Management Academic’s PhD Dream Fulfilled
Lecturer in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, Dr Mervywn Williamson, has been awarded a PhD in Management from the College of Law and Management Studies for his thesis titled: “Perceptions and Experiences of an Organisational Misfit: A Grounded Theory Study of South African Employees”.
Williamson dedicated the thesis to his mother, Mrs Winnie Williamson. ‘I have dedicated my thesis to her because she has made tremendous sacrifices in getting me and my three other siblings educated. She inspired me to reach for my dreams.’
To Williamson, obtaining a PhD was crucial as he is committed to contributing to the creation of new knowledge for future generations.
‘The rationale behind my study was to make a meaningful contribution to literature by extending our understanding “misfit”. A considerable amount of research has attempted to explain what “fit” is as the many positive spin-offs associated with “fitting in” at work. ‘Misfit, on the other hand, has been neglected', he said.
‘Before the completion of my study, not much was known about what “misfit” really means to employees, what causes employees to misfit at work, and how employees cope with this condition.’
According to Williamson scholars in the field of Industrial/Organisational Psychology, Human Resources and Management will benefit from his study. ‘The findings could set the platform for further large-scale studies in the area of misfit and could benefit managers in the corporate sector grappling with the issue of how to deal with misfitting employees.’
In line with the College’s goal to improve research productivity Williamson’s future plans include publishing a series of articles from his thesis.
Williamson’s study was supervised by Professor David Coldwell. Commenting on his achievement, Williamson said: ‘I feel a sense of accomplishment. I am extremely honoured to be graduating from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and would like to commend the leadership for having the vision and determination to ensure that all academics commit to obtaining their doctorates within the next few years.
‘Having a PhD will imbue me with a sense of confidence to engage in collaborative research with academics from other institutions, both in South Africa and internationally. I will be in a position to supervise doctoral students thus contributing to the College’s mandate of increasing postgraduate throughput,’ he concluded.
- Hazel Langa