PPM Papers Coming Soon
This section contains information about articles under review and waiting for publication in next issues of the journal.
Management of employee performance in the South African Public Service: the case of the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in the Western Cape
Lois Courtenay Henderson, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. This article assesses the challenges encountered in the application of the Employee Performance Management System (EPMS) in the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) in South Africa. The 1999 major restructuring of the South African public service was adopted in line with the New Public Management (NPM) initiatives, in terms of which all departments were guided by public service regulations to develop and implement their departmental performance management systems. Employee performance management provides an integrated framework for the managing of employee performance through continuous improvement and development. In an effort to make public agencies work, governments in various countries have attempted to introduce diverse appraisal tools that are capable of measuring employee performance effectively. In order to be able to draw results from the study, a qualitative approach was employed using mainly interviews and literature review as instruments for data collection. The literature review and findings from this study revealed gaps in the understanding of the employee performance resources allocated to apply the EPMS at the DRDLR, and insufficient compliance and commitment from staff during the performance cycle. Findings from this study can contribute towards improving the management and evaluation of employee performance.
Emerging entrepreneurs and the Creative Merchantry with reference to I Heart Market in Durban, South Africa
John Amolo, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Abstract. The creation of opportunities and empowerment are some of the ideals that have been realised through entrepreneurial endeavours. Not every citizen has the resources or knowledge required to start their own venture and many fear failure upon starting their own business. This study examines the dynamics of entrepreneurship in creative industries and to gain a better understanding of entrepreneurship in general. Through a qualitative study, this article explores the I Heart emerging entrepreneurs in Durban, South Africa to research their entrepreneurial perceptions. A majority of respondents were identified as opportunity- based entrepreneurs who expressed the necessity of having social media for their business success. A majority of respondents expressed how creativity is enhanced by an enabling environment; implying the need for the creation of an environment where creativity is nurtured and sustained by policy makers. The respondents' unanimity on the lack of entrepreneurial guidelines, thereby indicating the calls for further study into the nature of creative support by policy makers to be accorded to emerging entrepreneurs needs complementary responses. The article concludes with recommendations and the possibility for further research on the sustainability of the businesses of emerging entrepreneurs.
Assessment of incoporation of customers' specific affordability needs in the Nigeria National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme
Chuka Uzoma Ifediora, Department of Marketing, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Nigeria, Nigeria
Abstract. The current study evaluated the extent of incorporation of customers' specific affordability needs in the Nigeria National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme. It ascertained the adequacy of the consideration given to the specific affordability needs of potential beneficiaries of the NHF scheme and determines the adequacy of the consideration given to the inputs from the intended beneficiaries of the NHF scheme. Descriptive and exploratory research designs were adopted for the study. Different offices of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, namely the implementers of the NHF scheme, in Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Ibadan, Enugu, Lagos, as well as the 19 state/district offices in these zones were studied. The population of the study included 201 management staff and officers in these offices. Considering the size of the population and the nature of the investigation, a census was undertaken. Data for the study was collected through structured questionnaire. The formulated hypotheses were tested using analysis of variance (ANOVA), at 5% level of significance. Results of the hypotheses tests showed that; the consideration given to the specific affordability needs of the intended beneficiaries in the NHF affordability criteria is not adequate (Fcal = 73.064, P = 0.000 < 0.05). And, the consideration given to the inputs from the intended beneficiaries of the NHF scheme is not adequate (Fcal = 116.009, P = 0.000 < 0.05). In line with findings of this study, it is concluded that little attention is paid to the specific affordability needs of the target beneficiaries of the NHF scheme. Following the findings and study conclusion, it is proposed that the implementation of the Need-based Housing Affordability Model developed in this study, will aid the successful planning and execution of housing affordability strategies, thus boosting the performance of housing development programs.
Perceptions and attitudes of the community towards tourism impacts and sustainable development. The case study of eMpophomeni in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa)
Nsizwazikhona Simon Chili, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. The study examined perceptions and attitudes of the community towards the impact of tourism and its sustainability as it is perceived as an alternativedevelopmental philosophy that can serve as a panacea to alleviate poverty from communities. Social exchange theory was used to achieve the aforementioned. Since the role of residents is crucial within the sustainability paradigm, it is therefore important that their perceptions and attitudes on tourism impact towards sustainable development are understood and assessed. The study investigates and examines a range of variables involved in determining township community attitudes and perceptions towards tourism impact on development and sustainability and as a result social exchange theory was used. Literature was comprehensively reviewed on resident attitudes and perceptions towards tourism impact and sustainable development and social exchange theory was used in determining the above regarding variables involved. The findings revealed that negative perceptions of residents on tourism impacts in the township of eMpophomeni offset positive outcomes.The study also revealed that long term-planning as a component of sustainable tourism, full community participation and environmental sustainability within tourism are inextricably linked and related to support for tourism and to the positive impacts of tourism.
A support framework for survivalist entrepreneurs - free state province case study
Kgantsho Adeline Ranyane, University of the Free State, Business School, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Abstract. The White Paper on the Development and Promotion of SMMEs in South Africa emphasises the existence of the survivalist entrepreneurs as a segment within the South African SMMEs, as well as their urgent need for assistance in order to become viable business entities. However, existing assistance has been channelled towards the profit-orientated SMMEs, thus disregarding the survivalist entrepreneurs who depend on their business for survival. With increasing unemployment and poverty rates, there exists a growth in numbers of survivalist businesses. The study highlights the impact of Government policy particularly apartheid, recognized as part of history, as well as black economic empowernment, which is currently being practiced, on the formation of the survivalist businesses. It also emphasizes how the declining socio-economic conditions (particularly poverty and unemployment) are linked to the formation of survivalist businesses. Using a non-probability method of sampling, 100 survivalist entrepreneurs from the five districts of the Free State province of South Africa, were studied in order to understand the obstacles they experienced in their businesses. Motivational factors into commencing these enterprises were also investigated. A conceptual framework was developed from the empirical data. In concluding the study, the empirical and reviewed data were utilized to formulate a support framework aimed at assisting the survivalist businesses to become viable businesses entities.
The effect of mentoring on the success of mentees: challenges and imperatives
Edward Rankhumise, Faculty of Management Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. This paper presents an overview of mentoring with specific reference to mentors' experience in the quest to develop mentees in their careers. The purpose of this paper was to explore the factors that are essential for effective mentoring to happen and also reflect on impediments factors. The results show that success of the mentees depends on the effective implementation of mentoring. A qualitative methodological approach was used for the study and data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews among mentors in the selected public hospitals. The results indicate that mentors are willing and able to mentor mentees despite the fact that it is taking much of their time. It emerged further that the results indicate that mentoring is imperative to fulfil the developmetial needs of the mentees. Mentors indicated that for mentoring to be successful, it is important for top management to show commitment on mentorship. It can be concluded that what matters most in the process of mentoring is the commitment from top management and the experience of mentors.
Branch managers' perceptions regarding the performance management system at a state-owned company
Thapedi Matjila, Department of People Management and Development, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. The purpose of this study was to explore how branch managers perceived the performance management system (PMS) at a state-owned company (SOC). A qualitative, exploratory case study approach using semi-structured interviews was adopted for the study. The sample comprised eighty-one (N=81) branch managers, who were selected using the purposive sampling technique. Theoretical saturation was reached after the twentieth interview, when no new information was emerging from the interviews. Primary data was collected using face-to-face interviews and secondary data was collected from the SOC's annual report. Combing the two data collection methods assisted in triangulating the findings of the study. In the data analysis phase, inductive qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the interview transcripts. The findings revealed concerns that although a performance committee was appointed to implement and effectively manage the PMS at the SOC; it did not fully comply with the equal distribution of PMS training between different branches of the SOC. The study finding of lack of support and a failure to engage branches during performance contracting and evaluation led to organisational citizenship behaviour and teamwork.
Customer satisfaction: a key to survival for SMEs?
Letitia Fourie, Department of Marketing and Retail Management, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. Customers are the lifeblood of any organisation and feedback on their satisfaction levels is important not only to big corporations, but also to small businesses. Knowledge of customer satisfaction can help to better identify and satisfy customer needs and can prevent small businesses from spending a considerable amount of money on marketing to acquire new customers. This study investigates the customer satisfaction measuring practices of South African SMEs. The study aims to determine if South African SMEs collect data on customer satisfaction levels as well as how they go about to do this. A survey among South African SME owners found that customer satisfaction was of great importance to them and that the majority believed that their businesses were customer focused and customer friendly. Based on customer feedback, small-business owners believed their customers were satisfied with their businesses. The research also indicated that the majority of small-business owners collected customer satisfaction feedback verbally on a monthly basis. From this study it is clear that SMEs understand that collecting customer satisfaction feedback is important but that they do not necessarily have a formal measurement in place.
Challenges faced by small automotive businesses in Tshwane: the case study of back yard mechanics in Soshanguve, South Africa
Sambo Wise, Department of Business Management, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. This paper contributes to the challenges faced by auto-motive Small business enterprises operating as back-yard mechanics in Tshwane. Small business enterprise is seen as an engine for economic growth and development in South Africa. They serve as a catalyst of job creation and alleviation of poverty in developing countries. SMMEs contribute 7% of the total GDP in South African. Even in emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), SMMEs have been identified as a potential sector for economies of scale to create employment opportunities. The paper, seeks to provide the challenges experienced by small automotive businesses in Tshwane. The objective of this paper is to identify challenges that lead to the high failure rate of SMMEs in the automotive sector within Tshwane. The paper used a qualitative approach. 16 respondents were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. The findings revealed that lack of funding, space, proper equipment's informality, working from hand to mouth are among the challenges that back yard mechanics are facing in Soshanguve.
Barriers to viability in small businesses in the footwear and textile industry of Tshwane, South Africa
Zeleke Worku, Tshwane University of Technology, Business School, South Africa
Abstract. The South African Small Enterprises Development Agency (SEDA) provides financial and non-financial assistance to Small, Micro and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) in various economic sectors as a means of reducing the failure rate among SMMEs. The study was based on the 5-yearlong study (2007 to 2012) of 512 Small, Micro and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) that conduct business in the Tshwane region of South Africa conducted by Marivate (2014). In accordance with the definition of viability provided by Blank (2013), the study defines viable businesses as businesses that could operate without a loss for at least 3 years after start-up. The sample consisted of 187 businesses that utilized financial services provided by the South African Government and 325 businesses that utilized non-financial services. The results showed that long-term viability in the businesses that were selected for the study was significantly influenced by utilization of financial services, degree of entrepreneurial skills, and the ability to order large volumes of stock in bulk, in a decreasing order of strength. Utilization of financial services was significantly influenced by the degree of entrepreneurial skills, the ability to order large volumes of stock in bulk, and access to training opportunities on entrepreneurial or vocational skills. Utilization of non-financial services was significantly influenced by the age of business, past history of bankruptcy, and the practice of selling on credit.
Enhancing trust in online business relationships of South Africa: A web interface signalling perspective
Mercy Mpinganjira, Department of Marketing Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Abstract. Technology mediation in online shopping result in information asymmetries which may impede customers' ability to assess products and make well informed purchase decisions. Using signaling theory, this study proposes and tests a model on the influence of a stores' website on customers' ongoing trust in online retail stores and repurchase intentions. Data was collected from a sample of 201 online shoppers from Gauteng, South Africa. The findings show that website informativeness, retailer related website interaction, customer related website interaction and website security are important factors that help influence customers trust in online stores and that trust in turn exert significant influence on repurchase intentions. Website informativeness and website security were also found to have a significant direct influence on customer repurchase intentions although this influence is partially mediated by customers' levels of trust in an online store. The findings support the notion that the online store environment is an important source of signals to consumers and that these signals have influence on trust in an online store. The findings point to the need for managers of online stores to pay attention to levels of customer trust in their stores as trust has positive influence on customers' repurchase intentions. In working on building trust, managers need to among other factors, examine their websites for levels of informativeness, and security. They also need to ensure that their online stores are associated with high levels of human interaction.
Selected factors as determinants in the purchase choice of sporting goods
Pragashni Pillai, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Abstract. In order for marketers in the growing sporting goods market to compete, they need to understand their customers' behaviour patterns. This article aims to determine the significance that a select group of factors play in influencing customer purchase choices of sporting goods. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to a convenience-based, non-probability sample of 90 individuals at a health club in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Through the adoption of a five-point Likert scale, individual responses were obtained on the importance that factors such as brand name, quality, price, athlete or sport's team, the brand sponsors, and country of manufacture play in influencing the purchase choice of sporting goods. The results indicate that quality is regarded as being the key factor that influences the purchase choice of sporting goods. Forty-six percent of the respondents placed no significant value on ‘brand name and price as influencers of their purchase choice. However, although the study results cannot be generalised beyond the sample used, the conclusion from the results suggests that due to quality being a predominant influence on purchase choices of sporting goods, marketers need to focus more on this variable in order to take advantage of the numerous opportunities in the growing sporting goods market.
The strategic significance of communication skills of SMMEs: a South African perspective
Germinah Evelyn Chiloane-Tsoka, Department of Business Management, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. This contribution intends to explore the strategic plan which requires proper communication in order for it to be internalized and subsequently implemented. This means that strategy has to be affably communicated in order for it to find resonance in those affected by it. The communication of this strategy has to reach various stakeholders in a manner that does not compromise its original intention. In order for this to be realized communication skills of those who are championing it have to be up to par. Naturally, this could always be possible for big corporations as they may possess the financial muscles to co-opt their communication teams into their strategy deliberations. Unfortunately, this luxury is not always the core strength of the not-so-big organizations such as SMMEs. This is due to the fact that most SMMEs operate with relatively very limited resources. Literature suggests that in order for SMMEs to achieve their strategic objectives some form of small sacrifices and investments in communication skills ought to be made. This will also form part of their human capital development. This paper aims to heighten the strategic significance of communication skills on SMMEs. The paper thus entails a conceptual framework of communication skills of strategy deliberations by SMMEs in South Africa. The objective of this paper is to explain how communication skills are critical in enhancing the strategic management processes of SMMEs, particularly in South Africa. Desktop research was compiled from secondary data gathered from books, articles, briefs and Government and other reports. The paper concludes with implications for future empirical studies which advocate for communication skills for SMMEs.
Dynamics of short-term operations scheduling in supply chain distribution centres
Fani Nicholas Jojozi, Rand Merchant Bank, Division of FirstRand Bank Limited, Johannesburg, South Africa
Abstract. A warehouse or distribution centre has a key role to play in the success of modern supply chains in the highly competitive business environment as a commercial building for the buffering, pre-merchandising and temporarily storing of goods. In as much as it is a virtual warehouse, cross docking for transportation costs minimisation looks at the transit or shipment of inbound goods to their prescribed destination within a period of less than 24 hours with no intention of keeping any inventory. One of the motivating factors that drive warehouses and distribution centres into being more efficient is that the customer demands delivery of the requested shipments on time, in the right quantity, in the right place and at an affordable price. This study analyses the dynamics of short-term scheduling in systematic supply chain distribution centres. This study further examines the extent of information sharing among workstations and supply chain partners within the inbound and outbound scheduling perspective. The study used the descriptive statistics as well as factor analysis to analyse data on 104 respondents in proportion to their managerial size. The targeted resondents range from the top management to lower management and operational/genaral worker in the warehouses and distribution centres. Respondents were both male and female with a level of experience ranging from less than one year to over ten years. Three major players in the distribution industry as third party logistics were considered as participants within the frozen goods sector. The findings of this study indicate that the phenomenon of short-term scheduling in this study assists to model the efficient scheduling of trucks, to absorb challenges encountered from inbound traffic through to outbound, and to mitigate any lack of information sharing within and among supply chain partners. The main managerial implications of this study are that it provides an understanding of the bottlenecks that normally hinder the smooth flow of inbound and outbound operations. The role of short-term scheduling might offer improvements on the operations processes that are faced with the challenges of bottlenecks.
Marketing management in the age of globalization: exploring the strategic role of National Policy in Zimbabwe
Africa Makasi, Ph.D., M.Sc., Lecturer, Department of Technopreneurship. Harare Institute of Technology, Harare, Zimbabwe
Abstract. Extant literature on trade liberalization tends to idolize globalization rather than vilifying it. Debates on globalization and how it continues to affect the world economy; particularly developing countries, continues to provoke more and more controversy. This paper rethinks the role of marketing strategy and national policies in safeguarding the future of the clothing and textiles industry in Zimbabwe. The study collected data from 127 cluster sampled clothing and textiles companies. Results from a Categorical Critical Component Analysis using SPSS show the need for major policy interventions in order to assist marketing strategy in the face of globalization. The study provides an important research contribution through empirically linking three distinct concepts; globalization, marketing strategy and national policy from three diverse streams of literature and extend the boundaries of current knowledge on contemporary marketing management challenges and related solutions.
Identification of the critical level in accumulation of systemic financial risk in the economy of countries of Central and Eastern Europe
Kozmenko Serhiy, Department of Management and Financial and Economic Security, State Higher Educational Institution "Ukrainian Academy of Banking of the National Bank of Ukraine", Ukraine
Abstract. The paper presents the improvement of scientific and methodical approach to the identification of thresholds of indicators for the buildup of systemic financial risks. The testing of the approach developed by the example of the group of Central and Eastern European countries makes it possible to identify threshold and critical levels of indicators of macroeconomic development, which threaten the financial stability of the evaluated countries.
The uncertainty risk driver within a life annuity context: an overview
Emilia Di Lorenzo, Department of Economic and Statistical Sciences, Via Cinthia Monte S. Angelo, University of Napoli "Federico II", Italy
Abstract. The paper analyzes the longevity effects on the portfolio valuations. This is a relevant topic, in particular from the perspective of insurers/sponsors of pension funds. The models chosen for actuarial calculations have to capture the survival trend and to project its forecasted future improvements. The uncertainty in the choice is a huge concern and constitutes a relevant systematic risk driver itself, called uncertainty risk therein. Aim of the paper is to measure the uncertainty risk and to show its trend in several contexts meaningful in portfolio valuations.
Budgetary allocation to agriculture in South Africa: an empirical review from 1994 to 2014
Isaac B. Oluwatayo, Department of Agricultural Economics and Animal Production, School of Agricultural Economics and Animal Production, University of Limpopo, South Africa
Abstract. The agricultural sector is no doubt one of the most important sector in sub-Saharan considering its prime place as a livelihood source and employer of the vast majority of residents, especially those in the rural areas. In South Africa, for instance, agriculture plays a very significant role despite its declining contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for some years now. This dwindling share of agriculture in the country's GDP could be attributed to a number of factors ranging from changing government policies, declining budgetary allocation to the sector, ageing infrastructure and population growth to mention just a few. It is again this backdrop that a review of the effect of this downward slide in budgetary allocation on the development of the country is considered important.
An exploration of common governance structures in South Africa’s national government departments
Tankiso Moloi, Financial Governance Department, College of Accounting Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa
Abstract. The paper aimed at proposing uniform internal corporate governance structures in the South African national government departments. It was noted that the most common governance structure that is prominent across all national government departments was the audit committee. Besides the audit committee structure, national government departments constituted differing structures.
Fashionline: CSR case of a UK fashion retailer
Nadeem Khan, Department of Governance and Ethics, Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK
Abstract. This paper presents findings of a CSR case-study of a UK fashion retailer informed through 22 multi-level internal and 5 external semi-structured interviews. Our research explores the relationship between various stakeholders and their perceptions of CSR issues. Sixteen themes emerge. We find differences in CSR perceptions at different levels of organisation and in views of consumers. Our recommendations are that the UK fashion retailer needs to - better understand normative purpose of CSR and in doing so balance social and environmental factors more equally; engage more widely at an early stage with broader stakeholders (global supply chain; consumers, employees, local populations, regulators, industry players); and better communicate (at different levels internally) along with integrate (external policy makers and with industry) design and implementation of CSR strategies. We conclude a gap remains for better CSR frameworks for the UK fashion retailer.
The most recent legislative changes and their impact on interest by enterprises in agency employment: what is next in human resource management?
Andrea Olšovská, Faculty of Law, Trnava University, Slovakia
Abstract. The authors present current issues related to agency employment and the labour market, in particular Human Resource Management, in the Slovak Republic. They describe and analyse the Slovak legal framework of agency employment, the key players involved, and their rights and duties. Legal interpretation of these issues is supported by current statistical data that point to a decline in the number of employees interested in this type of employment. The authors also depict several distorted applications of laws by temporary employment agencies and/or by employers who use temporary workers that significantly weakened the labour law protection of agency employees and their legitimate legal rights. These distorted practices became an issue leading to the most recent amendments to laws and regulations covering agency employment. The legislative process resulted in enactment of more than 20 key amendments covering agency employment, with a significant impact on Human Resource Management in manufacturing enterprises and flexibility in labour relations. The current challenge for enterprises is to find a legal alternative to agency employment as it was used in the past because the amendments have made agency employment more costly than standard employment.
The entrepreneurial intentions of university of Botswana students
Chuks Eresia-Eke, Business Management Department, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Abstract. Knowledge of the entrepreneurial intentions of young people is an important precursor to understanding how to encourage entrepreneurship in any society. This is especially the case in the human-resource rich African continent. In Botswana, the goal of boosting entrepreneurship among the youth has remained largely elusive. Clearly, this is a major problem; the continued existence of which may be linked to a tenuous understanding of some of the factors linked to entrepreneurial intention.
Merit measures and validation in employee evaluation and selection
Wilson P. R. Malebye, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. Applicants for space in selection problems are usually compared subjectively, and the selection made are not reliable and often cannot be verified scientifically. The paper illustrates objective selection by involving a mathematical measure in selecting a candidate applying for a job, and then using other two independent measures, validates the choice made. The scientific process followed is SToR (SAW, TOPSIS, WP) in which SAW (simple additive weighting) is used to select, and the TOPSIS (technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution) and WP (weighted product) are used to validate. A practical exercise was obtained from a factual selection problem in a recruitment task undertaken in an organization in which the authors consulted, and their human resources (HR) department wanted to check if their selection was justifiable. The result was that our approach was consistent and convincing to that HR, and theirs was not because our selection was satisfactory while theirs could not be corroborated using any method.
The importance and effectiveness of assistance programs in a business incubator
Mudaray Marimuthu, Department of Information Technology and Governance, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Abstract. This research was conducted to examine the importance and effectiveness of assistance programmes in a Business Incubator. Business incubation is a process aimed at supporting the development of growth orientated, early stage business enterprises. This process provides entrepreneurs with an suppotive environment to assist with the reduction of costs associated with a start-up business, increases the confidence of the entrepreneur, assist in developing a network and link the entrepreneur to resources required to scale up his/her enterprise. The business assistance programs offered characterize incubators. The business assistance programs are facilty related services, counselling related services and networking sevices. The quality of these services is critical for the success of start-up enterprise and could be central to an improved set of services offered by an incubator programme.
Antecedents of customer satisfaction in the higher education institutions of South Africa
Johan W de Jager, Department Marketing, Logistics and Sport Management, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Abstract. Higher education institutions like most other organisations have realized the importance of customer- centred approach to survive amongst competitors. This is very important keeping in mind the globalisation of higher education and consequent competition. The primary objective of the study is to determine the impact of different variables on customer satisfaction in the higher education sector. More explicitly, this study has the following aims; to identify the effect of support facilities and infrastructure on customer satisfaction; to ascertain the effect of location and access on customer satisfaction and to determine the effect of image and marketing on customer satisfaction. A random sample of three hundred and ninety-one students was chosen. A review of the structural model indicates that only one hypothesis can be supported statistically, i.e., the causal link from support facilities and infrastructure to customer satisfaction.