PPM Papers Coming Soon
This section contains information about articles which are already reviewed, accepted and waiting for publication in next issues of the journal.
A qualitative inquiry on the influence of perceived social risk on apparel brand choice: evidence from female Generation Y undergraduate student consumers in Southern Gauteng, South Africa
Eugine Tafadzwa Maziriri, Ph.D. Candidate, Marketing Division, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Abstract. As consumers have become more refined with regards to the marketing arena, it is important for fashion retailers and brand managers to try and gain some understanding of how consumers collect and review information, which ultimately affects their brand choice. This study complements the growing body of literature by examining perceived social risk and its influence on apparel brand choice among young female undergraduate student consumers, as literature shows that public-ally consumed products are the ones with a high level of social risk. A qualitative methodology was used to conduct this study. The research instruments that were used to conduct this study are semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The analysis of the qualitative data was conducted through the use of thematic analysis. The results also showed that most undergraduate female students experience anxiousness, social influence, peer pressure and they pay attention to the advice of significant others in their social network when choosing apparel brands. Recommendations were made for fashion retailers and brand managers on how to manage perceived social risk in order to retain female undergraduate student consumers. Lastly future research directions were clearly articulated.
Small business and entrepreneurial venture in an economic conundrum
John Amolo, Dr., University of KwaZulu-Natal, Graduate School of Business & Leadership, South Africa
Abstract. Does small business add the same value as entrepreneurial venture to an economy? Entrepreneurial Ventures are resilient to economic duress, while providing higher quality and quantity of jobs, products and services. A needed entrepreneurial economic omnipresence pervasively stimulates socio-economic mind-set in opportunity rather than resource pursuit. A managed economy is under challenge by a knowledge economy and the policies of the former have become irrelevant for the latter. The unpredictable economic times call for a flexibility associated with an entrepreneurial economy. In this presentation, a literature review was conducted to highlight this conundrum in an economy. The findings are that entrepreneurial ventures have their distinctive features from simply small business enterprise and are better served in an entrepreneurial economy than a managed economy.
Entrepreneurship education and its impact on the entrepreneurial career intentions of vocational education students
Takawira Munyaradzi Ndofirepi, Kwekwe Polytechnic, Zimbabwe
Abstract. The rich body of literature examining the entrepreneurial education-entrepreneurial intention relations tend to neglect the influence of contingent and other mediating factors on the relationship. This elusion creates an erroneous assumption that entrepreneurial intentions are insulated from external influences and the entrepreneurial education-intentions relationship is an automatic, directly linear interaction. Contesting this premise, this research explores the influence of exposure to entrepreneurship education(EE), mediated by precursors (such as attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control) to entrepreneurial intentions on the actual entrepreneurship intention (EI) of vocational education students at a particular institution in Zimbabwe. Drawing on a cross-sectional research design and 154 randomly selected students, the study examines the extent to which they intended to engage in entrepreneurship careers in the near future. A non-parametric technique, the Spearman Correlation test, and regression analysis were employed to test the relationships between EE on the direct determinants of EI, between the immediate determinants of EI and actual EI and to test a number of predictive effects. The results demonstrate that EE had a positive correlation with the direct determinants of EI. In addition, EE predicted all the immediate determinants of EI, except for subjective norms. Lastly, there was no evidence to support a direct predictive effect of EE on EI, controlling for other psychological factors. To a large extent, the results validated the Theory of Planned Behaviour as a guiding tool for estimating any premeditated entrepreneurial behaviour. Thus, the Theory remains an invaluable theoretical lens for academics, educators and policy-makers' evaluation of effective ways of enhancing the grooming of potential entrepreneurs.
The optimization of elements of Ukrainian river transport resource potential
Ilchenko S.V., Doctor of Economics, Senior science worker, Leading science worker of Institute of market problems and economy and ecological researches of NAS of Ukraine, Ukraine
Abstract. The results of the author's investigation of the Ukrainian river transport in terms of it resource support are presented. It conditions, potential, prospects and problems associated with the existing restrictions were analysed. The optimization methodology for organization an effective system to ensure efficient functioning and development of this type of activity has been proposed.
Quality management in the South African police service: a case of selected community service centres in the Western Cape, South Africa
Nicolette Daniels, Master of Technology: Public Management Graduate, Department of Public Administration and Governance, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Abstract. Quality management systems in public organisations influence the quality of service delivery outputs. The purpose of the study was to determine if quality service was delivered at selected police stations in the Western Cape, South Africa. Quality service delivery by Community Service Centres (CSC) of the South African Police Service (SAPS) is dependent on quality management practices. As a consequence, the researcher felt it necessary to conduct a study to understand how the state's service delivery systems were implemented in a government department, and how management factors impacted on service delivery to the public in general. A mixed-method research approach was employed to gather data for the study. The data collection tools took the form of a survey questionnaire and in-depth interviews. The research participants consisted of a sample of 304 (n = 304) clients who frequented the 3 case study police stations, purposely selected managers of the 3 police stations; and their provincial senior situated in the Western Cape Metropolis. Some of the main findings indicated that clients were satisfied with the level of service they received from SAPS. However, the main area of concern was the absence of service delivery initatives conducted at the 3 police stations. Police managers indicated that top management recognised the importance of quality, and that quality service had to be provided in order to satisify clients. SAPS management have systems in place to address shortcomings, but needed to specifically address the problem of service delivery initiatives. The study contributes to the literature and knowledge on quality management in general, and service delivery of at the 3 selected police stations, in particular.
The risk management practices in the manufacturing SMEs in Cape Town
Mamorena Lucia Matsoso, Cape Peninsula, University of Technology, Cape Town Campus, South Africa
Abstract. Risk management is one of the prominent issues which are pivotal to the success of a business and may adversely affect profitability if not properly practised. Therefore the main objective of this paper was to determine risk management practices in manufacturing SMEs in Cape Town. The research conducted was quantitative in nature and constituted the collection of data from 74 SME leaders, all of whom had to adhere to a list of strict delineation criteria. All data collected was thoroughly analysed through means of descriptive statistics. From the findings made, it is clear that SMEs in the manufacturing sector do in fact understand risk management initiatives applicable to ‘manage' their respective businesses towards sustainability, but not to an extensive extent. It was found that respondents are unaware of the elements which make risk management effective, which ultimately aids to the development of problems for SMEs. All employees, managers and owners must coordinate their efforts together to identify and manage organisational risks within their ambit to obtain total risk coverage, as well as provide assurance that these risks are effectively managed from a coordinated approach. Further studies may be carried out to identify measures that can be taken to improve the effectiveness of risk-management practices in SMEs.
Understanding the role of ethics in governance and compliance in public institutions: perspectives of UN and AU employees in selected African states
E. Shindikaa, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Abstract. The focus of this inquiry was to explore the understanding and application of ethics as a tool of good governance in public institutions in Africa. This was done through individual narratives about how working for renowned institutions on a daily to day basis influences understanding and application. The study applied an inductive and qualitative approach in order to explore how the AU and UN ethics systems influence governance for member states and employees. Findings from the study pointed that the AU and UN systems have loopholes in dealing with issues of governance and ethics, with the main problem reportedly that of enforcing and monitoring otherwise sound policy and guidelines set by the two organisations.
Challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the Gauteng Province of South Africa: survival is the fittest
Elizabeth Chinomona, Ph.D., Logistics Department, Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijilpack, South Africa
Abstract. Entrepreneurship is considered as one of the most imperative elements contributing to the economic development of the society. Entrepreneurs have been considered instrumental in driving innovation and speeding up structural changes in the economy. However in many developing countries around the world entrepreneurs are confronted with a number of challenges that obstruct them in their business operations. This study aims to investigate the challenges faced by entrepreneurs within the Gauteng province of South Africa. Identifying the challenges that are faced by entrepreneurs can help to improve the low total early stage entrepreneurial activity rate of South Africa and also policy-makers can take several steps to develop and implement strategies to promote sustainable entrepreneurship in South Africa. Using a qualitative research method, the challenges that were identified include lack of finance and lack of education. Recommendations were made for policy makers to curb the challenges being faced by the entrepreneurs and future research directions are clearly articulated.
Predictors of satisfactory employee performance in the South African Department of Health
Zeleke Worku, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Business School, South Africa
Abstract. A study was conducted at the South African Department of Health (DOH) in order to assess the perception held by employees of the DOH at national and provincial levels about the suitability of the Performance Management System (PMS) tool that was being used in the DOH for the assessment and evaluation of the performance of employees working for the DOH at national and provincial level based on their Key Performance Areas (KPAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The study was based on a stratified random sample of size n=120 employees of the DOH working at national and provincial levels. The study was quantitative, and used methods of data analyses such as frequency tables, cross-tab analysis and binary logistic regression analysis. The degree of productivity of employees at work was measured by using a composite index defined by Le Brasseur, Zannibbi & Zinger (2013). Results obtained from the study showed that about 74% of employees held a favourable view of the PMS tool that was used for the assessment and evaluation of employees. The percentage of respondents who viewed the PMS tool as unhelpful was about 26%. The study showed that the view held by employees working in the DOH about the relevance and objectivity of the PMS tool used for the assessment of employee performance in the DOH was significantly and adversely affected by the perception that the PMS policy was incapable of promoting the effectiveness of the DOH as an organisation, the perception that the PMS policy was incapable of rewarding deserving employees, and the perception that there were not enough training opportunities in the PMS, in a decreasing order of strength.
The influence that trust, communication and commitment have on ethical behaviour in universities: a case of South Africa
Babatunde Adedeji Popoola, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijilpack, South Africa
Abstract. This study examines the influence of trust, communication and commitment have on ethical behaviour in universities in the Gauteng province of South Africa which is within in an African context that has not been extensively researched by researchers. Three hypotheses are posited and in order to empirically test them, a sample data set of 450 was collected from universities in the Gauteng province of South Africa. SPSS 24.0 and Amos 24.0 were used to analyse the data. The results indicate that trust, communication and commitment positively influences ethical behaviour in universities in a significant way. Drawing from the study's findings, managerial implications are discussed and limitations and future research directions are suggested. By and large, this study immensely contributes new knowledge to the existing body of ethical behaviour literature in Africa - a context that is often most neglected by some researchers in developing countries.
Determinants of viability in emerging mining companies in the Witbank region of South Africa
Zeleke Worku, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Business School, South Africa
Abstract. The purpose of study was to identify socioeconomic factors that affect viability in emerging mines operating in the Witbank region of Mpumalanga Province in South Africa. The study was conducted by gathering data from a stratified random sample of n=120 respondents who had accumulated several years of experience mineral processing in the Witbank region. The perception of respondents on the viability of companies was measured by using a composite index defined by LeBrasseur, Zanibbi & Zinger (2003). Data was gathered by using a pretested, validated and structured questionnaire of study from each of the n=120 respondents of study. Data was gathered on 24 socioeconomic variables that are known to affect overall productivity and viability in emerging mines that operate in the Witbank region. Quantitative data analysis was done by using methods such as frequency tables, cross-tab analyses and binary logistic regression analysis. Results obtained from the study showed that profitability in emerging mines was significantly and adversely affected by high cost of transportation, low demand for mineral products and lack of entrepreneurial skills in a decreasing order of strength.
Foresight-technologies in financial provision of small business in Ukraine
Frolov Sergiy, Doctor of Economics, Professor of the Department of Finance Education and Research Institute for Business Technologies «UAB» Sumy State University, Ukraine
Abstract. The problems of formation of small business in Ukraine are caused by insufficient financial provision, ineffective mechanism of taxation and unsustainable state regulatory policies. The aim of the paper is the analysis of financial provision of small businesses and substantiation of scenarios of its improvement with the use of foresight instruments. The paper evaluates the criteria of financial provision of small businesses. It offers the organizational mechanism of financial provision of small business. It also assesses the system of relations "state-small businesses" in the formation of financial provision of companies and identifies the main obstacles for the realization of potential of the small business. The use of foresight technologies in building scenarios for the formation of financial provision of small businesses is proposed. Stages and methods of systemic foresight are considered. The conclusion is made that financial provision of small business in Ukraine should be focused not only on changes in the legislation, but on the improvement of state support of small businesses and expansion of the relationship "state-small businesses".
The influence of the perceptions of institutional environment on entrepreneurial plans: exploring the moderating effects of firm age and firm size in Bulgarian enterprises
Zhelyu Vladimirov, Professor, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria
Abstract. It was acknowledged that institutional environment plays important role for shaping entrepreneurial behavior in transition economies. The present study investigates the influence of entrepreneurs' perceptions of institutional environment on their entrepreneurial plans in a large representative sample from a transition economy. Our findings reveal that institutional environment has a significant influence on entrepreneurial plans and that firm age and size moderate the effect of institutional environment on entrepreneurial plans. The paper provides recommendations for future research and a discussion of practical implications.
Impact on poverty and income inequality in Malaysia's economic growth
Rabiul Islam, School of International Studies, College of Law, Government, and International Studies, University Utara Malaysia, Malaysia
Abstract. Poverty and income inequality are extreme issues that still exists in Malaysia. Any rise in poverty and income inequality definitely affect economic growth. There are many great efforts have been taken by the government of Malaysia to eradicate poverty and to reduce the gap of income inequality which occurs since 1970's. The incidence of poverty and income inequality is higher in rural areas compared to urban areas. This paper is mainly to study the level of poverty and income inequality in Malaysia together with government intervention to develop Malaysia's economic growth. The research is focused among the working peoples at Ipoh, Perak. In this paper, questionnaire forms are being distributed to get information regarding the issue of poverty and income inequality. It also looks into the strategies taken by the government of Malaysia to eradicate poverty and income inequality. Few recommendations are given in terms of education policy, financial aid and assistance from government and non-government organization (NGO) to upgrade the standard and quality of living among the poor and lower-income group of people.
The place and perspectives of Ukraine in international integration space
Vitalina Babenko, Doctor of Economics, Ph.D., Head of Economic Theory Department, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National Univercity, Ukraine
Abstract. The resulting indexes for integration processes state development analysis were formed. The integral indexes illustrating integration state were calculated on the basis of member countries of BRICS and Ukraine. It provided the possibility to evaluate socioeconomic state of the countries from the point of international integration and develop integration processes development scenarios. The strategic directions of integration processes development for Ukraine and member countries of BRICS were formed.
Factors affecting employee turnover and sound retention strategies in the business organization: a conceptual view
Chowdhury Abdullah Al Mamun, Assistant Professor, University of Information Technology & Sciences, Bangladesh
Abstract. "Employee turnover" as an expression is broadly used in the business organizations. Despite the fact that several studies have been performed on this topic, little research has been conducted on examining the causes and leading factors of turnover as well as advising some feasible approaches which can be applied by bosses to ensure that employees will continue in their respective organizations to enhance organizational effectiveness and productivity. The main purpose of this study is to determine the reasons and key factors in the perspectives of the relevant literature and identify to the intention of employee turnover. This conceptual paper also suggests various possible strategies on how to minimize the turnover and retain employees in the organizations. Hence, the paper has proposed a conceptual framework that shows the major variables in explaining the phenomenon of employee turnover and addressing sound retention strategies to handle these issues.
Transformational leadership and change readiness and a moderating role of perceived bureaucratic structure: an empirical investigation
Badri Abbasi, Department of Business Management, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran
Abstract. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between transformational leadership and change readiness through perceived bureaucratic structure among government employees in Rasht. The methodology used was applied descriptive method using questionnaire to collect data. The studied population consisted of 600 employees from three state organizations including Municipality, Gilan Tax Department and Gilan Justice Court. According to Morgan table, the sample size was estimated at 234. This study examined six hypotheses which were tested using multiple regression method. The results showed that transformational leadership had a positive direct effect on employee change readiness and its dimensions. However, substitution of the bureaucratic structure in the model eliminated the effect. Finally, the hypothesis on the effect of transformational leadership on change readiness through perceived bureaucratic structure was rejected.
Developing countries organizations' readiness for Big Data analytics
Billy Mathias Kalema, Senior Lecture and HOD, Informatics, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. Regardless of the nature, size, or business sector, organizations are now collecting burgeoning various volumes of data in different formats. Much as voluminous data is necessary for organizations to draw good insights needed for making informed decisions, traditional archi¬tectures and existing infrastructures are limited in delivering fast analytical processing needed for this Big Data. For success organizations need to apply technologies and methods that could empower them to cost effectively analyse this Big Data. However, many organizations in developing countries are constrained with limited access to technology, finances, infrastructure and skilled manpower. Yet for productive use of these technologies and methods needed for Big Data analytics, both the organizations and their workforce need to be prepared. The major objective for this study was to investigate developing countries organizations' readiness for Big Data analytics. Data for the study was collected from a public sectors in South Africa and analysed quantitatively. Results indicated that Scalability, ICT infrastructure, top management support, organization size, financial resources, culture, employees' e-skills, organization's customers' and vendors are significant factors for organizations' readiness for Big Data analytics. Likewise strategies, security and competitive pressure were found not to be significant. This study contributes to the scanty literature of Big Data analytics by providing empirical evidence of the factors that need attention when organizations are preparing for Big Data analytics.
The effect of UTAUT2 moderator factors on citizens' intention to adopt e-Government: the case of two SADC countries
Willard Munyoka, M.Sc., BSc (Hons), PGDHE, PGCHE, Lecturer, Department of Business Information Systems, University of Venda, South Africa, Ph.D. Student, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Abstract. E-government is widely believed to play a significant role in improving the public service delivery system in developing countries. Yet, its adoption and utilization amongst citizens remain a subject of concern amongst government policy makers. This study aims to investigate moderating factors that influence citizens' decisions to adopt and utilize e-government services in the SADC region. The study adopts the extended UTAUT2 model as a theoretical underpinning, backed by recent literature on e-government adoption to advance and test an E-Government Adoption model. Empirical quantitative data for validating the proposed model was collected from 247 participants using self-administered questionnaires.
Neo-liberalization: the impact of Chinese exports on South Africa's socio-political economy
Samuel Augustine Umezurike, Dr., Faculty of Commerce, Administration and Law, University of Zululand, South Africa
Abstract. On gaining independence, one of the first steps it took was to open its doors to various socio-economic dynamics. It is fair to say therefore that South Africa's neo-liberal approach was necessitated by the nation's desire to diversify its economy in multiple sectors and therefore permit foreign direct investment into the country. To most researchers, this has resulted in near deindustrialization leading to gross job losses and reduced standards of living. Essentially, this paper, relying on realist theory, delves into one of the issues i.e. the demise of the manufacturing sector in South Africa to deliver the poignant explanation pertaining to South Africa's sociopolitical economy. We find that the presence of China's finished products in South Africa's market has emboldened and continues to debilitate its manufacturing industry. A major concern is that South Africa's attempts to soften this effect on its manufacturing sector through its protectionist policy - precisely the application of the quota system on imported goods - will not go too far considering the limitations placed on South Africa by virtue of its membership of organisations such as WTO and BRICS.
The relevance of Relationship marketing model for hair salon's competitiveness: a theoretical perspective
EO Amoakoh, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central university of Technology, Free State, South Africa
Abstract. Relationship marketing (RM) concept seems best understood and embraced more by big business, while amongst myriad of small businesses seem less prominent. This paper explores the need for RM as a determinant to hair salon's competitiveness and growth. Hair industry in SA is declared a multi-billion dollar industry, their stagnation prompted this study. This paper contends that relationship building with customers has a profound effect on the inclination of a customer to return to the business. With the key variables of the relationship marketing model as the main determinants, namely service quality, customer satisfaction and customer retention. Increased practice of RM within this industry will enable owners to embrace entrepreneurial activities imperative for competitiveness, value creation and sustainability.
Not dead yet: the rise, fall and persistence of the BCG Matrix
Dag Øivind Madsen, Norway
Abstract. The BCG Matrix was introduced almost 50 years ago, and is today considered one of the most iconic strategic planning techniques. This paper examines the historical rise, fall and persistence of the BCG Matrix using management fashion theory as a theoretical lens. The analysis highlights the role played by fashion-setting actors (e.g. consultants, business schools and business media) in the rise of the BCG Matrix. However, over time, portfolio planning models such as the BCG Matrix were attacked and discredited by a host of different actors, and gradually fell out of favor. Even though the BCG Matrix has fallen from grace, it is still alive and has left an imprint on management education and practice. Despite being largely discredited in academic circles, many practitioners still view it as an important corporate portfolio planning technique.
Economic conditions of functioning and accounting of development asymmetry of transport services markets of Ukraine
Ilchenko S.V., Doctor of Economics, Senior science worker, Leading science worker of Institute of market problems and economy and ecological researches of NAS of Ukraine, Ukraine
Abstract. The achievement of desired level of efficiency of the stock and services markets functioning is possible under the equation conditions of these processes in global scale. The attention in the paper is accentuated on the worldwide tendencies of stock and services market development, on disproportionality of their development. The relation of received results with the character of economic system functioning and its functioning with the sphere of transport is determined. The relevance of world economic system development for Ukraine is considered, the rate of including transport into global processes. The need of asymmetry accounting in the rate of goods and transport services markets development in international and national scales is defined, the level of deviation from symmetry state is evaluated. The need in elimination of disproportions is proved depending on the level and type of considered asymmetry and taking into account world-wide tendencies.
Network tie structure causing OSS group innovation and growth
Stefan Kambiz Behfar, Researcher, France
Abstract. Open Source Software (OSS) development as an inexpensive process to develop software threatens proprietary software business strategies. Providing business strategy to benefit from volunteer developers for the purpose of contributing to existing projects as well as initiating new OSS projects is of outmost significance for companies in that industry. Therefore, it is important to figure out how groups of volunteer developers are formed as new developers join existing projects, and it is even more important to investigate what causes these developers to initiate new projects. We investigate network structure as a causal factor for both new project initiation within a group (representing group innovation) as well as new developers joining existing projects within a group (representing group growth). We develop four hypotheses: 1) Intra-group coupling has a positive impact on group growth, 2) Inter-group coupling has positive impact on group innovation, 3) Inter-group structural hole has a positive impact on group innovation, 4) there is a trade-off between the effects of inter-group structural hole and inter-group coupling on group innovation. We test these four hypotheses using data from OSS. Developers contributing to project tasks in groups other than their own can explore novel ideas for new project creation, because they can benefit from sharing knowledge whereas developers contributing to project tasks inside their own group exploit ideas to improve those existing projects with better inside-group search possibility; and this demands more developers to join those group projects.
Systemic value creation in knowledge organizations: aspects of a theory
Daniel Adriaenssen, Norway
Abstract. The phenomenon under investigation is the transition from an industrial society to a society that is based to a larger extent on knowledge resources. The question we are investigating is: What are the key value creation processes in a knowledge-based organization? The objective of the article is to understand and explain the social mechanisms that influence the development of knowledge-based organizations. The method used is conceptual generalization. The findings are linked to a new emphasis on information structure (infostructure), and a new way of organizing (front line focus), the modulization of work processes, and global competence clusters.
Influence of the minimum salary level increase on the business entities activity in the context of the transition to the sustainable development
Leonid Melnyk, D. Sc. (Economy), Professor, Head of Economics and Business Administration Department of Sumy State University, Ukraine
Abstract. In the context of transition to the sustainable development actually justified and economically balanced managerial decisions are worth to be introduced into activity of the business entities. First of all it is connected with the formation of the social standards by the Ukrainian government. Establishment of the minimum salary for the employees of the national-economic complex of the country is one of the main components of these standards. This indicator influences both on the increase of the population's social welfare provision level and on the economy of the economic entities, including business representatives. Research was conducted in Ukraine. The main trends of the social welfare provision of the business sector entities, accounting the experience of Hungary and Russia, were analyzed in this article. The main rules of the effective social welfare provision, accounting the necessities of the business environment, were formed. Economical analysis of the retrospective and predictive information about the payroll payment and payment of social contributions was made. The influence of the increase of the minimum salary on the activity of business entities, taking into account raised minimum salary, was analyzed. The regressive model of the payroll budget dependence, accounting minimum salary and social contributions' level increase, was designed. Obtained calculation results showed high level of tax burden on the business sector entities, so, organization-economic measures of tax burden decrease on the business entities were offered. They took into account minimum salary growth for their employees in the context of the transition to the sustainable development. Recommendations concerning the further scientific researches on the topic of the article were offered.
The evaluation of human computer interface design of learning management systems: problems and perspectives
Wanjiru Gachie, Ph.D., Lecturer, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Abstract. With increasing demand for integrating learning management systems (LMS) into teaching and learning, a well-designed LMS is crucial. User interface evaluation has become a critical quality of interactive LMS intended to meet the requirements of users. This article investigates the effect of the interaction on the user and assesses the extent of system functionality. It further seeks to evaluate the interface's success within the framework of fundamental human computer interface principles under a constructivist learning approach. Using an LMS assumes that when learners are engaged in a social learning context they actively construct knowledge; therefore, the resource is considered a tool to support learning and not an end in itself. The research investigates use of the LMS by two sets of users: staff members (module creators) and learners (module consumers), using semi-structured questionnaires and interviews. The research indicates that use of an LMS supports collaborative and authentic activities in learning, serving as an intrinsic motivation to most users. Some problems/concerns that were highlighted included; Attention should be given to the tools and elements that should be added to the system, for example the image management tools; some users expressed the desire for more autonomy in terms of the peer review window; It is also recommended that the use of graphics should have a purpose that is either purely functional or contributes more subtly to the page content. Finally, there were requests for more customisation of the themes, colours and icons in the design of LMS.
Sustaining small businesses in emerging economies: an examination of the pre and post startup ramifications
Chux Gervase Iwu, Professor, HoD: Entrepreneurship and Business Management, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. Set in Western Province of South Africa, this study centred on a group of small business owners who received financial support from a leading South African business developer. The main aims were to obtain from the recipients what they envisaged as their main challenges, and to compare those challenges at a later stage to get a better understanding of the real challenges of small business pre and post startup. The ultimate benefit will be to report on these to inform practitioners and researchers so that every stakeholder can have a fresher insight into this phenomenon with the hope that much more concrete discussions and interventions may emerge. This longitudinal study adopted the mixed method specifically the use of a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview schedule. This method enabled the researcher to gain a better understanding of the issues at play with respect to first time recipients of funds as well as engage intimately with them in order to obtain salient information regarding challenges of small business pre and post business startup. Interestingly, most participants indicated that almost all the items in the questionnaire were major challenges. This study should not only generate the necessary discussions among practitioners and scholars on small business growth constraints in South Africa, but at the same time uncover through such discussions, some of the undocumented challenges of small businesses in emerging markets so that the chances of survival of small businesses beyond the 2-3year mark are improved.
Factors affecting job satisfaction of academic employees in the institutions of higher learning
Mateko Edith Moloantoa, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. This paper intends to analyse various factors affecting job satisfaction of academic employees, with specific reference to the National University of Lesotho (NUL). It has been noticed that for the universities to perform well it is essential for them to have clear understanding of these factors as how they affect academic performance. This will help universities such as university of Lesotho to improve their administration and be able to attract well qualified academics into the universities. The survey have identified job satisfaction of academic employees at the National University of Lesotho by working conditions, relationship with colleagues, access to resources, job security, recognition and advancement. The sample consisted of 156 respondents, who were selected using the Supercool Random Generator Software and were required to complete a questionnaire, with an interviewer present to assist. Respondents were asked to complete a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire. A mixed approach of both quantitative and qualitative techniques was used, while the analysis of primary data was done using SPSS, version 22.0. The results were presented by figures from Microsoft Excel and gross tabulation tables. The findings of the study indicated that there was a positive significance to the NUL academic staff regarding salaries, as a factor influencing their job satisfaction. The results also indicated that there are insufficient financial resources to support teaching, learning and research at the NUL. However, the results further revealed that, besides all the dissatisfaction shown by academics, in terms of aspects, such as benefits, allowances, lack of equipment, as well as poor institutional management, there were good relations between departments, and they work as a team. Therefore, the findings from this study can assist university administrators and academics to increase the job satisfaction levels of employees.
The growth strategies of a global pharmaceutical company: a case study of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited
Victoria Margaret Hodgon, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus), Durban, South Africa
Abstract. Given the rapid and sustained growth of Aspen over the past decade, the main aim of this study was to identify and analyze the growth strategies adopted by Aspen over the period from 2004 to 2014. The research method used was a descriptive study through a single case study of Aspen by analyzing secondary data in the form of publicly available company reports and presentations, as well as financial results, issued between 2004 and 2014. The study found that, guided by strategic and visionary leadership, Aspen adopted a number of growth strategies including (i) organic growth, as a key factor in creating incremental value for Aspen and its stakeholders, (ii) inorganic growth, in the form of carefully planned and well executed acquisitions aligned to the Group strategy, (iii) extending territorial coverage through global expansion, particularly into emerging pharmaceutical countries, and (iv) ongoing investment in production capabilities as a means of achieving a strategic advantage. Despite the challenges of intense competition, restrictive legislation, pressure on medicine prices, currency volatility and market specific risks, Aspen has delivered double-digit earnings growth to its shareholders for 16 consecutive years.
The nature of China's role in development of Africa: the case of Zimbabwe
Fortune Hogwe, Department of Economics, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Abstract. China's involvement in Africa has become one of the contentious topics in the development literature. The background of the study is that Sino-African relations can be grouped into two phases thus: past relations and contemporary relations. The two phases are dissimilar as past relations are categorized by solidarity against imperialism while contemporary relations are characterized by economic relations. The study uses a historical approach to analyze China's resurgence into Africa and Zimbabwe is used a case study to examine the contemporary Sino-Africa relations. Secondary data was utilized to come to sound conclusion of the study. The study mainly found out that China's resurgence into Africa presents both negative and positive impacts for Africa and that the negatives need to be regulated in order for African countries to benefit from the relations.
Effect of similar-to-me effect on job satisfaction and organizational trust
Ardashir Zahed, Department of Management, Ardabil Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ardabil, Iran
Abstract. The present study intended to investigate the effect of managers' similarto-me bias on the job satisfaction and organizational trust between public organizations staff. The current study is a descriptive-correlational applied research with quantitative data collection (Questionnaire). The results of structural equation modeling analyses conducted for 80 employees at Public Organizations organization in Ardabil, Iran offered strong support for the proposed model. The results indicated that there was a statistically significant relationship between similar-to-me effect and job satisfaction; furthermore, organizational trust mediated the relationship between similar-to-me effect and job satisfaction. It is worth noting that there was a positive relationship between organizational trust and job satisfaction.
Engineering patterns of supply chain optimization to manage Oscillation Effect
Thokozani Patmond Mbhele, Dr., University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus), School of Management, IT & Governance, South Africa
Abstract. The supply chain partners normally experience the cascading order variability at each supply chain echelon stage, with higher oscillations from node-to-node roaming upstream the supply chain network. In optimising product flows and availability from the amplified demand order oscillations, this study explores the pattern of interrelationships among the bullwhip effect challenges. The study used factor analysis on 448 responses to tentatively develop the supply chain dimensions. The results of analysis indicate that the magnitude of greater controlling bullwhip effect and consolidating the competitive economic information and inventory over demand orders in the supply chain network is dependent on the model of unified engineering patterns of supply chain interrelationships. The results provide the better perspective through centralised-risk pooling, collaboration and agile systems in managing and controlling amplification in the consumer demand order variability moving upstream supply chain network. The model will help to address the challenges of bullwhip effect and further enhance the overall efficient frontiers of supply chain performance. This paper provides insights to FMCG industry on using innovative strategies and modern technology to enhance supply chain visibility through integrated systems networks.
Analysis of job search methods and socio- demographic profile of youth in Vhembe district of the Limpopo province, South Africa
MA Dagume, Dr., Department of Economics, University of Venda, South Africa
Abstract. The continuously unabated high unemployment rate confronting South Africa, in particular among the youth, continues to be a cause of concern for all stakeholders including academic researchers dealing with labour market issues. As a contribution to efforts at finding solution to the unemployment challenge, the study sought to investigate the extent to which socio-demographic factors influence the job search methods used by unemployed youth using data on a sample of 580 randomly and systematically selected youth from four local municipalities in the Vhembe District of the Limpopo Province, South Africa. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to investigate how socio-demographic characteristics impact on the methods used by the unemployed youth in their job search. Results from the multinomial logistic model found that only education had any bearing on the employment search method adopted, with the youth with secondary education and below found to be more likely to search for employment at work site as opposed to using the method of direct application and were also less likely to respond to adverts in the media, compared to their counterparts with tertiary education. From an economic policy perspective, the analysis of search methods may suggest ways to improve the matching of employees with jobs. Companies that search people know more about the job search behaviour of people and can place their vacancies on the right channel.
Generation Y smartphone purchase evaluations
Nkosivile Welcome Madinga, AAA School of Advertising, Department of Integrated Marketing Communication, Faculty of Marketing, Cape Town Campus, South Africa
Abstract. Individuals in both developed and developing countries have access to mobile phones making Africa the second largest mobile phone market in the entire world. The growth is visible in South Africa as well with the number of people owning cellphones increasing by 20 percent between 2005 and 2009. In South Africa, 91.1 percent of mobile phone consumers own smartphones. The population group that buy the most smartphones are those between the ages of 15 and 24 years old, referred to as Generation Y. This study reports a qualitative exploration of factors considered by Generation Y consumers when buying smartphones. The study made use of a qualitative research paradigm. Focus group interviews were selected as the method of data collection. Focus group members ranged from seven to 10. A total of 81 (N=81) South African Generation Y were interviewed. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the framework method to identify key themes. Four themes emerged namely, quality, social influence, status symbol, and technical features. These were identified as important factors respondents of this study consider when purchasing smartphones. Recommendations were made. Lastly, future research directions are presented.
The benefits of good corporate governance to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa: A view on top 20 and bottom 20 JSE listed companies
Radebe M. Sarah, Department of Entrepreneurship, Supply Chain, Transport and Tourism. College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. Good corporate governance has been attributed to many large organisations ‘success. From the boardroom to the triple bottom line, it has been hailed as one powerful tool that brought about sustainability of these organisations in this competitive era. While this is beneficial to large organisations, Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can glean on such experiences to add their value to their companies which in a long run could bring about new markets and improved business practices which can be ground breaking in their daily business dealings. Thus, if with the introduction of the King Report on good governance, competitive advantage is improved, SMEs are in a good position to sustain their businesses in turbulent economic conditions. This article aimed at exploring the benefits with which good corporate governance can yield to top and bottom JSE listed SMEs in South Africa. A desktop method was used to analyse the financial statements of these SMEs companies with the view to gain understanding on their corporate governance activities and how well they benefit them. The findings show that good corporate governance is beneficial to SMEs.
Assessing fertilizer buying behaviour of emerging farmers in a South African grain producing area
Lotriet, R.A., NWU School of Business and Governance, North-West University Potchefstroom, South Africa
Abstract. Fertilizer plays a major role in the profitability of the farmer's business, but also represents an expensive farm input. The emerging farmer market segment is expanding and holds a great deal of potential for fertilizer companies to supply the growing need of fertilizer in this market. Almost all fertilizer marketing strategies of South African companies have been designed to cater for the commercial farming sector; however, if fertilizer suppliers want to focus on the emerging farmer market segment, they need to understand buying behaviour of emerging farmers as well as their needs when developing strategies to utilize opportunities in this developing market. This study aims to identify factors playing an important role in the buying behaviour of emerging farmers in the Free State when purchasing fertilizer. The results show that service, brand, product and learning or psychological factors highly influence emerging farmers' fertilizer purchase decision. The study also finally draws recommendations and conclusions for managerial perusal.