Management effects on company performance: a mixed methods study of the South African rubber industry

Musendame, Thabiso Jeremiah
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This study investigates the impact of management on company performance within the South African context, taking into consideration recent developments in management theory and practice. The study was prompted by the downturn in productivity levels within local rubber companies over the last three decades. The demise of the rubber industry and the manufacturing industry, in general, has widely been attributed to poor management. The dearth of empirical literature to support such claims, coupled with recent developments in management theory such as the context theory as well as scientific methods of measuring managerial practices such as the World Management Survey framework, are some of the catalysts driving this study. The emergence of such knowledge presents a purportedly new paradigm shift in management theory and practice which calls for a reconsideration of the controversial ‘universality theory’ and a re-assessment of the validity of managerial practices of Western origin within the South African industry context. Furthermore, the study explores the significance of context and more specifically, the aspect of culture on company performance, taking into consideration the emphasis that African people place on culture. In this study, the analysis research data indicates a positive correlation between management and corporate performance and, most importantly, it suggests that context and, more specifically culture, enhances company performance beyond mere managerial knowledge within the South African rubber industry context. Based on this analysis, this study argues for a paradigm which recognises the importance of situating contemporary management practices within specific socio-cultural contexts for enhanced organisational performance within the South African context. The findings of this study are significant in that it offers a scholarly contribution towards an extension of management theory relating to the application of management practice in the South African rubber industry context
A thesis submitted to the in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2021