PPM Papers Coming Soon

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

The use of traditional marketing tools by SMEs in an emerging economy: a South African perspective

Michael C. Cant, D.Com. in Business Management with specialization in Marketing and Retail Management, Professor, Department of Marketing and Retail Management, University of South Africa
Johannes A. Wiid, D.Com. in Business Management with specialization in Marketing and Retail Management, Professor, Department of Marketing and Retail Management, University of South Africa

Abstract. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in all economies around the world, they are responsible for creating of jobs, alleviating of poverty, contributing to innovation and to the gross domestic product of a country. However, many of these businesses face challenges and often fail within a short period of time. The success of small businesses is not only having products and a market to sell them to but also effective marketing of these products to the targeted market. A vast array of studies have investigated SME marketing tool usage however few have looked to SMEs in emerging economies and specifically to the traditional marketing tools such firms employ. Therefore the focus of this study was to describe the usage of traditional marketing tools employed by SMEs from a South African perspective. This study followed a quantitative research methodology whereby a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to SME owners within the Gauteng province of South Africa. Results obtained from this research indicate that SME owners mostly make use of print media while broadcast media is used selectively. Results obtained within this study will be of value universally to SME owners as it can be seen that all SMEs irrespective of geographic location face similar challenges.

Optimized consortium formation through cluster analysis

Kgwadi M. Mampana, Ph.D., Department of Statistics, University of South Africa, Florida Campus, South Africa
Solly M. Seeletse, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Statistics and Operations Research, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
Enoch M. Sithole, Ph.D., Department of Physics, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

Abstract. Some problems cannot be solved optimally and compromises become necessary. In some cases obtaining an optimal solution may require combining algorithms and iterations. This often occurs when the problem is complex and a single procedure does not reach optimality. This paper shows a conglomerate of algorithms iterated in tasks to form an optimal consortium using cluster analysis. Hierarchical methods and distance measures lead the process. Few companies are desirable in optimal consortium formation. However, this study shows that optimization cannot be predetermined based on a specific fixed number of companies. The experiential exercise forms an optimal consortium of four companies from six shortlisted competitors.

Strategic management and management of personnel costs: employing young people in the Slovak Republic

Ladislav Mura, Ph.D., Doc. Dr. Mgr. Ing., Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Slovak Republic
Jana Žuľová, Ph.D., J.U.Dr., Faculty of Law, P.J. Šafárik University, Slovak Republic
Adam Madleňák, Ph.D., Faculty of Mass Media Communication, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Slovak Republic

Abstract. This paper focuses on evaluating strategic management of the labor market through legislated active labor market measures introduced in the Slovak Republic to support youth employment. Based on the presented statistical data and managerial and legal analysis of the labor market in the Slovak Republic, with particular emphasis on the economic status of young people, two key parts of the adopted strategic document should provide better economic security for young adults. From the point of view of employers the initiatives are an attractive means for incorporating young adults into the economy, especially because this allows for increased active management of personnel costs that are directly related to compensatory incentives from the side of state agencies for employment of young people. This strategic management creates possibilities for employers to gain access to lower labor costs and to realize significant cost savings. Supporting data are presented graphically and at the same time the cost savings for employers are calculated. Overall, these two analyses demonstrate the practical effect of the new strategic measures on corporate management of personnel costs.

Cheap and clever - symbiosis of frugal innovation and knowledge management

Andrea Bencsik, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, J. Selye University, Slovakia
Renáta Machová, Ph.D., Vice Dean, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, J. Selye University, Slovakia
Zsuzsanna Tóth, Assistant, Department of Communication and Foreign Languages, Faculty of Economics, J. Selye University, Slovakia

Abstract. To operate knowledge management system has become an accepted method and a part of everyday life in the biggest companies. The full circle exploitation of advantages and possibilities of this system does not show a hopeful picture. It is especially true when we examine relationships and constructions with other key processes in the operation of a company. Innovation belongs to above mentioned processes. Though every outsider and professional way of thinking sees clearly that knowledge is needed to innovate and knowledge is a basis of knowledge management, but the close connection of the two important processes has not been realized on behalf of success. Defectiveness is especially true in cases of the newest innovation methods. The paper shows the connection of frugal innovation and knowledge management, its theoretical and practical possibilities.

Marketing foundation for retail and office center's tenant mix

E.S. Rolbina, Kazan Federal University, Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Russia
N.V. Kalenskaya, Kazan Federal University, Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Russia
A.Z. Novenkova, Kazan Federal University, Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Russia
Wilfred Isioma Ukpere, Department of IPPM, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract. The issues of retail and office center structure formation are developed and presented in the existent literature. This article argues that in each case, these issues need to be refined depending on the location, the number of neighborhood and the surrounding streets' residents, the presence of other shops and services within walking distance etc. The purpose of this article is to confirm the abovementioned specificity during the marketing research, in order to evaluate the significance of the factors forming the structure of retail and office center for the population and future tenants. A survey of 200 residents and 100 business owners and managers was conducted. The study's results allow the formulation of a framework of retail and office center, determining the number of tenants, taking into account their preferences, and getting a list of interested tenants. It also shows the way to facilitate optimization of the layout of the center with regards to the requirements of the anchor tenants, high-footfall shops and customers; to develop the best routes to distribute customers across the floors and center's zones.

Problems of statistical study of labor productivity in construction

A.A. Kamalova, Kazan Federal University, Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Russia
Wilfred Isioma Ukpere, Department of Industrial Psychology & People Management, Faculty of Management University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract. The article focuses on the problems of statistical measurement of labor productivity in construction, as recent years saw the most significant changes in the methodology of calculating construction products. The study examined the factors affecting the dynamics of labor productivity in construction, calculated by the volume of work at estimate piece that is at the index known as "average output per worker" in the practice of planning and statistics. Labor productivity is a complex qualitative index, which is influenced by numerous factors. Therefore, the most effective method for studying the dynamics of labor productivity is the use of the index method. The index method seems to be widely used in statistical research of labor productivity in construction.

The development of disability-related employment policies in the South African public service

Brian Kwazi Majola, Department of Information Technology and Governance, School of Management, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rubby Dhunpath, Department of Information Technology and Governance, School of Management, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Abstract. Worldwide, the employment of people with disabilities has been challenged by the slow development of workplace specific' disability employment policies. The focus has been on formulating legislation to overcome barriers and the implementation of national disability policies without ensuring that workplaces formulate such policies. While laws regarding disability have been on the statute books for two decades in South Africa, little is known about how effective they have been and their impact in the workplace. This article examines whether South African government departments have developed or reviewed employment policies for the benefit of people with disabilities and determines whether policy makers were aware of the existence of the Disability Code (Republic of South Africa, 2002) and the Technical Assistance Manual (Republic of South Africa, 2005) when the policies were developed or reviewed. Human Resource Managers from 16 government departments in KwaZulu-Natal Province were interviewed. It was found that although HR policies were in place and some were being developed, very little has been done in terms of reviewing and/or developing disability employment policies. Furthermore, the existing prescripts were not extensively used as a resource during the development of disability-related employment policies. This has negatively affected the employment of people with disabilities in the public service. It is hoped that the results will assist management, HR practitioners as policy makers and line managers to develop disability employment policies in order to attract and retain people with disabilities. The research also contributes to the existing body of literature on disability.

The use of integrated supply chain management model for promoting competitiveness in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturing industry in Nigeria

Gabriel Oyebanjo Ogunlela, University of KwaZulu-Natal, College Of Law and Management Studies, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, Westville Campus, South Africa
Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya, Department of Public Management and Economics, Faculty of Management Science, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

Abstract. The importance of integrated supply chain management cannot be overemphasized in any business due to the emergence of inter and intra firm trade, literature has confirmed that the success of any business in all parts of the world depends on the effectiveness of their supply chain management. The focus of this paper is to present an exploratory study on the use of integrated supply chain management model for promoting competitiveness in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturing industry in Nigeria and explore critical factors affecting implementation and use. Primary data were collected from 80 selected respondents in FMCG manufacturing industry based in Lagos Nigeria. Quantitative method of data collection was used. SPSS 22.0 was used to analyze data. Findings of the research indicate the significance of .000* with .879* Cronbach's Alpha reliability. It also revealed that most of the tested variables were very significant. The study will benefit FMCG manufacturing industry in Nigeria and affiliated stakeholders as well as international communities by providing them with recent model. The findings are limited by the study's exploratory, quantitative nature and small sample, therefore, generalization of the results should be done with care and further research, with a large sample encouraged.

Perceptions of research structures and service quality within various faculties at Durban University of Technology: staff and students perspective

Musawenkosi Ngibe, Ph.D., Faculty of Accounting and Informatics, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya, Ph.D., Department of Public Management and Economics, Faculty of Management Science, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

Abstract. In order to compete, retain and attract postgraduate students, and overcome the lack of postgraduate throughput, universities of technology need to be more customer orientated. Therefore, to gain competitive advantage, university management needs to identify and assess the service quality gaps in research support structures and analyse the impact they have on students and staff within the university. The purpose of the study was to investigate the perceptions of staff and postgraduate students with regard to research structures and service quality support by relevant offices with specific reference to Durban University of Technology. Data was collected from academic staff and students across six faculties at the Durban University of Technology. The sample consisted of 278 academic staff and 260 postgraduate students, using a simple random sampling. A mixed method approach of qualitative and quantitative techniques was used, with a closed and open-ended questionnaire developed, by adapting the SERVQUAL instrument developed by Parasuraman et al, (1985), to evaluate and assess the quality dimensions (gap) for reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. The findings of the study indicated that staff and students were dissatisfied with the research support structures across six faculties. Further research should aim at assessing performance management of research support structures and service within the relevant research offices.

Impact of municipal employees' perceptions of fairness in human resources management practices on motivation: Evidence from a South African Province

L.W. Dzansi, Ph.D., Central University of Technology, Free State South Africa
Crispen Chipunza, Ph.D., Central University of Technology, Free State South Africa
Denis Y. Dzansi, Central University of Technology, Free State South Africa

Abstract. In South Africa, the problem of service delivery cuts across all municipalities as manifested by citizen protests on almost daily basis. To try and mitigate the costs associated with the protests, the South Africa government has placed emphasis on the role played by human resources management through instituting legislative frameworks, such as the the White Paper on Human Resource Management in the Public Service(1997). Despite this effort, the human resource management practices of municipalities continue to be criticised, by both municipal internal staff and citizenry. Service delivery in the South Africa context is regarded as one of the cornerstone indicators of how the government affords its citizens access to quality life as enshrined in its Constitution. This paper is one of the studies based on the South African context attempting to explain the problem of service delivery by looking at perceived fairness in human resource management (HRM) practices by employees of municipalities and how such perceptions affect their motivation to work. Using the tenets of the organizational justice theory, we hypothesised that perceived HRM practices of municipalities can be predictors of employee motivation. Quantitative data collected from employees of nine randomly selected municipalities in the Free State Province was used to create indices for the different HRM practices as well as employee motivation. Significant correlation tests were performed. Results showed a positive correlation between perceived fairness in the HRM practices of municipalities and employees' motivation at 05 and .01 levels of significance. This means that fair HRM practices of municipalities promote employee motivation.

The psychological career resources and Organizational Commitment Foci of South African workforce

Rebecca Tladinyane, D.Litt. et. Phil., Senior Lecturer, Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa

Abstract. One of most critical issues facing organizations today is how to retain employees they want to keep. The study examined the relationship dynamics between employees' psychological career resources (measured by the Psychological Career Resources Inventory) and their organizational commitment foci (measured by the Organization-Related Commitment Scale). A quantitative survey was conducted involving a non-probability purposive sample of predominantly black females employed at managerial and staff levels (N = 318) in the field of industrial and organizational psychology. The findings provide valuable indicators for the design of career development practices aimed at retaining valuable staff.

Investigating the use of knowledge management as a management tool in the mining industry

Dinko Herman Boikanyo, B.Sc., MBA, Ph.D. Candidate, North-West University in South Africa's Potchefstroom campus, Scientist in a petrochemical, Mining organization in South Africa, South Africa
Ronnie Lotriet, D.Com., M.Com., Professor, Department of Economic and Management Sciences, Potchefstroom Business School, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Pieter W Buys, Ph.D. in Accountancy, Ph.D. in Management Accountancy, M.Comm., MBA, CMA, Professor Department of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa

Abstract. The main objective of this research study was to investigate the extent to which knowledge management is used within the mining industry.
Knowledge management includes the identification and examination of available and required knowledge and the subsequent planning and control of actions to develop knowledge assets to accomplish organizational objectives.
A structured questionnaire was used for the study. A total of 300 mines were randomly selected from a research population of mining organizations in South Africa, Africa and globally. The respondents were all part of senior management. A response rate of 64% was achieved.
A significant number of respondents indicated that there is no transfer of knowledge about the best practices within their organizations. Some of the participants indicated that their organizations do not have the required technical infrastructure to enable knowledge sharing whilst some agreed that the culture in their organizations is not conducive to the sharing of knowledge.
A statistically and practically significant positive relationship with a large effect was found between the construct of knowledge management and perceived business performance. The mining organizations in Africa ranked the lowest in terms of applications of knowledge management principles.

The use of budgets by small and medium enterprises in Cape Metropolis, South Africa

Caroline Chidinma Maduekwe, Department of management accounting, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Peter Kamala, Department of management accounting, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

Abstract. Failure to budget has been identified as one of the main causes of failure of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This study sought to determine the extent to which SMEs in the Cape Metropolis use Budgets. Specifically, the study aimed to determine the types of budgets used, methods of budgeting employed, purpose for which budgets are used, perceived effectiveness of budgets used and factors that may inhibit SMEs from using budgets.
Data were collected using a questionnaire and analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings of this study revealed that most of the SMEs sampled used budgets. The three most frequently used budgets were sales budgets, purchases budgets and cash budgets, while the most frequently used budgeting method was fixed budgeting. The findings also revealed that budgets were mostly used for monitoring, measuring business performance, future planning and control purposes. The findings further revealed that budgets were perceived to be effective but the lack of top management support and qualified personnel were the main factors that inhibit SMEs from using budgets.
This study not only fills the gap in the literature on the use of budgets, but also provides invaluable insights on their use by SMEs. These insights could inform future endeavours of the Government when developing interventions meant to avert the high failure rates of these entities. The findings may also assist SMEs to gauge and review their own use of budgets with a view to optimising the benefits derived from these tools, as well as to overcome the factors that could inhibit them from using the budgets in the first place.

Influence of sense of coherence on work-life balance at the South African public service

Abe N. Ethel, Ph.D., School of Management, IT & Governance, College of Law & Management Studies University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Fields Ziska, Ph.D., School of Management, IT & Governance, College of Law & Management Studies University of KwaZulu-Natal, Varsity Road, Westville Durban South Africa
Atiku O. Sulaiman, Ph.D., School of Management, IT & Governance, College of Law & Management Studies University of KwaZulu-Natal, Varsity Road, Westville Durban South Africa

Abstract. The inability of workers to achieve balance between work and family responsibilities have led to heightened incidence of illnesses associated with stress. The main objective of this paper was to investigate the role of Sense of Coherence (SOC) on the achievement of work life balance by focusing on individual managers at a municipality in the South African public service. These individual managers often struggle with Work-life Balance (WLB) challenges like HIV/AIDs, relational tension, single parenthood, child and elder care, alcohol and substance abuse, debt and financial issues, absence of job autonomy, function vagueness / role conflict and job stress. A sequential transformative mixed methods research design was adopted. Data was collected using self-report questionnaire administered to 364 individual managers; additional eleven members of top management were interviewed. Quantitative data gathered was analysed using the IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 to test the reliability and validity of the instrument as well as the bivariate association between the variables. NVIVO was used in organising qualitative data for ease of content analysis. The findings indicate that SOC should be considered when designing strategies to address employee work-life needs. Furthermore, it confirmed that the presence of strong SOC does not lead to achievement of WLB.

Bus rapid transit projects involving the South African government and small operators (as SMMEs): Is BRT a blue or red ocean strategy?

Kgaugelo Sammy Boya, Department of Business Management, University of South Africa, South Africa

Abstract. Transport forms the heartbeat of the economy, not only in South Africa but also globally. Over time the South African government has invested a great deal of resources in transport projects such as taxi recapitalisation rail technology as well bus rapid transit (BRT). The BRT project has been a point of discussion in term of the value which it can bring to key stakeholders, particularly to commuters and the country's economy at large. BRT is basically an urban public bus transport strategy which seeks to alleviate congestion, mostly in the Metropolitan areas.In this paper the significance of the BRT strategy is highlighted as this may guide future public transport project investment. As a strategic move, the decision for government to roll out BRT is evaluated in terms of blue ocean strategy (BOS) principles and red ocean strategy (ROS) elements. BOS strategy suggests that an organisation operates in its own created market space where competition is rendered irrelevant, whereas with ROS organisation relies of a competitive edge in order to outsmart its rivals. The preliminary findings suggest that there are some elements of both BOS principles and ROS that are relevant to BRT projects. BRT is seen as a useful public transport investment particularly for countries with developing economies elements such as South Africa. However, stakeholder buy-in and cooperation should to be promoted to preserve the strategic and social gains brought about by BRT and other integrated public transport projects.

Communication privacy management of students in Latvia

Andris Petersons, Dr.sc.soc., Turiba University, Latvia
Ilkhom Khalimzoda, doctoral student, Turiba University, Latvia

Abstract. The lack of communication privacy boundaries among students and the fault of self-disclosure are two main reasons for unforeseen distress, broken relationships and trust, vulnerability and conflicts in universities. Based on S. Petronio's theory of communication privacy management this research investigates the interaction of domestic students and foreign students in Latvia with their peers in order to set up privacy and disclosure boundaries that do not to violate peer privacy, especially in a sensitive multicultural context. In fact, the presence of private information and the willingness to disclose it is often confronted with numerous privacy dilemmas and issues regarding their secureness, especially in universities where peers are young with different cultural backgrounds. This article analyses the privacy management skills of locals and foreigners and reveals how security of information is managed between them stemming from social penetration and communication privacy management theory. Privacy management is significant in facing the dilemma of communication privacy and facilitates solving already existing problems of privacy among students.

The role of individual interpersonal relationships on work performance in the South African retail sector

Isaac Idowu Abe, Bsc Business Admin, MBA., Graduate School of Business and Leadership, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Roger B. Mason, Ph.D., MBL, BA, Wholesale & Retail Leadership Chair, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

Abstract. Partial or non-recognition of the influence of interpersonal relationships at work could impair the growth, diffusion and success of retail business. For instance, South African retailers have been taking advantage of the retail revolution in Africa to reach the rest of the continent with products and services. Therefore, to examine the interpersonal relationships among supervisors and subordinates in this sector for its contribution to individual and organizational outcomes is important. This paper examines the influence of individual interpersonal relationships on employee performance at work. A mixed method approach was adopted and self-reporting questionnaires were administered to 167 supervisors and 144 subordinate workers of four retail companies that participated in the study. The survey instrument contained both closed-ended and open-ended questions to enable a concurrent collection of data. The quantitative data were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 22, while qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis. It was found that the relationship between interpersonal relationships and employee performance for the supervisors was weak, while a less significant relationship was observed among the variables for the subordinate workers. The qualitative analysis offered explanations for the weakness and dissociation among interpersonal relationships and employee performance.

Contested confines: political risk and the media in South Africa

Mary-Anne Piasecki, Department of Politics, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Piet Croucamp, Department of Politics, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract. The South African private news media industry represents a substantial portion of the overall media industry and the most successful in terms of profit acquired. It is critical however to assess the shareholders and private ownership of the news media industry in order to determine the likely success of investment in this industry. However, additional risk factors need to be considered along with the shareholders and ownership; macro factors such as, legislation and economic stability as well as micro factors such as the restructuring of ownership and transparency within the industry. It is also fundamental that the news media industry of South Africa is assessed through the lens of its historical landscape and transformation and its Fourth Estate responsibilities. Through this assessment it is possible to conclude three likely outcomes of investment in the news media industry. These outcomes are based on the measured growth and current stability of the industry and the South African economy. The most concerning risk for investment is the continued economic downturn of the South African economy and its effect on restructuring of media ownership and a declining profit. This can be coupled with the risk of legislative turnover and executive overreach within the news media industry.

Managing knowledge resources

Stokvik, H. Research Fellow, North University Business School, Norway
Adriaenssen, D.J. Research Fellow, Århus University, Dept. Psychology, Denmark
Johannessen, J-A., Ph.D. Professor (full), Oslo School of Management, Norway and North University Business School, Norway
Sætersdal, H. Associate Professor, Oslo School of Management, Norway

Abstract. This article discusses the development of the type of knowledge held to be crucial for creativity and innovation, and which is referred to here as hidden knowledge.
The research question investigated is: How can organizations develop hidden knowledge?
The first purpose of the article is to bring forth a type of knowledge which can give some foundation for knowledge management and innovation. The second objective is to give some foundation for the HR-department, in order to bring knowledge management theory to practical use. We develop five propositions concerning a mini theory for the development of hidden knowledge. We also develop a descriptive framework of "knowledging" at the individual, team and organizational levels, for tacit, implicit, explicit and hidden knowledge, which can be used of the HR-department to increase innovation in the organization.

Management of collaboration for Agricultural Innovation Systems: a case of constraints among stakeholders in the North West Province, South Africa

Modirwa S., Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, North West University, Mafikeng campus
Oladele O.I., Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, North West University, Mafikeng campus

Abstract. The objective of this paper was to identify constraints hindering collaboration among stakeholders for agricultural innovation system in the North West Province of South Africa. A total sample size of 205 respondents was selected for the study. The study first identified the characteristics of stakeholders involved in the agricultural innovation system in the North West Province. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire on personal characteristics and constraints hindering collaboration in agricultural innovation system among stakeholders. The data was subjected to analysis using the Statistical Product and Service Solution (SPSS). Descriptive statistics such as frequency distribution, percentages and one way ANOVA were used for analysis. The results revealed that gender has an influence on the adoption of agricultural innovation in the North West Province; farming decisions are dominated by men rather than women, extension agents (65%), researchers (68%), farmers (51%), input dealers (73%) and marketers (70%). One way analysis of variance results showed show no difference in constraint among AIS stakeholders in North West Province. The F value for constraint shows that there is no significant difference among stakeholders in the North West Province.

Leadership development in undergraduate programs: an example at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Alina M. Zapalska, U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Nick Zieser, U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Tyler Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Abstract. The paper presents specific examples of leadership training practices and educational activities that have been successfully implemented in an undergraduate program at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The purpose of this study is to illustrate a model of experiential learning that facilitates leadership development in an undergraduate program. The integration of cadets' learning in a classroom, during students' engagement in service learning, community engagements, internships, and extra-curricular activities allows cadets to develop necessary leadership skills required for graduation and employment in the future. A structured experiential learning environment allows students to discover their own styles of self-leadership and explore new leadership approaches. Concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation are exercised in the learning communities that include faculty, coaches, students (peer groups) and the community they serve.

Differences in call centre agents' perception of their job characteristics, physical work environment and wellbeing

Noleen Miller, M.Tech., Business Administration, Administrator, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Rozenda Hendrickse, Associate Professor in Public Management, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

Abstract. Orientation: Job characteristics and physical work environment of call centres have an impact on the wellbeing of call centre agents. Research purpose: The aim of this study was to determine whether there are differences in male and female call centre agents' perception of their job characteristics, physical work environment and wellbeing. The study also aimed to investigate whether there was a significant relationship between the wellbeing problems encountered by call centre agents and the job characteristics and physical work environment factors. Motivation for the study: Wellbeing in call centres are a concern and therefore necessitate a study in understanding the factors of the work environment that negatively impact the wellbeing of call centre agents. Research design, approach and method: A quantitative research approach was employed to gather the data for the study, utilising a structured questionnaire. The sample (n = 275) consisted of call centre agents from four companies situated in the Cape Metropole. Main findings: Call centre agents had the same perceptions of their job characterises. Differences in perception were found with the physical work environment and wellbeing. Significant relationships between job characteristics, physical work environment and wellbeing were found. Contribution/value-add: The study contributes to the literature and knowledge of the workplace environment and wellbeing of call centre agents.

How South African ODL students use social media: a survey

Letitia E. Fourie, M.Com. Business Management, Lecturer, Department of Marketing and Retail Management, University of South Africa, South Africa

Abstract. Various studies have been conducted on the use of social media but there is a gap in the literature with regard to social media use in South Africa as well as the difference in social media usage between Generation Y and older students. Thus the main purpose of this article is to determine how ODL students use social media and if age makes a difference in social media usage. A sample of first year ODL students was sent an online self-administered questionnaire via email that consisted of a Likert scale that surveyed how they use social media. The results indicated that students mostly use social media for entertainment purposes. A slight difference in the use of social media by Generation Y students and older students were found. Generation Y use social media mainly for entertainment purposes whereas older students indicated that they use it more for information seeking purposes. By taking these results into consideration, organisations can develop more tailored marketing messages to the consumers in the different age groups. If they want to reach Generation Y with a marketing message it should be more entertaining. Whereas marketing message aimed at older students should be in the form of more informative messages.

How can we improve the effectiveness of HRM strategy? A model for future research

Adriaensen, D.J. Research Fellow, Århus University, dept. Psychology, Denmark
Jon-Arild Johannessen, Professor (Full), Oslo School of Management and Nord University Business School, Norway
Helene Sætersdal, Associate Professor, Oslo School of Management, Norway

Abstract. Issue: It is unclear what is meant by human resources (HR) practices at various levels: individual (micro); organizational (meso); and general (macro). Objective: An important objective of this article is to develop a model for future research into strategic HR management. Problem for discussion: How can organizations maintain their competitive position with the help of strategic HR management? Research questions: How can we understand strategic HR management at different levels? What knowledge base do we have for strategic HR management? Method: Conceptual generalization Findings: We have developed a typology for the different levels (micro, meso and macro) and the various perspectives: behavioral; resource-based; knowledge-based and dynamic capabilities. We have developed a research model for future research into strategic HR management, which takes account of the particular level and the knowledge perspective that has been applied. At the same time, our model illustrates examples of HR practices at different levels, HR management results, and organizational performance.

The status of small business growth and entrepreneurial start-up capital availability during the current extended economic downturn

Lloyd J. F. Southern, Ph D., Professor of Management and Management Information Systems, Mercer University, Stetson School of Business, USA

Abstract. Since the 2007 and 2008 economic downturn in the United States and most other countries of the world, it has become difficult for small business and entrepreneurial start-ups to obtain funds for expansion and seed capital even if they are brave enough to attempt to grow their businesses or startups in the depressed widespread economic conditions. Different sources of possible funding are reviewed along with short and long term costs and benefits of each are discussed. Good decision making and wise choices are discussed and encouraged from a long term business success perspective.

The adoption of tablet PCs by South African college students: an application of the technology acceptance model

Richard Shambare, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Kudzanai Shambare, Fulbright Academy, South Africa

Abstract. This paper reports the results of a study that investigated South African tertiary education students' adoption patterns of Tablet PCs as an e-learning medium. Utilizing structural equation modeling techniques, the study tested the hypothesized effects of perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness, two constituent variables of the technology acceptance model (TAM), to predict the adoption of Tablet PCs among college students. Self-completion questionnaires were used to collected data from a sample of 344 students from a South African college. From the study, two important findings were made. First, the association of innovation awareness and adoption was established. Second, the relationship among perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, and the adoption of new technology in situations involving discontinuous innovations is clarified. In addition, the study makes two contributions. It is the first to utilize structural equation modeling to study the adoption of Tablet PCs within the context of e-learning in South Africa. More importantly, the study develops a technology usage model for discontinuous e-learning innovations.

The use of traditional marketing tools by SMEs in an emerging economy: a South African perspective

Michael C. Cant, D.Com. in Business Management with specialization in Marketing and Retail Management. Professor in the Department of Marketing and Retail Management, University of South Africa
Johannes A. Wiid, D.Com. in Business Management with specialization in Marketing and Retail Management. Professor in the Department of Marketing and Retail Management, University of South Africa

Abstract. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in all economies around the world, they are responsible for creating of jobs, alleviating of poverty, contributing to innovation and to the gross domestic product of a country. However, many of these businesses face challenges and often fail within a short period of time. The success of small businesses is not only having products and a market to sell them to but also effective marketing of these products to the targeted market. A vast array of studies have investigated SME marketing tool usage however few have looked to SMEs in emerging economies and specifically to the traditional marketing tools such firms employ. Therefore the focus of this study was to describe the usage of traditional marketing tools employed by SMEs from a South African perspective. This study followed a quantitative research methodology whereby a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to SME owners within the Gauteng province of South Africa. Results obtained from this research indicate that SME owners mostly make use of print media while broadcast media is used selectively. Results obtained within this study will be of value universally to SME owners as it can be seen that all SMEs irrespective of geographic location face similar challenges.

Optimized consortium formation through cluster analysis

K.M. Mampana, Department of Statistics, University of South Africa, Florida CAMPUS, Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa
S.M. Seeletse, Department of Statistics and Operations Research, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, PO Box 107, MEDUNSA, 0204, Gauteng, South Africa
E.M. Sithole, Department of Physics, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, PO Box 94, MEDUNSA, 0204, Gauteng Province, South Africa

Abstract. Some problems cannot be solved optimally and compromises become necessary. In some cases obtaining an optimal solution may require combining algorithms and iterations. This often occurs when the problem is complex and a single procedure does not reach optimality. This paper shows a conglomerate of algorithms iterated in tasks to form an optimal consortium using cluster analysis. Hierarchical methods and distance measures lead the process. Few companies are desirable in optimal consortium formation. However, this study shows that optimization cannot be predetermined based on a specific fixed number of companies. The experiential exercise forms an optimal consortium of four companies from six shortlisted competitors.

Strategic management and management of personnel costs: employing young people in the Slovak Republic

Ladislav Mura, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia
Jana Žuľová, Assistant, Faculty of Law, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Slovakia
Adam Madleňák, Assistant, Faculty of Mass Media Communication, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia

Abstract. This paper focuses on evaluating strategic management of the labor market through legislated active labor market measures introduced in the Slovak Republic to support youth employment. Based on the presented statistical data and managerial and legal analysis of the labor market in the Slovak Republic, with particular emphasis on the economic status of young people, two key parts of the adopted strategic document should provide better economic security for young adults. From the point of view of employers the initiatives are an attractive means for incorporating young adults into the economy, especially because this allows for increased active management of personnel costs that are directly related to compensatory incentives from the side of state agencies for employment of young people. This strategic management creates possibilities for employers to gain access to lower labor costs and to realize significant cost savings. Supporting data are presented graphically and at the same time the cost savings for employers are calculated. Overall, these two analyses demonstrate the practical effect of the new strategic measures on corporate management of personnel costs.

Evaluating customer service in banking in the Malawian Public Post Office

Steven K. Msosa, M.Man.Sc.- Marketing, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Marketing and Retail Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Jeevarathnam P. Govender, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Marketing and Retail Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

Abstract. Achieving service quality has been the goal of many organizations over the past decade. In recent times, the postal business across the world has experienced a sharp decline in the volume of mail due to more efficient alternative channels of communication. The dwindling volumes of mail have made it necessary for public postal operators to diversify into financial services as one way of generating more revenue. However, the influx of many players into the financial service industry has raised the standard of service quality as a tool for business growth and sustainability and as a result, there is no room for mediocre performance. This paper examines customer perceptions of service quality in the Malawian public postal service. A survey comprising a sample of 400 financial services customers was conducted using the SERVPERF model as the measuring instrument. The results show that customer perceptions of the service quality dimensions are satisfactory. There were significant differences between education level and the perceptions of tangibles and reliability and between region and the perception of tangibles. There were no significant differences between gender, age and occupation and the perception of empathy, tangibles, assurance, reliability and responsiveness. Recommendations are proposed on how the public postal operator can improve service quality among its financial services customers. This study can prove useful as a basis for comparison of customer service quality by providers of banking services in other under-developed countries.

Marketing foundation for retail and office center's tenant mix

Rolbina E.S., Kazan Federal University, Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Kazan, Russia
Kalenskaya N.V., Kazan Federal University, Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Kazan, Russia
Novenkova A.Z., Kazan Federal University, Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Kazan, Russia
Wilfred Isioma Ukpere, Department of IPPM, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg (UJ), South Africa

Abstract. The issues of retail and office center structure formation are developed and presented in the existent literature. This article argues that in each case, these issues need to be refined depending on the location, the number of neighborhood and the surrounding streets' residents, the presence of other shops and services within walking distance etc. The purpose of this article is to confirm the abovementioned specificity during the marketing research, in order to evaluate the significance of the factors forming the structure of retail and office center for the population and future tenants. A survey of 200 residents and 100 business owners and managers was conducted. The study's results allow the formulation of a framework of retail and office center, determining the number of tenants, taking into account their preferences, and getting a list of interested tenants. It also shows the way to facilitate optimization of the layout of the center with regards to the requirements of the anchor tenants, high-footfall shops and customers; to develop the best routes to distribute customers across the floors and center's zones.

Problems of statistical study of labor productivity in construction

Kamalova A.A., Kazan Federal University, Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Kazan, Russia
Wilfred Isioma Ukpere, Department of Industrial Psychology & People Management, Faculty of Management University of Johannesburg (UJ), South Africa

Abstract. The article focuses on the problems of statistical measurement of labor productivity in construction, as recent years saw the most significant changes in the methodology of calculating construction products. The study examined the factors affecting the dynamics of labor productivity in construction, calculated by the volume of work at estimate piece that is at the index known as "average output per worker" in the practice of planning and statistics. Labor productivity is a complex qualitative index, which is influence of numerous factors. Therefore, the most effective method for studying the dynamics of labor productivity is the use of the index method. The index method seems to be widely used in statistical research of labor productivity in construction.

The development of disability-related employment policies in the South African public service

Brian Kwazi Majola, School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rubby Dhunpath, School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Abstract. Worldwide, the employment of people with disabilities has been challenged by the slow development of workplace specific' disability employment policies. The focus has been on formulating legislation to overcome barriers and the implementation of national disability policies without ensuring that workplaces formulate such policies. While laws regarding disability have been on the statute books for two decades in South Africa, little is known about how effective they have been and their impact in the workplace. This article examines whether South African government departments have developed or reviewed employment policies for the benefit of people with disabilities and determines whether policy makers were aware of the existence of the Disability Code (Republic of South Africa, 2002) and the Technical Assistance Manual (Republic of South Africa, 2005) when the policies were developed or reviewed. Human Resource Managers from 16 government departments in KwaZulu-Natal Province were interviewed. It was found that although HR policies were in place and some were being developed, very little has been done in terms of reviewing and/or developing disability employment policies. Furthermore, the existing prescripts were not extensively used as a resource during the development of disability-related employment policies. This has negatively affected the employment of people with disabilities in the public service. It is hoped that the results will assist management, HR practitioners as policy makers and line managers to develop disability employment policies in order to attract and retain people with disabilities. The research also contributes to the existing body of literature on disability.

Strategic HRM: what will work be like in the future, and what impact will changes have on HR departments? Theoretical discussion and practical implications

Adriaenssen, D.J., Research Fellow, Århus University, Dept. of Psychology, Denmark
Johannessen, J-A., Ph.D., Professor (Full). Oslo School of Management and The Artic University of Norway, Campus Harstad, Norway
Sætersdal, H., Associate professor, Oslo School of Management, Norway

Abstract. The issue we are investigating is how work will evolve in the future.
The question discussed here is as follows: What will work be like in the future, and what impact will changes have on HR departments?
To answer this question, we have established the following research questions:
1. What will be the context for work in the future, and how will HR departments be affected?
2. How can organizations develop ideas and innovate, and how will HR departments be affected in the future?
Method: Conceptual generalization.
Findings: In the future, work will be largely compartmentalized and performed using specialist skills. Those organizations that survive will be extremely adaptable. Many organizations will be managed in accordance with a logic whereby their component parts are distributed across the global economy according to the following principles: extreme focus on costs, quality and expertise, and a high level of focus on innovation.