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- Volume 34, Issue 1, 2010
South African Journal of Labour Relations - Volume 34, Issue 1, 2010
Volume 34, Issue 1, 2010
Author Monica KirstenSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 34, pp 5 –6 (2010)More Less
This is the first edition of the SAJLR for 2010, and I would like to wish all contributing authors, subscribers, the Editorial Committee and the Reviewers' Panel a prosperous 2010. We trust that your research endeavours will bear fruit and that you will continue to send us your insightful and valuable contributions.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 34, pp 7 –30 (2010)More Less
The aim of this study was to conceptualise psychological empowerment as experienced by employees in a South African work context. The qualitative design consisted of semi-structured interviews with 20 employees from different sectors. A phenomenological approach was followed to explore the authentic psychological experiences of employees in the present sociopolitical environment. Through content analysis, the study found dimensions of psychological empowerment and characteristics of empowered employees that are similar to those found by leading authors and researchers on the subject, but with some aspects that are unique given the present South African context. Dimensions and characteristics that emerged from the study were resilience, a sense of competence, a sense of achievement, a sense of control, a sense of meaning, making a difference and the empowerment of others. In a deductive analysis, the theoretical frameworks proposed by Menon (2001) and Zimmerman (1995) revealed two further characteristics, namely goal orientation and a proactive orientation.
Workers with family responsibilities : a comparative analysis to advocate for the legal right to request flexible working arrangements in South AfricaSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 34, pp 31 –45 (2010)More Less
Governments assist employees to varying degrees to combine work and family care. This support is provided in three main areas : state-supported childcare facilities, state subsidies for periods out of employment to provide care and lastly through the passing of legislation requiring employers to give employees time off for family care. This paper discusses the last area, namely legislation governing time off work for family care, more specifically an employee's legal right to request flexible working arrangements such as working from home, flexible working hours etc. Other provisions for time off for family care include leave provisions such as maternity and paternity leave. The inadequacy of these provisions in South African labour law is briefly discussed in the context of existing leave provisions in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. The focus of this paper, however, is on the legal right to request flexible working arrangements within a comparative analysis of existing law in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. No such right currently exists for South African employees. It is argued that there are policy considerations such as increased caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS that require greater state involvement in work-family policy, and in particular, it is argued that the legal right to request flexible working arrangements should be introduced in South Africa.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 34, pp 46 –67 (2010)More Less
The Netcare Group, one of South Africa's largest healthcare providers, was experiencing a shortage of skilled nursing staff, which impacted on the quality of service delivery and staff morale. The challenge was to find creative solutions to this problem, the traditional ways of addressing staff shortages having been exhausted given the context of nursing in South Africa. In essence, the management of Netcare had to find ways of making the most efficient and effective use of existing nursing skills in their medical facilities. To do so Netcare had to challenge traditional human resource practices and modes of organisational development. Using a case method approach, this paper details the processes used by the Human Resource Director and her team, in consultation with the Nursing Director, to attract and retain skilled nurses within the Netcare group. The case provides information for human resource practitioners to consider in attracting and retaining staff, but also, through the literature review and the discussion of the case, suggests new and creative ways of addressing a contemporary problem. The case study methodology provides insight into how theory can generate "best practice" as well as how practice can contribute to theory building through the reflective and systematic analysis of an approach to a problem. Given the general skills shortages in South Africa in most professions, the problem highlighted by the Netcare case is applicable to all South African organisations. It demands that human resource practitioners think divergently and devise creative ways of both framing problems and considering solutions.
Expectations and obligations governing the member-union relationship : a psychological contract perspectiveSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 34, pp 68 –85 (2010)More Less
This qualitative research paper employs psychological contract theory, in order to determine the existence of a psychological contract between trade unions and their members. This is accomplished by identifying the underlying expectations and obligations that govern this relationship. The identified expectations and obligations are categorised into themes according to similarity, and motivated through literature on psychological contract theory and other relevant theories. The impact of the contents of this member-union psychological contract on the employment relationship is also discussed, with suggestions for the improvement of the broader labour relationship.
The motivational impact of job security, recognition, monetary incentives and training on the job performance of blue-collar employeesSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 34, pp 86 –102 (2010)More Less
In addressing the problem of low motivation in blue-collar employees in South Africa, an exploratory latent class analysis was conducted to assess the influence of employment characteristics on job motivation. The objective of the study was to investigate the influence of rewards, such as job security, recognition, monetary incentives and training, on the job motivation (performance) of blue-collar employees. Two segments were identified : 1) those primarily motivated by job security and monetary incentives, and 2) those primarily motivated by recognition and monetary incentives. The implications of this study for improving employee motivation are discussed.