The perception of employee participation within a bank
- Authors: Khoza, Bulelani Percy
- Date: 2012-08-01
- Subjects: Employee participation , Bank employees
- Type: Mini-Dissertation
- Identifier: uj:8906 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5378
- Description: M.Phil. , It is axiomatic that democratisation of the workplace as an adjunct of the establishment and further development of political democracy, is an imperative for South Africa to be able to align itself with the global economic environment. Whereas employee participation is a critical element of workplace democracy, it also has a profound and immediate relevance for ensuring an organisation’s global competitiveness. It is not exceptional to hear of employee participation referred to as worker democracy, co-determination, participative management and workers’ self-management, worker co-operative, joint decision-making, as well as joint consultation. Employee participation in management decision-making is invariably interpreted differently in different countries. Employee participation may be broadly viewed as incorporating mechanisms designed to increase employee input into, and influence the outcome of managerial decision-making. In this context, commentators normally differentiate between direct and indirect forms of employee influence. Formal influence refers to legally mandated opportunities for employees to participate in the management of the business, with or without trade union intervention, and aims at protecting employees from unilateral management decision-making. Formal influence also includes the creation of structures such as forums and other mechanisms for making decisions that affect employees in the workplace. On the other hand, informal influence often emanates from management-initiated participation. For instance, a manager may, seek the advice of employees before making a decision concerning the development of a plan aimed at achieving the organisation’s strategic or operational objectives. Whereas, this type of management initiative is often characterised as consultation, the informal participation results in a decision that is not legally enforceable. It is usually designed by management to encourage employees to conform with and adjust to pre-planned management programmes. The Bank, which is the subject of this research study, committed itself to transformation, in line with the socio-political paradigms propagated by the post-apartheid government that envisaged workplace democracy for South Africa. This Bank, however, also considered the need for employee participation in management decision-making as a business imperative rather than as a compliance issue. The Bank believed that employee participation would be a key factor in reducing alienation of employees, facilitating a common organisational focus, ensuring labour stability in the workplace, improving labour productivity and contributing to wealth creation. This research is aimed at analysing those variables, which influence the propensity of employees to participate in decisions that affect their interests. In addition, perceptions of the effectiveness of the participative structures, within the context of the Bank’s employee relations framework, were analysed using a quantitative survey methodology. The findings suggest that employees seem to have a positive perception of employee participation as a management strategy, and that they show a strong propensity to participate in decision-making in the Bank under investigation. However, there seems to be some variance between the perceptions of the existing structure for employee participation, which is the Standing Joint Committee (SJC), and the perceptions about the effectiveness of the trade union shop stewards. There seems to be a probability that the shop stewards positively influence the decision-making by management albeit only to a limited extent. This suggests that, although the existing structure and the role of shop stewards are put to question, the Bank would do well, to further investigate the matter of employee participation, structures, and processes that optimise employee participation. Based on the findings of the investigation - it is recommended that a programme of training and education, in fact, of re-orientation with regard to employee participation, its antecedents, its legislative framework and the real intent of management could be very beneficial for the Bank.
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Teacher absenteeism in schools within the Ekurhuleni South District Education Department
- Authors: Mthombeni, Justice S.
- Date: 2012-08-02
- Subjects: Absenteeism (Labor) , Teachers - Legal status , Teacher absenteeism , Education law and legislation , Ekurhuleni (South Africa)
- Type: Mini-Dissertation
- Identifier: uj:8929 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5401
- Description: M.Phil. , The objective of this research study was to investigate the underlying causes of teacher absenteeism. A sample of fifteen  schools in the Ekurhuleni South District Office of the Gauteng Department of Education were used in the investigation. The investigation was motivated by an analysis of recent statistics of teacher absenteeism. This analysis suggests the abuse of the various leave privileges provided for in the conditions of employment of teachers. These conditions were negotiated between the Department of Education and the teachers’ representative trade unions, and are supported by the minimum provisions with regard to leave contained in labour legislation but exceed, the requirements set out by the said provisions. This apparent abuse of the various leave privileges, albeit authorised, seems to be exacerbated by the unacceptably high incidence of unauthorised absenteeism by teachers. This includes tardiness in respect of work hours, a high incidence of generally poor time keeping, early departures from (work) school premises and absenteeism during working (school) hours. Another finding was that teachers neglect core work activities such as teaching, in order to attend to, inter alia, personal matters, as well as, other authorised activities like trade union meetings. The aforementioned trends in absenteeism are explained by teachers who give ‘reasons’ for their absence or who rely on the fact that the negotiated conditions of service give them the ‘right’ to make use of all the leave privileges. The reasons given by teachers to justify their absenteeism include, inter alia: (a) a complete lack of, or non-functionality of, public transport to and from their place of work, (b) the geographic distance between their places of residence and work, (c) the lack of or absence of service facilities such as clinics, (d) stress, (e) depression, (f) an excessive work load, (g) a lack of motivation, (h) a low morale, (i) poverty, (j) alcoholism, (k) criminality, and (l) extramural activities. Many of the reasons given by teachers for absenteeism are in fact reflective of the negative attitude present in many teachers and demonstrate perceptions of a lack of development and professional opportunities within the teaching profession. The so-called “abuse” of privileges that is perpetrated under the pretext of the teachers exercising their ‘rights’ is characterised as such because the teachers exhaust all the leave provisions irrespective of there being actual cause/justifiable reason for them to do so. This trend towards excessive and unjustified absenteeism, both authorised and unauthorised, has indisputably had a negative impact on the delivery of quality education. This underlies the well-documented phenomenon of school-level learner under-performance, and consequential functional illiteracy manifested in many learners. The manifestations of teacher absenteeism, learner under-performance and poor quality education are clearly closely interrelated, and are recognised as key factors that have contributed to a crisis of epidemic proportions in education. The investigation was carried out by means of a quantitative analysis of nominal data solicited from a sample of teachers, principals, and officials from the district office. The data was solicited from the sample of respondents by means of a structured, self-administered questionnaire. The data that was collected was analysed by means of various inferential statistical methodologies after an analysis of the descriptive statistics in the form of frequency tables. The analysis evaluated the significance of the findings. The envisaged value of the research investigation is perceived to lie in the probability that, a proper understanding of the underlying causes and dynamics of the unacceptable trend toward absenteeism will facilitate the development of policy, as well as the management of teacher absenteeism. The presumption on which the investigation is based, is that if suitable policy is developed that will obviate the underlying causes, and absenteeism is properly managed, both at the school level by the principals of the schools and also at the district level by the relevant officials, the quality of education delivered to learners at school will improve, which it is presumed will result in improved learner performance, which in turn will result in substantial benefits to South Africa in terms of educational outcomes, increase of the knowledge and skills base and increased competencies that will enhance economic performance.
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