Acta Commercii serves as an independent scientific publication for academic contributions to the broad field of management and its associated disciplines. It includes disciplinary, multi-disciplinary and problem oriented work.
|Coverage||Volume 1 2001 - current|
Predicting voluntary turnover in employees using demographic characteristics : a South African case study : original research
Purpose : Employee turnover presents arguably the biggest threat to business sustainability and is a dynamic challenge faced by businesses globally. In South Africa, organisations compete to attract and retain skilled employees in an environment characterised by a burgeoning skills deficit. Turnover risk management is becoming an important strategy to ensure organisational stability and promote the effective retention of employees. The purpose of this research was to contribute to the practice of turnover risk management by proposing an approach and constructing a model to predict employee turnover based on demographic characteristics readily available in a human resource information system.
Design : An exploratory research design was employed. Secondary quantitative data were extracted from an existing human resources database and analysed. Data obtained for 2592 employees in a general insurance company based in South Africa and Namibia formed the basis for the analysis. Logistic regression analysis was employed to predict employee turnover using various demographic characteristics available within the database. A likelihood ratio test was used to build a predictive model and the Akaike information criterion and Schwarz criterion were used to test how much value each variable added to the model and if its inclusion was warranted. The model was tested by conducting statistical tests of the significance of the coefficients. Deviance and Pearson goodness-of-fit statistics as well as the R-square test of significance were used. The overall goodness-of-fit of the model was also tested using the Hosmer and Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test.
Findings : The current findings provide partial support for a predictive model explaining employee turnover. The model tested 14 demographic variables and the following five variables were found to have statistically significant predictive value: age, years of service, cost centre, performance score and the interaction between number of dependants and years of service. It is proposed that these five demographic variables be used as a model to help identify employees at risk of turnover or termed as flight risks.
Practical implications : Gaining an understanding of the factors that influence employee voluntary turnover can be instrumental in sustaining workforce stability. The proposed model could help human resources professionals identify employees at risk of turnover using data that are readily available to them. This will further enable the use of targeted interventions to prevent turnover before it happens. Decreased levels of turnover will result in cost saving, enhanced talent management and greater competitive advantage.
Understanding relational conditions necessary for effective mentoring of black-owned small businesses : a South African perspective : original research
Orientation : To gain an understanding of the relational conditions required for effective mentoring of black-owned small businesses.
Research purpose : To identify relational-based conditions for effective mentoring, which can be used to enhance business management skills of owner-managers of black-owned small businesses and eventually improve the survival of these businesses in South Africa.
Motivation for the study : By identifying relational-based conditions needed for effective mentoring of black-owned small businesses, recommendations can be put forward that could help achieve harmonious mentoring relationships and ultimately ensure effective mentoring of these businesses.
Research design, approach and method : An interpretivism paradigm was adopted and a qualitative research methodology was selected. Semi-structured interviews were used to gauge the perceptions of participants about relational issues necessary for effective mentoring. Content and constant comparative analyses were used to analyse data.
Main findings : The findings revealed that conditions surrounding the knowledge and expertise of the mentor, experience and age of the mentor, approachability of the mentor, mutual respect, open communication, mutual trust and honesty, passion and patience of the mentor, mentee's willingness to learn, alignment of expectations, as well as culture sensitivity of the mentor are to be considered for effective mentor-mentee relationship.
Practical/managerial implications : Although mentoring is important to develop management skills of owner-managers, it is equally important that the mentor-mentee relationship is nurtured to achieve the desired outcomes of the relationship.
Contribution/value-add : The alarming failure rates of small businesses in general and black-owned small businesses in particular could be improved by providing effective mentoring programmes to owner-managers by ensuring harmonious mentor-mentee relationships.
Orientation : Independent financial advisers in South Africa can make a valuable contribution to the financial well-being of the country's citizens and, through sound financial planning and education, assist them in becoming financially independent.
Research purpose : The purpose of this study was to develop guidelines for creating customer loyalty towards independent financial advisers in South Africa.
Motivation : To succeed, financial advisers need to build good relationships with clients and ensure they remain loyal to them in the long term.
Research design, approach and method : A convenience non-probability sampling technique was applied, and altogether 262 self-administered questionnaires were completed and used in the analysis. Descriptive and standard multiple regression analysis and the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) technique were used to test four hypotheses formulated for the study.
Main findings : Relationship commitment must be established in a trustworthy environment, regardless of the type of province where the business is operated.
Practical/managerial implications : In urban provinces (such as Gauteng) both trusting relationships and commitment could lead to customer loyalty; in semi-urban provinces (such as North-West) only the commitment variable might do so. Independent financial advisers in both provinces should explore additional factors that could foster customer loyalty.
Contributions : The research findings of this study challenge the seminal work of Morgan and Hunt (1994) by establishing that in South Africa, the extent to which trust and commitment predicts customer loyalty is specific to both industrial and geographical location. This study further provides customer loyalty guidelines for independent financial advisers in South Africa.
Relationship between sustainable development initiatives and improved company financial performance : a South African perspective : original research
Orientation: Companies are under ever-increasing pressure from both internal and external stakeholders to consider the environmental and social impacts of their operations and to mitigate these impacts. This necessitates an investigation into the effect of sustainability initiatives on the financial performance (FP) of a company.
Research purpose: The study analysed the relationship between sustainability performance and FP in South African listed companies.
Motivation for the study: Some South African listed companies acknowledge in their sustainability reports that there is a link between sustainability development and long-term shareholder value. This implies that FP is linked to sustainable development performance. This relationship has not been researched for South African listed companies and therefore needs to be investigated.
Research design, approach and method: A similar research method was used as for an international study. Forty-five listed South African companies were selected as the sample. Their sustainable development reports were used for analysis. Data were analysed with the use of content and a canonical correlation analysis.
Main findings: The results of the study revealed that an overall positive relationship exists between sustainability performance and FP.
Practical implications: South African companies that have a high involvement and focus on specific sustainable development initiatives that are integrated into overall sustainable development strategy can deliver improved FP for the organisation and deliver long-term value to its shareholders.
Contribution: Six sustainable development aspects were found to be significantly correlated with improved FP and if incorporated into a company's sustainable development strategy can lead to increased successes.
A visitor motivational typology at Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site : original research
Orientation: Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site (MNP) is a unique national park in South Africa in that it includes a World Heritage Site of significant importance for the people of southern Africa. MNP is a relatively new national park with low visitor numbers and occupancy rates, which threaten the sustainable management of the park.
Research purpose: This study aimed to develop a general visitor profile and to describe the motivational factors for visiting the park in order to support the development of tourism at MNP.
Motivation of the study: A tourism management plan is required for the park; however, any planning associated planning requires an assessment of tourist behaviour and needs.
Research design, approach and method: An online questionnaire was distributed to a database of visitors to MNP during March-April 2013. A total of 486 responses were received. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics through frequencies and means. Motivator constructs were analysed through a factor analysis.
Main findings: The study both confirmed and contradicted previous findings from other national parks in terms of visitor profiles and motivations. Most crucially, this study identified a new motivational factor for visiting national parks, which advances the need to manage the heritage aspect of world heritage sites distinctly from national parks.
Managerial implications: The results indicated that visitors to MNP were older and better educated compared to visitors at other national parks. These visitors included predominantly first-time visitors. In addition these visitors are mainly motivated by the need for a nature experience, although the park is not a Big 5 reserve, findings also identified heritage and education as a unique motivational factor for this park.
Contribution added: The study promotes the requirement of a unique park-specific tourism management strategy for MNP as the market base of this park is demographically distinct. In addition, the park should improve the promotion of its status as a World Heritage asset in relation to its natural attributes in order to attract greater numbers of heritage tourists. Although the park features exceptional natural features, the reserve is not a Big 5 reserve and this may result in dissatisfaction with the major group of visitors seeking a nature experience.
Orientation: This research examined the influence of motives and engagement on brand attitudes and the influence thereof on buying intentions in the context of online social media brand communities.
Research purpose: The primary purpose was to investigate the interrelationship between motives, engagement, brand attitudes and buying intent of female Facebook brand apparel community members in South Africa.
Motivation for the study: Social media created a new tool for marketers to break through advertising clutter. Scholars assert that the influence of social media brand communities on consumers' attitudes, behaviour and intentions need to be studied, and such research should be applied to a specific industry.
Research design, approach and method: A total of 333 female apparel brand community members on Facebook completed a quantitative, structured online survey. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to investigate the interrelationship between the constructs.
Main findings: The results indicated significant relationships between some of the hypothesised constructs, namely hedonic motives and brand attitude, as well as brand attitude and buying intention.
Practical/managerial implications: The findings suggested marketers should create entertaining and useful brand community experiences, as that would lead to favourable attitudes, and positively influence buying intention. Suggestions for marketers to use this platform effectively to engage community members were provided.
Contribution: The research contributed to the limited knowledge on brand community behaviour on Facebook in an emerging market context. This research examined female consumers, an influential segment of social media users. It provided empirical support for the theoretical relationship between brand attitude and buying intention.