Are endogenous organisation development approaches relevant in enhancing the performance of automotive firms in South Africa? An examination of the experience of selected Durban-based firms.
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Automotive manufacturing is one of the most important manufacturing sectors in South Africa and globally. This study sought to identify the different endogenous Organisational Development approaches that Durban-based automotive manufacturing firms developed to address exogenous and endogenous challenges. The study was conducted using the Qualitative Research approach, the study was exploratory and used an interpretivist paradigm to analyse the subjective data. In-depth interviews were conducted following the identification of 12 respondents using purposive sampling. These were individuals from automotive manufacturing organisation representatives, organisational development practitioners, organisational development agencies, academia and government agency representatives. The findings indicate that Durban-based organisational development firms have developed endogenous OD approaches to address internal challenges and to enhance their competitiveness. There has been a positive shift with the close relationship between government, academia and business enabling the development of instrumental policies. The use of OD approaches has had a positive outcome in organisational performance enhancement therefore making OD important in the future and as a policy feature. The landscape of the South African labour market requires organisations to adopt African Management principles. South African automotive manufacturing firms have survived external global pressures through the triple-helix model. This study recommends that to ensure continuous success, this partnership needs to be encouraged and maintained. The promotion of organisations to develop endogenous Organisational Development approaches has seen companies developing local solutions to current local challenges. The study concludes that these OD approaches have allowed the development of new cultures in organisations that encourage and engender innovation, learning and employee motivation. These are the features that organisations require to face any exogenous forces from an ever-changing global environment.