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- Volume 27, Issue 3_4, 2003
South African Journal of Labour Relations - Volume 27, Issue 3_4, 2003
Volume 27, Issue 3_4, 2003
Author Adele ThomasSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 27, pp 6 –40 (2003)More Less
In order to redress historical workplace discrimination, in 1998 the South African government introduced employment equity legislation. Companies employing 50 or more people or those with specified financial turnovers, are required to comply with such legislation. Four years later, the present exploratory study aimed to identify practices that appear to be supportive or not of the sentiments of employment equity at selected companies in South Africa and to highlight apparent 'best practices' in this area. Twenty-one companies were included in the study, with 114 interviews being conducted and 47 focus groups being run involving, in total, 217 people. The areas of study focus included: progress to date and perceived problems, management commitment and accountability, consultation and communication, employment practices, special measures for people with disabilities and organisational culture. <br>The findings indicate that while progress towards achieving employment equity in South African companies is generally perceived to be slow, progress has been made in certain areas. However, problems pertaining to holistic practices to support employment equity were found to be lacking.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 27, pp 41 –59 (2003)More Less
Organisational climate measurements have been used by many organisations in the past to measure employees' experience of their work environment. Changes in the South African work environment such as new Acts, downsizing, mergers and globalisation are affecting employees' motivation and commitment. Organisations are now requesting instruments that incorporate the effects of the changing environment rather than the traditional climate measurements. The aim of this study was to validate an organisational climate questionnaire that was adapted and used during a phase of organisational and environmental change. The findings showed a number of new dimensions that can be used to measure organisational climate.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 27, pp 60 –78 (2003)More Less
The disclosure of information to employees/workers in South Africa has always been a matter which depended largely on the relationship between the employer and the employees as well as the employer's goodwill towards the employees. Information disclosure in the USA, the UK, Sweden and South Africa is examined in this article. <br>It is demonstrated that the situation regarding the disclosure of information to employees has changed substantially since the commencement of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995. The article also reports the views of management and of worker representatives of a number of surveyed organisations regarding the disclosure of information. Some inferences are drawn from the findings of the research.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 27, pp 79 –105 (2003)More Less
The primary objective of the research was to investigate the following: "What is the basis of the intergroup dynamics that potentially lead to conflict and ineffective work behaviour, and how does group dynamics manifest in groups within a specific business consulting organisation?" This entailed a qualitative analysis of unconscious dynamics or drives within and between different groups in the organisation, in an attempt to identify and describe those unique processes which lead to confusion about task, group and identity boundaries, disempowerment and a break down in intergroup relations. The intergroup relations between the different departments included in this research were studied from the psychoanalytic, systems and object relations approaches, with specific focus on the Tavistock Group Relations model. The measuring technique comprised an unstructured interview for data collection and the hermeneutic approach to the analysis and interpretation of data. The interview was used in order to explore, study and analyse the relations between two groups in terms of the boundary management, authority and projective processes in and between these groups. These three constructs provided a structure for discovering a range of perceptions from the participants' viewpoint on the interactions between the groups. Apart from the systems psychoanalytic analysis of these constructs, the hermeneutic approach was used in order make an in-depth analysis of the dynamics of interaction between the two groups. The results indicated that these groups, in interaction with each other, set up defences against anxieties which could undermine the success of their work efforts and relationships. Issues of nonclarity of task, group boundary and identity problems, authority issues and projection reactions seemed prevalent. Valuable insights were gained which explained one group's self-absorbed behaviour and the resultant lack of interaction; how anti-task processes and especially administrative tasks are used by groups to contain anxiety and avoid attending to problematic interpersonal processes; how in the absence of clearly defined tasks and identity boundaries groups take up tasks and roles of authority figures in an attempt to define and authorise themselves; how intense competition between groups (normally encouraged in organisations) can lead to heightened anxiety, mistrust and hostility; how projective identification processes may lead to feelings of incompetence and powerlessness in a group; and how human resources managers, in identifying with projections from different groups, take the responsibility for intergroup relations in organisations on themselves, which undermines the opportunity for groups to link directly. Hypotheses were developed around these issues and proved useful as a basis for team and intergroup development, resolving intergroup conflict and further research.
Reverse discrimination. A facet of sexual discrimination? A micro-focus on the legal profession : forumSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 27, pp 107 –127 (2003)More Less
South African society is attempting to transform from an institutionalised prejudiced society to one of national unity and democracy. Recent legislation aims to eradicate discrimination within commercial organisations. The aim of this research is to examine experiences and perceptions of sexual discrimination within the legal profession. A triangulatory approach was employed using a survey-type questionnaire with some open-ended and closed-ended qualitative questions. 46 attorneys were surveyed and a range of techniques was used to analyse the qualitative and quantitative information. The most significant results indicate a greater prevalence of indirect as opposed to direct sexual discrimination. Reverse discrimination appears to be integral in males' experiences of sexual discrimination, whereas maternity issues appear to be prominent in females' experiences.
Aspects of training and development in small and medium enterprises : results from case studies in Gauteng : forumAuthor B.J. ErasmusSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 27, pp 128 –163 (2003)More Less