African Journal of Employee Relations <p><strong>Hybrid Open Access</strong></p> <p>Formerly the <em>South African Journal of Labour Relations, the African Journal of Employee Relations</em> is a scientific research journal published by the School of Management Sciences and the Graduate School of Business Leadership of the University of South Africa. The journal publishes research in the field of employment relations.</p> en-US (Anton Grobler) (Mohamed Motala) Wed, 13 Dec 2023 08:10:22 +0000 OJS 60 Investigating the Prevalence of Gender Stereotypes in a South African Mine <p>The existence of gender stereotypes is a common phenomenon. Pressure on organisations to establish workforce diversity evolves constantly. However, diversity encourages stereotyping. Once organisations know the stereotypes, they will be able to manage these more effectively. The main aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of gender stereotypes in a mine in South Africa. Limited research has been undertaken to date on the existence of gender stereotypes in the South African mining industry. A sample of 39 employees from a South African mine was selected and semi-structured interviews were conducted. The data were analysed by means of content analysis. Most of the employees who were interviewed understood the concept of gender stereotypes. The most prevalent stereotypes that were found were in-group stereotypes, out-group stereotypes and perceived in- and out-group stereotypes (meta stereotypes). The existence of gender stereotypes in a mine can be managed through establishing various interventions to assist employees to confront their own stereotypes and valuing employees for their contribution and not according to the gender group they belong to. This study adds to the literature and knowledge of gender stereotypes. Limited studies have been conducted on gender stereotypes in South African mines. The information obtained in this study provides insight into the stereotypes that should be managed in the South African mining industry.</p> Mariska Beyer, Crizelle Els, Lizelle Rossouw Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Mon, 19 Feb 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Job Satisfaction in South Africa: The Quest for Job Quality <p>Job satisfaction is a key determinant in ensuring and maintaining a productive workforce. It is an outcome of the interaction between individual personal characteristics, work values, needs and expectations on one hand and work rewards or outcomes on the other hand. Job quality, in turn, ensures decent working conditions and livelihoods for workers. In this study, we investigated the distribution and determinants of job satisfaction of employed workers in South Africa, drawing on data collected through nationally representative surveys on social attitudes conducted in 2005 and 2015. The findings indicate that what workers seek (value) in a job exceeds their actual experience (outcomes), although the gap between expectation and outcome in the baseline survey has narrowed in the end-point survey. Furthermore, workers tend to favour job outcomes and rewards that are extrinsic in nature over intrinsic ones in current labour market conditions, yet shifts are discernible over time. Where extrinsic needs are satisfied, the importance of intrinsic ones increases.</p> Bongiwe Mncwango, Andries Masenge, Charles Puttergill Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Wed, 13 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 South African Industry and Geographic Dynamics Perspective on the Link Between Employee Diversity Attributes and Employee Productivity <p>This study is part of an ongoing research project on various aspects of employee productivity in the South African workplace. The aim of the article is to measure the industry and geographic dynamics of the impact of different employee diversity attributes on productivity as no South African econometrically focused publications on this particular topic exist. I deemed it important to close this gap in the employee productivity literature. I applied an employee real remuneration model with a dissimilarity index vector and an industry dynamics vector to estimate the spillover effects of employee productivity for different employee diversity attributes. To validate the robustness of the estimates of the employee real remuneration model, estimations of the fixed-effect panel data were done for the full firm-based data sets. The estimation results indicated the same productivity pattern for the two industries in the three geographic areas. The productivity estimates suggest that the impacts of higher employee productivity spillovers (for all diversity subcategories) were more prominent for the area of the stronger gross geographic product. Limitations of this study that should be addressed are studies focused on the individual employee level and the productivity impact of the different levels of female remuneration gaps in the workplace. The estimation methodology applied in this study and the results thereof are intended to contribute to human resource policy debates on the impact of employee diversity attributes on employee productivity across industries and geographic areas in a diverse workplace.</p> Gerhardus Van Zyl Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Wed, 13 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Shop Steward–Management Relationships: A Predictor of Employee–Organisation Relationships <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">In this South African study, I aimed to identify the respective influence of human resources practices, procedural fairness, the shop steward–management relationship, and the employee–supervisor relationship on the state of the employee’s relationship with the organisation. The method was quantitative and cross-sectional. A total of 660 production employees from 14 organisations in the value chain of the automotive industry in the Nelson Mandela Bay area of South Africa supplied responses. The relationships between variables were determined through structural equation modelling. Although the study was a cross-sectional study, the use of structural equation modelling points to cause and effect relationships. The best-fit model revealed that the dominant predictor of the employees’ perception of their relationship with the organisation was their perception of the quality of the relationship between shop stewards and management. Trade unions as trusted leaders may fulfil a very important role in mediating workplace relationships, especially in highly unequal societies with deep social divisions. The pivotal importance of the employees’ perception of the shop steward–management relationship creates an onus on both management and trade unions to work to move this relationship from adversarial to constructive and effective. The results may be generalised to highlight the importance of employee representation, whether unionised or non-unionised, at the workplace level. As leaders in the workplace, employee representatives provide the mechanism to mediate relationships, build trust and create strong employee–supervisor and employee–organisation bonds which may have a positive impact on individual and organisational performance.</span></p> Jennifer Bowler Copyright (c) 2022 Unisa Press Wed, 13 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 The Transaction Costs of the South African Levy– Grant System for Skills Development <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">In this article, I seek to explore the ratio between the administrative transaction costs faced by organisations in South Africa for claiming skills development grants and the grants that they achieve. This simple trade-off of costs versus gains is a key factor in whether firms choose to participate in the training-related activities targeted by this system. Anecdotal sources have claimed that excessive administrative costs have led firms to under-claim grants available to them. However, no prior empirical research exists on such costs, presenting a gap in the literature. Accordingly, in this article, I explore the proportion of administrative transaction costs to direct gains in 14 case studies of South African organisations regarding their 2016 activities and expenditures. The results found half of the firms studied to have costs in excess of direct gains from grants. The remaining firms exhibited extreme variability in the cost–gain ratio from very low to near parity. Some evidence suggests that larger firms may enjoy a slight cost–benefit advantage. This research provides some support for the claim that the levy–grant system for skills development may present many organisations with excessive costs compared to gains. The high levels of variability suggest that policymakers should consider cost structures carefully and mitigate policy instruments.</span></p> Gregory Lee Copyright (c) 2022 Unisa Press Wed, 13 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 The Rise of Public Sector Employee Strikes in Africa: Should We Be worried? <p>In this article, I explore the rising waves of workplace militancy in the public sector in sub-Saharan Africa. As a purely qualitative study, the research involved in-depth interviews with Ugandan teachers at public schools and lecturers at public universities who have been persistently involved in a series of strike activities. It also included a detailed documentary analysis and a review of related empirical literature. The findings indicated that strike activity is not only shifting from the private to the public sector, but also that the repertoire of strike tactics available to public employees has become so diverse that some actions might not be easily discernible as industrial action. These included actions similar to what has been described in German as “Innere Kündigung” (inner resignation) and “Dienst nach Vorschrift” (work to rule). Interestingly, the findings also suggested that public employee strikes have some positive value that could be harnessed for the greater good of public service delivery and that strict restrictions on public sector strikes could be counterproductive.</p> Obed Kambasu Copyright (c) 2022 Unisa Press Wed, 13 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Psychological Contracts and Employee Voice: Does Breach Matter? <p>Empirical evidence shows that the type of psychological contract and psychological contract breach affect employees’ work behaviours. One of these behaviours is employee voice, which is a key to organisational dynamics. This research aims to determine empirically the ways in which different types of psychological contract are linked to different types of employee voice, and the ways in which psychological contract breaches affect these relationships. The paucity of literature on the relationship between all three variables necessitated this research. The research targeted South African employees working in medium to large organisations with a staff component larger than 60. In a cross-sectional survey, the respondents were asked to answer a questionnaire on psychological contracts, psychological contract breach and employee voice. Correlation and regression analyses were used to test the relationships and the moderation effect of psychological contract breach on the psychological contract–employee voice links. A total of 620 respondents returned completed questionnaires, which showed acceptable psychometric properties. Relational psychological contracts correlated with promotive dimensions of employee voice, while transactional psychological contracts and psychological contract breach correlated with prohibitive dimensions of employee voice. The psychological contract–employee voice relationship was moderated by psychological contract breach only in a transactional psychological contract environment, and only for the prohibitive employee voice dimension. Psychological contracts and psychological contract breach, as well as the interaction between them, influence employee voice; with hindsight, this occurs in explainable ways. The results contribute to the understanding of the complex relationship between these variables and provide fertile ground for the formulation of targeted hypotheses. Practical recommendations are included.</p> Larysa Botha, Renier Steyn Copyright (c) 2022 Unisa Press Wed, 13 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Value Derived from Digitalised Human Resource Management: Perspectives from South Africa <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">A lack of empirical research on the value derived from digitalised human resource management contributes to the sluggish adoption of its technology in organisations, also in South African workplaces. In this article, we present empirical findings of the value derived from digitalised human resource management. These findings are based on the observations of 312 human resource management professionals and line managers in the automotive industry in South Africa. The data were collected by means of a cross-sectional quantitative survey design using purposive and snowball sampling techniques. The findings of this study provide evidence of perceived value and impact value derived from digitalised human resource management. The perceived value of digitalised human resource management was evident for (1) performance, (2) stakeholders, (3) employees, and (4) talent creation, whereas the impact value was observed for (5) employment relations, (6) time and cost savings, and (7) human resource administration and control. These seven value factors were categorised as operational, relational or transformational, indicating the level at which the value of digitalised human resource management was realised. In the study, we provide a strong case for investing in the technology of digitalised human resource management to optimise strategic human resource management and maximise digitalised value in organisations. We caution human resource management practitioners that digitalisation is not an end goal, but a means to greater organisational effectiveness and stakeholder satisfaction.</span></p> Munodani Chapano, Michelle Ruth Mey, Amanda Werner Copyright (c) 2022 Unisa Press Wed, 13 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 The Effect of Leader–Follower Interpersonal Relations on Employees’ Attitude during Change Implementation <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">There are numerous guides on the “how” of strategy development, but an insignificant number of resources on the associated implementation that results in leaders assuming employees know what to do at the execution stage. In contrast, employees require positive interpersonal relations with leaders to influence positive attitudinal responses. Leaders in organisations play a pivotal role in the change process as change agents who must be well versed with what exactly is required and how it will be achieved for the benefit of the organisation, employees and other stakeholders. In this study, we explore and illuminate the effect of leader–follower interpersonal relations on employees’ attitude during change implementation. In the study, we used a qualitative phenomenological design whereby the data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 17 participants. Purposive and convenience sampling techniques were used to identify the participants. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. The main findings indicated a shift in employees’ attitudes from positive to negative owing to poor interpersonal relations, lack of trust and voiceless leadership during the implementation process. This article enriches the change implementation process by providing insights into the importance of positive work relationships in influencing employee attitudinal support for change. The study indicated that change implementation necessitates the leader’s enthusiasm, skill, knowledge and a collaborative mindset to harness the employees’ positive attitudes. The success of change implementation is premised on the leader’s mastery of the art of change at a personal and organisational level.</span></p> Basani Malambe, Joyce Toendepi Copyright (c) 2022 Unisa Press Wed, 13 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Modelling the Anticipatory Psychological Contract: An SEM Approach <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">It is suggested that the “schema theory” approach might promote scholars’ understanding of the psychological contract development process. This approach views occupational newcomers’ anticipatory psychological contract in the pre-socialisation phase of employment. This knowledge could empower employers in general to effectively manage these employees. However, research regarding the anticipatory psychological contract is quite rare with no existing theoretical model to understand first-time employees’ anticipatory expectations and obligations. The focus was therefore to develop and assess the theoretical model of the mental schema of prospective employees through a structural equation model (SEM). A questionnaire was used to gather data from 316 final-year management sciences students. The results supported an excellent fit in the proposed model of the anticipatory psychological contract. This model indicated that entitlement is central to the anticipatory psychological contract, and that the norm of reciprocity was already present in the anticipatory psychological contract.</span></p> Werner Grant Gresse, Barend Jacobus Linde Copyright (c) 2022 Unisa Press Wed, 13 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0000