Competitive people management practices in South African global companies : a comparative study

Pienaar, Gary (2008-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.


The aim of this study is to develop an understanding of and to identify those people management practices used by global South African companies to improve competitive advantage, and which enables them to compete effectively internationally. People management practices refer to any human resource management initiative or process designed to improve the effectiveness of a company's human capital. Such practices typically flow from the organisation's overall business strategy. and are interpreted and developed into HR policies, processes and systems by HR professionals. However it is the manner in which such policies and processes are applied by management, which transforms them into people management practices. A detailed literature review was used to develop an understanding of the current influences impacting on the human resource management field and also to identify those people management practices considered to be 'best practice'. The people management practices of five companies, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange or with their origins in South Africa, were then studied and compared. These companies represent a wide variety of sectors and industries, including mining, financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing and industrial services. The final results were then compared against and used to verify the 'best practice' template identified earlier during the literature review. Finally, the study also provides a brief summary and understanding of how the HR function in particular, facilitates and supports the implementation of these people practices within the companies surveyed.

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