Evaluating the implementation of employment equity in a pharmaceutical company : a case study

Mputa, Constance Kholeka (2016-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This qualitative single case study explored the implementation of employment equity in a pharmaceutical company referred to as Medco and the factors that played a role in that regard. A case study design was used to conduct the research using mixed methods of data collection such as qualitative interviews (face to face and telephone), focus group and company documents. Despite the introduction of the Employment Equity Act No. 55 of 1998 (as amended) 17 years ago to deal with inequalities and discrimination, the South African labour market remains hierarchical with blacks concentrated at the lower levels and white males occupying decision making positions. The results show that designated groups who managed to reach top echelons in the company are fewer than the 35% recommended threshold for critical mass to have a meaningful voice. Using the business case approach to respond to diversity in Medco ensures the continuation of the white male agenda to conceal white privilege, and ignore issues affecting diversity. By concentrating on numerical representation to ensure legal compliance to the Employment Equity Act, consideration for profits and market dominance, the company did not pay attention to the power dynamics and privilege affecting the different groups in the company. The failure of the company to achieve its equity targets has been largely due to external factors such as volatile business environment affecting employers in the pharmaceutical sector as a result of globalisation. The limited pool of employees from designated groups available that employers compete for as a result of shortages was another factor affecting employers in the sector. Instead of investing in training employers embark on quick fix solutions of poaching from competitors to comply with legislative requirements by offering designated groups improved packages. The slow pace of transforming the South African labour market implies that it will be some time before equality is reached and see the end of Employment Equity Act.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die implementering van billike indiensneming in 'n farmaseutiese maatskappy (verwys na as Medco) en die faktore wat 'n rol in dié verband speel. 'n Gevalstudie-metode is gebruik en inligting is deur middel van verskeie datainsamelingstegnieke bekom, naamlik persoonlike en fokusgroeponderhoude asook maatskapydokumente wat onder andere longitudinale personeelstatistiek bevat. Ten spyte van die bekendstelling 17 jaar gelede van die Wet op Gelyke Regte No. 55 van 1998 (soos gewysig) om ongelykhede en diskriminasie aan te spreek, bly die Suid- Afrikaanse arbeidsmark gekenmerk deur hiërargiese struktuur waar swartmense nog steeds gekonsentreer is in laer vlakke en wit mans in besluitnemingsposisies. Die resultate toon dat die aangewese groepe nie daarin slaag om die topstrukture in die maatskappy te bereik nie en steeds minder as 35% verteenwoordig, wat die persentasie is om die drumpel van 'n kritieke massa te vorm om 'n betekenisvolle stem hê. Die feit dat Medco besigheidsgevalbenadering volg om diversiteit te bevorder lei ook tot die voortsetting van die huidige situasie wat wit mans bevoordeel en dit gee ook aanleiding daartoe dat diversiteitskwessies grootliks geïgnoreer word. Deur te konsentreer op numeriese verteenwoordiging om wetlik aan die Wet op Gelyke Indiensneming te voldoen, sowel as die belang om winste en mark-oorheersing te verseker, dra daartoe by dat die maatskappy nie voldoende aandag aan die magsdinamika en bevoorregting van die verskillende groepe gee nie. Die mislukking van die maatskappy om die ekwitiwiteitsdoelwitte te bereik, is grootliks toe te skryf aan eksterne faktore soos die onbestendige sakeomgewing in die farmaseutiese sektor en globalisasie. Die beperkte poel van werknemers uit die aangewese groepe is nog faktor wat rol speel. In plaas daarvan om 'n belegging in die opleiding van werknemers te maak, is die kitsoplossing om werkers uit die aangewese groepe van mededingers te lok deur beter pakkette sodat maatskappye aan die wetlike vereistes kan voldoen. Dit gee aanleiding tot die stadige pas van transformasie in die Suid-Afrikaanse arbeidsmark en dit sal lank neem voordat diensbillikheid bereik word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98604
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