PPM Papers Coming Soon
This section contains information about articles under review and waiting for publication in next issues of the journal.
Benchmarking as a managerial tool
Davood Askarany, Business School, Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Abstract. The adoption and diffusion of benchmarking is relatively addressed in Western countries. However, there is scant evidence on how benchmarking is received by organizations in developing countries. Furthermore, while the diffusion of innovation theory suggests the significance influence of characteristics of an innovation on its adoption and diffusion, no study has been reported to examine this theory in relation to benchmarking. Furthermore, almost all surveys on the adoption of benchmarking have considered benchmarking as a practice rather than a process.
A model to measure employee engagement
Lailah Imandin, Potchefstroom Business School of the North-West University, South Africa
Abstract. The objective of this article is to develop a model to measure employee engagement. In doing so, the article firstly develop a theoretical model by identifying employee engagement constructs from the literature. Secondly, identifying measuring criteria of these constructs from the literature, and thirdly, to validate the theoretical model to measure employee engagement in South Africa. The theoretical model consists of 11 employee engagement constructs, measured by a total of 94 measuring criteria. The empirical process of validation employed data collected from 260 respondents who study towards an MBA degree at two private business schools in KwaZulu-Natal. The validation process aimed to validate the variables that measure each of the constructs by determining statistically that the sample employed is adequate, use the Bartlett test to ensure the applicability of the data for multivariate statistical analysis; to validate the measuring criteria as relevant to employee engagement, and to determine the reliability of each of the employee engagement constructs in the model. All these objectives were met. This culminated in the final result, namely an adapted empirical model to measure employee engagement in SA. The model tested statistically to be a valid and reliable model. The research is of value to management in the private and public sector, academics and researchers.
The need for an integrative framework to challenge traditional entrepreneurship theories: the context of effectuate education expertise
Tarja H. Niemelä, Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics, Jyväskylä University, Finland
Abstract. By using integration as method we have brought together entrepreneurship and education theories in a new way of combining individual, cooperative and organisation level. In our conceptual study we propose a framework for integrating the various theories of education expertise. To achieve this integration, we draw on theories from the fields of entrepreneurship, knowledge and learning, and capabilities and resources. We examine the theories from three perspectives: individual, cooperative and organisation. Our study offers a model of effectuate education expertise and suggests new paths for entrepreneurship research. The practical implications suggest that management of effectuate education expertise is of co-creation needed in education business contexts.
Monetary policy regimes and economic performance in Kenya
Enock T. Nyorekwa, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. This paper provides an overview of Kenya's economic, monetary and financial reforms - since its independence in 1963. In particular, the paper assesses the respective monetary policy frameworks, and the associated economic performance from 1963 to date (July 2014). It also explores the challenges facing the performance of monetary policy. Kenya has undergone a number of reforms since its independence - shifting from direct monetary policy to indirect monetary policy in the 1990s - as an important part of the IMF structural adjustment programs. In 2011, a monetary policy framework that targets monetary aggregates consistent with government inflation targets was adopted, with the Central Bank Rate (CBR) as the main instrument. The findings of this paper show that while monetary policy was largely inactive in the 1960s and the early 70s; as in many other developing countries, the associated macro-economic performance exhibited by high growth rates, the balance of payment surplus, and the low inflation during this period, has not been fully replicated. The study also found that, although Kenya's financial sector is currently regarded as one of the most developed in sub-Saharan African countries, like many other emerging economies, the sector still faces a number of challenges. These challenges include: the intricacies associated with rapid financial innovations, the pursuance of multiple objectives, and the recent rising trend of domestic debt.
A social responsibility inventiveness to relieve Krugersdorp and Randfonteinexploited household servants of mistreatment
Solly Matshonisa Seeletse, University of Limpopo, Medunsa Campus, South Africa
Abstract. The article reports the findings of an investigation undertook on the exploitation of some potential entrepreneurs who work as abused employees in Krugersdorp and Randfontein. Such exploitation was seen to have hindered these employees' progress. The objectives were to show the extent of the exploitation and reasons for these employees not being entrepreneurial. An exploratory study was undertaken based on a convenience sample of 124 employees who contributed their skills for the benefit of businesses belonging to their employers' companies. The employees knew only to do their work, but had no skills to help them become entrepreneurs. They also did not have the ambition to own business and be managers. They had no bank accounts and feared their employers greatly. On remuneration, they were underpaid. Two areas of the West Rand were investigated, but other towns in the area have similar trends. However, this as a start, successful results of the recommendations can make useful benchmarks in other areas to help exploited employees to open businesses. These efforts have not been tried before in Krugersdorp and Randfontein. Exploitation of employees has a long history in South Africa. As a social responsibility effort, this study has a positive contribution to society.
A unique market offering by formal independent retail and wholesale small businesses in the Soweto Township, South Africa
Hannie Badenhost-Weiss, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. The rationale for this study is to determine how independent formal small retail and wholesale businesses compete against increasing competition mainly from large retail chains located in new shopping malls in Soweto. Soweto was one of the biggest segregated townships in South Africa during the apartheid era and in 2005 the City of Johannesburg focused on stimulating the economic activity of Soweto. The fundamental ways in which small and large businesses differ, influence the way they compete. According to literature businesses can compete within three competing disciplines, namely operational excellence, product leadership and customer intimacy. Each discipline consists out of a unique combination of elements known as price-related, product-related and customer service-related elements. This study investigates the sustainability of independent formal small retail and wholesale businesses in Soweto by identifying the unique market offering that they have to present to their customers to compete successfully in the market. The research was conducted by means of a questionnaire and personal interviews with a sample of 650 small businesses in Soweto. With this quantitative study, it was found that independent formal small retail and wholesale businesses that focused on product-related (product quality, product variety and best brands) elements in their market offering as the main competing discipline, tend to survive and grow.
Proposing an activity-driven operational accounting framework at an agricultural chemical company
Pieter Buys, Northwest University, South Africa
Abstract. An activity-based approach to operational management aims to address the shortcomings of traditional resource management methodologies and to provide enhanced management information. Since effective cost management is of critical importance, operational processes not adding value to the business must be identified. As such, activity-based operational management techniques provide an opportunity to strive towards cost-competitive excellence. By properly analysing the business operations' results, the non-value adding processes can be eliminated, allowing management to properly focus on those activities that will effectively contribute towards better decision-making and competitiveness.
Resistance to change in schools: perceptions of principals and teachers in a South African province
Arrie van Wyk, Northwest University, South Africa
Abstract. Changes have taken place in the South African society, especially in education, to address the previous discriminatory practices in favor of a free and democratic dispensation. Literature shows that change always goes hand in hand with resistance to it. However, literature pertaining to the perceptions of principals and teachers about resistance to change in education is limited, hence the rationale for this research. The purpose of this article is to report on the differences and the extent of the differences between teachers' and principals' perceptions regarding resistance to change in impoverished schools of a South African province. A quantitative approach was followed. The d-values and t-tests indicated significant differences between the perceptions of principals and teachers about resistance to change in their respective schools. Teachers' reactions to change in schools were generally overloaded with resisting forces while principals' experiences of change were more optimistic with fewer resisting forces.
Research output level at Durban University of Technology (DUT) in South Africa: contributing factors and their implications
Philisiwe Charity Cele, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. Various factors contributing to the level of research output at the Durban of University of Technology (DUT) were investigated by this research and their implications to the University were also examined. Data were collected from six faculties at DUT. A stratified sample of 60 respondents was used, with the sample consisting of 30 experienced researchers and 30 emerging researchers, selected from the academic staff. Respondents were asked to complete a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire, with the help of an interviewer. Space was provided for each of the questions in the questionnaire, to allow respondents to provide additional, relevant information, which might have been left out during the formulation of the questionnaire. A mixed approach of both qualitative and quantitative techniques was used, while the analysis of primary data was done using SPSS, version 21.0. Results of the study reveal that the majority of respondents indicated various factors, including individual and institutional elements, as the main barrier to participate in doing research. This paper will benefit University management, academic staff, potential university academic staff, the university's human resource department, other South African universities, the South Africa Department of Higher Education, the South African Council of High Education and South African education policy makers. The findings are limited by the study's exploratory nature and only one university was considered. Generalisation of this study should be done with care, while it is recommended that further research, with a large sample, should concentrate on the development of an academic workload allocation policy at the Universities and effective implementation of the policy encouraged.
Influence of e-HRM in decision making in selected tertiary institutions in South Africa
Nnenna Eme Ukandu, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. The study aimed to explore the influence of Electronic Human Resource Management (E-HRM) systems in decision-making specifically to uncover the benefits and challenges of using E-HRM system in the human resource management (HRM) functions of South African tertiary institutions. By examining the influence of E-HRM systems on HRM functions, this research should enable the HR managers improve their HR functions. For credible results, a combination of both qualitative and quantitative research methods was employed. This research design enabled the researchers to have a better understanding of the study from a subjective and objective point of view since it involved the use of in-depth interviews, and use of questionnaires. The vehicle that was used to collect quantitative data was closed-ended structured questionnaires. The data that was collected was analysed by using the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS). The study found a majority appreciation of the benefits of E-HRM, albeit certain challenges are experienced in its utilization. Based on the findings, some recommendations are made.
Factorial invariance of the South African culture instrument
Nico Martins, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. The purpose of the study was to confirm the validity of the South African Culture Questionnaire (SACI) and to assess the questionnaire's degree of factorial invariance across race groups. The questionnaire has been used for a number of years for organisational culture assessments, but no factorial invariance has been tested. It is essential for the cultural applicability of the measuring instrument (e.g. whether the measurements represent identical constructs on identical scales) and equivalence to be determined. A quantitative research study was conducted in a South African information communications and technology (ICT) company. A total of 455 employees completed the SACI. Structural equation modelling was used to determine if there was any invariance between the various race groups. The results confirmed the validity and reliability of the SACI and the fact that no factorial invariance existed between the measured groups. The original eight-factor structure of the SACI fitted the data well - as evidenced by the overall goodness-of-fit statistics. The reliability associated with organizational culture for both the pathways and dimensions was acceptable across the various groups, as indicated by the overall and race goodness-of-fit statistics. No significant differences were found in the factorial patterns for the SACI for the four race groups. The conclusion drawn was that the questionnaire can thus be used with confidence for organisational assessments across race groups.
Business environmental factors affecting South Africa's supply chains and economic growth and development
Hannie Badenhorst-Weiss, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. South Africa's logistics performance is deteriorating which influences the global competitiveness of the country's products. Supply chains in the country operate in a business environment that is not totally conducive for business. The purpose of this study is to identify and obtain insight into the main business environmental risk factors. Supply chain management will only be able to mitigate risks and develop strategies to neutralise constraints if they have knowledge of the risks and constraints. The study was conducted in the logistics industry by means of a sequential mixed method study, consisting of a survey to identify the most important risk factors and a qualitative study in the form of a focus group discussion to obtain richer data and insight into the problem areas. The study found that increasing transportation costs, the quality and service of infrastructure, lack of skilled and educated human resources, and labour relations pose the biggest risks for supply chains and constrain their competitiveness. The shortcomings in infrastructure and services are not within the control of supply chains and possible delays of deliveries should be taken into account with scheduling. An increase in transportation costs and a lack of quality human resources can be solved by taking a long term approach, such as investing in developing human resources and offering a working environment and culture to enhance their productivity and loyalty instead of trying to retain them with higher salaries or appoint more workers. Transportation costs can be limited by better management of routes and full loads, even if it means partnerships with competing logistics providers. To prevent labour unrest, supply chains should invest in the social well-being of the labour force.
Factors influencing debt financing decisions of corporations - theoretical and empirical literature review
Micah Odhiambo, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. Over the past half century, there has been an increasing interest on identifying the factors influencing debt financing within corporations. Based on available literature, both from developed and developing economies, this literature review paper examined the factors influencing debt financing decisions within corporations. Applying desktop research methodology, the paper used a three-thronged approach: theoretical, methodology and empirical. The theoretical approach reviewed the key theories proposed with respect to corporations' debt financing decisions. The methodology approach helped in identifying the common applicable conceptual models and the empirical findings related to the factors affecting debt financing of corporations. The factors identified were both firm specific and macroeconomic factors, and the empirical findings showed either positive or negative relationship results.
Resolving the service delivery dilemma in South Africa through a cohesive service delivery theory
Za-Mulamba Paulin Mbecke, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. The main objective of public sector reform to speed-up resource distribution via a service delivery system has failed in South Africa resulting in scores of service delivery protests, some of which are violent. In this article research gaps on service delivery chaos in South Africa are identified. The author of the article acknowledges that different factors contribute to service delivery but such factors are not linked to give a clear understanding of service delivery dilemma. The research then reviews the literature on factors influencing service delivery and proposes a "Cohesive Service Delivery Theory". The theory is developed using the Bayesian Networks system, an artificial intelligence tool that facilitates the definition, quantification and combination of different factors contributing to service delivery. The theory suggests and interprets different scenarios showing how each factor or/and the combination of factors positively or negatively influences service delivery. The author promotes the theory as a tool that assists in maximizing the use of Information Communication Technologies to improve and sustain service delivery in South Africa.
Social support key to cash in transit guards' psychological wellbeing
Paul Poisat, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Abstract. Due to large amounts of cash in transit, security vehicles have become preferred targets for armed robberies. Cash-in-transit guards have to work under dangerous and life-threatening conditions, as transporting goods, particularly cash, has become an increasingly risky task in South Africa. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the potential valuable impact of social support on employees' susceptibility to job burnout. Cash-in-transit employees may suffer from burnout due to a prolonged response to occupational stressors and a lack of social support. Social support may serve as a buffer to occupational stress. This study argues that the level of burnout is strongly influenced by a lack of social support and a stressful work environment. A voluntary sample of cash-in-transit security guards (n = 65) was obtained from two private security companies in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. A self-administered questionnaire consisting of validated scales was distributed amongst employees. Inferential statistics suggest that social support plays a potentially valuable role in reducing cash-in-transit employees' susceptibility to job burnout. Furthermore, the results suggest that a dangerous, unsafe and stressful work environment may increase the risk of job burnout among cash-in-transit employees, and certain organizational interventions are necessary to minimize the effect thereof.
Corporate social responsibility a toolkit for SMEs efficiency in Tshwane, South Africa
Evelyn Chiloane-Tsoka, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. The code of governance presents some fundamental core philosophy that is of significant milestone providing opportunities in shaping the business landscape in South Africa. Tough penalty clauses for non-compliance are designed to create effective leadership through the establishment of many guidelines in terms of procedures, accounting, sustainability and environmental and social responsibility that successful businesses normally follow. With that in mind this paper aims to look at the challenges faced by business owners operating in Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in their daily operations and also to establish whether they are creating a meaningful contribution to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in their business environment. The findings revealed that entrepreneurs in Gauteng operating as SMEs still have a long way to go in learning CSR. Reporting to internal and external stakeholders is still a nightmare if many SMEs on questioning indicated that they were concerned with the burdens of compliance and the cost of compliance. Finally it was observed that they were not much focused on CSR. The study used a quantitative method approach and 200 structured questionnaires were administered purposely and respondents were randomly selected in the three Tshwane Township.
South African consumer ethnocentrism and attitudes towards foreign convenience products
Andrew R. Kamwendo, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. The evolution of country-of-origin research has led to the development of the consumer ethnocentrism concept. This study looks into the concept of consumer ethnocentrism (CE) and its relationship with product selection and investigates the relationships between consumer ethnocentrism and South African consumers' attitudes towards foreign convenience products. The aim of the study was to determine the extent to which CE affects consumer behavior among South African consumers. Through the use of the CETSCALE questionnaire, an analysis of the levels of consumer ethnocentrism displayed by consumers of different demographic characteristics was conducted. A research model highlighting the antecedents to consumer ethnocentrism was developed and tested using an Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA) test. The study was in the form of a descriptive survey. 500 questionnaires were distributed, with 476 useable questionnaires being obtained. SPSS 21.0 was used to analyze the data. Non parametric tests were used as the data was not normally distributed using a Kolmogorov Smirnov test. The research hypotheses were tested using a nonparametric Chi square test. The Pearson chi-square test was used to test for the existence of variances within the responses provided by the respondents to individual question. The study reveals that only ethnicity has a significant relationship with CE. Ethnocentric tendencies were strongest among Black South Africans. Theoretical and practical implications of the study are presented with the provision of suggestions regarding future research.
Content analysis of mission statement of mining companies in South Africa
Ajay K Garg, TUT Business School, South Africa
Abstract. This is the first study that analyzed content of mission statements of mining companies in South Africa. Based on the literature, quality of mission statements, inclusion of specific components and other characteristics in mission statements for 58 mining companies listed at the Johannesburg stock exchange were analyzed. The results reveal that quality of mission statements of these companies as compared to the other parts of the world were similar to the extent that that very few companies in the study included all stakeholders in their statements. Majority of mining companies in South Africa do not focus on the key stakeholders in their mission statement as provided in the literature. Mention of the word "stakeholder' was found to be prominent in South African mining companies' statements, while BEE or Black Empowerment was found in only 2 companies statements. The mining companies in South Africa focused mainly on financial objectives and distinctive competencies; their focus was lower on employee and social benefits as compared to European, US and Japanese firms. This has implication for the current mining labor unrest in South Africa and mining companies are likely to see change in focus in their mission statements in the years to come.
Learning, the whole and Theory U: reflections on creating a space for deep learning
Kriben Pillay, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Abstract. Drawing on his experience of facilitating a two-day youth leadership development programme in a socially depressed rural district in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the author critically reflects on the processes engaged in and how they align, theoretically and experientially, with the philosophical perspective of nonduality and the social change model, Theory U. This paper, while exploratory in nature, will seek to locate the outcomes of the workshop processes within a paradigm that asserts the primacy of consciousness and Being, drawing on the nondual perspective and Theory U as critical frameworks to validate this position. It is also argued that this work is becoming crucial in social contexts where the current learning paradigms and outdated worldviews are not only failing, but threatening to bring about the rapid collapse of our civil and social institutions. The paper is offered as a discussion document rather than as a traditional scientific study.
The vital role of business processes for a business model: the case of a startup company
Rainer Lueg, Aarhus University, Denmark
Abstract. The present study highlights the importance of alignment between a Business Model (BM) and business processes. We employ a case study method and analyze a young company focused on R&D in high technology. In order to explicate our observations, we invoke the newly developed ‘VIP framework' (Solaimani and Bouwman, 2012). The research reveals that the business processes (BP) carried out in the company must fit the stated Business Model. The case study demonstrates how some of the processes are not optimal and efficient, and that the two main requirements for achieving a higher level coherence and consistency between BM and BP are an enhancement in human resource management and information systems. This research fills a research gap in understanding the connection between BM and BP and contributes to the illumination of their significance. Besides, a newly developed BM/BP alignment framework is empirically applied for the first time.
A longitudinal study of employee satisfaction during the process of transformation in a water utility organization
Ophillia Ledimo, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. Longitudinal studies are valuable to organizations faced with the process of transformation because they provide an opportunity to determine the impact of change interventions in an organization. Changes in employees' behaviour and attitudes can be observed over an extended period of time. The main purpose of this study was to conduct a longitudinal study of employee satisfaction during organizational transformation over a period of three years. The variable employee satisfaction was measured using the employee satisfaction survey (ESS). Descriptive and inferential statistics were conducted to analyse the data collected from the three convenient sample sizes of N = 1 140 (Year 1), N = 920 (Year 2) and N = 759 (Year 3). The results of this study indicated that there are significant positive changes and differences between the three samples regarding the areas of employee dissatisfaction and satisfaction, resulting from the process of organizational transformation. Recommendations are made on how managers can use longitudinal studies to conduct employee satisfaction audits during organizational transformation, in order to determine, monitor and compare the observed changes. As a result, organizations will be able to leverage on their areas of strength and to initiate relevant interventions for their developmental areas.
The impact of market orientation on business performance - the case of Tatarstan knowledge-intensive companies (Russia)
Ekaterina Protcko, Kazan Federal University, Russia
Abstract. The article provides a direct test of the applicability of a western paradigm to Russia - a country with a different cultural and economic system. This article aims to give knowledge-intensive companies in Tatarstan (Russia) a better understanding about influence of their level of market orientation on business performance. This study validated Kohli and Jaworski's market orientation scale in knowledge-intensive industries, particularly in small and medium knowledge-intensive companies in Russia. The ﬁndings show that the market orientation has a positive impact on ﬁnancial and non financial business performance in knowledge-intensive industries. It is important for hi-tech companies to improve their performance by implementing market orientated strategies, putting emphasis in conducting effective market research and be strong in customer and competitor orientation.
Determining high quality SMEs that significantly contribute to SME growth: regional evidence from South Africa
Neneh Brownhilder Ngek, University of the Free State, South Africa
Abstract. It has been widely advocated that SMEs create most of the jobs in an economy. However, studiesfrom both the developed and developing worldhave shown that only a small amount of SMEs create most of the jobs in an economy. These set of SMEs have been termed high quality firms that grow and create the much needed jobs. While studies from the developed world have identified a number of factors that depict the quality of a firm, there is however, little empirical evidence from the developing world on firm quality. This study has as main objective to determine the factors of firm quality that can be used to define a high quality SME in South Africa that contributes significantly to SME growth. The results showed thathuman capital, growth ambition, innovativeness, motivation, and market orientation could be used to define a high quality SME in South Africa that contributes significantly to SME growth (employment growth, sales growth and asset growth).Furthermore, SME quality as defined in this study significantly affects the growth of an SME. These findings are timely, as the South African government currently has a keen interest on using the SME sector to address the high unemployment rate in the country. This study recommends that this can be achieved by developing policies that promote the creation of high quality start-ups and not simply increasing the number of start-ups as prior polices have done.
Employee participation and productivity in a South African university. Implications for human resource management
Emmanuel Tamen Tchapchet, Independent researcher and consultant in the areas of labor relations and data analysis, South Africa
Abstract. Employee participation refers to giving employees and their representatives opportunities to collaborate in matters that pertain to the management of the organization especially where employees are directly concerned. This research therefore examines employee participation within the context of a university of technology in South Africa. Universities of Technology are a new phenomenon in South Africa. As part of the public university system, they are faced with a different set of challenges from the more comprehensive and traditional universities. UoT's offer practice based learning in the areas of business, engineering and technology, thus suggesting that they have a role to play in closing the gap in skills in these areas. This study asked the question: to what extent are employees of the faculty in question integrated into matters that pertain to the management of the faculty? This main research question was designed to interact with the following sub-questions: do you think employee participation improves productivity? Are there platforms for employee participation? Do you think management reasonably considers your input in the faculty? These questions have relevance judging from vast research that indicates a significant reluctance by management to accept employee participation as a necessary practice in organizations. Data was collected using the qualitative approach. The interviews were tape-recorded, while in some cases, notes were taken. The population for this study comprised 12 of the 30 senior lecturers in a faculty at a University of Technology in South Africa. The findings suggest while there is a desire on the part of the academics to be incorporated into matters of concern to them and the faculty, there seemed to be an obvious neglect of the contributions that academic staff make in the faculty.
Improvement of financial tools for expansion of opportunities for innovative activity investment
Andrey Nechaev, Irkutsk State Technical University, Russia
Abstract. On the territory of Russia the securities market carries out a role of the economic regulator and promotes integration of the economy into the world economic system. The main goal of the article is the development of the complex innovative financial tools of the derivatives use for the development of the venture business by means of the participation of the Russian venture funds.
Industry-wide managerial discretion and executive compensation
Ji-Young Ahn, Ewha Womans University, Korea
Abstract. This study examines executive compensation in light of traditional agency theoretic assumptions, but also integrates institutional and environmental arguments in an attempt to understand why CEO compensation varies across industries. We find that the effect a CEO has on organizational outcomes varies considerably across industries. We also find that some industries have considerable within-industry differences in CEO discretion on organizational outcomes, such as ROA, annual stock returns, and Tobin's Q. In industries where there is a large variance in CEO impact, total CEO compensation tends to be significantly higher. However, we do not find that industry-wide CEO discretion affects contingent pay.
Modeling and measuring milestones in business process optimization
Mantepu T. MaseTshaba, University of Limpopo Medunsa Campus, South Africa
Abstract. The article develops a method to model and also measure the level in which a business has progressed towards business process optimization (BPO). In cases where tougher competition in business leads to opportunity losses, top managements in organizations tend to blame the operations managers for failure to optimize their processes. The extent to which progress towards ideal optimization has been attained is not noted, which is failure to acknowledge the efforts made or even the milestones already reached towards optimal level. In making it easy to measure the extent to ideal state of optimization, BPO is unpacked into its basic units. Then linear programming and probability measures are applied to enable measuring the level at which efforts already completed are away from the ideal state of BPO. The basic units enable a way to identify stages already completed and those that still remain to reach the BPO. This helps to explain to management that while ideal BPO has not been reached, some successes towards BPO have been attained. Such successes are identified by the completed stages, the level of success is also given as a measure, and incomplete parts are also identifiable.
The effects of culture as a start-up factor on business performance
Simon Radipere, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. The study examined relationship between culture and business performance using 500 SMMEs in Gauteng province, South Africa. South Africa's low ranking in terms of global competitiveness is a source of national concern. This means that South Africa has the smallest proportion of entrepreneurs compared with other developing countries. This is a problem in a country where entrepreneurial ventures account for one-third of total employment. There is a need to find out to what extent the entrepreneurial start-up factor (culture) affects the performance of a business. Questionnaire was used to collect data from 500 SMMEs owners. Probability sampling was used to ensure that each member of the SMME population was given a known non-zero chance of selection. Simple random sampling was utilized to identify the respondents. The findings from the survey were modeled through a categorical regression model with business performance as dependent variable. The level of significance of the sixteen variables out of twenty five variables suggests that culture be classified as the strongest predictor of business performance. These findings, depicting the magnitude of the business environment in the study area, clearly confirm the positive impact of culture on business performance.
The applicability of relationship marketing at non-profit organizations: a developing country perspective
Sameera B. Hussain, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. Non-profit organizations are civil society organizations that range from faith and community based organizations, charity (welfare) or traditional organizations, such as social or sports clubs. The main aim of non-profit organizations is to pursue social public welfare activities. Global and regional development has led to an increase in the number of non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations do not sell any products, but rather their mission, vision as well as programs and services. They ought to therefore ensure active promotion of their services to ensure financial support and to survive in a competitive environment. Promoting themselves effectively as well developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders is therefore of utmost importance. A key strategy that could be used to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders is relationship marketing. This study therefore sets out to evaluate the extent to which relationship marketing is practiced within non-profit organizations. This pilot research constitutes a quantitative descriptive study and is part of a broader doctoral study. The results of the study show that there are distinct benefits for non-profits in making use of relationship marketing. It is therefore concluded that non-profit organizations formally adopt relationship marketing as one of their key marketing strategies.