Original Research

Assessing the outcomes of the higher education mergers in South Africa: Implications for strategic management

Cecil A. Arnolds, Regina N. Stofile, Riyaadh Lillah
Acta Commercii | Vol 13, No 1 | a175 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v13i1.175 | © 2013 Cecil A. Arnolds, Regina N. Stofile, Riyaadh Lillah | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 February 2013 | Published: 22 April 2013

About the author(s)

Cecil A. Arnolds, Graduate School of Business, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Regina N. Stofile, Business Management Department, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa
Riyaadh Lillah, Graduate School of Business, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


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Abstract

Objective of the study: The objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between perceived merger outcomes, employee organisational commitment and employee job performance in South African higher education institutions.

Problem investigated: High levels of negativity towards the mergers have initially been reported. The unbundling of certain mergers has been mooted. The outcomes of these mergers must therefore be evaluated.

Methodology: A total of 329 questionnaires were collected from academic and non-academic staff at three comprehensive universities. Descriptive statistics were calculated and multiple regression analysis was conducted.

Findings: The empirical results show, amongst other things, that (1) perceptions about merger goal success are significantly related to the organisational commitment and job performance intentions of employees, (2) organisational commitment levels are average and should be increased, (3) perceptions about workload fairness are significantly related to the organisational commitment of employees, and (4) employees have experienced an increased workload.

Value of study: The study emphasises the necessity of the continual management of merger goal successes, workload distributions, and administration processes and resources (especially an empowered staff) in the pursuit of stable educational environments in these institutions.

Conclusion: Managers of higher education institutions should pursue prudent strategic financial spending and continuously manage the job performance intent and organisational commitment of their staff members. If this is not done, positive perceptions of merger successes could decrease. Such a situation could perpetuate unstable conditions at already affected merged institutions and even cause stable ones to deteriorate.


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