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Investigating support staff's experiences of placement in the re-configured university of KwaZulu-Natal : a case study of one school.

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In this dissertation I aimed at understanding and explaining what support staff have experienced during the placement and redeployment process at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Support staff are crucial to the success of the vision and the mission of the university, therefore it was necessary to hear their voices. Five support staff members participated in this study. Using a qualitative case study approach, I sought to answer the following critical questions: 1) How did support staff experience placement and redeployment? 2) What can we learn from the support staff's experiences of placement and redeployment in both the School and the University? The literature review included the following issues: placement and redeployment in the organisation change, organisational change, how change occurred in the organisation, the human factor during organisational change, resistance to change, change management, leadership during change management, communication and education during managing change, participation and involvement and the role of organisational culture in organisational change. I adopted Lewin's theory of change as the framework for this study. This framework gives rise to thinking about a planned approach to changing things. Data were generated from focus group interview and document analysis. I examined data through ten themes, as follows: communication about placement, support staff participation and involvement in decision making about placement, shock, fear and confusion, experiences of application and placement process, handing over process, timing of placement and induction, new organisational structure and reporting lines, workload, job description and clarification of role, before the reconfiguration versus after the reconfiguration. The findings revealed that communication, participation and role clarification were key to successful implementation of change. From the findings, I concluded that power tactics and despotism cannot implement compliance, but can lead to resistance. Employee participation and involvement makes the employees feel appreciated and respected.


Thesis (M.Ed.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2012.


University of KwaZulu-Natal., College administrators--Selection and appointment--KwaZulu-Natal., Theses--Education.