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- Volume 39, Issue 2, 2015
South African Journal of Labour Relations - Volume 39, Issue 2, 2015
Volume 39, Issue 2, 2015
Author Monica KirstenSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 39, pp 6 –10 (2015)More Less
This is the second issue of the SAJLR for 2015, and I would like to thank our Editorial Committee, Professors Erasmus, Booysen, Anstey and Horwitz, the respected academics and practitioners in the field who serve on our Reviewers' Panel and all our authors who contributed to this edition for their vision and insightful contributions.
Author Maggie HoltzhausenSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 39, pp 11 –42 (2015)More Less
The legislative requirement of representivity of parties to bargaining councils remains one of the main challenges these institutions face. When trade unions and/or employers' organisations are deemed to be unrepresentative, this could lead to the ultimate collapse of the council, or result in collective agreements not being extended to non-parties - thereby defeating the purpose of centralised collective bargaining. This research has thrown light on representation levels by demonstrating that they are not stagnant, but change constantly. The research indicates that today private sector councils especially are often faced with unrepresentative parties, mainly because of economic and political challenges and significant changes in the world of work. Examples are given of how councils deal with these challenges, if at all. The research indicates that even though representivity remains a huge challenge for councils, collective agreements are still in the main extended to non-parties. Nevertheless, there is evidence that the extension of agreements has been challenged. This article therefore throws light on and improves our understanding of non-representivity matters in certain bargaining councils, and by extension our understanding of non-representivity in other bargaining councils as well. It concludes with certain recommendations. Hence, this article contributes to existing knowledge by providing a more inclusive and integrated view of non-representivity and its consequences, thereby enriching the broader employment relations management context.
Author Mark BussinSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 39, pp 43 –63 (2015)More Less
This study was conducted in 2012 and replicates Bussin and Huysamen's (2004) work, conducted in 2003, on remuneration policies. It investigates the factors driving remuneration policy in South Africa and determines whether these factors have changed since 2003. Anonymous e-mail questionnaires were received from 131 senior company representatives. All participating companies were members of the South African Reward Association (SARA) or clients of a large remuneration consulting firm. Data were analysed using a chi-squared test and factor analysis. Results support Bussin and Huysamen's study, which found that the two main drivers of change in policy were the retention of talented staff and the financial results of the organisation. However, three components of remuneration are receiving greater prominence than they did in 2003 : governance in the organisation, merit pay and retention strategies. These findings suggest a greater shareholder expectation that pay should be linked to performance, and that pay acts as a retention strategy for critical staff.
Domestic workers' lived realities of empowerment and dis-empowerment within the South African labour legislative context : two sides of the same "coin"Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 39, pp 64 –83 (2015)More Less
South Africa is heralded as a global ambassador for the rights of domestic workers. Empowerment, however, remains an elusive concept within the sector. Fear-based dis-empowerment still characterises the employment relationship, resulting in an absence of an employee voice. The dire need to survive renders this sector silent. This article explores the role that legislative awareness can play in the everyday lives of domestic workers. By means of a post-positive, forward looking positive psychological and phenomenological research design the researchers sought to access the voiced experiences of domestic workers within their employment context. Consequently, purposive, respondent-driven self sampling knowledgeable participants were recruited. In-depth interviewing generated the data. The distinct voice of each participant was noted during an open inductive approach to data analysis. Findings indicated that empowerment was an unknown construct for all participants. They lacked the confidence to engage their employers on employment issues. Nevertheless, domestic workers should embrace ownership and endeavour to empower themselves. This would sanction their right to assert their expectations of employment standards with confidence and use the judicial system to bring about compliant actions. The article concludes with the notion that legislative awareness could result in empowered actions though informed employee voices.
Employment equity in the South African retail sector : legal versus competence and business imperativesSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 39, pp 84 –104 (2015)More Less
In 2013/14 a study entitled "Interventions to achieve employment equity objectives in the wholesale and retail sector" was conducted by the Wholesale and Retail Leadership Chair (WRLC) at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology on behalf of the W&R SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority). Objectives included assessing the impact of implementation of the Employment Equity Act (EEA) on retail organisations, and determining what supportive action regulatory authorities (the Department of Labour and the W&R SETA) and businesses could take to achieve employment equity (EE) goals. The study is therefore useful across the spectrum of the W&R industry, especially for employment relations practitioners and those tasked with EE implementation. The study followed a mixed-methods approach, using questionnaire surveys, in-depth interviews, case studies, focus groups and secondary data. Results indicated that EE tends to be numbers-driven at the expense of competence and talent management. Most respondents' perceptions of EE implementation were negative, with the implication that a different approach is needed because the pace of change and transformation in the South African workplace is too slow. Although the small sample size limits generalisation of the findings, the study provides insight and direction for further research. This paper acknowledges that because EE is currently driven largely by meeting mandated targets for demographic change, the development of talent - in essence, competence - is lacking or inadequate. Thus, the recommendations propose a competency model linked to a performance management system, which could lead to an efficient EE talent management process. This process will enable organisations to develop, within the shortest possible period, competent individuals able to perform adequately in their positions, thereby maintaining or improving productivity; it also addresses effective succession planning.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 39, pp 105 –122 (2015)More Less
The study explored the link between the career anchors, organisational commitment and turnover intention of a sample of individuals employed in the South African retail sector. A non-probability purposive sample (N = 343) of employees from an organisation in the South African retail sector was utilised. The participants were represented by predominantly women (72%) and black people (94%) between the ages of 25 and 45 years (80%). Following a cross-sectional quantitative research approach, correlational and stepwise regression analysis was performed to achieve the objective of the study. The results showed that the entrepreneurial creativity-anchored individuals were likely to have low organisational commitment and high turnover intention, while the lifestyle anchored individuals had high levels of organisational commitment and high turnover intention. The dominant affective/normative commitment profile of the sample of participants significantly predicted low turnover intention. The findings of the study and practical implications provide useful information to managers interested in retaining staff in the retail sector.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 39, pp 123 –144 (2015)More Less
Retaining talented employees and keeping them healthy and well are increasingly important challenges for organisations in the age of the knowledge worker. Organisations are interrogating aspects such as the reasons why some employees are more satisfied, committed and engaged to their organisations than others. Another question is : what should managers do to ensure employee wellness within their organisations? This study explores the relationship between job satisfaction, organisational commitment and work engagement. Spector's (1997) Job Satisfaction Survey, Allen and Meyer's (1990) Organisational Commitment Questionnaire and Schaufeli and Bakker's (2004) Utrecht Work Engagement Scale were administered to a sample of 220 employees from a South African insurance company. The findings show mixed results with regard to significant correlations between job satisfaction, organisational commitment and work engagement. The majority of the findings suggest that there are significant correlations, of a large and medium effect, between scales, including a number of positive relationships of varying strength between job satisfaction, organisational commitment and selected components of work engagement. The findings could benefit organisations as they could contribute to a better understanding of what motivates their workers, particularly their levels of satisfaction, commitment and engagement, and what the combined effect of these might be on the retention and wellness of employees.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 39, pp 145 –164 (2015)More Less
Unlearning an attachment has become a critical change competence for executives. Although attachment behaviour in the workplace is ubiquitous, there is a scarcity of empirical research on the processes executives follow in order to release their dysfunctional attachments to systems, routines, ideas, divisions and certain members of staff. By unlearning attachments, executives can embrace new concepts, methods and processes and thereby enable their organisations to be more competitive. This qualitative research investigated executives' experiences of unlearning an attachment, through the pre-unlearning, unlearning and post-unlearning phases. A de jure model was formulated from concepts that emerged during the literature review and this model was the basis of in-depth interviews with 10 change experts and 10 executives who had unlearned attachments. The executives and change experts shared real-life experiences during each of the unlearning phases. The findings informed a de facto model of the experiences of executives unlearning their attachments. This process model makes a theoretical contribution by depicting the major types of attachments, influences on, processes of, actions required by and outcome of the executives' unlearning. The model should contribute to change practitioners' facilitation of executives' unlearning processes and executives' insights into their own attachments.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 39, pp 165 –189 (2015)More Less
Studies have shown that employees react negatively towards negative supervisory behaviour. Therefore, a questionnaire that could measure the quality of various aspects of the employment relationship could be a useful tool for managing and promoting healthy employment relationships. In the light of this, the aim of this study was to develop a questionnaire that measured the perceived quality of the employment relationship from the employee's perspective. Aquantitative cross-sectional survey was conducted on a non-probability convenience sample of 248 employees from various organisations and sectors in South Africa. Although a 39-item questionnaire was developed across four theoretical dimensions, namely trust, fairness, good faith and justice, the analysis revealed that only two dimensions, labelled social factors and compliance factors and measured by 20 items, were sufficient to measure the desired construct. This questionnaire, which measures the perceived employment relationship quality, could be used as a diagnostic tool by management and HR professionals to determine the state of supervisory relationships in an organisation, and to address any problems brought to the fore, thereby avoiding turnover costs related to negative workplace relationships.
Fighting the battles of the mine workers : the emergence of the association of mineworkers and construction union (AMCU)Author Mmanoko Jerry MathekgaSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 39, pp 190 –204 (2015)More Less
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) was formed in post-apartheid South Africa. AMCU organises workers in the mining and construction sector. The importance and relevance of AMCU in democratic South Africa should not be de-emphasised, given the high levels of labour exploitation by mining companies. The mining sector is regarded as a crucial engine for economic growth and social development. AMCU, as the mining and construction labour movement, plays an important role in ensuring that its members are well represented, work in decent working conditions and are not exploited but are protected instead from the capitalist system in which the global economy operates. However, in the post-apartheid era, trade unions have not been forceful enough in advancing the interests of their members; instead they have been accused of being too close to employers and of having been co-opted by the new government. They are faced with the challenges of outsourcing, labour brokers and contracting-out of services by employers. Trust in trade unions has also decreased. This paper examines the emergence of AMCU and its rise in the mining sector.