Asia Pacific Journal of Business and Management

(Publication of UUNZ Institute of Business)

Journal Issues



Current Issue

Asia Pacific Journal of Business and Management

Volume 5 (1): January - June2014

ISSN 1179-626X

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Naseem Rahman, Jyoti Arora & Indrapriya Kularatne

‘Employers’ perceptions of using social media for recruitment’

Social media has become a global phenomenon in the past several years. This study investigates the use of social media as a recruitment method among employers. A descriptive research design using a quantitative method was used to collect data from organizations in the Auckland metropolitan area, New Zealand. The results revealed that most of the organizations researched use social media as a method for recruitment. Facebook and LinkedIn are the top two preferred social media for most employers, which saved them time and money. In addition, social media is also used by many employers to enhance their brand image.

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Anas Khan

‘Marketing practices and challenges in developing economies: A case study of Fiji’s seafood industry’

This paper examines some of the key marketing practices and challenges in developing economies. Fiji’s seafood industry is also discussed, which no study has actually investigated. This paper fills this significant research gap by discussing the alarming challenges faced by seafood dwellers and delivers several theoretical and managerial implications for the target audience. Academic literature, observation and industry experience were the key sources of information. The findings reveal that the role of marketing has increased in developing economies due to the effects of globalisation and trade liberalisation. Fiji lacks the institutional, logistical and technological systems to support its vital seafood industry. Reasons are provided for the challenges as well as their implications.

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Chia-Yi Cheng and Jung-Nung Chang

‘The role of satisfaction with job embeddedness in network ability’

Based on job embeddedness and resource conservation theories, the purpose of this study is to examine how internal job satisfaction mediates the relationship between job embeddedness and sales performance among financial salespeople. We propose a hypothetical model and examine the path difference between financial salespeople with low and high network abilities. The results indicate that internal job satisfaction mediates the relationship between on- and off-the-job embeddedness and sales performance. Both on- and off-the- job embeddedness can also determine the internal job satisfaction associated with improving sales performance among personnel with high network ability. The findings also identify further potential benefits when strengthening job embeddedness.

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Alok Kumar Rai and Medha Srivastava

‘Customer loyalty in Indian aviation industry - An empirical examination’

The aviation industry in India is passing through a rough phase with its major airlines wedged with various regulatory and financial issues. In the times of such turbulence, retaining passengers as loyal patrons of the company can bring dramatic improvement in an airline’s competitive position. Thus, the present paper endeavours to explore the concept of customer loyalty and examine its relevance for the aviation industry. It subsequently carries out an empirical examination of customer loyalty and offers a new perspective to the existing loyalty practices in the Indian aviation industry.

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Past Issues

Asia Pacific Journal of Business and Management

Volume 4 (2): July - December 2013

ISSN 1179-626X

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PB Srikanth

The impact of proactive personality in predicting training outcomes

While there has been extensive research in the past in the field of training transfer, there has been little empirical work done examining the influence of personality. Specifically, the paper examines the role of participants’ age in moderating the relationship between proactive personality and motivation to transfer and training transfer. The study used random sampling from 187 employees working in a large paint manufacturing company based in India. Data was analyzed using OLS regression followed by multi-group mediation analysis using bootstrapping. The discussion provides insights into training initiatives within the organisation and recommendations for practice.

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Samuel Howard Quartey

Competitive challenges facing Chinese MNCs in Ghana

Few studies have actually investigated the competitive challenges that Chinese multinational companies (MNCs) face in Ghana to understand the reasons for their challenges, their implications for Ghana’s socioeconomic development and the strategies for managing these challenges. This paper partly fills this important research gap by exploring the competitive challenges facing Chinese MNCs in Ghana using a multiple embedded case study design. The qualitative data was analysed using content analysis. The findings reveal that Chinese MNCs currently face a myriad of competitive challenges. Different reasons are provided for these challenges as well as their implications for Ghana’s socioeconomic development. Strategies for managing these challenges are also well suggested.

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Philip S Rose

Recruiting and selecting graduate employees via internships

Internships and their use by organisations as a means to recruit and select graduate talent has undergone rapid expansion over the last three decades, to the point where today many interns and host organisations regard internships as the preferred pathway into entry-level professional positions. However, research on internships from a recruitment and selection perspective to date has largely been neglected. Therefore the current paper advocates the utilisation of internships as a recruitment and selection tool, and points to issues to be addressed in future research, aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of internships as a means to attract and screen graduate talent.

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Pengfei Li, Yue Yu, Kay Fielden

Social media trends in small businesses

In this research paper, social media trends for small businesses (SMEs) are explored. Global trends suggest that the use of social media by small businesses has increased. In this small study conducted in Auckland, New Zealand, it was found that real estate companies were more likely to be using social media. It was also found that Facebook was most commonly used for marketing, whereas research conducted elsewhere suggests that Linkedin is more likely to be used. Finally, small businesses were not prepared to spend more than $2,000 on social media to support their core business. It would seem therefore, that New Zealand SMEs are not taking the same advantage of user-generated social media feedback to inform market strategy as suggested by Evans (2010).

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Volume 4 (1): January - June 2013

ISSN 1179-626X

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SVS Rajaprasad, YVSSV Prasada Rao, & P Venkata Chalapathi

‘Evaluation of safety performance in Indian construction segments using data envelope analysis’.

Safety in the construction segments is one of the most unprotected within the unorganised labour sector in India. The purpose of the study is to apply data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate safety performance of construction segments in India. Essentially, DEA takes into account the input and output components of a decision making unit, calculates technical efficiency, and is treated as an indicator for safety performance of Decision Making Units (DMUs). Fifty Indian construction organisations under infrastructure and real estate segments are selected for the study. The findings show that safety performance in the real estate segment is consistently low.

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Pieter Nel, Leon de Wet Fourie, & Andries du Plessis

‘A longitudinal comparison of aspects of diversity in two commonwealth countries’

Recognising and addressing diversity and equal employment opportunity are common issues in commonwealth countries. This study focuses on pointers based on four empirical research projects conducted over 10 years in New Zealand and South Africa. The overall results show a heightened awareness of diversity and equal opportunities, which highlights an increased role for HR practitioners in both New Zealand and South Africa. This should enable the harnessing of opportunities for businesses and their leaders, to take note of the commonality between New Zealand and South Africa, which could lead to enhanced inter-country business activities and improved returns.

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Henry WL Ho & Helen Madden-Hallett

‘When to make innovation tradition? Using support media: A case study from the UAE’

Emerging countries are embracing a market based culture; locally, service provision by municipal and other government organisations is not well embedded into the consumer and business cultural mindset. These organisations are new to the service provision culture and as their range increases, so must their exposure and reach. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) some agencies are utilising support media to gain brand awareness. This case study discusses support media’s use to gain competitive scope and segment reach. Media Link provides an alternative to traditional media in an effective way within the UAE market

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Anna Fatti & Adeline du Toit

‘Competitive intelligence challenges faced by South African pharmaceutical companies’

The purpose of this article is to determine the current situation regarding the South African pharmaceutical industry’s competitive intelligence (CI) capacity. Questionnaires were send to senior managers in the industry. Respondents confirmed that CI is used on a continuous basis in strategic decision-making while the majority of respondents acknowledged a partial CI portfolio in the industry. Staff attending conferences and was the most popular primary source and trade literature the most popular secondary source. Blind-spot analysis is seldom used as an analysis method and this is a concern, as it is part of the analysis toolkit necessary to glean intelligence.

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Volume 3 (2): July - December 2012

ISSN 1179-626X

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Bill Buenar Puplampu

‘Organisational culture: Variable, elastic and malleable. A study of how variable practices may construct organisational culture in an African setting’.

The paper reports applied research on organisational culture. Data on everyday work experiences, organisational practices and methods of task execution were collected from six case study organisations in Ghana. This research uses in-situ applied methods rather than paper and pencil questionnaires and concludes that some organisations in Ghana have cultures that are best understood as variable – rather than stable, contested or fragmented. The paper argues that variability (inconsistency, changeability) in employee task execution, behaviours, use of organisational structures and procedures (and the regularity with which such variable practices are evident) create organisational cultures that are in essence malleable. This paper therefore advances the concept of ‘organisational culture elasticity or malleability’. The implications for understanding and managing organisational culture in the African context are discussed.

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William Phanuel Kofi Darbi

‘Strategic human resource management discourse: A strategic management perspective’

Strategic human resource management has been presented as a novel and contemporary strategic management tool unlike the non-strategic traditional human resource management for the past two decades. In light of this contestable notion, this paper aimed to review previous and current human resources management and strategic management literature in order to ascertain the extent to which we can agree or disagree with these propositions. It was found that despite the high levels of excitement, it does not seem to come across as a novel concept in managing strategy since the strategic role of human resources and their management has long been conceived and extensively discussed in the strategic management literature.

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Xiaoying Ma (Zoe)

‘The organisational management and regulation of the Chinese private higher education sector’

In this paper some background is given to the development of the private higher education sector in China. Rising economic growth rates, technological improvements across the economy, rising incomes and higher secondary school participation rates have all combined to increase the size of demand for places in the sector, including the private part of the sector. The growth of the private higher education sector has been accepted by the government on the whole, but the impact of government regulation has not always been one that has encouraged the sector to realise its full potential.

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Kiveshni Naidoo, Christoff J Botha, Christo A Bisschoff & Andries du Plessis

‘Management and leadership factors in South African schools’

This article reports on important management and leadership factors in public schools in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Four districts of Kwa Zulu-Natal, South Africa were targeted and a stratified random sample of 1500 educators was used to collect 358 completed questionnaires. Data analysis employed exploratory factor analysis and identified seven factors: management and leadership styles, financial security, management and leadership fairness, stressors, empowerment, job security and a sense of control over work environment; and explains a cumulative variance of 78.60%. Strong positive correlations between the factors were identified and the influence of factors as independent variables to management and leadership performance have also been determined by means of multiple regression coefficients.

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Volume 3 (1): January - June 2012

ISSN 1179-626X

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Naseem Rahman, Jinming Chen and William Toh

‘Environmental sustainability: Perceptions of international students in New Zealand’.

The purpose of this research is to investigate the perception of international students regarding environmental sustainability. It was determined that country of origin and age affect an individual’s thinking patterns to a great extent. While this study shows that there were commonly held views of respondents across different nationalities and age groups, there were also some notable differences, particularly in relation to abusing of the environment and the effects of pollution. This research will be of value to international tertiary institutions who have an interest in people’s attitudes towards sustainability and the environment.

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Ben Honyenuga and Paulina Adzoyi

‘Professional commitment of nurses in Ghana: The case of the Volta region’

This study examines what stimulates and sustains commitment of nurses to their profession in the Volta Region of Ghana and whether commitment is shaped by similar variables. A quantitative approach was adopted using a validated questionnaire developed by Blau (1989) and modified by Reilly & Orsak (1991) to fit the nursing profession. A Kruska Wallis test was used to analyse the data with SPSS as an interface. The findings revealed a high commitment rate to the nursing profession in Ghana due to love of the profession and monetary considerations. However, a significant number of nurses are not committed to the profession at all which poses managerial and theoretical implications.

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Justice Owusu-Bempah, Ramzi Addison and John Fairweather

‘Subjectivities in defining authentic leadership: A cross cultural study of two NGOs in Ghana and New Zealand’

This study involves the documentation of leaders’ and followers’ constructs of authentic leadership in a private organisation in Ghana and New Zealand, which were subsequently compared using the Q method. Three factors or types of authentic leadership were identified and named for each of the two settings, yielding six different perceptions of authentic leadership. While the findings indicated that authentic leadership is idiosyncratic, further analysis showed that some attributes of authentic leadership were common to the organisations. Overall, the results suggest that in defining authenticity in leadership, leader and follower perceptions as well as organisational-specific characteristics cannot be overlooked.

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Naseem Rahman

‘Assessing critical success factors (CSFs) and quality of service: An empirical study based on Singapore companies’

Research in the U.S. has revealed that quality service has become a critical success factor (CSF) for Information Systems (IS) departments in U.S. organisations. This report examines whether quality service is critical to the IS departments in Singapore organisations. To achieve the purpose, the findings of previous research regarding CSFs in IS departments has been examined with a view to identifying a set of CSFs that include quality related CSFs. This is followed by a survey of Singapore firms’ executives in charge of IS departments. The findings show that while there are some differences across the two studies, overall the ratings of this study and the U.S. study are closely correlated.

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Volume 2 (2): July-December 2011

ISSN 1179-626X

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Justice Owusu-Bempah, Ramzi Addison and John Fairweather

‘‘‘Does follower subjectivity matter in defining authentic leadership? A call for qualitative research’’.’

Authentic leadership (AL) has been proposed as the new leadership paradigm that can meet the demands of today’s organisations. The AL literature suggests that there are three critical aspects before AL will be bestowed: first the espoused values and actions of authentic leaders must be congruent, second, the expectation of the leaders and the followers must be congruent, and third, the leaders must behave with high moral integrity for the good of their subordinates, the organisation and the community. Since these features of AL involve subjective interpretation before authentic leadership is bestowed, it is likely that evaluations of it vary in different settings. This paper argues that to understand AL is to understand follower subjectivity. On that basis, this paper is calling for more research to explore the meaning of the AL construct from the perspectives of leaders and followers in different contexts. The paper suggests Q method as the preferred approach since it is argued as being robust in the measurement of human subjectivity.

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Sanne Philipsen and Romie Frederick Littrell

‘‘‘Manufacturing quality and cultural values in China’’’

Popular and academic publications continually remind us that China has become the global manufacturing center for many international companies. However, quality problems appear to have increased in recent years, with many Chinese products not meeting international standards for safety and quality. We consider the relationship between cultural value dimensions and the Lean Six Sigma process as a quality management solution for Chinese manufacturing problems, employing the GLOBE cultural value dimensions to assess the possible effects of introducing Lean Six Sigma in China. Even though the GLOBE dimensions predict that Chinese values may be consistent with the lean Six Sigma values, implementing the practices in China may be difficult.

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Manisha Karia, Hanoku Bathula and Malcolm Abbott

‘‘‘An experiential learning approach to teaching business planning’’’

Many business schools have moved from traditional lecture style teaching to experiential learning approaches to imparting skills. In this paper, we examine a business planning course that departs significantly from the traditional lecturer-driven teaching practices to a more student-led approach to acquisition of knowledge and skills relating to a business plan. We describe the content and delivery, and examine the impact of the course on the learning outcomes of student participants. Using a survey method, we collect data from 161 final-year bachelor students. The findings indicate that the content and the delivery mode are appropriate. Students also report gaining relevant business knowledge and skills to start and manage a business. The learning gains in the finance area are comparatively limited, suggesting a different pedagogy be applied to this particular area. Overall, the findings have implications for curriculum designers and career planners.

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Pieter Nel, Andries du Plessis & Josefino San Diego

‘‘‘Managerial implications for managers and HR practitioners: Some longitudinal research findings in New Zealand’’’

Business in New Zealand demands quality and cost effective products and services including competent managers and human resource (HR) practitioners to remain internationally competitive. Empirical research was conducted in 2010 to repeat a similar survey in 2000 in New Zealand. The longitudinal results to compare HR practitioners, preferences, roles and requirements and identifies management foci as well. HR and management requirements for 2020 are also identified to enable organisations to be better prepared for the future. Recommendations are that managers must become dedicated change agents and HR managers’ role and responsibilities must also change to continue to support management optimally.

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Volume 2 (1): January-June 2011

ISSN 1179-626X

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Romie Littrell

‘‘Leadership and management studies in sub-Saharan Africa: An introduction to the special issue’.’

This short lead article provides a brief introduction to the articles comprising this special issue, Leadership and Management in Sub-Saharan Africa...

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Kurt April and Kai Peters

‘‘Communal versus individual modalities of work: A South African investigation’’

This paper explores some of the underlying principles of the Afro-centric paradigm, encapsulated by humanistic- and communalist principles. Suggestions on how South African Modes of Leadership could be incorporated into the workplace are presented, and explored further in conjunction with the results of the workplace survey that was designed to test what makes people feel valued in the workplace. These dimensions are explored and gaps identified where the current perceived state does not match the desired or expected state. Differences between these dimensions are highlighted where possible attitudinal obstacles could be encountered, and suggestions are put forward as to how these may be overcome...

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George Wangirayi Nyabadza and Stella M. Nkomo

‘‘The lived experience of the strategic leader: What effective CEOs do, how they do it and an exploration into how they think about it’’

The purpose of this research was to study the lived experience of the strategic leader. The research combined qualitative ethnographic methodology of direct observation of critical incidents with visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and linguistic observation tools from Neuro Linguistic Programming processes. The primary objective was to answer the question: What do CEOs do and how do they do it? A further objective was to explore how they think about what they do. The result of the research is the pure leadership spider web model and sixteen propositions for strategic leadership.

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Tidings P. Ndhlovu and Leopold Lessassy

‘‘Prospects for ethnic African products in the European Union’’

This paper attempts to identify some key factors that are conducive to the exportation of ethnic African products into the European Union (EU) market. Our literature review seeks to contextualise the main players and processes at work. We also analyse the prospects for authentic African products in selected EU member states, namely France and the UK. We conclude that the reality on the ground often involves complex structures in socially and culturally heterogeneous contexts. Our exploratory study thus seeks to offer insights into these structures and processes, noting that the relationship between ethnic producers/retailers and their distributional channel members are often volatile and conflictual.

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Romie Littrell

‘‘Contemporary sub-Saharan African managerial leadership research: Some recent empirical studies’’

Recent studies of businesspeople in Sub-Saharan Africa by the Global Leadership & Organisational Behaviour Effectiveness project and the Preferred Leadership Across Cultures project are reviewed, consolidated, and discussed. The results indicate that evidence of a pan-Sub-Saharan African convergence of managerial leadership practices and preferences around the ubuntu movement is not evident. The movement may be an inspirational goal promulgated by elites to encourage a more humane, community-oriented set of values for Sub-Saharan Africans. Results also indicate the managerial leadership behaviour preferences of Black and White South Africans is very similar, with evidence of general acceptance of what are termed “Western” attitudes toward business leadership.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Business and Management

Volume 1 (2): July-December 2010

ISSN 1179-626X

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Qian Jiancheng

‘On the development of the English language education and training market in China’.

With the rapid economic development in China, an English boom has come. English language education and training has been industrialized, and the huge market has become an important sector in China’ economy. This paper presents an analysis of the factors leading to the formation of the market, as well as its scale, profits and development trends. It is hoped that this study can contribute to a better understanding of English education in China..

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Andries du Plessis and Howard Frederick

‘Human resource strategies for training and education in the Rosebank Precinct of Auckland, New Zealand’

The Rosebank Business Precinct is one of Auckland’s most highly developed Business Improvement Districts. This descriptive study, undertaken for Auckland City Council, examines the gaps between what Rosebank businesses actually want and what the workforce presently provides. It goes on to investigate the potential for cluster development in Rosebank. The findings show that the top training needs of Rosebank businesses were management, applied technology & trades, computing & information technology, and accounting. “Developing a Green Business” was the fifth most mentioned training need. Many owner/managers held unsupportive attitudes toward training and education. The paper makes recommendations in the fields of labour force development; agglomeration economics; and community entrepreneurship..

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Ken Simpson and Myra Byrski

‘The 21st century workplace: How personal technologies can make a difference’

The concept of “workplace” has a fixed image as a bricks and mortar home for the production of goods and/or services, though this image is threatened by growth in 21st century globalisation and personal workplace technologies (PWT). This paper examines the impacts of PWT on the nature of work in a medium size New Zealand organisation. A mix of in-depth interviews with management and on-line survey of staff concludes that significant benefits in operating effectiveness can be threatened by a perceived shift in culture, away from McGregor’s Theory Y and towards his much less desirable Theory X. In order to combat this move, we advocate a stronger focus on interpersonal issues for organisations planning the introduction of new workplace technologies.

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Claude-Hélène Mayer and Christian Boness

‘Managing conflicts in small scale enterprises in the Tanzanian tourist industry’

This qualitative case study attempts to demonstrate insights into conflicts and their management in Small Scale Enterprises (SSEs) in the Tanzanian tourist industry. It aims at increasing the understanding of these complexities from an emic perspective, thereby providing in-depth information which can lead to the development of managerial training tools for improving diversity- and conflict management skills in the Tanzanian tourist industry. Qualitative data were selected from a comprehensive case study carried out in multiple governmental, educational, ecclesiastical and economic organisations. Research findings demonstrate how managers in SSEs in the Tanzanian tourist industry perceive and manage conflicts with customers.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Business and Management

Volume 1 (1): January-June 2010

ISSN 1179-626X

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Ritu Narang and Alka Dwivedi

‘Managing the job satisfaction of knowledge workers – an empirical investigation’.

In the context of managing knowledge workers, the present study strives to develop a reliable and valid scale to measure the job satisfaction of knowledge workers. The data collected from a sample of 511 knowledge workers, on analysis, results in a 30-item scale with Cronbach alpha value 0.93 and the reliability of subscales ranging from 0.93 to 0.54. The validated instrument comprises of five dimensions viz. organizational support, competitive excellence, repressive management practices, fair and transparent management and supervision and guidance. Regression analysis shows the relative significance of various dimensions. Lastly, the paper discusses the issues of applicability of the scale.

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Fernanda Vital and Helena Alves

‘The importance of welcoming new employees and its impact on professional motivation and satisfaction’

This study intends to measure the impact that welcoming practices may have on the motivation and satisfaction of health care employees (nurses, administrative personnel and other health technicians). Based on a sample of 114 new professionals a structural model on the impact of welcoming practices on work motivation and satisfaction was estimated. The model shows that the welcome process has a weighting of 0.767 on motivation and, in turn, motivation has a weighting of 0.66 on employee satisfaction. Thus the results of this research show that the welcome process is very important in achieving the motivation and satisfaction of health care professionals.

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Theodora Issa and David Pick

‘Ethical mindsets in the Australian services sector’

The aim of this paper is to examine the existence of ethical mindsets in the Australian Services Sector and to investigate the role of spirituality and aesthetics in this phenomenon. Employing an interpretive mixed methods approach, data was collected via an online survey followed by focus groups interviews. The respondents to the online survey and the participants in the focus groups were from the Australian Services Sector. The results provide evidence of the existence of ethical mindsets and suggest that spirituality and aesthetics are major elements in those mindsets. Six components emerged from the analysis: aesthetic spirituality, religious spirituality, optimism, contentment, making a difference, and interconnectedness. While the results are limited to the Australian context, this research raises questions about the nature and role of ethical mindsets that are worthy of further research. These questions relate to the complexity and context dependency of ethical mindsets, and the role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. In addition, these results demonstrate the usefulness of the interpretive mixed methods approach for analysing this complex issue.

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Pieter Nel and Graham Little

‘Sustainable leadership – the fundamental solution to lasting superior staff performance’

The Hawthorne experiments of the 1920s laid the foundation of leadership research, in particular into the question of ‘how does a leader achieve greatest staff performance?’ In the ninety years of extensive effort and vast literature being generated there is still today no systematic, scientific and causal answer to this question. Major effort was invested in resolving the question by many researchers which suggests that there are underlying issues not yet grasped that erode the effort and reduce the efficacy of the solutions. We explore these underlying issues and provide a solution to the question of leadership that is scientific, causal and suggests a permanent solution to the question ‘how does a leader achieve greatest staff performance?

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