal case study. To demonstrate that innovation and corporate entrepreneurship can be fostered in development finance institutions the study employed a pre-test-post-test control group true experimental design in which the innovation and corporate entrepreneurship climate was diagnosed. A comprehensive ICEAI (Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship Assessment Instrument, based on the Corporate Entrepreneurship Assessment Instrument of Kuratko, Hornsby & Montagno 1999) was developed to measure the level of innovation and corporate entrepreneurship in a development finance institution.
Findings: The results of the experiment indicate that the ICEAI can be a useful tool in diagnosing the innovation and corporate entrepreneurship environment in development finance institutions; that after the training intervention of the leadership group in the experimental development finance institution, there was a notable increase in developed and approved new venture plans, indicating the organisational leaders can be change agents in innovation and corporate entrepreneurship.
Value of research: The study offers empirically tested ideas on how to foster corporate entrepreneurship, innovation and new venture creation within DFIs in order to find new solutions for the challenges of underdevelopment.
The impacts of performance measurement on the quality of service delivery in the Zambian public serviceSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 6, pp 361 –374 (2009)More Less
The design, implementation and use of Performance Measurement (PM) systems have been studied extensively. However, the literature shows little evidence on what kind of impacts PM practices have had on, for example, the performance of the operative level of an organisation. This paper focuses on the impacts PM has had on the Quality of the service delivery (QSD) of employees, for example, their work motivation, learning opportunities, job satisfaction, participation in decision making and reward system. Furthermore, this paper presents how the perceptions of management and employees differ from each other and what the key elements in the implementation process are as regards the accomplishment of positive impacts of PM on the quality of service delivery. This paper concludes with the underlying factors behind the positive impacts of PM on the quality of service delivery.