10 May 2022 Volume :10 Issue :16

HR 4IR Readiness Focus of Doctoral Study

HR 4IR Readiness Focus of Doctoral Study
Dr Lindokuhle Mkhize celebrates her PhD achievement with her mom, Ms Lindele Khumalo (left), her husband Mr Peter Mkhize (right), and her son, Mr Sethembile Mkhize.

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) blurring the lines between people and technology, fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, Human Resources (HR) Director and commercial farmer, Dr Lindokuhle Mkhize was motivated to embark on a doctoral journey which culminated in her being awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resources by UKZN in May.

Working with UKZN’s Professor Sanjana Brijball Parumasur, Mkhize’s thesis titled Human Resource Readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa within Different Sectors Sought to develop a framework to guide HR managers in facilitating HR readiness to implement 4IR in the South African workplace.

Her main goal in pursuing doctoral studies was to gain deeper insights in the field of HR in order to remain relevant in the fast-paced technological environment that is marked by uncertainty. ‘It is crucial for South Africa to be leaders not followers, and the 4IR presents that possibility,’ she said.

Mkhize’s journey was marked by challenges as she collected data at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘I was concerned about getting participants, but most HR managers that I approached found my research topic appealing and were, therefore, willing to participate.’

She added that a PhD can be a lonely journey; however, she remained focused knowing that HR managers believed that her research would contribute to knowledge generation in the field of HR.

She is thankful to her family and her supervisor for supporting her vision.

‘It was not easy to juggle work and my studies. My supervisor, Professor Sanjana Brijball Parumasur, kept me motivated. I would have never completed this PhD without her dedication and support.’

While her mother did not have formal employment when she was growing up in Qoloqolo at Mthwalume on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, she ensured that she got her first degree. ‘I will be forever grateful for her love and nurturing. My husband is my pillar of strength. He gave me all the support that I needed in order to focus on my PhD. My son is a young gentleman who keeps me sane,’ she said.

Mkhize is proud that being the first person to obtain a tertiary qualification in her family has motivated other family members to follow in her footsteps: ‘This time, I am the first PhD graduate; hopefully, some family members will be motivated to follow suit.’

While her family is proud of her achievement, she wishes that her best friend (her late grandmother) was here to celebrate with her.

Words: Hazel Langa

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal

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