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Doctoral Degrees (Graduate School of Business and Leadership)

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    A conceptual framework to address challenges facing female-owned agricultural cooperatives in Pietermaritzburg.
    (2023) Ndlovu, Silindile Goodness.; Nzimakwe, Thokozani Ian.
    The study investigated challenges encountered by small to medium-scale (primary to secondary level) female cooperatives in the agricultural sector in Pietermaritzburg. This research aimed to assess the challenges encountered by female entrepreneurs in the small to medium-scale agricultural sector in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal to present a conceptual framework to address the challenges encountered by female owned agricultural cooperatives in Pietermaritzburg. A qualitative methodology generated an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon under study. The researcher’s target population in this study was femaleowned cooperative enterprises in the agricultural sector in Pietermaritzburg. The sample for the study was selected through the purposive sampling method. Only 20 female-owned cooperatives out of 306 in the agricultural sector in Pietermaritzburg participated in the study. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to collect data on the challenges facing female entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector in Pietermaritzburg. Ten primary-level female-owned cooperatives and ten secondary-level female-owned cooperatives were selected to participate. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Study findings revealed that a lack of access to sufficient and productive land for expansion; a lack of skills; a demand for legal and regulatory frameworks; a lack of capital and markets and the issue of collateral availability; a lack of government support, a lack of infrastructure, a gap in understanding business culture; and poor value chain organisation affect female entrepreneurs in the small to medium-scale agricultural sector. These constraints presented a framework of barriers for female entrepreneurs in the small to medium-scale agricultural sector that must be addressed. This conceptual framework can be used towards the empowerment of women as a prerequisite for achieving inclusive growth or for promoting their services from primary to secondary cooperative level within the formal sector of the economy.
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    Managing stakeholder complexities: a model to curb project cost overruns in the construction industry in South Africa.
    (2022) Nyathi , Moses.; Proches, Cecile Naomi.; Taylor, Simon Michael.
    Project cost overruns present major economic problems for financiers, governments, clients, companies, the supply chain, and the community. Meeting the project’s budget is one of the major objectives in completing a project successfully, and the exhaustion of finances may result in project discontinuation. It is alarming that previous and current studies have shown on-going project cost overruns within the construction industry. Joint project interdependency complexities between diverse project stakeholders in the project life cycle are implicated as one of the major causes of project budget overruns. However, there has been limited research and available literature on project stakeholder complexities' impact on the project budget within the South African construction industry. Therefore, this study focused on project-stakeholder cost overruns causes and established the extent to which construction project managers can effectively and efficiently liaise with stakeholders to curb stakeholder complexities and cost overruns. Construction project managers registered with the Construction Professional board participated in this study. The mixed method research approach was employed for this study by integrating both quantitative and qualitative research paradigms in data collection and analysis to draw inferences. A quantitative research approach focused on positivism paradigm, which utilises mathematical procedures and methods to statically explain the research phenomena. A qualitative research approach focused on interpretivism paradigm, which draws research phenomena understanding, emanating from numerous behavioural trends, processes, reflections, cultural and social contexts. Concurrent triangulation design was used by simultaneously collecting and discussing quantitative and qualitative approaches, aimed to better understand the study of interest by comparing and contrasting study findings to produce well-validated conclusions. Here, online questionnaires and structured interviews were the applied data collection techniques guided by a pragmatism philosophical worldview. One-hundred and fifty-two online questionnaires were completed and analysed, using SPSS to obtain quantitative data. To obtain qualitative data, thirteen interviewees participated and NVivo was used to analyse transcribed responses. The findings showed that the number of projects completed and scope changes, are central to stakeholders-related complexities contributing to budget overruns. Furthermore, the findings showed that factors comprising incompetency, local community strikes or unrest, market conditions, South African regulatory framework, reworks and contract misunderstanding, significantly contribute to project budget overruns. An iterative project-stakeholder budget overrun mitigation model was developed, and a template incorporating all the stages of the construction project life cycle was included, which will be jointly used to alleviate project-stakeholder budget overruns.
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    Developing an intelligence and security framework to counteract insurance fraud in the low income sector. The case of Zimbabwe.
    (2022) Nyangoni, Soul.; Chummun, Bibi Zaheenah.
    This study explores avenues to develop a security and intelligence framework to counteract insurance fraud in the low-income sector in Zimbabwe. Insurance fraud, a threat to both national security and performance of the micro insurance industry, offering insurance services to low-income earners in Zimbabwe. The examination stretches from the causes of micro-insurance fraud to measures that can be fused with security intelligence to combat micro-insurance fraud. The framework of this study was a quantitative study, following stratified random sampling of three hundred and twenty-six participants. A structured questionnaire was deployed to collect primary data and complemented by interviews, focus groups and document inspection. The association between causes of insurance fraud, organised criminal syndicates, and low-income earners were investigated using structural equation modelling. The primary objective was to identify factors that enhance insurance fraud and measure the significance and causal effect of the identified variables. The response postulated that there are internal and external factors amongst them poor internal controls, lack of investment in artificial intelligence and poor human capital management systems which are being explored by organised crime syndicates to peddle micro insurance fraud. The internal and external factors work as an integrated front and the absence of one factor may negatively affect the decision to continue with the crime. In that regard, this study recommended the CEPSI strategy. The acronym CEPSI abbreviates for Customers, Employees, Participation, Systems and Intelligence and this is meant to overhaul microinsurance service provider’s operating systems. Conclusions were reached after synchronisation of primary and secondary data with research objectives. The CEPSI approach provide insurance firms with capabilities to detect, prevent, sanction, investigate, and remediate insurance fraud in the low-income sector of Zimbabwe. The focus is to equip the micro-insurance service providers with proactive capabilities meant to detect and thwart insurance fraud amongst policyholders, employees and organised crime syndicates by designing internal security measures fused with artificial intelligence to detect insurance fraud, educating the general public with regards to threats and consequences of insurance fraud and also working in liaison with security intelligence apparatus.
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    The impact of the coronavirus on electronic commerce among small and medium enterprises in Gauteng.
    (2023) Ramsern, Atlanta.; Govender, Krishna Kistan.
    During the Covid-19 pandemic, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have had to shift business operations to online, due to government restrictions. The urgency to change to a digital model caused many SMEs to be challenged by one or more of the four e-commerce resources to complete an e-commerce transaction, namely usage of reliable broadband, e-shop of products, digital payment, and logistics to the consumer. The literature revealed that SMEs lacked the infrastructure to support the digital transformation into a successful business model and had to close their businesses. This mixed-methods study addressed this gap by using constructs in the resource-based theory and dynamic capabilities theory. A conceptual model was developed which depicted the relationship between the e-commerce resources and e-commerce growth which was moderated by dynamic capabilities. Several hypotheses were postulated in the conceptual framework and data was collected from the SME owners in Gauteng Province, South Africa. The simple random sampling technique was used to survey 307 retail SMEs in Edenvale, Gauteng. The survey was distributed via email to the SMEs that were alluded in the study. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis was used to analyse the data that was collected through the survey, using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences and tested using Structural Equation Modelling. Purposive sampling was used for the qualitative study and the semistructured interviews were conducted with 13 SME owners, to gain an in-depth understanding of the factors that impacted their e-commerce growth. Thematic analysis, via Microsoft excel, was used to analyse the transcripts by focusing on identifying and arranging the codes and patterns. The findings revealed that digital payments and logistics were significant predictors of e-commerce growth during the pandemic and dynamic skill capabilities moderated the relationship between digital payments and e-commerce growth. However, the usage of broadband and e-shop features were not significant in predicting the growth of e-commerce. It was ascertained through the interviews, that there is a favourable impact on the growth of e-commerce among SMEs that invested in unique resources and capabilities, since only those SMEs that had the resources and capabilities managed to survive during the pandemic.
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    Leadership coaching in a multigenerational workforce – a case in the engineering sector.
    (2023) Strickland, Michelle Eunice.; Martins, Ana Maria De Azevedo.
    In the current volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment, the case in this study, an engineering consulting organisation based in KwaZulu-Natal, has found itself navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fifth Industrial Revolution, and a multigenerational workforce. Faced with these dynamic shifts, leadership has needed to cope with the various impacts. Intrinsically, leaders have needed to be aware of themselves, of their strengths, opportunities, and challenges that could be associated with these different contextual shifts. Furthermore, the leadership team has been required to cultivate a robust pipeline of future leaders from a multigenerational team. The purpose of the study was to explore leadership coaching readiness to harness new leadership skills, which would enable leaders to improve on their emotional intelligence skills in order to bridge generational gaps. The research was underpinned by a qualitative exploratory research methodology using participatory action research. The strategy was to use a case study with a phenomenological philosophy. Through purposive sampling and use of primary data collection methods, namely, interviews, focus groups, and observations, the objectives were met. Desktop research was conducted to review the extant literature. The thematic analysis tool, NVivo, was used and triangulation of the data sets was implemented. A specific leadership coaching model, crafted for the organisation being studied, included an emotional intelligence element, which resulted in an innovative approach to accelerate the development of future leadership in a multigenerational workforce and which also contributes to the existing body of knowledge. The study highlighted that the expression and appraisal of emotions, use of emotions in decision-making, knowledge of emotions, and management of moods or emotions are critical aspects of emotional intelligence, and, if brought into a coaching intervention, can benefit the leadership and organisation. The recommendations are: the addition of a mentoring element; team coaching interventions to bring the multigenerational workforce together in order to build on relationships; and developing an understanding of the learning gained to ensure the transference of skills to the younger generation, thereby enabling them to work toward professional registration. These recommendations would enhance employee engagement and retention.
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    A sustainability model for agricultural cooperatives in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2023) Buthelezi, Sifiso Wiseman.; Taylor, Simon Michael.; Tefera, Orthodox.
    The high attrition and stagnant rate of agricultural cooperatives in the Province of KwaZulu Natal has raised concerns, given that they are recognised globally and in South Africa for their significant role in promoting impoverished communities' social and economic development. This challenge has become a threat to community development by hampering the growth of the agricultural cooperatives. Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate the challenges that hinder the growth of agricultural cooperatives and assess factors that contribute to their growth. The study utilised clustered sampling to ensure the representation of all districts and was conducted in nine districts of KwaZulu-Natal Province. The sample comprised 367 respondents who were members of agricultural cooperatives from 99 cooperatives in the province. Quantitative research was employed using questionnaires, and the data were analysed using SPSS (Version 25.0.). Sustainability models used in the study included pictorial visualization, quantitative, physical, conceptual, standardising, egg of sustainability, and prism models. The literature gap in a sustainability model that considers the combined behaviour of resource management, good governance, sustainability monitoring, market access, and social and economic aspects in agricultural cooperatives has been addressed. The study revealed several factors contributing to agricultural cooperatives' demise, including a lack of good governance, leadership, technical skills, business management expertise, conflict management abilities, cohesion among members, and sustainable farming methods. These deficiencies suggest that the agricultural cooperatives under review could be more sustainable. Therefore, the study recommends adherence to cooperative principles, capacity building of cooperatives in all aspects of business, including environmental training, the appointment of boards to inculcate governance systems, the institutionalisation of social responsibility programs, and redefining the government's relationship with agricultural cooperatives. The study contributes to the body of knowledge by developing a model that enhances the sustainability of agricultural cooperatives in KwaZulu-Natal, thereby increasing their success rate.
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    Aligning information and communication technology strategies with Ethekwini municipality’s strategic objectives for service delivery.
    (2023) Dlamini, Zandile Virtue.; Majola, Priscilla Xoliswa.
    In the realm of municipal governance, the rapid integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has introduced new opportunities and challenges. A critical challenge is the misalignment between strategic objectives and ICT strategies within municipalities, as exemplified by eThekwini municipality in South Africa. The primary purpose of this research was to investigate the pivotal role of strategic alignment in shaping ICT implementation for effective service delivery within eThekwini municipality. The aim was to provide insights and solutions to bridge the gaps between ICT and municipal strategy alignment. A mixed methods approach was employed in this study, combining qualitative and quantitative techniques in a convergent parallel design. The questionnaires used in the study were meticulously aligned with the research's specific objectives. A census approach was adopted to collect quantitative and qualitative data gathered through purposive sampling. The research identified a key issue as limited executive involvement in developing the municipality's ICT strategy, resulting in a misalignment between the strategy and the overarching municipal goals. This misalignment risks suboptimal decision-making based solely on operational inputs. This finding underscores the critical need for strategic alignment between municipal objectives and ICT strategies in eThekwini municipality. The municipality should thus prioritise the development of a comprehensive ICT strategy that aligns seamlessly with its overarching objectives. This strategy should be crafted with active involvement from key stakeholders, outlining clear goals and action plans aimed at harnessing technology for efficient service delivery. To ensure effective alignment, robust ICT governance structures and decision-making processes must be established. These changes will not only enhance service delivery to the community, but also promote a transparent, efficient, and technology-enabled governance approach.
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    Towards a renewable energy framework for poverty reduction in South African townships: a case of south-west township (Soweto)
    (2023) Gina,Mondli.; Mutambara, Emmanuel.
    Poverty is one of the world’s most fundamental issues negatively impacting livelihoods, with South Africa experiencing high poverty levels. Central to addressing basic human needs towards poverty eradication lies the provision of renewable energy. Poverty can be addressed through access to energy sources that are modern, clean, and affordable. Therefore, energy is necessary for meeting basic human needs and a prerequisite for economic development. The study investigated the ways and extent to which a move towards cheap and clean renewable energy for poor communities contributed towards poverty reduction in an urban context. The purpose of the study was to develop a renewable energy framework for poverty reduction in South African townships, focusing on the Soweto township as a case study. The study employed a mixed research design that included quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative data was gathered from a stratified random sample size of 384 respondents selected from a target population of Soweto residents at Dobsonville neighbourhood. Questionnaires were distributed through electronic mail and self-administered questionnaire. Qualitative data was gathered through interviews from a sample of 15 purposively selected participants. Interviews were analysed using conversational analysis and the data collected from the interviews were merged with the questionnaire data, seeking depth as well as breadth. The thematic analysis was the process used to identify patterns or themes within qualitative data. Data collected from respondents was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. The tool utilised to analyse quantitative data was the latest Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The study findings revealed that the implementation of renewable energy technologies in South Africa will help alleviate poverty, improve the socio-economic status of citizens, enhance economic growth and save the environment. The study recommended a framework for clean and affordable renewable energy as a poverty reduction strategy in Soweto township. Further recommendations were that the South African government should provide the citizens with affordable renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels to those that are regarded as poor and provide incentives to those that install solar panels in their household.
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    Strategies to reduce the emigration of engineering professionals in the South African petroleum refining industry.
    (2023) Ngonyoza, Ntsikelelo Sipho.; Pelser, Theuns.; Chummun, Bibi Zaheenah.
    The South African refining companies have been losing experienced engineers, due to emigration, which has negatively impacted the refinery Operations. This study aimed to explore the factors that affect the emigration of engineers working in the South African petroleum refining industry. The study used a mixed method approach combining qualitative and quantitative research techniques using structured, in-depth interviews and an electronic survey questionnaire. The study participants were refinery engineers with a formal engineering diploma or degree from a recognized University or University of Technology. The findings revealed that more than half of the engineers had a positive emigration potential and were actively applying for jobs overseas (56% for interviews and 52% for the surveys). The preferred emigration destinations were the Middle East and Europe for a duration of 5 years. The engineers were Millennials, aged between 31-36 years with 5-15 years’ work experience. The emigration drivers were a rapidly deteriorating macroeconomic climate resulting in a higher cost of living and unhappiness at work due to poor career advancement, poor work-life balance, and a perceived inaccurate and unreliable performance appraisal system where promotions and recognition awards were affected by manager bias. Some recommendations were to have clear career progression paths incorporating job redesign strategies, reduce appraiser bias in the performance appraisal process, incorporate appraisee feedback, and review company benefits to ensure they meet the work-life balance needs of a changing workforce. The study has contributed to the body knowledge by developing a method to measure the emigration potential of petrochemical refining engineers and plot it on an emigration potential matrix. As well as to better understand the critical factors that lead to a positive emigration potential and propose strategies to reduce it by implementing the developed emigration potential reduction framework.
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    Public financial management framework for the Department of Public Works in Durban Metro, South Africa.
    (2018) Ngcobo, David Malusi.; Nzimakwe, Thokozani Ian.
    During Apartheid era the Public Service of the RSA did not adhere to principles of good governance like (PFM), transparency and accountability. They were actual lip or spoken conceptual frameworks, but not executed to the latter. As a consequence (PFM) operational systems and processes experienced insurmountable challenges ranging from embezzlement and squandering of public funds. Unprecedented failures by government institutions and employees to comply with financial legislation led to fraud and corruption skyrocketing. Mammoth task facing democratic government was to overhaul and transform Apartheid regime PFM systems. The amalgamation and integration of SA’s Public Service into single unit was indispensable yet it caused gigantic challenges. One of the pressing challenges faced democratic government was to gain citizenry confidence, therefore public financial management reforms, transparency and accountability was at the epicenter to gain legitimacy. The SA’S Constitution affirms that execution of (PFM) regulatory reforms, systems and strategies must aligned with PFMA. Despite democratic government innovations of improving government financial operations and performances, some provincial and local governments had not complied with public performance-measurement. That led to some being placed under national or provincial administration under section 100 and 139 (1 and 4) or 137 of the MFMA under the SA’s Constitution. Theoretical frameworks and systems of performance measurement were designed to assist the employees to achieve efficiency, effectiveness and decision making. Successful changes envisaged by the democratic regime required financial, technical and human resources to bolster the process. Literature emphasized that resources are fundamental elements needed in improving public sector and subsequently bring the envisaged change. Literature consistent findings highlights that organizational change does not come cheap and it requires incentives and trade-offs to be successful. SA’s government changes were needed to redirect the scarce resources of the state towards a new host of avenues, developing new strategies, processes, practices, plans to implement proposed change, and redeployment of employees with expertise. Strategic interventions became an indispensable phenomenon why the change was envisage at that point. There was an urgency of reorganizing and restructuring governmental operational systems to test the recent innovations. Failure to provide necessary resources to beef up envisage change would have led to feeble execution efforts coupled with high levels organizational failures. PFM is the case study taking into cognizance PFMA’s impact in handling public revenue in government institutions like Department of Public Works. PFMA is an Act crafted to strengthen the objectives of sound public financial management. PFM and PFMA had to ensure that financial modernization and improvements were implemented. PFMA, of 1999 must safeguard that management manages operations with distinction, be held accountable by eradicating fraud, corruption, and wasteful expenditure in government. Twenty four years after 1994 democratic dispensation SA’s public service transformation continues, but government struggle to produce clean financial audits. SA is constitutional democracy mandated to implement PFMA in all government institutions. The study assesses success rate at which financial management reforms like PFMA, PFM, Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) and New Public Financial Management (NPFM) mechanisms has achieved in handling public finances. PFM must ensure proper utilization of public funds by meeting defined standards of probity, regularity, efficiency and effectiveness.
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    Development of an inter-generational business sustainability framework for family-owned passenger bus companies in Zimbabwe.
    (2023) Chipere, Tawanda Finias.; Mutambara, Emmanuel.; Chikandiwa, Christopher Tarisayi.
    Family businesses being the predominant form of business organization, and estimated in the range of 60-98% of all firms worldwide, contribute immensely to world economies. It is however deplorable that throughout the world they are victims of intergenerational demise, failing to sustain themselves over multiple generations, emanating from a plethora of challenges that seed them into total collapse. Their very low survival rates are a matter of concern. Zimbabwe’s passenger transport sector is typical, with glaringly overwhelming cases of failure. Evidence abound in Zimbabwe of family-owned passenger bus companies (FOPBCs) that have folded, following the passing on of their founders. The sibling and consortium generations succeeding the founders have plunged the businesses into extinction. Despite a tremendous surge in family business research due to their global importance, the totality of studies focused on Africa is small. Notwithstanding their prevalence there exists absence of in-depth knowledge on their operations, including in Zimbabwe. Accordingly, this study focussed on investigating the determinants for business sustainability of FOPBCs in Zimbabwe. Drawing from various business theories, models and literature, the research utilized a pragmatic paradigm that adopted the exploratory sequential mixed method design (Qual – Quan research) to investigate the factors influencing the survival of Zimbabwe’s FOPBCs. The qualitative research component undertook ten (10) interviews based on nonprobability sampling techniques, to derive relevant themes based on NVivo 2020, that were then employed to design a questionnaire. The follow-up questionnaire was deployed on a census of one hundred and fifty-three (153) FOPBCs in Zimbabwe as the study population. The resultant quantitative data was analysed using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) through the application of principal components analysis (PCA), to determine the factors influencing the survival of Zimbabwe’s FOPBCs. The key outputs are methodological, contextual and intergenerational business sustainability framework contributions. The study revealed that succession planning, leadership, total capital, management, family entrepreneurship, strategy, governance, and external environmental factors bear strongly on cross generational sustainability. These factors form the intergenerational business sustainability framework for the FOPBCs. Imperatively, leaders of such companies, policy makers and scholars must pay devout attention to addressing the challenges in logistics and passenger transport management.
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    Towards a customer engagement framework to enhance organisational change communication and customer satisfaction at Absa bank in the greater Durban area.
    (2023) Chitamba, Anos.; Mutambara, Emmanuel.
    Events that have unfolded in the past decade — the ease of new entrants into the banking sector, uncertain economic outlook, the 2008 global financial crisis, competition within the South African banking sector, have changed the banking sector in South Africa. Retail banks are under tremendous pressure to realign their business models to meet these challenges and changes. Conforming to the mounting pressure in the South African banking sector, Barclays bank PLC a major shareholder in Barclays Africa Group announced its departure from Barclays Africa Group. A move that will make Barclays Africa Group lose its strategic partner with over 100 years of experience working in Africa. The departure was received mixed reactions in the banking sector including Absa customers. In the South African banking sector context with reference to Absa bank, research on customer engagement is still in its infancy and a model that can be adopted during organisational change did not exist. To address this research gap, this study developed a customer engagement framework that is linked to organisational change communication and customer satisfaction. The research design adopted was the quantitative paradigm with a pre-coded structured closed ended questionnaire comprising the 5 Point Likert Scale that was used to administer the instrument to the selected sample respondents. The questionnaire comprised of 4 Sections, each under a specific main theme. The target population comprised of 650 000 Absa bank customers in the greater Durban area. Sekaran statistical table was used to for the sample selection. The sample of 384 customers was selected using convenience sampling a non-probability sampling technique. The analysis of the data involved the use of robust parametric and non-parametric tests for the empirical analyses using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25 for Windows. A variety of non-parametric tests were also used to test hypotheses formulated for the various sections and components of the study. Some significant findings emerged from the comprehensive statistical analyses which were also corroborated by national and international studies conducted by various researchers who also showed their concordance or discordance with the current findings and were referenced accordingly.
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    IT governance implementation framework for South African companies: a corporate governance perspective.
    (2017) Ako-Nai, Sonny Anyetei Moses.; Singh, Anesh Maniraj.
    In the past, information technology (IT) management and governance was a departmental or management level responsibility. However, of recent, it has become an integral part of organisations and its optimal function has also become critical for the attainment of organisational strategic objectives. Organisations continuous investment in and dependency on IT has increased their risk exposure and thus necessitated the need for IT oversight. This need for oversight has prompted the incorporation of IT governance into corporate governance practices and codes. It has also prompted the elevation of IT governance to the highest level of control and leadership of the organisation which is the board. The objective of this study was to establish how JSE listed companies govern IT at the board level. A conceptual board level IT governance framework was derived through a combined review of governance models, corporate governance codes, and IT governance frameworks. The framework was tested using qualitative and quantitative data obtained through semistructured interviews and a survey respectively. The combined qualitative, quantitative and literature findings were analysed to achieve triangulation. The resultant findings indicated the following: an organisation with a well-developed IT governance framework positively improves its board level IT governance effectiveness; board level IT governance effectiveness is improved where IT leadership is engaged with the board; and effective board level IT governance oversight improves overall organisational performance. The unique contribution of this study is that it presents a corporate governance perspective to IT governance at the board level. It provides boards with factors on which to focus to improve their IT governance oversight effectiveness. The study found that IT governance oversight effectiveness is improved if the board focuses on decision making rather than technical and managerial IT-related matters. In addition, the study found that overall organisational performance is influenced by the organisation’s board level IT governance effectiveness. It is recommended that boards of organisations understand the broad domains of IT governance and the impact thereof on business operations, using platforms like board orientation and directorship programmes and courses where applicable. A sample questionnaire developed to guide the board on what aspects of IT governance issues to focus on is proposed and recommended.
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    A study of Majuba college’s approaches to understanding its local environmental needs, using systemic tools.
    (2017) Lakhan, Renesh.; Hardman, Stanley George.
    Majuba College is a public, multi-campus, technical and vocational, education and training (TVET) college in northern KZN, South Africa, under the auspices of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The research question sought to find to what extent Majuba College understands its environment and in what ways has the college aligned with its perceived local markets. The objectives were to determine how the college understands its environment, what would constitute a ‘fair’ understanding of its environment, and to critically examine the college’s understanding of its environment against a ‘fair’ understanding thereof. Further objectives of the study were to determine to what extent the college is aligned with its perceived markets, and make conclusions and recommendations by reflecting on the findings. The research question is important because a college that understands the knowledge and skills required in the environment, may use its resources effectively to educate and train students to meet those needs. The literature review provided a reference of how organisations understand their environments, drawing upon environmental scanning theory, across corporate and educational environments, within local and international settings. The strategic value of environmental scanning in higher educational settings was reflected in case studies and practices. A qualitative, practitioner-based research approach was used. Focus groups included key internal and external stakeholders. Critical systemic practice was adopted, specifically Creative Holism, wherein the principles of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) and the Viable System Model (VSM), were applied to explore the research question. The research revealed the College’s lack of a sustained and structured approach to environmental scanning and its disconnect with the its organisational strategy. Related factors such as leadership challenges and the conflict of marketing roles, are relevant. Recommendations included that the College’s environmental scanning be a sustained, strategic activity that feeds into the organisational strategy. A significant recommendation is the use of a Viable System Model used in the design mode, to restructure the college systemically to meet the challenges of the external environment.
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    The effective management of information overload within shipping companies in South Africa.
    (2017) Mungly, Mohamud Irshad.; Singh, Anesh Maniraj.
    For time immemorial, humans have shared information – from cave wall paintings to modern computing devices. The medium and channels of communication have evolved and improved. The ever-growing number of information sources coupled with the development of the Internet and other electronic communication technologies has resulted in escalating amounts of data and information that users need to process. This has resulted in a situation commonly known as information overload. Information overload can be described as a situation where people are inundated with more information than they are able to usefully use. The overall aim of this study was to establish whether information overload exists in South African shipping companies and if it is being formally managed. Although a growing body of empirical research has assessed the impact of information overload in organisations, little is known about its effect on shipping companies. To fully understand the problem, the impact of information overload was assessed in 12 shipping organisations located in Durban. Quantitative data was gathered using an online questionnaire from a sample of 491 employees in the 12 organisations. Twelve decision makers, one in each organisation, were interviewed by means of semi-structured interviews. The quantitative data showed that employees are overloaded with information and the level of information overload varies across the different organisations. Qualitative data from the interviews showed that the decision makers are overloaded and admit that their staff are also overloaded. Furthermore, none of the companies had specific initiatives in place to help staff who were overloaded with information. Several countermeasures to reduce information overload have been suggested in the literature; however, none of them have been proven to eliminate the problem. By integrating the findings from the literature review, quantitative data and qualitative data, this study suggests some guidelines of good practice for managing information overload which includes information management training, information personal management system, good office ergonomics practices, technology, external service providers, correct communication technologies and monitoring of information.
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    Advancing gross fixed capital formation (investment) paradigm in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa: historical trends and prospects.
    (2018) Yalezo, Bhasela.; Bokana, Koye Gerry.
    Current rates of investment in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa are insufficient to drive substantial economic growth. These rates have not changed significantly from 1995 to date. This study examined the reasons for low investment rates in the Eastern Cape Province in the post-democratic era by both the private and public sectors and explored the hindrances to attracting investment. Its examination of trends and prospects informed the study’s recommendations to address the current situation. A mixed methods research methodology that incorporated econometrics was employed to calculate the investment gap and the investment required to close this gap. The quantitative research analysis results indicated that; there is an investment gap, low investment and a dire lack of infrastructure, which discourages investment in rural and urban areas in the Eastern Cape. The qualitative research analysis results indicated that: the province lacks adequate infrastructure, an integrated investment model and strategy as well as poor political leadership at provincial and local levels were significant contributors to low investment rates. The econometrics analysis, indicated that an investment rate of 11.05% of the province’s Gross Domestic Product is required to close the current investment gap. Some policy implications of these three results are that in advancing investment in the province, the foremost priority should be infrastructure investment which must be underpinned by intelligent public sector investment. Amongst other priorities there is an urgent need to strengthen the province’s political leadership and administration.
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    Understanding the causes for a low success rate of technology- prompted change: a case study of Toyota South Africa.
    (2016) Ramsunder, Suven Mohanlal.; Zondi, Wellington Bonginkosi.
    Technological advancements are inevitable if a business wants to remain competitive, however, in addition to the multiple benefits there are also numerous difficulties associated with the implementation of new technology and automation. This study delves into the perspective of the semi to low-skilled workers, with the viewpoints of management being investigated to draw a comparison. The research was carried out at Toyota South Africa Manufacturing in Durban, with the respondents comprising of 315 semi to low-skilled workers, and six managers. The semi to low-skilled workers were issued questionnaires, while the managers were interviewed, hence a mixed methodology was used. The literature review provides the basis of the study, which outlines the factors affecting resistance to change. Firstly, the acceptance of technology was assessed to ensure that the respondents were indeed receptive to new technology. Once this was established, the next step was to look at the factors affecting the resistance to change, such as, fear, trust, job wellbeing and self-acceptance. The status quo bias was adopted to bring these factors together to show that, even though the respondents were open to using new technology, if it was not administered correctly the initiatives would fail. The study not only developed a framework that could be incorporated when applying new technology, it also found certain improvements that could be incorporated. Amongst other recommendations, this study put forth the notion that the semi to lowskilled workers should be incorporated into the change process from the inception of the technological advancement processes, with diverse forms of communication being used so as to ensure that the different groups that exist within the company would have a proper understanding of the processes. It also highlighted the perceptions that management had of the employees and the actual insight of the workers. The study concludes with limitations of the study and future research that could be done to enhance the findings.
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    Forage seed production as a business in smallholder systems of Zimbabwe: a value chain approach.
    (2017) Chakoma, Irenie Chirariro.; Chummun, Bibi Zaheenah.
    The demand for forage seed in Zimbabwe is set to increase as a result of increased demand for high yielding and quality fodder for livestock. There is a projected increase in demand for livestock products, even though livestock productivity has declined due to factors including shortages and reduced quality of feed particularly during the dry season and worsened by frequent droughts. There is need to develop alternative feed resources that would improve livestock productivity at lower costs. Forages have been highlighted as an alternative to livestock feed supply. However, unavailability of forage seed has been a major drawback, especially in Zimbabwe. The forage seed industry has been underdeveloped, coupled with the absence of forage germplasm, efficient seed suppliers and support services. The study focused on developing a model for forage seed production as a business among smallholder farmers. This was built up from investigating forage seed production, challenges faced and opportunities along the seed value chain, actors involved and characterizing factors that could enhance competitiveness of forage seed production in smallholder systems. For data collection, a household survey was conducted to 414 households, 4 Focus Group Discussions and 10 key informant interviews. Multi stage sampling involving purposive sampling of districts and wards, and random sampling techniques were employed during the study. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS version 21, economic analysis (Gross margin and sensitivity analysis) and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM), whilst qualitative data, NVivo 10 and UCINET for social network analysis were employed. Farmers owned an average of 2.2 ha of land and 63.0 % of this is put under crop and forage production. Forage seed yields were at 89 kg ha-1 and 753 kg ha-1 for lablab and mucuna respectively with gross margin of US$70.89 for lablab and US$611.61 for mucuna. Challenges included lack of knowledge and information, limited land, lack of forage market, lack of ready market for forage seed, lack of knowledge on planting and marketing of forage seed and poorly resourced extension staff to out-scale forage seed production. Opportunities identified include climatic conditions that are conducive for seed production, even without irrigation facilities, availability of extension staff who would be willing to assist farmers and give technical advice, viable seed industry where forage seed can ride on, willingness of private companies to engage farmers in seed production. Actors that interact with farmers along the value chain include researchers, extension personnel, farmer unions and agro-dealers. The Structural Equation Modelling revealed that household gender, level of education, land size and inputs availability positively influenced farmers to adopt forage seed production interventions. Recommendations include intensification of production, investment in irrigation infrastructure, stakeholder engagements and trainings that support farmers along the whole forage seed value chain. The research generated information that farmers could tap into to improve livelihoods. Policy and decision makers could utilize the research findings to develop forage seed-based income generating and livestock improvement interventions that are adaptable to smallholder systems. There have been contributions to knowledge in forage seed production in Zimbabwe and this would inform future forage seed initiatives.
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    An application of systems methodologies to investigate social complexity at the Felixton Mill area.
    (2014) Proches, Cecile Naomi Gerwel.; Bodhanya, Shamim.
    Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is one type of systems methodology that was developed in response to the limitations of the systems engineering approach. It uses a flexible, yet organised process to bring about action to improve problematical situations. This research employed SSM and systems science, in combination with standard qualitative methods, towards comprehending social complexity in the context of the Felixton Mill area, an important component of the South African sugar industry. This context is characterised by diverse stakeholders who have multiple and often competing objectives. This research formed part of a larger multi-disciplinary research project, which was aimed at finding improvement processes for use in the sugar cane supply and processing system. Data were collected mainly through in-depth semi-structured interviews and SSM workshops which were held with growers, hauliers, the miller, and industry stakeholders, and processed using thematic analysis. The findings revealed that critical factors such as haulier inefficiencies, cane supply, and cane quality, were affecting the sustainability of the Felixton Mill area. The diverse goals of the stakeholders were found to be characteristic of a purposeful system, as is the case with social systems, but were identified as a potential source of conflict. The research highlighted the value of applying SSM to comprehend social complexity in this type of context. Critical factors such as starting conditions, time allocated, grouping of participants, and prompts by the facilitator, were found to play a role in the SSM process. The study contributed to social complexity theory through the development of a model to illustrate the role of power, organisational culture, decision-making, and value systems in complex social systems. Methodological lessons were provided, and an SSM facilitation model developed, to guide SSM practitioners who intend to facilitate change. Conceptual models were also developed to assist with navigating complexity in multi-stakeholder engagements. The study finally proposes a novel multi-stakeholder leadership model applicable in this and other contexts.