PPM Papers Coming Soon

This section contains information about articles under review and waiting for publication in next issues of the journal.

Attitude of South African small businesses towards business social responsibility (BSR): an exploratory study

Dennis Yao Dzansi, PhD (entrepreneurship), Associate Professor, Department of Business Support Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, South Africa
Francis Okyere, M.Tech (Business Administration, Doctoral Student, Department of Business Support Studies, Central University of Technology, South Africa

Abstract. Empirical research on business social responsibility (BSR) in the South African small business context is limited. This creates a number of problems. For example, in South Africa, it is difficult to tell exactly what the attitudes of small businesses are towards BSR. Without such information, policymakers will find it difficult to formulate appropriate support mechanisms to enhance BSR efforts of small businesses bearing in mind that what works for large businesses may not necessarily work for the smaller ones. A structured, attitudinal survey instrument, validated for reliability with R = 0.89, was used to collect data from owner/ managers of 173 small businesses in the small industrial estate of Botshabelo in South Africa to determine their general attitude towards BSR. The results reveal interesting findings. First, on less stringent criteria, a somewhat split opinion is found on the matter; however, on more stringent (pessimistic) decision criteria, the results indicate a general negative attitude towards BSR. Significant differences were found in attitude towards BSR based on personal and organizational demographic variables. This exploratory study is important because it has provided a window through which the typical South African small manufacturing firm's attitude towards BSR can be gauged.

Role of higher education institutions in private sector human capital development within a national system of innovation

W. Gachie, Ph.D., Lecturer, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
D.W. Govender, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Abstract. This research examines the role of higher education institutions (HEIs) in private sector human capital development (HCD) within the South African National System of Innovation (NSI). The pragmatic research design adopted provides the basis for undertaking mixed-method research, namely quantitative followed by qualitative, supplemented by secondary documents. The methodological data analysis triangulation technique facilitated achievement of a whole that was greater than the sum of its parts'. The following questions were asked: What is the role of HEIs in private sector HCD within the NSI?' and How can HCD and other components of knowledge infrastructure be strengthened within the NSI?
The findings identified the HEIs as an important source of HCD within the NSI. However, they also showed that HEIs face considerable constraints that hinder HCD, including human resource capacity gaps, and lack of infrastructure and funding. The findings also identified collaboration between HEIs and the private sector as an important avenue for HCD. It is recommended that improving HCD should be high on the triple-helix' policy agenda. Also, the importance of capacity building in relevant skills sets is emphasized. An adequate knowledge infrastructure is a crucial condition for a well-functioning NSI, and strategies to strengthen HCD in South Africa should therefore be implemented as a matter of urgency.

Enhancing new venture creation success in South Africa: a project management perspective

Dennis Yao Dzansi, Department of Business Support Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Free State, South Africa
P. Rambe, Department of Business Support Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Free State, South Africa
W.J. Coleman, Department of Business Support Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Free State, South Africa

Abstract. South Africa's new venture creation rate is disturbingly low. Ineffective management during start-up can lead to a low venture creation rate. Amidst the growing importance of project management in effective business management, utilizing project management in the entrepreneurial process has become very appealing. The purpose of this paper is to provide a project management model for starting a new venture. Desk research is undertaken through which relevant literature on the key components of the study is reviewed and synthesized. We find that through action research, project management aspects can be integrated into the entrepreneurial process to improve the new venture success rate. Based on this framework, we conclude that it is possible to improve Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) in South Africa and elsewhere. This theoretical framework is yet to be tested. However, even in its present untested form, the paper is important because it theoretically enriches the entrepreneurship literature whilst also offering a possible practical solution to the vexing problem of high new venture creation failure rate in South Africa and elsewhere through a structured framework.

Employee assistance programs (EAPs): tools for quality of work life

N. R. Bophela, Student: School of Management, Information Technology & Governance, University of KwaZulu Natal (Westville campus), South Africa
Patsy Govender, Senior Lecturer: School of Management, Information Technology & Governance, University of KwaZulu Natal (Westville campus), South Africa

Abstract. With today's global challenges and workplace demands, organizations are compelled to institute effective intervention programs to improve the quality of work life of employees. This article aims to assess staff perceptions on the quality of work life of employees via Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). The study was conducted with a sample of 85 employees in a public sector organization. Data was collected using a pre-coded questionnaire that was self-developed. The analysis of data was conducted utilizing descriptive and inferential statistics and hypotheses testing formed part of the study.The psychometric properties were assessed using Factor Analysis and Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha.The study unfolded the impact that EAPs has on the quality of work life of employees. The article culminates with a discussion of recommendations and conclusions.

Employee performance management and development within the regional hospitals in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health

Wellington B. Zondi, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa
Thokozani I. Nzimakwe, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa
Vannie Naidoo, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa
Elias Munapo, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa

Abstract. The paper looks at a study conducted within the Regional hospitals of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health in South Africa. The study was motivated by the fact that regional hospitals provide specialized public health services yet are perceived by the general public to be struggling in the area of service delivery, staff motivation and staff performance management. The study had a total of 439 respondents from 8 of the 14 Regional Hospitals in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. A self-administered questionnaire comprising of 35 questions arranged in the form of a Likert Scale was used as the research instrument. The study revealed that while, in the main, it seemed like management had conducted the performance management and development of their subordinates correctly, there is still room for improvement in all the variables that were posed during this study. It is therefore recommended that a competency centre in which supervisors and managers are trained in the process of performance management and development be established within the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health.

Internet-based ICT usage by South African SMEs: are the benefits within their reach?

Michael C. Cant, D.Com Marketing, Professor in the Department of Marketing and Retail Management, University of South Africa, South Africa
Johannes A. Wiid, D.Com Marketing, Professor in the Department of Marketing and Retail Management, University of South Africa, South Africa
Yu-Ting Hung, B.Com Marketing, Lecturer in the Department of Marketing and Retail Management, University of South Africa, South Africa

Abstract. Information and communications technology (ICT) is used to access and communicate information. The technology involved includes the Internet, wireless networks and cell phones (TechTerms, 2010). It is estimated that 70 to 80% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) fail within two years of operation (Cant & Ligthelm, 2003). ICT has been thus identified as a crucial key success factor for SMEs in today's world. This research study investigated small businesses' perceptions of the benefits of adopting ICT in the small business sector in South Africa. The objective of this paper is to determine ICT adoption among South African SMEs and the benefits associated with it. As part of this study the level of understanding of ICT and its application in an SME context is evaluated. A questionnaire was constructed and judgement sampling was used to gather the responses of 90 small businesses. The research identified that the over half of SMEs are currently using two to three ICT devices to run their businesses and those that have adopted Internet-based ICT functions are reaping the benefits. The challenge now is to further increase the adoption of ICT among small businesses in South Africa to ensure their success, as they play a vital role in the South African economy.

An entrepreneurial flair development: the role of an ecosystem

John Amolo, University of KwaZulu -Natal: Graduate School of Business & Leadership, South Africa
Stephen. O Migiro, Professor, University of KwaZulu -Natal: Graduate School of Business & Leadership, South Africa 

Abstract. The desire of communities and nations is their ability to exercise their prowess in terms of their wealth and ability to create wealth for a meaningful economic context. Entrepreneurship success cannot be achieved by a singly identifiable factor or else it would be standardized for achievement anywhere and elsewhere. Factor homogeneity has never been well-known for a universal economic development and therefore the appreciation of differences in unlikely environments may remain for some time, unless, otherwise. This paper attempts to underscore the fact that entrepreneurship thrives under a holistic set of components and cycles, formally called the ecosystem. Through literature review and the presentation of the existence of various models the paper paints a view of the holistic environment desirable for an entrepreneurial flair to be achieved. In this presentation a suggested model for entrepreneurial flair development is advanced. It is the proposition of this paper that a holistic view in the pedagogy of entrepreneurship should not be limited to entrepreneurship teaching perse rather on the entrepreneurial flair even as no single component acts by itself in an entrepreneurial environment. Therefore whichever component tends to have higher impact over a given area calls for further study and appreciation.

Customer satisfaction within pharmacies in a supermarket: a South African perspective

Darry S. Penceliah, Durban University of Technology, South Africa 
Dion T. Noel, Durban University of Technology, South Africa 
Nafisa Adat, Durban University of Technology, South Africa 

Abstract. South Africa is experiencing an expansion of pharmacy chains. Globalization and deregulations have increased competition within the retail pharmacy sector. In this highly competitive sector, the most important strategy for a pharmacy chain to obtain customer satisfaction and maintain market profitability is attributed to customer-focus. The aim of this paper was to investigate customer satisfaction at a pharmacy chain in South Africa. A total of 400 customers completed the survey using a questionnaire. All the service quality dimensions in the customers' survey contain negative mean gap scores. From these findings, the pharmacy chain can identify specific gaps in the service quality dimensions and seek to close them. Service quality dimensions that are deemed to be good predictors of customer satisfaction have been related to factors relating to tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. The retail pharmacy chain should address these dimensions in its attempt to offer superior customer service. The recommendations would provide other pharmacies within a supermarket with knowledge to address possible shortcomings and improve the service levels.

Factors influencing the entry mode of South African retailers expanding into Africa

Rasoava Rijamampianina, DSSC, DESCA (Madagascar); MBA, DBA (Japan), Director of the Management Advancement Programmes, Wits Business School University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), South Africa  

Abstract. Over the last decade, South African companies presence in the Sub-Saharan retail market has steadily solidified. In this regard, the purpose of this study is to determine the importance attached to key factors influencing the choice of entry mode of South African retailers entering new African markets. We also ascertain the preferred mode of entry. This research follows a positivism paradigm, and the methodology used a mixed method technique. A structured interview together with some open ended questions were used to gather data. All Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) retail sub classifications were represented in the study with 76% of the listed retail sector by market capitalisation and 70% of the total retail sector by sales. The results showed that country specific factors were the factors influencing the choice on entry mode more than others. The most preferred mode of entry by South African retailers was a high control greenfield.

Key internal factors affecting the small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) marketing strategies in rural South Africa

Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya, Durban University of Technology, South Africa  

Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to report on a study aimed at identifying key internal factors that affect the success of SMMEs marketing strategies in rural South Africa. The study employed both quantitative method in data collection and analysis of primary data in order to ensure reliability and generalizability of the results. Collection of primary was conducted in five rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).Simple size was consists of 374 business owners/managers, with respondents completing a questionnaire. Space was provided from each question thought the questionnaire, which was more qualitative to allow respondents to give additional relevant information which might be left during the formulation of the questionnaire. All the quantitative were coded into SPSS (Version 21.0) graphs, cross - tabulation, frequencies and descriptive statistics. According to the findings, the most significant internal factors impact on the SMMEs marketing strategies in rural South Africa: Access to finance, managerial skills, education and training, skills personnel. The study recommended strategies and policies to small, medium and micro enterprises in rural South Africa with specific reference KwaZulu-Natal area. The results will be significant to policy makers, SMMEs sector, SMMEs stakeholders and other researchers.

Restructuring police organizations: the significance of global experiences for the South African police service

Johan van Graan, Department of Police Practice, School of Criminal Justice, Faculty of Law, University of South Africa, South Africa 
Wilfred I. Ukpere, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa 

Abstract. This paper examines the lessons that could be learnt by the South African Police Service from international police organizations' restructuring efforts. An argument will be made that these lessons are vital to reconsider restrictions and shortcomings experienced by the South African Police Service's restructuring. Firstly, this argument is based on literature indicating that countries across the globe have realized that police organizations are no longer the established, hierarchical structures they previously were to endure change, and as a result, are involved in rethinking their roles, restructuring their organizations and changing their cultures in order to adjust to the changing conditions. This review of the literature lay emphasis on the significance of restructuring in police organizations and summarize the restructuring efforts that various international police organizations have embarked upon to reformulate its organizations' structure and/or to adjust elements of the existing structures. Secondly, this argument is based on the findings of a qualitative study conducted in 2008 and 2011 with the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit of the South African Police Service during this unit's restructuring in 2006 and again in 2010. The aim of this paper is to identify lessons that can be learnt from these international police organizations' restructuring efforts. These lessons are vital to reconsider restrictions and shortcomings experienced by the South African Police Service's restructuring efforts. The findings suggest that the South African Police Service could draw from trends that international police organizations pursued in their restructuring endeavours and utilize these lessons as a learning curve and an opportunity to rectify shortcomings.

Call centre ease of communication in customer service delivery: an asset to managing customers' needs?

Devina Oodith, Dr., School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus), South Africa 
Sanjana Brijball Parumasur, Prof., School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus), South Africa  

Abstract. The customer service experience has been equated to a business tsunami as customers switch to those companies that offer greater customer satisfaction. It becomes the task of the firm's call centre to cradle customer interaction and loyalty through ease and speed of access, quality and ease of communication with call centre agents. This study was undertaken in Durban, South Africa, and was conducted within a Public Sector service environment presenting a twofold agent and customer perspective of how service delivery could be harnessed through ease of communication. The Public Sector service environment comprised of four major call centre's employing a total of 240 call centre agents. A sample of 151 call centre agents was drawn using cluster sampling and a 63% response rate was achieved. These call centre agents were responsible for inbound calls only. Using simple random sampling, 220 customers were drawn from all consumers subscribing to e-billing in Durban. Data for both samples was collected using self-developed, precoded questionnaires whose psychometric properties were statistically determined. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results indicate that the influence of ease of communication between call centre agents and customers has the potential to impact on improved call centre effectiveness and that improved levels of service delivery can enhance communication between them creating greater synergy and enhanced service experience whilst augmenting call centre effectiveness. Based on the results of the study recommendations have been made to better manage customers and their needs more competently and constructively.