Employee experiences and perceptions of affirmative action in a South African organization : a qualitative study.
Petrus, Ruwayda Chantelle.
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The current study explored the perceptions and experiences of employees in a South African organization in Kwa-Zulu Natal in relation to Affirmative Action (AA). The study used a qualitative research design and was approached from the theoretical background of social constructionism. The focus was on highlighting the experiences of employees from different racial backgrounds and uncovering how they perceived and experienced AA. Sample size(n = 9) which consisted of both men and women from all the race groups were interviewed between August 2011 and October 2011. By making use of thematic content analysis eight main themes were identified. Overall the findings suggested that the majority of participants experienced AA negatively but that they perceived it do have been developed for the greater good. There were strong feelings on the subject of AA and the principle of meritocracy. Overall AA is viewed as something positive that has been burdened with negativity due to general perceptions of it. The study contributes to the evolving body of knowledge on AA and provides a unique context specific perspective to understanding how government employees perceive and experience AA.