The impact of labour-related risks on financial investment decision-making regarding long-term insurance assets

Mostert, J. H. (Jan Hendrik) (2001-12)

Dissertation (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Notwithstanding the importance of institutional financial investments and labour to the South African economy, relatively little attention has been paid by researchers to the interdependence of these two issues. As a result of this gap in the existing literature, a potential exists for inefficient financial investment decision-making by institutional investors with a resultant non-optimal allocation of valuable capital on the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa (previously known as Johannesburg Stock Exchange). The objective of this study thus embodies the evaluation of the impact of labour-related risks on financial investment decision-making regarding long-term insurance assets, given the basic theory available in this regard, so that the resultant recommendations can lead to a better utilisation of the theory by investors in general. The resulting tasks of the study are as follows: • To do a literature study of the basic theory available in this regard. • To obtain information about the relevant aspects, by means of personal interviews with investment practitioners responsible for financial investment decision-making, as far as long-term insurance assets are concerned. • To develop a tool that can be used to measure the degree of labour-related risk at enterprises for the purpose of financial investment decision-making. • To make suitable recommendations based on the critical analysis of the obtained information. Twenty-three interviews were conducted during March and the first half of April 1999 to cover the financial investment decision-making practices of the 47 participating long-term insurers, resulting in a 100 per cent response rate. The personal interviews were structured by using a written discussion guideline that was drafted with reference to the literature study. A distinction was made between the perceived labour-related risks in manual and knowledge worker enterprises. In addition to general information, the discussion guideline required the participating institutions to disclose information about the financial investment decisionmaking process in use at their institutions and to respond with regard to the perceived importance of various labour-related risk factors. The discussion guideline also required the participants to rank certain aspects in order of their significance when the degree of labourrelated risk at enterprises is determined. Finally, questions were asked to determine the relative importance of labour-related risks in general when financial investment decisions are taken. The information obtained during the interviews was summarised on an Excel spreadsheet and subjected to an elaborate statistical analysis to satisfy the objectives of the study. The majority of the data that were obtained during the survey are ordinal, because the discussion guideline made use of an ordinal level of measurement. With this in mind, the mean (as a measure of central tendency) and the range (as a measure of dispersion) are used to describe the data. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient is used as a measure of correlation. The sign test, being one of the simplest non-parametric tests, is used throughout the study to investigate whether the observed differences in opinion regarding manual worker and knowledge worker enterprises are significant. The study highlights the significant role of long-term insurance assets on the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa, as well as the significant differences between manual and knowledge worker enterprises regarding the perceived importance of labour-related risk factors for the purpose of financial investment decision-making. The large number of labour-related risk factors and the existence of significant correlation between many of them reflects the complicated nature of labour-related risks. The respondents regard labour-related risks between moderately and highly important for manual and knowledge worker enterprises when financial investment decisions are taken. Classification trees are introduced as the preferred method to deal with these complexities and to measure labour-related risks in manual and knowledge worker enterprises for the purpose of financial investment decisionmaking. These classification trees are constructed based on the wealth of experience of investment practitioners active in the long-term insurance industry at the time of the survey and with reference to the literature study. Generally, the most critical labour-related aspects to consider when the degree of labourrelated risk at manual and knowledge worker enterprises is determined, are internal to these enterprises and can be managed. Management and the labour force of enterprises should take cognisance of their responsibilities in this regard and the perceived ability they have to significantly influence the degree of labour-related risk at manual and knowledge worker enterprises. Other role players also have important roles to play in this regard, given the impact of the external environment on the degree of labour-related risk. The responsibility of enterprises to disclose the information required by investors to determine the prevailing degree of labour-related risk at enterprises is matched by the responsibility of investment practitioners to request and rationally assess this information. The resulting conclusions and recommendations of this study and the tool that is developed to measure the degree of labour-related risk at enterprises for the purpose of financial investment decision-making are largely based on the perceptions of investment practitioners active in the long-term insurance industry at the time of the survey. With this in mind, it is recommended that future research activities be aimed at enhancing the value of the classification trees developed in this study by applying the tree-growing method on actual cases where the variables can be measured and the eventual outcomes are determined.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Desnieteenstaande die belangrikheid van institusionele finansiele beleggings en arbeid vir die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie, het navorsers tot dusver relatief min aandag aan die interafhanklikheid van hierdie twee aspekte gegee. Die leemte in die bestaande literatuur kan lei tot oneffektiewe finansiele beleggingsbesluitneming deur institusionele beleggers met die gevolg dat waardevolle kapitaal nie optimaal op die JSE Sekuriteitebeurs Suid-Afrika (voorheen bekend as die Johannesburgse Effektebeurs) verdeel word nie. Die doelstelling van hierdie studie behels dus die beoordeling van arbeidsverwante risiko's se invloed op finansiele beleggingsbesluitneming met betrekking tot die bates van langtermynversekeraars, gegewe die basiese teorie beskikbaar in hierdie verband, sodat die voortspruitende aanbevelings kan lei tot 'n beter benutting van die teorie deur beleggers in die algemeen. Die take van die studie is as volg: • Om'n literatuurstudie te doen van die basiese teorie wat in hierdie verband beskikbaar is. • Om inligting rakende die relevante aspekte te bekom deur middel van persoonlike onderhoude met beleggingspraktisyns wat vir beleggingsbesluitneming rakende die bates van langtermynversekeraars verantwoordelik is. • Om'n hulpmiddel te ontwikkel wat gebruik kan word om die graad van arbeidsverwante risiko in ondememings te meet vir die doeleindes van beleggingsbesluitneming. • Om toepaslike aanbevelings te maak op grond van die kritiese ontleding van die verkrygde inligting. Drie en twintig onderhoude is gedurende Maart en die eerste helfte van April 1999 gevoer om die beleggingsbesluitnemingspraktyke van die 47 deelnemende langtermynversekeraars te dek. 'n Een honderd persent reaksiekoers is dus behaal. Die persoonlike onderhoude is gestruktureer deur gebruik te maak van 'n geskrewe besprekingsriglyn wat na aanleiding van die literatuurstudie opgestel is. 'n Onderskeid is tussen die waargenome arbeidsverwante risiko's gemaak waar hande-arbeiders en werknemers wat kennis aanwend in ondememings werksaam is. Bo en behalwe algemene inligting, het die besprekingsriglyn ook van die deelnemende instellings gevra om inligting te openbaar rakende die beleggingsbesluitnemingsproses deur hulle gebruik en om 'n mening uit te spreek orntrent die belangrikheid van 'n verskeidenheid arbeidsverwante risikofaktore. Die besprekingsriglyn het ook versoek dat die deelnemers sekere aspekte rangskik in terme van hul belang wanneer die graad van arbeidsverwante risiko by ondememings bepaal word. Ten slotte is vrae gestel ten einde die relatiewe belangrikheid van arbeidsverwante risiko's in die algemeen te bepaal wanneer finansiele beleggingsbesluite geneem word. Die inligting wat tydens die onderhoude verkry is, is op 'n Excel sigblad opgesom en aan 'n omvattende statistiese ontleding onderwerp ten einde die doelstellings van die studie te verwesenlik. Die data wat tydens die opname verkry is, is hoofsaaklik volgens 'n rangorde, aangesien die besprekingsriglyn van 'n ordinale vlak van meting gebruik gemaak het. Met dit in gedagte, is die gemidde1de (as 'n maatstaf van lokaliteit) en die variasiewydte (as 'n maatstaf van spreiding) gebruik om die data te beskryf. Spearman se rangorde korrelasiekceffisient is as 'n maatstaf van korrelasie gebruik. Die tekentoets, een van die mees eenvoudige nie-parametriese toetse beskikbaar, is in die studie gebruik om ondersoek in te stel of die waargenome verskille in mening rakende ondernemings waar hande-arbeiders en werknemers wat kennis aanwend, betekenisvol is. Die studie beklemtoon die betekenisvolle rol wat die bates van langtermynversekeraars op die JSE Sekuriteitebeurs Suid-Afrika speel, sowel as die betekenisvolle verskille rakende die waargenome belangrikheid van arbeidsverwante risiko's vir die doeleindes van beleggingsbesluitneming waar ondernemings hande-arbeiders en werknemers wat kennis aanwend, in diens het. Die groot aantal arbeidsverwante risikofaktore en die betekenisvolle korrelasie wat tussen talle van hulle bestaan, dui op die komplekse aard van arbeidsverwante risiko 's. Die respondente beskou arbeidsverwante risiko' s as tussen redelik belangrik en hoogs belangrik vir sowel ondernemings met hande-arbeiders en die met werknemers wat kennis aanwend wanneer beleggingsbesluite geneem word. Klassifikasiebome word bekend gestel as die gewenste metode om vir hierdie kompleksiteite voorsiening te maak en om arbeidsverwante risiko's in ondernemings wat hande-arbeiders en werknemers wat kennis aanwend, in diens het, vir die doeleindes van beleggingsbesluitneming te meet. Die klassifikasiebome word op grond van die omvangryke ervaring van beleggingspraktisyns (wat ten tye van die opname in die langtermynversekeringsbedryf bedrywig was) en met verwysing na die literatuurstudie opgestel. Oor die algemeen is die mees kritiese arbeidsverwante aspekte wat oorweeg moet word ten einde die graad van arbeidsverwante risiko te bepaal by ondernemings met hande-arbeiders en die met werknemers wat kennis aanwend, intern tot hierdie ondernemings. Sodanige aspekte kan gevolglik bestuur word. Bestuur en die arbeidsmag van ondernemings moet kennis neem van hul verantwoordelikhede in hierdie verband sowel as die waargenome vermoe wat hulle het om die graad van arbeidsverwante risiko by ondernemings wat handearb eiders en werknemers wat kennis aanwend, in diens het wesenlik te beinvloed. Ander rolspelers speel ook 'n belangrike rol in hierdie verb and vanwee die invloed wat die eksterne omgewing op die graad van arbeidsverwante risiko het. Die verantwoordelikheid van ondernemings om die nodige inligting aan beleggers te openbaar ten einde hulle in staat te stel om die heersende graad van arbeidsverwante risiko by die ondernemings te bepaal, stem ooreen met die verantwoordelikheid van beleggingspraktisyns om die inligting te versoek en rasioneel te beoordeel. Die voortvloeiende gevolgtrekkings en aanbevelings van die studie en die hulpmiddel wat ontwikkel is om die graad van arbeidsverwante risiko by ondernemings te meet vir die doeleindes van beleggingsbesluitneming, is grotendeels gebaseer op die persepsies van beleggingspraktisyns wat ten tye van die opname in die langtermynversekeringsbedryf bedrywig was. Met dit in gedagte, word aanbeveel dat toekomstige navorsingsaktiwiteite gerig word op die verhoging van die waarde van die klassifikasiebome wat in hierdie studie ontwikkel is deur die boom-groei metodiek toe te pas op werklike gevalle waar die veranderlikes gemeet en die finale uitkomste bepaal kan word.

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