Research Articles

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    Measuring the causal effect of women’s schooling on contraceptive use in Nigeria
    (Routledge, 2019-09-03) Ajefu, J.B.
    This paper uses the 2008 Nigerian Demographic Health Survey to investigate the effect of women’s schooling on contraceptive use. In order to control for endogeneity of women’s schooling, this paper uses an instrumental variable approach, with the free primary education programme in Nigeria introduced from 1976 to 1981, as an instrument for women’s schooling. The paper finds that the education of women increases the probability of using contraceptives. Disaggregating the results between traditional and modern contraceptive use, the results show a positive and significant impact of women’s education on both modern and traditional contraceptive use. The findings of the study lend credence to the evidence that birth control measures can lead to better timing and spacing of births that allow women to significantly expand their economic opportunities and life prospects. These have implications for women’s economic empowerment and gender equality, which are vital for any sustainable development policy.
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    Structure and an unstable business operating environment: Revisiting burns and stalker’s organisation-environment theory in zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector
    (AOSIS (pty) Ltd, 2019-12-10) Sibindi, N; Samuel, O.M
    Background: Turbulent socioeconomic contexts coupled with volatile political environments pose a serious survival threat to business organisations. Complex operational environment of this dimension most often resists application of conventional management theories and practices. Organisational managers are therefore constantly challenged to adopt contingency strategies that will not only keep their organisations afloat, but also entrench competitive advantage that could effectively sustain operations. Aim: To update Burns and Stalker’s theory on structure and business environments. Setting: The dynamics of the Zimbabwe’s economy has assumed an extraordinary proportion of complexity due to intractable political instability and hostile economic environment. Methods: Using a survey research design and employing quantitative research strategy, this article examines the underlining propositions that defined the seminal work of Burns and Stalker regarding strategy adoption by organisations in a dynamic operating environment. Primary data was collected from 189 randomly selected managers in 350 manufacturing firms operating in Zimbabwe using a structured questionnaire. Data were analysed using structural equation modelling. Results: The major finding of the present study suggests that firms adopt a hybrid structure when confronted with an unstable operating environment. Conclusion: The finding is inconsistent with that of Burns and Stalker, who concluded that firms adopt organic structure in an unstable operating environment. While Burns and Stalker’s study was conducted in a relatively stable socioeconomic context, the present study was conducted in an operating environment that is characterised by turbulent socioeconomic and political instability. These environmental divergences could have influenced the outcome of both studies. © 2019. The Authors.
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    Subjective well-being impact of old age pension in South Africa: A difference in difference analysis across the gender divide
    (AOSIS (pty) Ltd, 2019-12-06) Umakrishnan, K; Mfongeh, N. E
    Background: South Africa provides old age pension (OAP), a non-contributory means-tested income transfer to persons aged 60 and above. More than two-thirds of the elderly population report receiving the OAP. Women have historically had a lower pension eligibility age of 60, while the eligibility of men decreased from 65 to 60 between 2008 and 2010. Aim: This study analyses the impact of the OAP on the subjective well-being of the elderly in South Africa. The study aims at understanding the differential impact on the subjective wellbeing of male and female recipients. Methods: The study adopts the difference in difference (DiD) impact evaluation framework to establish the impact of OAP using a sub-sample of data for elderly persons aged between 55 and 64, collected from the first four waves of the National Income Dynamics study. Linear and non-linear DiD models are estimated as robustness checks given the ordinal nature of the dependent variable. Results: The OAP variable consistently produced positive and significant estimates for the sample as a whole. Further, anticipatory effect of OAP was not found to exist. A gender specific analysis indicates that female recipients have a positive and significant change in well-being as a result of OAP, while male recipients did not. Conclusion: The difference in the well-being impact of OAP between male and female recipients can be attributed to the gender difference in the use and meaning of pensions. Our findings question the uniform criteria introduced for male and female recipients for OAP in South Africa.
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    Preventing compulsive shopping among young South-Africans and Germans
    (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2019-04-15) Duh, H; Thorsten, T.b
    Purpose: Young consumers globally are susceptible to becoming compulsive shoppers. Having negative consequences and considering that compulsive shopping may originate from past family life experiences, this study aims to use human capital life-course and positive-activity theories to suggest a socio-psychological pathway for prevention. It also examined the mediating influence of happiness and money attitude. Design/methodology/approach: University students in South Africa (N = 171) and in Germany (N = 202) were surveyed. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to test relationships and multi-group analysis (MGA) assessed cross-cultural differences. Findings: Emotional family resources received during childhood positively impacted happiness at young adulthood, which was found to be a positive driver of budget money attitude. Budget money attitude in turn limited compulsive shopping for German young consumers but not for South Africans. Cross-cultural differences are also observed in mediating effects of happiness and budget money attitude. Research limitations/implications: This study is based on self-reported data from university students; this might limit the generalisability of findings. Social implications: A positive relationship between happiness and desirable money attitude was confirmed. This study additionally contributes by showing that for South African and German young consumers, adequate childhood emotional family resources is a happiness’ driver. This thus exposes the multiplier effects of simple acts of showing love and attention to children and how these family emotional resources can progressively limit dysfunctional consumer behaviour in the future. Originality/value: Unlike complex psychotherapeutical and psychopharmacological treatments of compulsive buying that are being suggested, this study borrows from family, consumer and economic–psychological disciplines to suggest simple preventive measures. © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited.
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    Lakatos revisited: Innovation and ‘Novel facts’ as a foundational logic for the social sciences in an era of ‘Post-truth’ and pseudoscience
    (Cogent OA, 2019-01-01) Callaghan, C.W.
    : In what seems to be a “post-truth” era this paper argues that management theory development is necessary to provide insights into how to manage the academic research, or discovery system, itself, as it no longer seems clear that its explicit purpose, as per Lakatos’s argument, is the development of theory that predicts “novel facts.” This logic questions the extent to which the social science research system is inherently innovative. To explore these issues, the topic of pseudoscience is used as a heuristic, in order to derive an understanding of how the purpose of the discovery system seems to be understood by different stakeholders. In doing so, this paper explores how researchers may need to manage their research fields to negotiate contested academic terrain and develop what Lakatos refers to as progressive research programmes. It is argued that hypervigilance and overly conservative gatekeeping in response to threats of pseudoscience can run deep in the structure of academic engagement, contributing to a paradigm of constrained innovation. Drawing from post-normal science theory, a conceptual framework is identified for how these problems might be addressed by a focus on the development of scalability in the research process itself, without compromising rigor.