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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2019

Marius Pretorius

The plight of dissatisfied employees has become a recurring theme. A question often asked by management trainees is “How do I handle my difficult boss?” Hence, this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The plight of dissatisfied employees has become a recurring theme. A question often asked by management trainees is “How do I handle my difficult boss?” Hence, this paper aims to address the difficult boss problem successfully from the perspective of the subordinate.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptualized legacy framework had been presented to participants and who verified its accuracy by their experiences. They could apply the framework with relative ease. Workshops, interview and online questionnaires informed the development of the framework.

Findings

The framework proposes four legacy effects on subordinates that bosses leave after interaction, namely, tense, dark, false and calm legacies. The legacies assist subordinates in classifying their bosses as either a hammer, flat battery, fire-lighter or dynamo. Once the boss is categorized, strategies to assist subordinates in handling their difficult boss flow from the framework.

Research limitations/implications

While extremely useful for subordinates, bosses are limited in the use of the legacy model as it requires very high trust levels to exist. The nature of the difficult boss problem suggests that such trust does not exist.

Practical implications

Benefits of understanding the legacy framework has two benefits: subordinates can use the legacy tool to classify their bosses and find strategies for how to handle difficult bosses. For bosses, subordinate evaluation of their legacies presents an alternative avenue to seek feedback and improve “self-learning” through reflection.

Originality/value

The legacy matrix was shown to be applicable to all bosses at all levels in virtually all organizations. The value of the framework was also observed at the informal level.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2016

Marius Pretorius

Today, more than ever, businesses need to improve strategy implementation. Part of achieving implementation requires strategies to be embedded in the daily activities of…

Abstract

Purpose

Today, more than ever, businesses need to improve strategy implementation. Part of achieving implementation requires strategies to be embedded in the daily activities of executors (practitioners) – thus to embed strategy in implementation. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a “lesser acknowledged” strategy type that is ill-considered by management and leadership alike. “Covert tactics” are described.

Design/methodology/approach

Through dialectic conversation and applying the devil’s advocacy approach to challenging embeddedness and implementation liabilities, the phenomenon of “covert tactics” was identified. Purposively selected subjects participated in the dialectic conversations. Their opinions were collected and patterns identified until their “tactics” became apparent. Another element of interest was the underlying thinking of subjects to understand what drives them to follow covert tactics.

Findings

Covert tactics are phantasmal individual ploys that employees take in response to their own micro situation. Higher-level managers are often not aware of their existence, as these tactics are not spoken about but do exist. Such managers assume the organisation’s professed strategies are pursued but are oblivious to the “real tactics” that are pursued.

Research limitations/implications

The research proposes an “invisible concept” and depends on one individual view point.

Practical implications

Understanding and accepting the existence of covert tactics gives managers flexibility to respond.

Originality/value

To address their existence, there is no need to expose and oppose covert tactics, as this will make them more “invisible”. The innovative approach is to recognise their existence and align them to the organisation strategy. The quality of the strategy message was shown to be the fundamental tool that managers can use to address covert tactics by replacing the need for their existence.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2019

Catherine Le Roux and Marius Pretorius

This paper aims to explore the nexus between integrated reporting and sustainability embeddedness. It seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the nexus by…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the nexus between integrated reporting and sustainability embeddedness. It seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the nexus by obtaining in-depth insight from the sensemaking of those in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

A single exploratory case study design strategy was applied to a leading stock exchange listed company in the property industry in South Africa. Rich qualitative data were gathered by applying multiple data gathering techniques to a diverse group of employees within the case company.

Findings

This empirical study contributes a metaphor of a cog and chain and nine themes that elucidate employee sensemaking at the nexus. Integrated reporting was found to drive sustainability embeddedness and foster changes within the organisation. The themes offer in-depth insight into how employees made sense of integrated reporting as a driver for sustainability embeddedness.

Research limitations/implications

The findings emerged from a single case study that operated in a mandatory disclosure context and are therefore not generalisable. The findings reflect the intended outcomes of integrated reporting and further research to explore the unintended outcomes and challenges associated with integrated reporting is suggested.

Practical implications

The study contributes to a growing practice based agenda by offering a better understanding of how integrated reporting and sustainability are conceptualised and adopted in practice.

Social implications

The findings offer organisations’ guidance on integrated reporting and sustainability embeddedness adoption which can have vast implications for society and the environment.

Originality/value

The study responds to gaps in the literature and calls for studies to explore the intersection between integrated reporting and sustainability embeddedness by engaging those in practice.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2012

Marius Pretorius and Ingrid le Roux

The paper endeavors to determine the reasons why key managers fail to win the respect of their direct reports.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper endeavors to determine the reasons why key managers fail to win the respect of their direct reports.

Design/methodology/approach

Junior and middle managers were asked to judge why managers generally fail as leaders and what they think the consequences are when there is leadership failure. They were prompted to consider their own managers first. Their responses were categorized, ranked and reported. Thereafter a framework was developed to explain the consequences to better understand the impact of leadership failure.

Findings

Managers fail at leadership as a result of poor posture, lack of “people skills”, unfocused thinking, failed communication, not giving encouragement and support, lack of expertise, lack of experience and insight as well as lack of vision and direction. The consequences influence the individual, team, organization and leadership within the organization through the feelings that they create and the subsequent actions that followers take.

Research limitations/implications

The findings indicate mainly subjective evaluations and it was not possible to distinguish between general perceptions and potential personal issues and “gripes” of the respondents.

Practical implications

Leadership failure is a fact, but to learn from it is crucial. This can be done through training but also requires that leadership should be measured to give feedback and sensitize leaders about its effects.

Originality/value

The reported consequences of leadership failure contain severe penalties for organizational performance if not acknowledged and addressed.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Marius Pretorius, Gideon Nieman and Jurie van Vuuren

This paper focuses on the comparison of two models for entrepreneurial education with the aim of potential integration. At this juncture when entrepreneurial development…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper focuses on the comparison of two models for entrepreneurial education with the aim of potential integration. At this juncture when entrepreneurial development is seen as the core contributor to enhance start‐ups of new ventures and hence facilitate economic growth and development, the best possible education model is required. The creation of more entrepreneurs is at least partially dependent on the creation and advancement of efficient educational models.

Design/methodology/approach

First, this paper briefly describes the two independently developed models for entrepreneurial education. Second, an in‐depth qualitative analysis of the individual model constructs is presented to evaluate the contributions and limitations of each. Third, this paper proposes an integrated model that identifies certain weaknesses of each of its building‐blocks, which are eliminated by the integration.

Findings

The paper concludes that the integrated model for entrepreneurial education enhances the body of knowledge and highlights the key role of facilitators of entrepreneurial education programmes.

Originality/value

Suggests that research should be conducted into the facilitation skills, entrepreneurial and business experience of existing facilitators and potentially those of business advisers that act as mentors.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 October 2008

Marius Pretorius

PurposePorter's generic strategy matrix often proves inadequate for use by distressed firms, because it assumes that ventures operate “normally” in competitive

Abstract

PurposePorter's generic strategy matrix often proves inadequate for use by distressed firms, because it assumes that ventures operate “normally” in competitive environments. Leaders of troubled ventures facing turnaround situations need to interpret the complex factors involved, as generic strategies alone prove insufficient. Researchers have not yet come up with a model for selecting strategies in turnaround situations to match Porter's model for generic competition. This paper fills this specific void. Design/methodology/approachA model for strategies which could be applied in the turnaround situation was proposed, based on grounded research methodology. This model was then evaluated by a focus group of expert credit risk managers with turnaround experience. The research answers three questions: What are the key determinants of a turnaround situation? What complementary strategy will result in a turnaround of each situation? What strategic practices support the different complementary strategies? FindingsResource munificence and causality (origin of distress) are the key determinants in the model, which posits four types of turnaround situation: performing well; underperformance; distress; and crisis. For each associated strategic practices are recommended. Application to the case example of Starbucks illustrates its value. Practical implicationsThe proposed model was well accepted by the expert panel, in some cases immediately applied. Participants expanded the practices recommended for each strategy. Originality/valueThe study breaks new ground in this field and challenges other researchers to dispute the model's assumptions. The model's straightforward application assists turnaround managers to clarify complex situations.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

Marius Pretorius

There are seven categories of liabilities all new managerial appointees must overcome, regardless of whether they are a new CEO or a new department manager. This paper

Abstract

Purpose

There are seven categories of liabilities all new managerial appointees must overcome, regardless of whether they are a new CEO or a new department manager. This paper aims to identify them and offer an action plan for rapidly overcoming them.

Design/methodology/approach

These liabilities are the preconditions that act as obstacles to effective leadership and strategy implementation. Junior and middle managers in the banking and finance sector were surveyed about their managers' ability to lead them and what makes them recognize and follow a leader.

Findings

Because the liabilities are interdependent, their effects can be additive and the relationships not always directly visible.

Practical implications

The bottom line message: awareness and a plan for rapid plan are essential to resolution of the seven interdependent liabilities.

Originality/value

To overcome the seven liabilities, leaders can adopt a set of key practices shown in this paper.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Marius Pretorius and Rachel Maritz

More than ever, businesses need to get their strategy right. Part of achieving this is the approach to strategy making that is chosen. The purpose of this paper is to

Abstract

Purpose

More than ever, businesses need to get their strategy right. Part of achieving this is the approach to strategy making that is chosen. The purpose of this paper is to describe how strategy making happens on the continuum of deliberate versus emerging strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

Through in‐depth interviews with “strategy informants” (CEO's) in businesses and questionnaires to respondents (managers) in the same organizations, statistical techniques have helped us draw interesting conclusions about strategy making approaches, its elements and factors moderating the choice of strategy making approach. Through factor analysis, the construct of strategy making is informed by three concepts namely: “performance consensus”, “ends and means specificity” as well as “ends and means flexibility”.

Findings

“Ends and means specificity” was associated more with the deliberate strategy approach while “ends and means flexibility” was associated more with the emerging strategy approach. “Performance consensus” was neutral and therefore relevant to both approached. Approaches also show differences depending on the following characteristics: “degree of risk taking preferred”, “comfort with stability and predictability” as well as “primarily autonomous or individual behavior preferred”. Finally, strategy making approach is moderated by “firm size”, “CEO influence” and “environmental uncertainty”.

Originality/value

Knowing the appropriate strategy making approach gives managers flexibility. There is no need to choose one approach above the other but rather to be aware of benefits that can be derived from both. The fast changing environment places pressure on the use of emergent strategy, therefore performance consensus is critical contributor to successful use thereof.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2009

Dennis Yao Dzansi and Marius Pretorius

The purpose of this paper is to propose an instrument, the Small Enterprise Social Responsibility Inventory (SESRI) for measuring business social responsibility (BSR) in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an instrument, the Small Enterprise Social Responsibility Inventory (SESRI) for measuring business social responsibility (BSR) in the African venture setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach was to use the components of Dzansi's framework to create an instrument for measuring BSR activities of small ventures that operate in rural Africa. The instrument was tested in a rural community in South Africa for validity, reliability, structure, and its ability to predict firm performance given performance of certain BSR activities.

Findings

Through factor analysis of data obtained from 314 small businesses in a rural South African setting, the instrument was found to be valid for measuring small business BSR and identified five factors: expected benefits; community or customer practices; realised or actual benefits; awareness or attitude and performance; and employee practices. Through discriminant analysis, employee practice was found useful for classifying ventures as high or low sales and profit performers, suggesting that information on a firm's BSR related employee practices may be useful predictors of sales and profit.

Research limitations/implications

Firstly, the methodology requires self‐evaluation by the respondents. However, those respondents who reported low levels of BSR activities (and negative growth in sales and performance) also reflected on their own “performance” and recorded it as low signifying some level of realistic reporting. Secondly, there is absence of question items about environmental issues. Thirdly, the sample was taken in a small rural setting, which requires caution when generalising from the results.

Originality/value

This study provides an African context specific measurement instrument for addressing small business BSR. Academics will find it useful in their research efforts. Fund managers will also find it useful for evaluating small business BSR performance. Owners/managers will have a benchmark in performing their social obligations.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2009

Dennis Yao Dzansi and Marius Pretorius

The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic and sound framework for addressing and measuring business social responsibility (BSR) in small and micro enterprises with…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic and sound framework for addressing and measuring business social responsibility (BSR) in small and micro enterprises with specific focus on the African context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is theoretical but has practical applications. The approach was to use principles of BSR from the literature to create a framework for addressing BSR issues in smaller ventures that operate in the African environment. Developing the framework involved operationalizing the linguistic meaning of BSR into observable indicators for it to be measurable. This involved the breaking down of the concept of BSR into dimensions and eventually into measurable elements.

Findings

The framework identifies customer‐, employee‐, and community‐related issues as the key BSR activities of African small businesses. Environmentalism is not a major concern for most of these businesses because they are mostly retail and services in nature; hence their impact on the environment will be so low that they need not concern themselves with environmental issues.

Research limitations/implications

Critics will point out the absence of environmental issues as a major limitation. However, the authors believe that such activities are typically associated with large industrial ventures. Thus, given their nature, it is unlikely small businesses will concern themselves with such activities.

Originality/value

There is a need for a framework that captures the African context. This paper fulfils that need by proposing a framework for micro and small ventures with possible inclusion of medium enterprises based on the stakeholder theory. Academics will find it useful in their research efforts. Fund managers will also find it useful as a tool for evaluating small business BSR performance. Small business owners will have a benchmark in performing their social obligations. Finally, consumers, businesses, citizens, NGOs and society at large can use it in distinguishing credible and effective socially responsible SMMEs from those that are not.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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