Journal of Contemporary Management - Volume 5, Issue 1, 2008
Volume 5, Issue 1, 2008
Author M. Du PlessisSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 1 –12 (2008)More Less
All knowledge management programmes need sponsorship in order to be implemented in an organisation. A structured approach to getting a knowledge management programme implemented is by writing a knowledge management business case, detailing what the programme wants to achieve in the organisation, and presenting it to the sponsors and decision makers of the knowledge management programme for implementation approval.
This article seeks to understand what a knowledge management business case consists of, and how comprehensively knowledge managers need to plan when they want to implement knowledge management. Implementation requires a lot of preparation - from mandates to fit with the current strategy, operating models, technology models, strategic drivers, cost / benefit analysis, cost recovery, risks, interdependencies, and stakeholder management.
This article presents a broad framework for the compilation of an organisational knowledge management business case with all possible dimensions included. It is based on practical experience and backed up by selective literature.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 13 –38 (2008)More Less
A web-based national questionnaire survey of the opinions of South African quantity surveyors was undertaken to establish differences in job satisfaction on the basis of remuneration. Respondents were grouped into two salary categories, namely, those earning more than R300k per annum, and those earning R300k or less. Issues explored included demographic factors; factors influencing job satisfaction; choice of career; salary, gender and race in the workplace; and salary and harassment and discrimination at work. The relationship between remuneration and job satisfaction was found not to be significant (p=0.32), with salary being given a low rank as a motivating factor. Very few significant differences exist between the two respondent groupings, except with regard to: the perceived importance of remuneration as a motivating factor; opportunities to do challenging and creative work and to participate in creative teams; and the flexibility of employers concerning adherence to statutory minima with respect to maternity and paternity entitlements. Instances of harassment and discrimination (especially racial and gender) at work are not uncommon, although differences between the groups are not significant.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 39 –57 (2008)More Less
Competitive advantage is a dynamic concept. Competitive advantage focuses on a variety of competitive alternatives. These alternatives include for example people, quality, speed, innovation, service, leadership, time utility and place utility. Developing a competitive strategy is vital to the survival and prosperity of any organisation.
The objective of this study is to establish to which extent employees perceive people as a competitive advantage factor and use employees to gain and sustain competitive advantage for success. The population focus on employees at a leading bank. The empirical study considers bank learnership candidates (employees) as sample and people as a competitive advantage factor. The study yielded a minimum response rate of 98.7%.
Analysing and establishing which people factors contributes to establishing a competitive advantage will ensure future organisational success and provide leaders with direction. Skill development; empowering members of the work force; and treating employees well has been identified as the three most prominent factors to consider when establishing people as a competitive advantage factor with reference to the research group. Learning and skill development programmes are therefore recommended to enhance the people factor for sustainability. Leadership development and employee support empowerment are of essence.
High-growth entrepreneurs : the relevance of business knowledge and work experience on venture successSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 58 –71 (2008)More Less
In Africa high-growth entrepreneurs are scarce, and in SA entrepreneurial activity is dominated by necessity entrepreneurship with low expectations of growth and job creation. The paper focuses on opportunity entrepreneurs who are responsible for job creation. The sample (n = 171) is randomly drawn from the JCCI population membership base, who qualify on established individual and organizational level criterion to represent high-growth entrepreneurs. Building on previous research on entrepreneurial characteristics,competencies, knowledge, work experiences, skills, capabilities, education, training, and success indicators, the study measures business knowledge and work experience and relates these to different levels of venture success. Various chi-square-based tests are used to detect the strength of the relationship between the variables; in particular, statistically significant relationships are found between employment growth, higher levels of education, previous work experience and successful venture indicators. Practical and policy implications follow.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 72 –89 (2008)More Less
Leaders should not randomly choose a leadership style. To be effective, leaders need to ensure that their leadership style is congruent with what subordinates value. The focus of this study is on what the future South African graduate workforce will value in a leader. The female and male respondents in this study emphasise similar leadership values, indicating that there is no distinct set of competencies that will be valued separately by males and females. The same was found for respondents of different cultures, namely African, Coloured, Indian, White and other. With respect to both gender and culture, the respondents emphasise a mixture of African and Western leadership values. This supports the idea that to be effective in South Africa, leaders need to understand the prevailing national cultural values before simply applying ''foreign'' leadership models and theories based upon cultural values found in the West. This research finds that irrespective of gender and culture in the South African workplace, to be effective, leaders need to be loyal and inspirational, have vision and integrity and must be open and honest with their subordinates. Leaders should avoid being autocratic, strict, religious, ritualistic and traditional. They should also avoid using consensus and perceived external control.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 90 –105 (2008)More Less
Education is critical in the development in any country as it influences future economic growth and personal development. This education is provided by the primary and secondary, as well as the tertiary education sector, which is the focus of this paper. The recent merging of tertiary educational institutions in South Africa has affected the stress levels of employees in these institutions. Diversity characterises the employees within a merging educational institution. Employees working under stressful conditions play a vital role in assisting the organisation to achieve its mission and objectives. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the academic employees (considering their diversity) of a newly-merged tertiary institution perceive their stress levels, and the stress management behaviour in individual and organisational context, to cope with these stresses. The paper examines the existing literature regarding diversity, stress and stress behaviour in organisations (specifically merging tertiary institutions). The research was by means of a census conducted among permanent academic staff of a merged institution in South Africa. Use was made of an electronic survey in order to attract responses from the various campuses of the institution. The findings indicate that high levels of stress are experienced by all diverse groups of academic employees, although the type of stress can be different. Management can therefore not generalise in their approach. While employees exhibit various behaviours to deal with the stress experienced, management needs to strive to provide organisational support systems in order to provide support to create an environment conducive to handling stress.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 106 –122 (2008)More Less
The study reported here was undertaken to gauge stakeholders' perceptions in the Rondebosch / Rosebank area of Cape Town with the aim of using these views to guide the design of a possible City Improvement District (CID) for the area. Several surveys and some follow-up structured interviews were conducted. The surveys involved commercial property owners (21), commercial tenants (50), residents (102), shoppers (101) and students (1371). The questionnaires covered the areas of safety and security, litter / grime and cleaning, parking, informal trading, public transport, the public environment, and social issues.
The main finding in respect of safety and security was that it was ranked by all respondent types as the most serious problem in the area. A common complaint is the apparent lack of visible policing. Whilst the cleanliness of the Rondebosch / Rosebank area appears to be 'acceptable', graffiti is perceived as a nuisance. The availability of on-street parking is considered inadequate and vehicles parked on the street are not considered secure. Car guards are seen as annoying or threatening by many. Whilst the concept of informal trading enjoys wide support in principle, the majority of stakeholders want it to be managed by the local authority in specific ways. Mini-bus taxis are not viewed positively and the majority of respondents consider taxis to have a negative impact on the image of the area. The quality of the public environment is well regarded, although the maintenance of pavements and street lighting is seen by some as a problem. Whilst there is considerable tolerance of street children, vagrants and homeless people are perceived to detract from the image of the area, display threatening behaviour, and harass people for food and / or money .
A clear majority of participants would support the introduction of a Rondebosch / Rosebank CID.
Nurturing a culture and climate of resilence to navigate the whitewaters of the South African dual economyAuthor R. WeeksSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 123 –136 (2008)More Less
South African business institutions function within what may best be described as a dual manufacturing and services economy, inherently integrated within a larger global economy that is characterised as highly competitive and subject to unexpected discontinuous change. Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe (2001:2), in research how institutions deal with unexpected trends and events, suggest that in general managers are not at all that adept in this regard and consequently events spiral, get worse and disrupt the operations of the institution. The researchers go on to claim that commitment to resilience and an ability to bounce back from ''those inevitable errors that are part of an indeterminate world'', are critical facets in managing an enterprise (Weick & Sutcliffe 2001:2). Yet it is claimed by McManus, Seville, Brunsdon and Vargo (2007) that there is little consensus regarding how institutions might achieve greater resilience in the face of increasing contextual instability. Hui and Sit (2005:180) suggest that a primary function of culture is ''to serve as an appraisal heuristic, enabling individuals to efficiently assess objects, events and people in their environment''. It is therefore implied that culture and climate play a role in the institutional response to unexpected emergent contextual conditions that impact on an institution and consequently its resilience capability. In this paper institutional resilience is therefore explored, with reference to organisational culture and climate as behavioural determinants and the influence thereof in dealing with the complexity of a South African dual manufacturing and services economy.
The internal marketing practices of estate agencies in the Gauteng Province - a strategy for knowledge renewalAuthor M. Roberts-LombardSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 137 –156 (2008)More Less
The purpose of the paper is to investigate the mutually beneficial nature of establishing long term relationships with employees as internal customers of the business. The target population for this study was 3000 estate agencies of which a sample of 353 managers and / or owners participated through structured, personal interviews in the completion of questionnaires. Data analysis was done by calculating averages and standard deviations, Explorative Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Cronbach Alpha-values and practical significance by means of effect sizes. The findings of the study stipulate that the co-operation, trust and commitment of employees are required to ensure the success of the estate agencies' internal marketing initiatives.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 157 –181 (2008)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 5, pp 182 –204 (2008)More Less
Construction operations utilize large quantities of materials and generate significant levels of waste. Moving these quantities of materials and waste requires significant loaded vehicle transits annually. Given the cost / volume ratio of transport, logistics should be given a pre-eminent role in construction. However, little research has been conducted to ascertain the logistics processes in the construction industry. Notwithstanding the pivotal role transportation has within construction, this element of logistics has rarely been addressed and is little understood within the industry. The purpose of this paper is to document the results of a study investigating the utilisation efficiency of vehicles used in the transportation of building materials and construction and demolition (C&D) waste. A field study was conducted on seven (7) sites in Cape Town to establish the dynamics of construction materials and C&D waste transportation in order to deliver a set of criteria for the assessment of vehicle utilisation efficiency. The key finding from the field study is that vehicle utilisation at only 50% is sub-optimal.
Author H.E. BrandSource: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 205 –222 (2008)More Less
Effective recruitment and selection are strategically important to any organisation. Recruiting and selecting the wrong candidates can have extensive negative cost implications, while effective processes in this regard can contribute to a decrease in staff turnover and an increase in productivity.
After the passing of the new Labour Relations Act of 1995, all employers had to revisit these processes in order to also evaluate its measure of fairness and justness, focusing also on the ethical nature and value thereof. This study aims at the proposal and evaluation of a model that incorporates ethics in the recruitment and selection process. Qualitative and quantitative research methodology were utilized within a model-building research framework.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 223 –237 (2008)More Less
Changes associated with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system implementation are investigated through system user interaction, system work practices, organisational culture, and different aspects relating to organizational change. Based on a multi-disciplinary literature review, several approaches, models and variables for managing change were identified as being vital when implementing ERP systems. Primary data was collected with a survey administered to respondents directly affected by ERP implementation. Data analysis which included descriptive and inferential statistics revealed that respondents perceive ERP system implementation to have been managed fairly well and that system implementation does produce benefits towards the work environment. However several change variables were often neglected when implementing ERP systems. Conclusions and recommendations follow the empirical findings and it is suggested that employees be empowered when implementing new systems such as ERP which bring about substantial change initiatives.
Source: Journal of Contemporary Management 5, pp 238 –247 (2008)More Less
This speculative, self reflective paper looks at the inculcation of the protestant ethic through western civilisation and how it has become part of the moral fibre of capitalism and "doing business". But this inculcation is not without its pitfalls. It has also caused us, as academics, to become lost in the malaise of mundane research efforts. We try to show that we are caught up in the shadows on Plato's ''wall of the cave'' as far as the study of management is concerned; that the very capitalist (and accompanying protestant) tradition that our western economic society is based on is hampering our perceptions of what constitutes reality.