CLMS Celebrates Staff Achievement
In a bid to recognise that staff members are the most valuable asset in an organisation, the College of Law and Management Studies is celebrating six UKZN staff members who graduated with their Master’s degrees across various different disciplines.
With the fourth industrial revolution upon us, Ms Nokuthula Ndlovu, who graduated with her Master of Commerce in Leadership Studies is conscious to the fact that South African libraries must keep abreast with the changes of this revolution. Ndlovu, a Senior Librarian and Information Specialist, is on a journey to ensure that UKZN libraries understand the importance of acquiring tools that support research, teaching, learning and community work for the University to maintain its standard of being a research led university of African scholarship.
‘Libraries are an information hub serving 21st century students,’ said Ndlovu whose research study was titled Embracing Changes in Technology: A Case Study of the University of KwaZulu-Natal Libraries, supervised by Professor Cecil Proches. ‘With evolving technology, it is essential that academic libraries are on par with these changes as lagging behind can be detrimental to the purpose of the university,’ she said. Using innovative ideas and the expertise acquired from this qualification, Ndlovu is looking forward to being a valuable asset to UKZN with the continued support of her family and colleagues which she is grateful for. ‘The information service industry is rapidly changing, as it is driven by technology it was thus empirical to do a study that investigated changes in technology on a leadership perspective’, she said.
Mr Asif Satar’s research combined technology and students. Satar, IT Consultant Information and Communication Systems (ICS) Department at the PMB campus, graduated with a Master of Business Administration. His study: The Use of Social Media and Internet by Tertiary Students to Disseminate and Understand Information, was supervised by Dr Muhammad Hoque.
‘We are all aware that social media is a huge platform and I investigated if this platform could be used for future education,’ said Satar. His research findings reveal interesting viewpoints on how students perceive the influence of social media on their teaching and learning. ‘Although social media has its advantages and drawbacks, students still prefer the traditional methods for teaching and learning. The findings revealed that there is a minority of students who would prefer online teaching and learning but a solution would be to use blended systems,’ he said.
Ms Thina Ngubane who graduated with a Master of Commerce in Leadership Studies is the Office Administrator at the College of Law and Management Studies Teaching and Learning Unit. Her research: Determining the Awareness and Challenges of Informal Traders with Regards to Business Operations in Durban: Local Economic Development Perspective, was supervised by Dr Muhammad Hoque.
‘The aim of the study was to address their (informal traders) challenges and suggest improved policies that will favour their needs. None of the interviewees had received financial support from the municipality and started their businesses through personal savings in addition to loans from friends. These traders are discouraged from applying for bank loans because of the application procedures and requirements such as business plans and collateral security. They also suspect that the municipality system of the awarding of financial grants is corrupt due to bribery and police harassment due to permits is also a major challenge. The long waiting period for the applications for permits, most of which are never granted is also a hurdle,’ said Ngubane.
Ngubane said her research was inspired by the significant role that informal traders play in the country’s economic growth. She plans to pursue doctoral studies in the field of Local Economic Development and hopefully work for research institutes or as part of research projects related to this field.
Ms Mandisa Mbatani, Master of Commerce in Human Resources Management graduate was motivated by the University’s Integrated Talent Management which she explored through her dissertation: The Assessment of the Implementation of Talent Management at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, supervised by Ms Trishana Ramluckan.
As the Human Resources Consultant in the College of Law and Management Studies, Mbatani said her research focused on the effectiveness of Talent Management at UKZN. ‘Our University, like many other organisations has Integrated Talent Management so I was interested in knowing how widely it has been received and welcomed by employees and if its effectiveness in assisting the organisations achieve their goals. I hope this qualification will help in identifying opportunities where I can make an impact with the knowledge that I have acquired,’ she said.
Ms Amy Ramsamy who graduated with a Master of Business of Administration is the Research Accountant at the College of Humanities. Her study: Professional Services Staff Perceptions of Performance Management at the University of KwaZulu-Natal: A Case Study of the College of Humanities supervised by Dr Rosemary Sibanda. ‘Currently there exists extensive research on academic staff perceptions of performance management in Higher Education. So being a staff member in the professional services sector, I felt it was imperative to quantify professional services staff’s perceptions of performance management to establish its effectiveness, efficiency and contribution to staff motivation. My study set out to understand this under-examined subject by ascertaining how professional services employees perceive the effectiveness of performance management, for positive employee outcomes and ultimately motivating staff to achieve the organisation’s strategic goals,’ said Ramsamy.
Ramsamy’s future plans include publishing her research and growing into a senior management role within UKZN.
Ms Nontobeko Buthelezi, Master of Commerce Human in Resources Management graduate’s research was titled: An Evaluation of Succession Planning Effectiveness in Transnet Pipeline KwaZulu-Natal Durban. The study was supervised by Ms Trishana Ramluckan.
Words: Thandiwe Jumo
Photographs: Rogan Ward