The effect of the global economic crisis on strategy in the engineering manufacturing sector in KwaZulu-Natal.
Fitzsimmonds, Kezia Marie.
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The world was caught unprepared for the recent crisis that has gripped the globe. The engineering manufacturing sector is reported to have been one of the hardest hit and has been haemorrhaging jobs since the global economic crisis first reached South African shores. This study aimed first, to establish the presence of a global crisis and second, to determine whether this crisis is of an economic or financial nature. Objectives of the study included determining whether the engineering manufacturing sector has been impacted on by the crisis and whether the affects of this have been of a detrimental nature. This was done primarily to assess the extent to which strategies in the engineering manufacturing sector in KwaZulu-Natal have been affected and needed to be specifically adapted in order for SMEs to survive and grow beyond the current economic circumstances. Data was collected through the use of questionnaires, a typically quantitative research technique, as well as through the compilation of literature reviews. Questionnaires were circulated amongst thirty organisations within the identified sector in KwaZulu-Natal, of which twenty-two were completed and returned for analysis. Primary data was analysed in conjunction with the literature reviews. Typical responses confirmed the existence of a crisis and indicated that strategies had to be specifically adapted as a result. However, strategic alterations were often ill informed. This issue could be address through the application of the outlined models to optimise strategy. The use of these models would better enable respondents to make informed decisions when formulating their strategies and thereby assist the organisation in achieving a sustainable competitive advantage.