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    The perception and attitude of generation Z consumers on e-cigarette marketing: a University of KwaZulu-Natal perspective.
    (2022) Zungu, Lindeliwe.; Oodith, Devina.
    E-cigarette awareness over the past few years, has experienced a notable increase especially among the youth. E-cigarettes have been promoted heavily on the internet and on social media websites which reach millions of young people (Payne, Orellana-Barrios, Medrano Juarez, Buscemi and Nugent, 2016). E-cigarette marketers also use eye-catching, colourful and innovative packaging to attract the youth. Therefore, this study aims to quantitatively examine the perception and attitude of Generation Z consumers on e-cigarette marketing. The study focuses on the perception and attitude of Generation Z (UKZN) students on e cigarette marketing. In particular the perception and attitude of students towards e-cigarette use, smoking cessation, health risks/benefits, packaging as a marketing tool and regulation of e-cigarettes will be examined. A sample of 375 students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Westville campus was drawn using a non-probability convenience sampling technique to generate the results. Participants completed the online questionnaire compromising of four sections. Section A was based on the biographical information of participants. Sections B, C and D were related to questions pertaining to the sub-dimensions of the study. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were assessed using factor analysis and Cronbach’s Coefficient Alpha respectively. Descriptive and inferential statistics were employed to initiate the results of the study. The empirical results of this study indicate that there is a significant positive relationship between the marketing influence of e-cigarettes and the influence of packaging regulation in South Africa respectively, at a 1% level of significance. There is a significant difference in the perceptions of students, varying in biographical profiles (gender, age, race, study programme and level of study) regarding each dimension of the study. Recommendations from the results of the study provide insight to policymakers and provide them with the power to counter these marketing strategies appropriately.
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    Use of wellness programs at a university in South Africa.
    (2017) Kisten, Vadhashnee.; Hoque, Muhammad.
    Abstract Over the past decade Universities in South Africa have moved from a purely academic environment to provide a sustainable and healthy working environment taking into account work life balance and the well-being of their core assets, their employees. In recent years, workplace wellness has become a new focus area for improvement to enable higher performance, increased productivity and it also provides organisations with a competitive advantage. Wellness programs are being used to drive human resources strategies and employee engagement. The aim of this study is to investigate the Use of Wellness Programs at a University in South Africa and its impact thereof. The University that was chosen for this study was the Durban University of Technology. A quantitative research approach was used to provide the different perspectives and impact from respondents on the subject matter. Data was collected using a web based questionnaire. The population size was one thousand three hundred and forty four employees. Simple random sampling design was used. The sample of two hundred and sixty was drawn. The sample composed of all three categories of employees, i.e.: management, academic and administrative and support sector employees, with different genders and spanning across all the university’s campus locations. The survey was sent electronically to the selected sample of employees. Statistical analysis revealed that whilst there was awareness and utilisation of the programs offered by the university, it was limited and therefore more could be done to increase awareness and utilisation. The study revealed that incentives were seen as a motivating factor. The findings aligned to majority of the literature as per findings from previous scholars. It is recommended that the university reviews the alignment of the current workplace programs and aligns to the needs as seen from the results of this study. It is further recommended that the university has in place monitoring and assessment tools for the impact of the workplace wellness programs. This study can benefit the Durban University of Technology and other South African Universities in understanding of the impact of the current program and offerings and the alignment to vision, mission and strategies; whilst taking into account the drivers for increasing staff morale, employee performance and productivity which will also aid in reducing stress and absenteeism levels. Thereby, improving workplace wellness at the university. The study can benefit the university.
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    Reducing the brain drain: determining factors for turnover of medical practitioners at a specialized tertiary institution in South Africa.
    (2017) Harilall, Yakeen.; Hoque, Muhammad.
    Abstract Medical practitioners form backbone of the health care system in South Africa. The skill of trained medical specialists is imperative for service delivery and the ongoing teaching of registrars at government training facilities. Against a backdrop of inequality, history dictates that a large populace of disadvantaged South Africans remain reliant on government health care institutions for medical treatment. Many departments within the KZN health system have seen an exodus of medical practitioners resulting in the brain drain phenomenon. To address the problem the purpose of the study was to determine the factors affecting high turnover of medical practitioners within the departments of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Anaesthesiology at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital which is a specialized tertiary institution in South Africa. This was a cross sectional study conducted among 60 medical practitioners from the departments of Cardiothoracic and Anaesthetics at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital using a self-administered questionnaire.The entire population from both departments were selected therefore there was no sampling that was being done with any relevance to a sample size. To gather data, a quantitative study was conducted to deduce findings. Results found that, remuneration within the public health care sector, quality of life, opportunities for training and development, governance in the public health care sector of KwaZulu-Natal and leadership were the main reasons for medical practitioners wanting to leave. The findings can be used to drive further interventions to reduce turnover rates and guide the formulation of policies.
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    Opportunities and risks associated with housing property investment in EXXARO.
    (2017) Khanyile, Sambulo Thanduyise.; Hoque, Muhammad.
    Abstract Globally, a property investment has, and continues to be perceived as one of the best investment platforms. Some companies have opted to have a housing benefit linked to their organisational vacancies as a mode to attract the rare and best skilled individuals. Exxaro has a similar housing scheme, where it develops residential suburbs closer to its mining areas. This study investigated the employees’ perspectives on housing property investment employed by Exxaro within its mining environments. This was a cross sectional study conducted among Exxaro employees using a self-administered questionnaire. Employee expectation towards the housing scheme was more on aligning the appropriate housing benefit to their vacancy within the organisation, which is what Exxaro did. This employee recruitment and retention strategy has enabled Exxaro to add its organisational value and attract, as well as retain the best scarce skill employees. This form of employee retention strategy requires large investment, so it is imperative to evaluate value output to value expected by Exxaro. Thus, similar strategies can be employed by other mining organisations as a form of scarce skill employee attraction methods. This study thus offers an opportunity to those organisations that are currently, or are planning on embarking upon this form of employee retention strategy. This retention strategy has been found to be value adding to organisations that have used it. Key words: property investment employee retention Exxaro.
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    Successful transition from a technical expert to first line management.
    (2016) Khumalo, Ntombenhle.; Pelser, Theuns.
    Abstract First-line managers face challenges in their process of transitioning to management. It is even more difficult for technical experts who have been performing at their peak in their technical careers – and now they have moved into a management position which is required. These skills may decide their fate in their management careers. The purpose of this research was to identify and make recommendations on the key set of skills that could support a successful transition from being a technical expert to first-line management. The objectives included identifying how to make the transition as seamless as possible, by using the right criteria to select the right expert for the first-line management job at hand. Another objective was to determine the key challenges that hinder success and to gauge the effectiveness of the interventions and programmes put in place to facilitate successful transitioning to management. The salient findings of this study were that most technical expert transitions to management through promotion, and the selection criteria used, were reasonable. It was also found that there were still a few interpersonal skill challenges that the newly appointed first line managers were encountering. The main recommendation is to create a transitioning programme that will facilitate and attend to the individual needs of each expert in transition. In order to improve effectiveness and to leverage the benefits of the programmes that are provided in a form of classroom learning, projects could be assigned to potential leaders, so as to provide the opportunity to exercise the newly-learned leadership skills. Key words: Technical expert, first-line management, transition, seamless, career, leadership, management.
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    Exploring attitudes of employees towards telecommuting adoption in a banking firm in South Africa.
    (2017) Mavukani, Dlayani David.; Proches, Cecile Naomi Gerwel.
    ABSTRACT Telecommuting or telework is the future of work, as it provides an alternative to traditional work done at the office which involves travelling to and from an office. Telecommuting can either be employer- or employee-initiated. Employer-initiated telecommuting is motivated by the need for the employer to reduce costs related to running offices. Employee-initiated telecommuting is driven by the desire by employees to reduce the time taken to commute to and from the office and benefit by using time to do work and balance work and life demands. South Africa is ranked as one of the countries in the world with the worst traffic jams. Employees who are required to work from an office have to travel using public transport or their own transport, such as a car, motorbike, etc. and traffic is one of the challenges that employees face. The main aim of this study was to understand telecommuting in banking, with specific attention being paid to the lengths First National Bank (FNB) business employees are willing to go to influence the adoption of telecommuting. A literature review was conducted to get an understanding of the problem and the research approach. A positivist research paradigm was chosen as a research paradigm for this study and a quantitative research methodology was used. The sampling method used was simple random sampling, where FNB employees in the business segment were selected. An electronic survey questionnaire was used to collect data from the participants. The results predicted their willingness and readiness to telecommute, however they also highlighted the barriers to telecommuting, namely the lack of a telecommuting policy, low levels of trust, insufficient access controls, high data costs, slow broadband speeds, and companies not adapting to new ways of managing millennial workforce. In order to address the issues identified, FNB should implement a telecommuting policy, create training and awareness programmes for all employees, foster accountability and a trust culture, and develop a telecommuter support structure in order to implement or increase telecommuting adoption. Keywords: telecommuting, telework, employer-initiated, employee-initiated, productivity, traffic.
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    Impact of corporate citizenship behaviour on customer-based reputation: a case study of Volkswagen, Durban, South Africa.
    (2017) Chizondo, Christopher.; Kanyangale, MacDonald.
    ABSTRACT Studies on corporate citizenship in South Africa have mainly focused on mining companies whose reputational damage or good public image in the eyes of local communities does not directly affect local mining companies’ sales and profits. This makes it difficult to link the relationship between corporate citizenship behaviour of local mining companies and corporate reputation at customer level within South Africa as these mining companies sell their mining extracts to foreign customers. Focusing on the customer level, this study explores the impact of Volkswagen (VW) corporate citizenship behaviour on customer-based reputation from the perspectives of individual VW car owners in the wake of the 2015 VW emissions scandal. This research employed a qualitative research methodology that utilised in-depth, one on one semi-structured interviews with VW car owners in Durban, South Africa. Non-probability sampling through snowball sampling was used. Data saturation was reached after 8 one on one in-depth semi-structured interviews with individuals were conducted. Data was then analysed using thematic analysis. The main finding of this study was that customers care about corporate citizenship behaviour that impacts them directly. Therefore, the 2015 VW global emissions corporate scandal did not affect the VW car reputation amongst owners in Durban. The affordability of VW and its fuel efficiency are the major reasons why customer-based reputation remained unchanged even in the wake of the 2015 VW emissions scandal. As such, customer-based reputation is a function or an outcome of the product features and not the behaviour of the company exemplified by a corporate scandal. In this regard, VW can be advised to spend more of its resources in creating innovative and fuel efficient cars as these factors build customer level reputation. The current study looked at a homogeneous sample as the majority of respondents were students, who all have similar level of education and income. A truly representative sample would look at a heterogeneous sample comprising of early career professionals, mid-career professionals, those near retirement, retired people and those that are self-employed. The study of people with higher income may generate different patterns since those groups can easily afford to change their cars compared to students. There are a number of focus areas that this research was unable to examine. However, future studies could consider exploring the relationship v between product quality, customer-based reputation and corporate citizenship in the wake of a scandal which directly impacts customers. Keywords: Customer-based reputation; corporate citizenship; corporate citizenship behaviour; corporate scandal; corporate social responsibility.
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    The impact of on-field performance on a sports’ club’s revenue streams: the case of AmaZulu Football Club.
    (2015) Mdletshe, Mali.; Bozas, Alec.
    Abstract Financial institutions and economists have begun accepting the concept that the sports industry plays a major financial and economic role in society. In turn sports teams and their brands have become a major source of income for the teams and stakeholders and a method of recreational activity for societies who are the fans. These teams rely heavily on the financial support from their sponsorships, incentives they receive by participating in their respective leagues and tournaments, merchandising and gate ticket sales. This research worked at ascertaining whether there is a link between teams on field performances and whether these can be linked to a potential to increase their revenue stream through their marketing demand sponsorships, sales of merchandise memorabilia, the incentives from the respective leagues as well as the ticket sales to supporters. The research was conducted with the realisation that not every team can win the league or cup but that good performances enable teams to survive and be profitable which in turn enables clubs to build and potentially challenge for their respective honours. A good example being a mid league table club, Leicester City winning the English league. Data mining as well as academic literature were applied to compare whether good team performances shared a common pattern with the potential for a team to increase revenue. Secondary data was supplied by AmaZulu Football Club, based in Durban, South Africa. The secondary data included information regarding the performances of AmaZulu FC in the Premier Soccer League, ticket sales, marketing demand for the club advertising space, league incentive payout as well as jersey merchandise sales. These are presented as figures and tables based on data covering a four season period beginning at the 2011/2012 season until the end of the 2014/2015 season. This data identified that when the team performed well there was a general increase in supporters coming to the stadium resulting in increased ticket sales. Good team performance also saw an increase in interest from the general public therefore leading to an increase in interest in the team and therefore advertising space became valued more. By virtue of performing well the league incentive payouts to the team were substantially higher when the team finished in higher log positions than when they finished in lower log positions. Merchandise sales did not follow similar patterns and a change in jersey sponsor in the 2012/2013 season was identified as a probable cause for fluctuations and a note for further research has been identified in this iv category. Amazulu FC team management were also surveyed on their opinion of the link between good team performance and the potential to increase revenue for the team. The study found that performance certainly impacts on revenue generation in terms of ticket sales, merchandise and sponsorship. It is thus of vital importance that clubs have good team performances as a key growth strategy as that alone can ensure that the club remains profitable and thus potentially competitive in the league. This research was not designed to establish the extent to which good performance leads to cups and league success.
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    The impact of education on economic growth in South Africa.
    (2018) Deppa, Ntsapokazi.; Chikandiwa, Christopher.
    ABSTRACT Education is acknowledged as a crucial mechanism of advocating economic growth of developing countries. The theoretical model of education on economic growth originates from the human capital theory which attests that investing in education yields positive externalities such as increased efficiency and productivity, improved technology, better salaries, and innovation and knowledge capacity. This study investigated the impact of all levels of education and its positive externalities such as better salaries, the field of study, and enhanced innovation, research and development, on economic growth in all the nine provinces of South Africa using yearly panel data from 2001 to 2014. The study applied XLSTAT econometrics model to test for stationarity, Johansen co-integration and Vector Error Correction Modelling (VECM) Lagrange Multiplier (LM) and Jacque-Bera tests. The co-integration tests showed that education at all levels, except for matric for most provinces, has a positive effect on economic growth and that the outcome fluctuates across the provinces. For matric and GDP, co-integration was observed for only KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces. Government expenditure towards education, the field of study and innovation, research and development also play a role in the economic growth of South Africa. The results emphasize that the South African government must allocate more funding towards education funding, encourage more innovation, research and development, and focus more on improving the quality of the education system. Keywords: Economic growth, education, panel data, unit root, stationarity, co-integration.
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    An evaluation of South African Business Schools' brand management strategies and its effect on students; (a case study of the UKZN GSB’s MBA programme)
    (2016) Biyela, Colleen.; Hoque, Muhammad.
    ABSTRACT Background The KwaZulu-Natal Graduate School of Business and Leadership is the prominent business school within the KwaZulu-Natal region. One of the primary reasons for its dominance is the competitive advantage derived from its human capital. It stands to reason that if the school wishes to remain the market leader within the KZN region and South Africa, it needs to ensure that it establishes effective brand management strategies to market its MBA programme in order to remain the University of Choice to South African student population. Methods The research design is of a quantitative and descriptive nature. A non-probability sampling technique was used which is described as a technique in which units of a sample are selected on the basis of personal judgment or convenience. A detailed questionnaire was developed for this study. The basis of the questionnaire was the factors and variables that were highlighted in the literature review. The study targeted a total population of 203 and a sample size of 170 2nd year MBA students only. Results The results of this study indicate that student perceptions or choices are influenced largely by three strategies; namely: Inspirational leadership, Seasonal Apprentice Mentorships, and Equitable Rewards. Conclusions Brand awareness and brand communication were the most highlighted as in need of prompt intervention in order to position the school’s brand management strategies on the right track. Recommendations In an attempt to gain market share and to elimate the negative perceptions, it is recommended that the UKZN GSB make changes in its curricula so that students can integrate their learning and be able to apply multiple disciplines in the job.
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    The role of employee engagement during mergers and acquisitions.
    (2016) Bunsi, Ravesh.; Bozas, Alec.
    ABSTRACT In the current business environment, transformational change is viewed as a competitive advantage. In response to the ongoing change in economic conditions, some organisations have sought to transform their strategies either by restructuring or by taking on an acquisition or merger with another organisation. Along with change, comes the feeling of uncertainty and insecurity. Understanding the nature of organisational change management in South Africa is crucial to the successful implementation of change programs during transformation. The research study reviewed literature on the main topics; mergers, acquisitions, change management and employee engagement. The terms mergers and acquisitions were defined, the differences were discussed along with the different types and critical success factors. The Kotter’s (1996) Eight Step Model for Change was identified as suitable for this research to determine the implementation of change management in the organisations. The extent to which employees were engaged was explained using Aon Hewitt’s (2013) Employee Engagement Model. This study revolved around employee engagement and change management with specific reference to change during mergers and acquisitions and investigated comparisons thereof. The core objectives of the research were to establish the employee engagement level in a post acquired company compared to that of a post acquired then merged company and to measure the degree to which change management was implemented. The research study made use of a quantitative research methodology via a structured questionnaire and was conducted using the convenience sampling method drawn from the private chemical sector in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The organisation that was selected had undergone 2 acquisitions in the last 5 years and the latter entailed a merger of the acquired company. The statistical tools that were used to analyse the data were frequency distribution, standard deviation and measures of central tendency, t-test and Friedman test. The study found moderate levels of engagement for the engagement outcomes SAY and STRIVE, with neutral responses for intention to STAY. There were no differences found in the three engagement outcomes between the post acquired organisation and the post acquired then merged organisation. The comparison of the implementation of change management between the post v acquired organisation and the post acquired then merged organisation using Kotter`s (1996) eight step change model found no differences in the implementation of change, except for step two - “creating a guiding coalition”, where the post acquired organisation was unaware of the implementation and the post acquired then merged organisation remained neutral. A core finding in the research study was that a distinction in change management implementation could not be found in companies undergoing acquisitions compared to companies undergoing mergers. The information in this research study will benefit change practitioners, managers and change leaders and help them understand change management implementation during acquisitions and / or mergers.
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    The impact of government regulations in the funeral sector around the Durban Metro.
    (2016) Dumisa, Siyabonga Nkosinathi.; Rampersad, Dhanesh.
    ABSTRACT According to a study conducted by the Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion, it was noted that there were different layers of informality within the funeral sector, perpetuated by various layers of regulations in respect of the health regulation, financial services regulation and the regulation that applies to small businesses. This suggested that the funeral industry was governed by many pieces of regulations legislated from different government departments. The statutory bodies which govern this sector were operating in silos as opposed to working jointly in an attempt to formally regulate the industry. The aim of this study was to investigate the level of awareness regarding the existing regulations governing the funeral sector, and the extent to which the funeral undertakers complied with the respective regulations. A secondary objective was to establish the nature of the impact caused by such regulations on funeral undertakers operating around the Durban Metro. The study revealed that the majority of participants are well aware of the various regulations imposed on funeral undertakers by different government departments. What was even more revealing was that the majority of participants that are aware of the various regulations are actually complying with them, and they recognise the importance of compliance. However, it would appear that there are still those funeral undertakers that are not compliant with various regulations, and thereby posing risks in the industry. When assessing the impact of the nonaligned legislation on funeral undertakers we received mixed feelings suggesting that participants are mindful of the fact that government can improve and grow this industry by producing coherent and aligned regulations to govern the funeral industry. The fact that there are many funeral undertakers operating without proper certification and licenses is proof that the regulations lack proper enforcement. The findings of this explorative study are a good indication that further studies are required to investigate the funeral industry. Future studies can aim at generating specific recommendations for best funeral industry practices.
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    Root cause analysis of project gate review failures when evaluated against a project lifecycle process methodology. (A Transnet Capital Projects Case Study)
    (2016) Haridas, Ashley.; Hoque, Muhammad.
    Abstract Many organisations are integrating project management as a best practice for building core competencies in the manner in which they manage and operate their businesses. Projects are initiated out of a strategic necessity, in the quest to capitalise on opportunity to advance profitability or to increase market share by providing a new value proposition. These initiatives require the investment of capital and hence it is imperative to evaluate the feasibility and sustainability of the investment before committing substantial expenditure to the project initiatives. Transnet, a state owned enterprise, embraced the project management philosophy in the management of the delivery of their capital investment infrastructure programme. Transnet developed a generic standardised Project Management Process Methodology (PLP) based on industry best practice as implemented on project phases, divided and controlled by sequences of stage gate evaluations. The company is currently experiencing a major conundrum since the inception of the PLP stage gate review methodology, in which many of the capital projects that have been evaluated against this criterion have failed. The study was undertaken to gain an understanding of the root causes and factors influencing project gate review failures through an exploratory mixed qualitative and quantitative methodology. The target population was project managers and engineers who are the users of the PLP methodology in which data was collected through interviews and a survey research instrument. The main conclusions are that the PLP methodology lacks support in the form of training, provision of sample documentation, standard templates and guidelines on how to prepare project deliverables. The gate review panel members are inconsistent in rigour, objectivity and lack competence to undertake reviews. A large proportion of the project managers and engineers (approximately 36% on average) are not competent and have a low maturity level in successfully managing large infrastructure projects. The study also attributed low quality, insufficient and incomplete business cases, project execution plans, owner’s requirement specifications, risk management plans and operational readiness plans as possible causes of gate review failures. Recommendations in the form of a project management academy which focusses on training and other development initiatives for gate review panel members and project management resources are proposed together with process and procedure reengineering. In doing so, project management processes can be improved and skills competency levels be uplifted, resulting in a lower gate review failure rate. Scope for further research in examining the role of a Project Management Office (PMO), the use of organisational project management maturity model (OPM3) and extending the study to include other industries is proposed.
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    Examination of green industries and its potential for job creation in eThekwini Municipality.
    (2017) Mbonambi, Phakamile Edista.; Chikandiwa, Christopher.
    bstract The global and the local interest in the ‘green economy’ has increased substantially since the 2008 economic downturn, thus, creating more and more green industrial development around the globe. This sector is slowly becoming more prevalent in South Africa because of the high levels of unemployment. An evaluation of countries considered as economic power houses has indicated that it is through an industrial revolution of various kinds that fast tracked job opportunities have been realised. It has been noted through research on the green economy, that this sector has for many years been dominated by the European countries and North America. However, the changing economic landscape forces some developing countries like South Africa to seriously consider the development of green industries and a viable green economy. This is more so because internationally, it has been proven that it creates a large number of job opportunities. Given this background information, this research has focused on the green industries that operate within the boundaries of the Ethekwini Municipality, with the aim of ascertaining the various categories of green industries that already exist and are thriving. Also, it investigated the required skills sets for the emerging green industries to survive and grow. Lastly, the study has provided feedback on the interventions that would maximise the growth of the businesses and create as many employment opportunities as is possible under these difficult economic times. To achieve these, a quantitative study was conducted utilizing a structured questionnaire. Questionpro, an online programme was utilised to conduct the survey. Furthermore, a manual survey was undertaken at a Green and Livable City event to improve the results of the survey. The results indicated five main categories of green industries that are prominent: manufacturing, energy, waste, professional services and infrastructure. Technical skills are in high demand, with product design and equipment maintenance. Given these findings, the following recommendations were made: an improved supply of environmentalists, finance and administration skills, might increase employment opportunities for the locals in these sectors. Government and other stakeholder support of the industry need to focus on legislating, incentivising the industry and, building up awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of such an industry in Ethekwini Municipality.
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    The impact of company acquisition and rebranding on the workforce in a Kwazulu-Natal manufacturing plant, SA.
    (2016) Sewpersadh, Avaan Anand.; Naidoo, Vannie.
    ABSTRACT Problem Acquisitions, mergers and the eventual rebranding of companies has become a common practice in the business world today. The motivation for this practice ranges from business diversification, to strategic growth, to the elimination of competitors. The reasons for the process vary, but the effect on the workforce is largely the same. Pre, during and post-merger, employees tend to feel high levels of anxiety, stress, distrust and alienation. These negative effects on the workforce result in huge losses in employee productivity, company output and even the loss of key personnel. Purpose This research study focused on a recent acquisition, merger and rebranding that occurred at a manufacturing plant in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. It was noted that staff experienced the typical emotions associated with the process. An objective of the study was to determine the factors that motivated and excited staff the most about the merger. The second objective was to determine what factors demotivated and concerned staff the most. Thirdly, it was investigated whether lower salary earners were more or less resistant to the changes than higher salary earners. The fourth objective of this research was to determine how the acquisition and merger process can be improved from the perspective of the workforce. Design and Methodology Staff at the plant were surveyed using a structured questionnaire. The research instrument consisted of quantitative type questions that staff answered on a Likert Scale, and a qualitative type question where staff could input their feelings, views and opinions. The data retrieved was analysed in great detail and provided significant insight into the mind-sets of staff during the process. Data was described descriptively and inferentially and has been tied to relevant literature and current statistical data. Findings The factor that caused the greatest motivation and excitement among staff was the possibility of increased job security after the acquisition, merger and rebranding. The greatest level of demotivation and concern/worry was caused by potentially reduced job security after the process. It was found that in terms of motivation and excitement levels, there was no significant difference in attitude between lower earners and higher earning staff. It was qualitatively found that an improved benefit scheme would have most greatly improved the overall experience of staff. Conclusions and Value This study investigated the effect that an acquisition, merger and rebranding has on a workforce. The study found that to optimize motivation and excitement levels, it is recommended that management open communication lines and engage in collaborative decision making with staff. To minimize demotivation and concern/worry, providing clarity surrounding the job security of staff members should be a priority. To improve the process, it was found that the inclusion of a benefit scheme, specifically a retirement benefit had the greatest effect. The findings from this study provided insight into what can be done to improve the acquisition, merger and rebranding process. Application of the recommendations may increase the success rates of mergers and make the process far more efficient as staff will be more motivated and positive towards it.
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    A study on business strategies adopted by small to medium enterprises in the greater Durban area.
    (2016) Bhayat, Junaid Yusuf.; Rampersadh, Dhanesh.
    ABSTRACT Companies today operate in volatile markets. The risk of small business failure is high. In order to survive, organisations need to have a well thought out business strategy. The principle purpose of this study is to determine whether effective business strategies exist for small and medium enterprises, also referred to as “SME’s” in the greater Durban area and to determine if these strategies contribute to the success of the organisation. The research also investigated if these strategies consist of the principles of competitive business strategies founded by Michael Porter. The research problem identified is that many small to medium businesses may not have adequate or comprehensive competitive business strategies that can adapt to varying economic conditions. Economic conditions change and fluctuate from time to time due to various changes in market conditions and businesses need to maintain adequate strategies to address these varying conditions. Small to medium businesses that lack adaptable strategies are often forced to close their doors resulting in job losses, loss of income and reduced contribution to the economy’s Gross Domestic Product. This phenomenon translates to higher unemployment and poverty in South Africa. The objective of this study was to conduct research to identify the types of business strategies that are adopted by SME’s in the greater Durban area as well as whether there is a link between the strategy of the business and its success. The research design was a qualitative exploratory study of businesses situated in Durban and surrounding areas. The findings identified common themes prevalent within a sample of SME’s. The type of competitive strategy used was also established. This, together with a SWOT analysis contributed to establishing that a strategic link to business success exits. KEYWORDS Business strategy, market, cash, stock, low cost, differentiation.
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    The perceptions of ISO 9001 implementation in selected consulting engineering firms in Durban.
    (2017) Sennoga, Fred Sengendo.; Bozas, Alec.
    ABSTRACT Total Quality Management is an overarching philosophy aimed at the improvement of all facets of an organisation’s resources and processes. Quality Management Systems such as the ISO 9000 family of standards seek to improve the quality of products and services whilst providing customer satisfaction. Tools such as the ISO 9001 certification allow organisations to compete on an international stage where they are judged by a set of common standards. Most ISO 9001 certifications are currently associated with manufacturing sector with a small percentage reflecting certification in the engineering services sector. An exploratory research is required in determining the impact of factors linked with implementing ISO 9001 standard and certification in the consulting engineering sector of firms located in the Durban area. The research determines the potential benefits and pitfalls of implementing the ISO standard amongst consulting engineering firms by gathering primary data through questionnaires and secondary data by way of literature and empirical reviews. A mixed methodology was adopted for the data collected from the respondents. The research looked at common threads of themes that feed into the implementation of the ISO 9001 standard amongst consulting engineering firms drawn from a list of firms belonging to various engineering associations. This was compared to themes found in current literature associated with ISO 9001 certification implementation. Themes related to performance, quality improvement and customer satisfaction were identified and the barriers to implementation such as lack of management buy-in, training and costs were also identified. Further analysis thereof determined trends and lessons that can advise future and present ISO 9001 certified consulting engineering firms in their implementation of the standard and subsequent sustainability issues. Recommendations included ensuring management support, continual staff training, acquiring specific staff for ISO purposes and appropriate record keeping. Future studies into the research could expand the size and scope to include employees and thereby add more insight into the implementation of ISO 9001 standard amongst consulting engineering firms in Durban.
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    Job satisfaction in the security Industry: perceptions of security guards working in UKZN Westville Campus.
    (2016) Govender, Kamendren.; Kader, Alec.
    Abstract Job satisfaction among security guards has been widely publicised as news and current affairs issues, even more so in South Africa. Factors affecting the level of job satisfaction for example salary, work itself, training and promotions, working conditions, relationship with supervisor and relationship with co-workers have been researched in considerable depth as well as its effects on employees’ commitment to their company and the level of service they provide. This research study’s aim is firstly to determine whether there is a high or low level of job satisfaction amongst security guards officers working in the UKZN Westville campus. The second aim is to determine what factors influence this level of job satisfaction. The current research study used quantitative research methods and was conducted among a population size of 93 using a self-administered questionnaire to collect feedback from all respondents. The feedback was converted into data and then analysed using the built in data analysis package on Microsoft Excel 2010. Descriptive and inferential statistics was employed to analyse the data received and to obtain the research objectives for this study. The analysis of the data indicated that the majority of respondents had a level of job satisfaction that was considered to be low. The factors that had a significant influence on the level of job satisfaction were that of salary and relationship with supervisor while other factors of work itself, training and promotions, working conditions and relationship with co-workers do not influence job satisfaction. Low levels of job satisfaction has a negative effect on a number of things including lack of job motivation, future career decisions, family relationships as well as personal health and wellbeing. Security guard officers have an extremely demanding career both physically and mentally. Reduced job satisfaction also has a negative effect of the business owners, their clients and to the employees themselves. Dissatisfied security guards officers can provide poor quality service and less efficient care. Hence, to improve the level of job satisfaction from a low level to high level suitable interventions must be planned and thereafter applied amongst the security guards officers.
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    Analysis of the implementation of performance management and development system: a case study of department of arts and culture in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2017) Ndlovu, Sikhumbuzo Michael.; Mutereko, Sybert.
    Studies have shown that employees must be involved in the whole cycle of Performance Management. This view draws upon Locke‟s conceptualization of goal-setting theory in which employees and supervisors in a workplace should set objectives that need to be achieved during the performance cycle. Unfortunately, studies have shown that employees are not involved in the performance planning and setting of their performance targets. This study has sought to explore the implementation of Performance Management in the Department of Arts and Culture in KwaZulu-Natal (DAC-KZN). Drawing on the pragmatism philosophy, the study has employed a mixed-method approach which involved in-depth interviews (six), documentary analysis and survey methods (83 questionnaires) to elicit the views of workers on the implementation of Performance Management in the DAC-KZN. Through documentary analysis, this study has established that there are proper and systematic procedures for Performance Management. However, data gleaned from interviews and surveys show that such procedures are not adhered to. Workers are often excluded from the planning and setting of goals. The quarterly reviews that are meant to assess progress are rarely performed. Training needs that are identified through Performance Management are rarely addressed. A further analysis has revealed that the central tendency is evident when supervisors give performance scores, with most workers being given average scores and few scores being above the average, which adversely affects their motivation. These findings have critical implications for human resources managers in the public sector. The consequence of this is that there is a need to balance the tensions between time constraints and proper Performance Management by involving workers in the whole cycle of Performance Management.
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    The impact of comprehensive agricultural support programme (CASP) on small-scale farmers in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2017) Mahlobo, Zimele Rodney Wiseman.; Amrithlal, Prathana.
    ABSTRACT This research set out to examine the challenges faced by small-scale farmers in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, analyse the nature of the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Program (CASP) grants extended to small-scale farmers in the province and the contribution of CASP towards enhancing access to markets by the farmers. The study was also motivated by the need to investigate the impact of CASP grants on small-scale farmers in KwaZulu-Natal in order to recommend effective strategies for enhancing the contribution of CASP towards improved production among small-scale farmers. The realisation of these objectives was made possible through adopting a qualitative phenomenological research methodology and an analytical explanatory descriptive research design which gave direction to how data were collected and analysed. Thus the chosen research methodology and design allowed for the collection of detailed information that made it possible to identify challenges faced by small-scale farmers in the province, analyse the nature of CASP grants extended to them and identify the contribution of CASP towards enhancing access to markets. Furthermore, the research methodology and design enabled the research to successfully determine the impact of CASP grants on small-scale farmers in KwaZulu-Natal. The research employed semi-structured interviewing of senior managerial staff in charge of CASP in the Department of Agriculture at KwaZulu-Natal province was employed as a data collection tool, together with the interview guide which comprised of open-ended questions. This allowed respondents the opportunity to explain themselves in detail. Purposive sampling was employed to select the research participants namely the senior managerial staff. Data for this research were analysed through thematic analysis and the findings presented using NVIVO style diagrams. The main findings from this research showed that small-scale farmers in KwaZulu-Natal were facing several challenges before the inception of CASP and that some of the challenges still persist today. The findings further revealed that small-scale farmers in KwaZulu-Natal were being assisted with both monetary and non-monetary interventions. Additionally, the findings confirmed that CASP was also actively involved with assisting small-scale farmers with access to markets in the form of provision of logistical and transport support, preferential procurement and other initiatives highlighted in chapter 4 of this research. Lastly it was concluded that CASP positively impacted on the welfare of small-scale farmers through improved yields, increased income, and gaining of farming expertise among others. However, the findings also revealed that, although CASP brought about some positive developments to small-scale farmers, there were some negatives – such as developing farmer over-dependence, over-indebtedness and ii limited coverage in terms of the people who benefitted. The implications of these findings for the senior management in charge of CASP are that there is a need to continuously improve the CASP initiative so that the shortcomings identified in the study are eliminated.