Research Articles (Business Management)

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    How macro level foundations influence emerging micro entrepreneurial activities : the case of South Africa
    (Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Center, 2020-06) Robina-Ramirez, Rafael; Human, Gert
    The importance of macro conditions for creating an environment conducive for startups to establish themselves and grow is emphasised. This paper considers the influence of two sets of macro foundations, domestic ecosystems and entrepreneurial networks as well as entrepreneurship education and research, on perceived emerging micro entrepreneurial activity. We show that the domestic ecosystem affects entrepreneurial networks, and together with entrepreneurship education, they have an impact on emerging entrepreneurial activity. Macro entrepreneurial factors also drive emerging entrepreneurial activity directly, and these relationships call for more research.
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    Reflecting on corporate governance in South Africa : lessons learned and the way forward
    (Unisa Press, 2020-12) Van Zyl, Marilee; Mans-Kemp, Nadia
    Background: South Africa is a corporate governance pioneer. The King Reports have offered guidance to listed companies in the country since 1994 and unlisted entities since 2016. In the drive for corporate change, attention is increasingly placed on the role of activist shareholders, in particular institutional investors, given the size of their investments. Purpose/objectives: This study aimed to gauge institutional investors’ views on the differences between the King III and IV Reports related to positive aspects and room for improvement. Design/methodology/approach: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with selected institutional investors. Themes were then derived by conducting an interpretive thematic analysis. Findings: Interviewees commended the format and scope of the latest King Report but suggested that outcomes-based training should be offered to directors to ease implementation. Executive remuneration, director independence and auditor independence were highlighted as areas that require attention. Some interviewees questioned whether the current non-binding vote on executive remuneration is sufficient. They suggested that executive remuneration should be tied to performance outcomes across the triple bottom line. Participants recommended that director independence should be considered on a case-by-case basis, instead of strictly applying King IV’s suggested tenure guideline. Furthermore, mandatory audit firm rotation could enhance auditor independence, and hence transparency. Stakeholders are encouraged to demand enhanced transparency on corporate matters to enable more informed decision-making.
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    Trust in independent community pharmacies : do employee-related factors matter?
    (AOSIS, 2020-07) Theron, Edwin; Pelser, Almeri
    BACKGROUND: Offering quality healthcare services in South Africa's remote areas remains a challenge. Pharmacies, and independent community pharmacies (ICPs) in particular, can play a vital role in providing access to pharmaceutical products and services in these areas. AIM: Part of the success of ICPs is the role that their employees play in building trusting relationships with pharmacy clients. It is against this background that this article investigates key employee-related factors that contribute towards building affective, calculative and contractual trust when pharmacy clients are serviced. SETTING: Clients of a specific ICP group participated in the study. The selected ICP group, which manages eight pharmacies across the Western Cape Province, has between 8000 and 41 000 active client profiles per pharmacy. METHODS: All 299 respondents who participated in the study were personally interviewed. Statistical analyses were done through Statistica, and structural equation modelling (SEM) with partial least squares (PLS) was used to assess both the measurement and the structural model. RESULTS: Although a number of significant relationships were confirmed, the importance of especially familiarity is highlighted when trust is managed in a pharmacy client-employee relationship. CONCLUSION: Given their geographical location, ICPs are ideally situated to provide access to healthcare services in the more remote areas of South Africa. By focusing on managing trust, ICPs can ensure a more constructive experience to their clients.
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    Private sector impact investment in water purification infrastructure in South Africa : a qualitative analysis of opportunities and barriers
    (Water Research Commission, 2020-01) McCallum, S.; Viviers, S.
    Impact investing is gaining substantial traction globally and in sub-Saharan Africa. In contrast to conventional investors, impact investors not only seek financial returns, but also measurable, positive social and environmental impact. A growing number of impact investments have been observed in the region in recent years, particularly in water purification infrastructure. This study sought to identify the primary barriers and opportunities that impact investors face in this sector. Semi-structured personal interviews were conducted with 20 experts in the South African impact-investment value chain and water provision system. Participants identified more barriers than opportunities and were mainly concerned about the lack of lifecycle support, the possibility of political interference and low financial return expectations. Interviewees did, however, acknowledge the potential influence that these investments have on local communities and economies. Experts were of the opinion that the best opportunities are found in decentralised water purification infrastructure, especially where it involves innovation at a convergence of sectors. As the public funding gap in South Africa is likely to grow in future, innovative deal structures and government support will become even more important.
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    Linking integrated reporting quality with sustainability performance and financial performance in South Africa
    (AOSIS, 2020-08) Mans-Kemp, Nadia; Van der Lugt, Cornelis T.
    Background: Ten years have lapsed since the launch of the International Integrated Reporting Council. Stakeholders increasingly question whether integrated reporting (IR) meets the objectives of decision-usefulness and accountability. Aim: The primary objective of this study was to assess the usefulness of IR by examining the interrelations between the integrated reporting quality (IRQ), sustainability performance and financial performance of listed companies in South Africa. Setting: The study is conducted in the country where integrated reporting is most established. The links between the IRQ of the Top 100 companies listed on Johannesburg Stock Exchange and their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) scores and multiple financial indicators are investigated over the period 2013 to 2018. Method: The EY Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards was used as a metric to determine the sample companies’ IRQ. These awards were ranked according to four categories, namely ‘progress to be made’, ‘average’, ‘good’ and ‘excellent’. Sustainability (ESG scores) as well as financial performance data (accounting-based and market-based variables) were sourced from Bloomberg. The panel dataset was analysed by conducting a mixed-model analysis of variance and panel regressions. Results: A high level of IRQ was found to be significantly associated with high levels of environmental, social and corporate governance performance, as well as high earnings per share and high leverage. Conclusion: IR appears to strengthen managerial efficiency and legitimacy in the eyes of debt capital providers in South Africa, while equity capital providers do not provide a clear signal of approval.