Investigation of the major burning people management issues facing Telkom SA : western region managers

Carolus, D. C. (David Charles) (2001-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.


People and change management within an organisation deals with the philosophies, policies, procedures, practices and decisions that affect individuals and groups who are employed by an organisation. The overall purpose of people management is to create a synergistic environment for both the functional (or line groups) and the cross functional groups so that the operational and strategic objectives can be achieved. Globalisation and innovation, the new knowledge economy and re-engineering of corporations have presented new challenges to both management and leadership of organisations in South Africa. It is becoming increasingly evident that competitiveness is locked in peoples' knowledge and skills. The implication is that if South African businesses are to survive and grow, companies must include executive development as an essential part of their corporate strategy. However, these changes have left many managers around the world confused, anxious and disillusioned, with a decreased ability to understand the situations and their future significance, and therefore cannot plan for change. Resistance to change may result, which is detrimental to the organisation and its most important resource - human capital. Emotionally, they may feel that their careers' existence is threatened and that derailment is imminent. Summarising their feelings would indicate that there are issues - particularly important issues - that need to be identified, understood, and respected. Interventions to address these very hot ''burning issues" then need to be actioned and evaluated. The study investigated a homogenous population, represented by the Western Region Managers of Telkom SA, to identify current or impending burning issues, and recommend specific interventions for Telkom SA. The company is currently the sole provider of fixed line telephony in the country. The South African State owns 70% of Telkom SA and the company is currently preparing for a public listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in October 2001. Almost all of Telkom SA's business processes have been reviewed and changed where necessary, as efforts to improve service delivery are pursued. This study could thus assist the People Management policies and procedures within the Human Resource management division by proactively identifying and confirming the existence of certain burning issues which affect the Western Cape managers. The burning issues identified by the questionnaires distributed to the managers are: • The need for heightened levels of productivity • Developing processes that facilitate a culture of mutual respect and trust, co-operation, cohesion and the pursuit of common goals • The management of human capital • Managing the stress involved in organisational change • Developing customer-driven processes and structures • Reducing the impact of people related risks, e.g. highly intellectual, capital leaving the organisations, HIV/AIDS, brain drain in key positions. • Turning the negativity around in the workplace. It is hoped that by studying the changes and its effects occurring in Telkom SA, a model for large scale South African organisational restructuring can be created-especially for those state-owned enterprises which still have to undergo the process of privatisation.

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