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Integrating environmental management systems into corporate management : a case study of Hulett Aluminium.

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Environmental management systems (EMSs) have been advanced as a tool for successful adoption and implementation of environmental management initiatives in organisations. As with any management system, an EMS needs to be integrated into corporate management so that it may operate in congruence with the other management systems present in an organisation. One framework that has been widely recognised for fostering the process of management systems integration in organisations is Mckinsey's 7-S model of business elements. This model has been used to understand and foster integration in mainstream management and business circles. However, it was the researcher's considered view that the model could be usefully applied in organisations to foster EMS integration. Hence, the study set out to explore the efficacy of Mckinseys 7-S model using a case study, namely Hulett Aluminium. Data collection included reviewing related literature, interviewer administered questionnaires and open-ended interviews. The study had a total of 41 respondents, most of whom were questionnaire respondents. Simple coding sheets and content analysis were used to-analyse the data. It is clear from the study that Mckinsey's 7-S model is useful to understanding EMS integration in organisations. However, the model does not adequately provide for human aspects in the process of dealing with change. The model's inclusion of human aspects seems to be confmed to skills (i.e. capacity and knowledge), with an inclination towards technical imperatives. However, non-technical factors such as the way the employees perceive of the change and how it affects them are also important. Positive perceptions, especially those arising from personal results could serve to reinforce the change process, which apparently is at the heart of EMS adoption and implementation. This study does not present statistically definitive conclusions, but interesting trends and views emerge. It should be regarded as exploratory, providing directions to researchers for further, more in-depth research into the theme of the study. The study also makes recommendations as well as suggestions for further research.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2001.


Environmental management--KwaZulu-Natal--Case studies., Environmental protection--KwaZulu-Natal., Industrial management--Environmental aspects--Case studies., Social responsibility of business., Management--Environmental aspects--Case studies., Industries--Environmental aspects--KwaZulu-Natal., Aluminium industry and trade--Environmental aspects--KwaZulu-Natal., Hulett aluminium., Theses--Environment and development., Integrated environmental management--KwaZulu-Natal.