A research dissertation

AN INVESTIGATION OF THE EFFICACY OF THE STAKEHOLDER RELATIONSHIP STRATEGY OF A PLATINUM MINE IN A TRADITIONAL RURAL

 

A research dissertation

 

by

 

KHENSANI SAMUEL MOKWENA

 

Student No. 8608035966086

 

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree

 

 

MASTER OF COMMERCE

 

in

 

PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT

 

at the

 

     CRANEFIELD COLLEGE OF PROJECT AND PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT

 

 

Supervisor: Prof. D de Villiers

 

Date: 30 November 2022

 

 

ABSTRACT

 

Apart from drawing significant attention to the central role played by the stakeholder management function in a mining firm’s value creation process, this dissertation also examine challenges that hinder mining firms from developing and implementing impactful stakeholder management practices. The central concern of this study is that despite past efforts by the sector to address its persistent stakeholder management pitfalls, the challenge still persists albeit at a more disturbing rate. Sadly, mining firms with a history of poor stakeholder relations are frequently vulnerable to the disruptive effect of community protests. It is clear that mining communities are increasingly using disruptive protests as a potent tool to force mining firms on the negotiating table.

 

In this paper, a discussion regarding the efficacy of the stakeholder relationship strategy of a platinum mine in a traditional rural area has been elaborated. A discussion regarding the topic and background has been elaborated. Based on the topic, research questions and objectives have been set. Hypothesis statements have also been provided. Based on the research questions and objectives, some literary pieces have been reviewed here. In the literature review section, the areas of the research have been discussed and some stakeholder management processes that are being implemented or can be implemented in South African Mining industry have also been highlighted. While discussing these aspects during the literature review, secondary sources have thoroughly been explored, specifically the articles based on the aspect of this research. These steps are expected to give fruitful results in the case of mining projects.

 

 

 

 

 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

DECLARATION                                                                                           (i)

DEDICATION                                                                                               (ii)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                                                         (iii)

ABSTRACT                                                                                                 (iv)

GLOSSARY OF TERMS                                                                           (  )

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                            (  )

LIST OF TABLES                                                                                       (  )

LIST OF FIGURES                                                                                      (  )

 

CHAPTER 1    ORIENTATION AND BACKGROUND

1.1         INTRODUCTION                                                                        1

1.2         BACKGROUND TO THE INVESTIGATION

1.3         MOTIVATION FOR THE INVESTIGATION

1.4         STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

1.5         RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

1.6        RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.6.1      Primary research question

1.6.2      Secondary research questions

1.7        RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

1.7.1     Primary research objectives

1.7.2      Secondary research objectives

1.8         SUMMARY

CHAPTER 2    LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1         INTRODUCTION

2.2         DEFINITION OF LEADERSHIP

2.3         LEADERSHIP VERSUS MANAGEMENT

2.4         THEORIES OF LEADERSHIP

2.5         PUBLISHED COMMENTARIES ON LEADERSHIP

2.6         LEADERSHIP IN AN INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION

2.7         SUMMARY

CHAPTER 3    RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

3.1         INTRODUCTION

3.2         THE RESEARCH POPULATION

3.3         SAMPLING AND THE RESEARCH SAMPLE

3.4         THE RESEARCH INSTRUMENT

3.5         DATA COLLECTION

3.6         DATA ANALYSIS

3.7        VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY

3.8         ETHICS

3.9         SUMMARY

CHAPTER 4     FINDINGS OF THE INVESTIGATION

4.1         INTRODUCTION

4.2         FINDINGS FOR VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY

4.3         FINDINGS EXTRAPOLATED FROM THE DATA

4.4         SUMMARY

CHAPTER 5     CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1         INTRODUCTION

5.2         CONCLUSIONS

5.3         LIMITATIONS OF THE INVESTIGATION

5.4         RECOMMENDATIONS

5.5         SUMMARY                                                            

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

ORIENTATION AND BACKGROUND

 

  • INTRODUCTION AND MOTIVATION

 

The well-documented history of the mining industry in South Africa started ostensibly with the first, accidental, discovery of diamonds in 1881, by an aspiring European elephant hunter on his way from the then Cape Colony into the sparsely populated, largely agrarian, northern interior of South Africa and the countries north of South Africa. When this gentleman reached the shallow crossing point in the Gariep River, then known as the Orange River, near a small settlement serving the local farming community and travelers on their way to the north, which later developed into the present-day town called Hope Town in the present-day Northern Cape Province, he encountered children playing a game with pebbles collected from the river bank, a few of which sparkled in the bright sunlight. The few pebbles which  the man begged from the children, were later identified by a geologist in Cape Town as being alluvial diamonds. This discovery triggered the subsequent discovery of the vast of mineral       wealth of South Africa.

 

This discovery initiated a frantic rush into the Northern Cape Province by local and foreign fortune seekers, to search for the wealth that the discovery of diamonds suggested. Most of these fortune seekers were either from abroad or from what is today the Eastern and Western Provinces of South Africa, as the Dutch settlers who moved from the present day Western Cape region to escape British rule were congregated in the Graaf Reinett area of the Karoo and the 1820 British settlers were congregated in the present day Eastern Cape province.

 

This influx of fortune seekers into the northern regions of South Africa triggered the next episode in the history of  the mining industry in South Africa, when a deposit of volcanic diamonds was discovered  in 1882 on a small hill called the Otter’s Kopjé, on the farm of a Mr. Joubert, about six kilometres west of the present-day town of Kimberley. This in turn led to the discovery of similar deposits of volcanic diamonds in the center of the present-day town of Kimberley where the myriad of diamond    claims were eventually developed into what was to become known as the ‘Open mine’, often referred to as the largest man-made, open cast mine in the world, and later at a  site on the eastern edge of Kimberley that was to become the present-day Wesselton Mine.

 

It is common knowledge that the discovery of diamonds was followed in 1886, by the discovery of gold in what is today called the Witwatersrand. or more recently, Egoli. This was followed by the discovery of deposits of manganese and iron ore in the Northern Cape Province near the present day town of Kathu and even later deposits of Platinum and other metal deposits in the area around the present day Rustenburg. These discoveries established South Africa as a country with enormous mineral wealth and gave birth to a mining industry that has formed the backbone of the South African economy up to the present time.

 

Until the middle of the 1970s and into the early 1980s, the exploitation of the various mineral deposits discovered in South Africa was characterised by the fact that the mining and the related mining support or secondary industrial activities were, without exception, established in very sparsely populated rural areas where there were virtually no communities of indigenous people who had lived there for any length of time or who claimed ownership of the land, except of course for the few European  settlers, mostly of either Dutch or German origin, who claimed ownership of the farmland that they had settled on and for which they claimed ownership on the basis of occupation or land grants issued by the then colonial governments, firstly that of the Dutch and thereafter of the British.

 

In this context the mining and related industrial developments were also characterised by the establishment of new towns, which later grew into substantial cities, to accommodate the people who migrated to these areas to participate in the exploitation of the abovementioned mineral wealth. These mineral exploitation and related industrial activities developed therefore, almost without exception, where there were no pre-existing towns or cities and neither were there any significant communities of indigenous people living in these areas, and perhaps only a very small number of settlers who were almost exclusively involved in agriculture.

 

All of those who migrated to the early diamond and gold mines and the related tertiary industries, did so in search of work as a means of survival and  possibly a means of wealth creation by way of the acquisition of property in the form   of residential houses and personal savings. It is also trite comment that neither the European immigrants who had settled in the interior to the farm after fleeing from the socio-political oppression in their countries of origin, nor the very few indigenous people who lived in the relevant rural areas, were initially involved in the exploitation of the mineral wealth of the country that was to give rise to the South African mining industry.

 

The converse is true however of the mines that were established to exploit the platinum and other mineral deposits that were discovered and developed during the late 1970s and early 1980s, especially those in the so-called ‘Bushveld Basin’ of the Limpopo Province, previously called the Transvaal, which stretches from Rustenburg in the west to Burgersfort in the east, north of the N4 highway running from west to east into todays’ Mpumalanga province. These mineral deposits were discovered and the mines established to exploit them, were developed in areas   where specific, ethnically and culturally diverse, groups and communities of indigenous people had lived for hundreds of years, at least according to their own history passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation, as none these indigenous people had a written record of their own histories.

 

In the areas where the majority of these mines were established, the pre-existing indigenous communities were quite substantial in terms of the number of people who traditionally lived there. The rural settlements or villages where these indigenous people were congregated were, and still are today, characterised as ‘Kraals’. These kraals spread over large geographic areas. These largely agrarian communities consisted for the most part of smaller, extended family-based settlements, without the benefit of a properly developed infrastructure such as roads, transport services, electricity, sewage disposal and, at best, served by small, individually owned shops, often today referred to as ‘spaza shops’. These traditional, rural communities maintained largely an exchange economy and a traditional socio-political dispensation based on their culture, governed by ‘Traditional Leaders’, ‘Headmen’, and ‘Tribal chiefs’.

 

In many, if not most of these cases, the areas where these mineral deposits were found and mines developed, were in what was referred to after 1948 as the ‘homelands’, being the traditional residential areas of the said indigenous peoples and communities recognised by the colonial government at that time, where traditional leaders ‘..ruled..” in terms of traditional economic, legal or socio-political systems, which included the concept of the collective ownership of the land under the jurisdiction of the traditional leaders.

 

Because of the socio-political, socio-economic, and cultural dynamics that existed in these traditional areas, these communities and their traditional leadership accepted, and generally still accept today, that they owned, inter alia, the minerals that were discovered in their areas and that they, therefore, had the right to grant exploration and mining rights for the exploitation of “…their…” minerals and more importantly, that they should benefit  directly from the exploitation of the said minerals.

 

The disparity between the Western, capitalistic economic framework and the socio-political dispensation on which the present day South Africa was predicated and which evolved out of the Western-styled, colonial, socio-political dispensation that prevailed that the time when the abovementioned mineral wealth of South Africa was discovered, which vested all mineral rights as well as the related exploration and exploitation rights in central , without consultation with local community leaders or the communities themselves and the traditional leadership and land ownership dispensation existing in the abovementioned rural areas where these mines were developed, of necessity, resulted in an inherently adversarial relationship between the various stakeholders.

 

The said stakeholders are of course the government of the day, the mining companies which had obtained mineral exploitation from the governments of the day and the local communities and their traditional leadership whose perception was, and still is even if only by default, that they were and still are the rightful owners of the land as well as everything on or in it. It is obvious that the adversarial relationship which originated at the inception of the mining of the Platinum and other metal deposits, contained the

seeds of inherent conflict, which was manifest almost from the moment of the discovery of the said mineral deposits and the envisaged exploitation of the entrenched mineral wealth    by mining, was made public.

 

It is common cause that this adversarial relationship which developed  where the various platinum mines in the Limpopo province were developed in rural areas,  almost as soon as the mineral wealth was discovered and the development of the mines envisaged. This adversarial relationship manifested as open conflict between   the mining communities and their management who were naturally profit-driven and the local communities who were living a survival lifestyle, but who immediately developed aspirations and expectations of an improved socio-economic lifestyle.

 

This conflict emanating from the said adversarial relationship, was exacerbated as the disparities between the pre-existing communities and their traditional lifestyle, culture, and leadership, without roads, water accessible only in rivers and streams, lack of electricity and distance from commercial facilities and the immigrating mining communities with western-styled residential accomodation and residential areas with tarred roads, a permanent supply of potable water on tap, electricity, water-borne sewage and easy access to commercial support           in the form of supermarkets for a supply of fresh food, became apparent.

 

Even though the mining and the related economic activities generated opportunities for regular income in the form of wages, wealth creation via entrepreneurial initiatives such as shops, restaurants, vehicle repair facilities and               filling stations and engineering workshops, most of the local communities perceived themselves to be marginalised and disadvantaged. Unequivocally, this increased the hostility between the mining and local communities, to the extent that open aggression and destructive behaviour and interventions became the order of the day. At one platinum mine west of Steelpoort and near Roossenekal, blocking of the public road with stone barriers by locals to prevent miners from reaching the mine to work and thereby disrupting production to the extent of threatening the continued viability and sustainability of the mine, has become virtually a weekly occurrence.

 

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1.2         BACKGROUND TO THE INVESTIGATION               

 

The rapid and extensive change in the socio-economic and socio-political landscape that took place after and mainly as a consequence of the establishment in South Africa of what is generally characterised as a democratic socio-political dispensation, did little to ameliorate the inherently adversarial and conflictual relationship between traditional, rural communities in which the platinum mines of the Limpopo province were developed and the mining consortiums that had obtained exploration and mining rights for the exploitation of the platinum and lately other related mineral deposits from the governments of the day.

 

The change in the socio-political dispensation in South Africa took place at a time during which the local political leadership in the rural areas mentioned above, activists, and various so-called change agents, strongly supported by the local liberal and international media, promoted the perception that local communities who were populated by the indigenous peoples of South Africa, were being oppressed by the colonial immigrants            to South Africa to be able to exploit the riches of the South African mineral wealth, and that in the process their traditional rights to benefit appropriately from this   mineral wealth, were being denied.

 

The ideological paradigm on which the pursuit of political change was predicated, generated the perception that once political freedom had been achieved and a democratic government installed in place of what was characterised as the Apartheid Government dispensation, the lives of all South African would be improved substantially by means of their sharing in the economic prosperity that characterised South Africa before democratisation when South Africa was characterised internationally as the ‘economic engine of Africa.’ Of necessity, this generated understandable, but almost irrational, expectations of sudden wealth and the almost magical eradication of poverty.

 

 

Almost 30 years after the socio-political democratisation of South Africa in 1994, the adverserialism and the related inherent conflict mentioned above has increased to the point where the conflict has become manifest and has surfaced as open hostility that has spilt over into aggression and, in some cases, destructive behaviour on the part of the local   communities. It has been suggested by analysts of this manifest behaviour, that it is the frustration with the rate of change and the failure of the said local communities to access the envisaged benefits and improvements that they had envisaged, that has brought these communities to a point of no return.

 

It has been widely reported in the media that in the case of one well know platinum mine in the Steelpoort Valley in eastern Limpopo, the disruption of the traffic flow to the mine, often to the disadvantage of the community themselves, using the erection of barriers of loose stones and the burning of rubber vehicle tyres, has become a regulaer occurrence. Often both the mine management or the local government  officials indicate that they are unaware of the cause of the overt aggression and hostility that precipitated this   destructive behaviour. Often the cause of this behaviour is expressed several days after the barriers are removed, as dissatisfaction with some actions or intervention or failure to action as expected by the mine management, governments failure with regard to service delivery or something that a local official did or did not do.

 

Perhaps the most well-known incident of such overt hostile behaviour that led to the outburst of aggression and hostility, is what has become characterised as the ‘Marikana massacre’. In this matter the failing wage negotiations caused the mineworkers to become increasingly aggressive and hostile and eventually to engage in a public demonstration in the form of a gathering on the side of a hill adjacent to the mine property. Because this gathering   took place in a public area and the mineworkers were seen to carry weapons in the form of pangas, knob Kierries and allegedly concealed firearms, the South African police were mobilised by the mine security. Violent confrontation between the police and the workers ensued when the latter refused to disperse when instructed to do so. The hostility and aggression later degenerated into a bloody conflict that ultimately claimed the lives of more than 40 miners and mine security guards. According to Barnett, Henriques, and Husted (2018:3), it was the failure of the international mining company   to resolve a protracted

 

wage dispute that led to one of the worst overt manifestations      of conflict in the recent history of the mining sector in South Africa.

According to Genç (2017:12) and Walters (2017:34), the mining industry in general, but the platinum mines in Limpopo in particular, are increasingly under pressure from local communities seeking direct involvement in the management of the mines and are therefore increasingly reliant on the efficacy of their stakeholder relationship management practices to be able to remain viable and sustainable. Similarly, Rabechini (2019:13), citing successful mines such as Anglo-American, Rio-Tinto, Kumba, Ashanti–Gold of Anglo-American, Rio-Tinto, and Kumba, suggests (op cit., 23) that the stakeholder relationship management strategies of these mines have become       perhaps the core component of their long-term strategic management plans. Recent research findings by Mohamed (2021:56) suggests that business organisations that have and properly manage effective stakeholder relationship strategies, stand a better chance of remaining viable and sustainable in a potentially hostile stakeholder environment, than those that fail to engage all their stakeholders properly. Simiarly, Dağlı (2018:10) warns that mining companies with a history of poor stakeholder relationships management, remain prone to hostilities from their adjacent rural communities.

 

The history of events at Bokoni Platinum Mine in the Limpopo province of South Africa between 2017 and 2019, reported by Lehtinen, Aaltonen, and Rajala (2019:78), supported by the findings of Dağlı (op cit., p.15), is suggested as being practical proof of the veracity   of the abovementioned research findings. It is a matter of historical record that the relationship between the mine management and the local community deteriorated over time and that running battles ensued between        local youth groups, with the backing of their traditional leaders and the mine officials. The hostile local community members accused the mine management of ignoring them in the employment for vacant jobs and denying them economic opportunities when vacant jobs were given to people from other communities, especially foreigners. The further accusations against the mine management included that they deliberately ignored the    need to improve the living conditions and lifestyle of the local communities, while substantial benefits accrued to non-locals.

 

A similar history and almost identical outcomes in 2021, were reported at the Mogalakwena Mine in Limpopo that is owned by Anglo American Platinum.

 

A recent investigation by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy into the underlying causes of conflict in mines in the historical areas of indigenous communities, supported by the research findings of inter alia Barnett, Henriques, and Husted (op., p.5), suggests that the conflict that has become almost endemic at platinum mines, can be attributed to the reluctance by mining companies and their management to engage with local communities and their traditional leaders and to integrate the needs and aspirations of local communities in their business planning.

 

1.3       MOTIVATION FOR THE INVESTIGATION

 

The Mogalakwena platinum mine that serves as a case study for this investigation, is located 25 km east of the town of Mokopane in the Limpopo province. The mine is owned by the Anglo-American Corporation and is one of many mines in the province that are constantly embroiled in on-going hostilities with their local communities. The mine is accused of failing to engage with the local community leadership or to consult with the      local community when making decisions that could negatively impact them in any way, irrespective of whether this threat is real or merely perceived.

 

It has been suggested that if the Mogalakwena platinum mine management engaged properly and honestly with the local community leadership on matters that are perceived to be a threat to or to possibly impact the local communities negatively in some way and which therefore could lead to a substantial degree of hostility, aggression and overt resistance by the local community, the imminent adversarial relationship with the local, rural community would be obviated or at least ameliorated. The suggestion is that such engagement would be beneficial for the continued viability and sustainability of the mine, even if the perceived threat to the interests of the local community  proved subsequently not to have actually been a threat to the community, in that the hostility, aggression and overt resistance which proved very costly to the mine, could have been avoided.

 

 

It was suggested by Park, Kim, Kim, and Kim (2017:67) that, given the strategic contribution to the economy of the platinum mining sector in South Africa, especially in a period of substantial economic downturn in South Africa with an almost destructive level of unemployment, South Africa cannot afford the very substantial negative impact of the said hostility, aggression and overt behaviour by local communities emanating from poor or even non-existent stakeholder relations strategies.

 

Consequently, the acquisition of proper empirical research to procure defensible knowledge to augment the body of scientific knowledge related to the management of the critically important platinum mines in their rural environments and     the stakeholder relationships between the platinum mine managements and the local rural communities, that are perceived to be able to ensure the continued viability and sustainability of the platinum mines is of critical importance to South Africa. This supposition is strongly supported by inter   alia Genc, (op cit., p.14), as well as de Oliveira and Rabechini (Jr.), (2019:45) and provides the motivation for undertaking the envisaged investigation.

 

1.4      THE RESEARCH PROBLEM STATEMENT

 

Whereas the consensus amongst theorists, academics and researchers is that developing and   implementing effective stakeholder relationship strategies in the platinum mines will   serve to ameliorate the hostilities and aggression that are generally held to be the cause of the disruptive behaviour of local communities of the platinum mines in Limpopo, there seems to be a lack of understanding or perhaps even of knowledge of this consensus view.

 

Inspite of this lack of understanding or perhaps of knowledge by the various mine managements, the various authors on the subject mentioned above, are ostensibly Ad Idem that a proper understanding of the critical importance of such effective stakeholder relationship strategies for the continued viability and long-term sustainability of the mines and the dynamics of the local communities that impact the relevant stakeholder relationship at                   the platinum mines, should motivate the respective mine executives and management to engage with the local communities and their leadership with regard to their stakeholder relationship strategies.

 

Despite the recorded history of aggressive and hostile behaviour of local communities towards the platinum mines in the Limpopo province, ostensibly due to ineffective stakeholder relationship strategies and the consequential poor management of stakeholder relationships, it appears, Prima facie, that the executive management of these mines do not fully understand and appreciate the critical importance of such stakeholder relationship strategies for the continued viability and long term sustainability of these mines, and therefore fail to invest adequate time and resources in the development of suitable and effective stakeholder relationship strategies in terms of which to manage the said mines.

 

This supposition is supported by the findings of Ola-two, Walayande, Bashir and Oyewobi (2021:34) that in the recent past, stakeholder relationship management has repeatedly been blamed for being the underlying cause of the repeated hostilities between the management of these mines and local rural communities. Similarly, Oppong, Chan and Dansoh (2017:5) confirm that there is a growing concern that these mines will remain prone to the threat of hostility and aggression that will continue to be disruptive, if a sustainable solution is not found.

 

Mr. Mokwena,  It appears that some sort of formatting that either you are your typist is using, is causing some words to flow together and also to resist the normal spacing that is entrenched in the default system of the word programme. This is making it enormously difficult for me or Prof Kotze to assist you with corrections etc, This formatting of your also negatively impacts the normal typographical layout by causing the typed fonts to take on some hyroghraphical form – please get rid of this formatting as it is going to cause major problems for you at the end !!

 

1.5         RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS                               

The research hypothesis that can be extrapolated from the introduction, the background, the motivation for the investigation and the research problem statement given above, can be formulated as the following Null hypothesis:

 

 

Ho The management of the Mogalakwena Mine does not properly understand the

critical importance of an effective stakeholder relationship strategy in the

assurance of the continued viability and longer term sustainability of the mine.

 

1.6        RESEARCH QUESTIONS

 

The abovementioned research problem statement and the research hypothesis   promotes the extrapolation of the primary research question and the various secondary research questions shown below.

 

1.6.1    The primary research question

 

The primary research question that reflects the Null hypothesis and forms the basic supposition on which the envisaged investigation is predicted, can be formulated as follows:

Does the executive and management of the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine                                     understand the critical importance of an effective stakeholder relationship strategy in assuring the continued viability and longer term sustainability of the mine?

 

1.6.2      The secondary research questions                                                   

 

The secondary or investigative research questions that can be extrapolated from the primary research question and which are intended to procure data that will facilitate either the acceptance or rejection of the Null hypothesis can be formulated as follows:

 

  1. Does the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine have a formalized stakeholder

relationship strategy?

  1. Has the formal stakeholder relationship strategy of the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine been communicated to the leadership and members of the local rural community adjacent to the mine?
  2. Has the formal stakeholder relationship strategy of the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine been discussed and agreed with the leadership and members of the local rural community adjacent to the mine?
  3. Does the executive and management of the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine manage the mine in accordance with the formalized and agreed stakeholder relationship strategy of the mine.
  4. Are the executive and management of the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine

Prepared to engage with the local community leaders to properly understand

the perceptions, aspirations, attitudes and critical needs of the local                                community?

  1. Are the executive and management of the Mogalakwena Mine prepared

to engage with the local community and its’ traditional leadership to develop

a mutually acceptable and effective stakeholder relationship strategy?

  1. Are the executive and management of the Mogalakwena Mine prepared

to adhere to the abovementioned effective stakeholder relationship strategy

and to manage the mine in terms thereof?

 

1.7         THE RESEARCH OBJECTIVES                                              

 

To be able to procure answers to secondary or investigative research questions, the primary research objective of the envisaged investigation will be as follows:

 

1.7.1   The primary research objective

To determine whether the executive and management of the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine understand the critical importance of an effective stakeholder relationship strategy in assuring the continued viability and longer term sustainability of the mine?

 

1.7.2   The secondary research objectives

 

Given the primary research objective shown above, the secondary research objectives of the investigation are as follows:

 

  1. To determine whether the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine has a formalized

Stakeholder relationship strategy?

  1. To determine whether the formal stakeholder relationship strategy of the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine has been communicated to the leadership and members of the local rural community adjacent to the mine?
  2. To determine whether the formal stakeholder relationship strategy of the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine has been discussed and agreed with the leadership and members of the local rural community adjacent to the mine?
  3. To determine whether the executive and management of the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine manages the mine in accordance with the formalized and agreed stakeholder relationship strategy of the mine.
  4. To determine whether the executive and management of the Mogalakwena

Mine are prepared to engage with the local community leaders to properly

Understand the perceptions, aspirations, attitudes, and critical needs of the

Local community.

  1.  To determine whether the executive and management of the Mogalakwena

Mine are prepared to e with the local community and its’ traditional leadership to

Develop a stakeholder relationship strategy

  1.  To determine whether the executive and management of the Mogalakwena Mine

Are prepared to adhere to the abovementioned strategy and to manage the mine

In terms thereof.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.8     Summary

Please ensure that you end each chapter with a summary of between 4 and 8 -10 pages recapturing all the highlights of the content in the chapter.

 

P.T.O.

The way you headed your chapters is unacceptable. Please use the format of presentation of the chapter headings and the section headings as shown below, and nothing else !!!!!

CHAPTER TWO

 

LITERATURE STUDY

Notice the correct use of bold versus plain text in the numbering of the section headings, as well as the use of capital letters with the headings versus the use of lower case, in the text content below – this is the correct and only acceptable way !!!!!

 

2.1       INTRODUCTION

 

It is a matter of historical record that the modern business organization as it is known today, evolved as the basis of economic activity in Western Europe and Britain as a result of the decline and ultimate demise of the socio-political dispensation known as the feudal system.

 

In this feudal system the ownership of all property, including the so called ‘serfs’ who lived on the land, usually in small villages scattered around the castles and manor houses of the wealthy land owners, vested in the King and the select group of upper class families who were known as the ‘landed gentry’. These families generally obtained their upper class position and status either as a consequence of their service to the King during the ongoing wars that characterized that period, or through blood relationships with the King and his immediate royal family.

 

The serf were so called because they were the servants of the royal families and the gentry, not only in the homes of the gentry but also on their estates. Even craftsmen living in the small villages such as potters and furniture makers worked almost exclusively at the behest of the landowner and were not allowed to own any property, as servants they earned very little if any wages and consequently these so-called ‘common people’ had little, if any, opportunity to accumulate wealth. All economic activity was at that time under the auspices of this top strata of society and was controlled directly by the royalty and abovementioned wealthy families who comprised the landed gentry, while the common people lived lives of servitude and subjugation. One critic of the feudal system, Collins (2001:12), said that “…the serfs did the work and barely managed to survive, while the gentry reaped the benefits of their work and lived a life of luxury and indulgence…”.

 

Towards the end of the 1700s the socio-political power base of the kings, the royal families and the Landed Gentry slowly started declining inter alia because of wars, internecine strife and the feuding between families that occurred for a variety of reasons. This decline of the feudal system to place in parallel with technical developments and scientific discoveries and technical developments that have been attributed to the socio-political emancipation of the common people that accompanied the decline of the feudal system and eroding of the socio-political power of the royalty and the gentry. Perhaps the most significant technical development of this period because it triggered a change in the economic landscape, was the development of a mechanical means of generating power to replace the human effort that drove virtually all economic activity during the feudal era. This mechanical means of generating power, according to inter alia Jones (2014:6), was developed by James Watts, an engineer employed at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, as a double acting, rotating steam driven engine.

 

Other authors point out however that this monumental discovery should not be attributed to James Watt and that the original steam engine was in fact built by Thomas Newcomen in 1872. Jones (ibid) himself point out however that the origins of the steam engine go much further back and that these developments were in fact not new discoveries, but were actually improvements of earlier technical developments, such as the rudimentary steam engine which was actually a “… reciprocating steam engine …” developed by Heron of Alexandria as a water pump, during the Roman occupation of Egypt. Another example of such an earlier engine is the steam driven jack that was developed by an Ottoman engineer to pump water out of the Nile river, during the time the Ottoman Turks ruled Egypt.

 

The significance of these progressive development of a mechanical means to generate power to replace human labour, is that when such a mechanical power source such as a steam engine was coupled to a system of gears and levers, it enabled the speeding up of the production of inter alia consumer goods, which in turn increased the volume of production of such goods and concomitantly resulted in a decrease in the cost of production and therefore also in the price of, amongst others, consumer goods.

 

As the price of goods and products decreased in line with the increase in the volume of production, a decrease in the price and an increase in the availability of those products for consumption by the ordinary people, so the economic environment changed. Together with more and more ordinary people being employed in the emerging factories, earning regular wages and therefore being able to purchase the above- mentioned consumer goods, the abovementioned technological developments triggered the emergence of a capitalistic economy to replace the restricted economy that characterised the feudal system.

 

Another specific, but clearly unintended, consequence of the abovementioned technological developments, the concomitant increase in production capacity, the employment of more and more ordinary people in the emerging factories as labourers, machine minders and qualified artisans to assist in the production of goods, men were employed to guide and co-ordinate the work done by the production workers was the employment in these factories of a new class of employee that became known as ‘managers’.

 

As the number, size and complexity of factories increased and the structure and operational functioning as well as the management of these factories became more complex, it was recognised that the management of these factories required more than just the arbitrary appointment of a person or persons to control the activities of the people employed in the production process. This realisation triggered the need for research relating to the management of people in these factories, as well as of the personality characteristics and behaviour of a person who sought to be an efficient and effective manager. The consequence was the emergence of a new area of academic and scientific focus, referred to as management science and the development of theories to underpin this new management science. This research entailed practical, theoretical and empirical investigations from which a body of scientific knowledge could be accumulated. The brief summary of the development of this new management science is an extract from  the  inter alia Wexley and Yukl (1977:11-54) and Hersey and Blanchard (1982:3-12).

 

Soon after the turn of the century, academics and researchers such as Fayol (1925, cited in Hersey and Blanchard (ibid) started describing the scientific content of management functions and processes, ostensibly based on practical In Situ investigations of the management activities in factories and other business organisations. The findings of these investigations were translated into theories of management. These early theories of business organisation management were all rather mechanistic and inflexible, and relied for the most part on a bureaucratic view of business management structures and processes, ostensibly as an extrapolation of the previous business ownership and control dispensation that existed during the feudal system.

 

In support of these early theories of management, researchers such as Roethlisberger (1941, cited in Hersey and Blanchard, ibid) and McGregor (1944, cited in Hersey and Blanchard, ibid), developed the so-called empirical school of thought relating to management. This more organic approach to understanding management, is found in McGregor’s Theory ‘X’ and Theory ‘Y’ and the theoretical conceptualization of management by Hersey and Blanchard (ibid, p.48). Both these approaches suggest that a continuum of attitudes to the management of people exists, with a totally negative perception of people and work at the one end of the continuum and a totally positive perception of people and work at the other. Later theories of management by inter alia Drucker (….), Senge (….) and Covey (….) tended to focus on the behaviour of managers.

 

It is trite also that subsets of the concept of management emerged during the mid 1900s to focus on the specific functionalities in a modern business organization. So for example the focus on the securing of capital for the establishment of a business organization and the finances required for its day to day operational activities such as buying raw materials and paying wages gave rise to the development of the science of financial management. The focus on identifying and procuring the latest and most efficient technology for the production of the goods and services that the organization envisages for the relevant market, gave rise to the branch of management referred to as technological management. Equally, the focus on the management of the people employed by the organization gave rise to the science of human resource management.

 

One of the consequences of the unprecedentedly rapid growth of the factories and the capitalistic economies that characterised the first decades of the 1900 was that the growth could, in many cases, not be funded personally by the entrepreneurs who started the privately owned companies to produce inter alia consumer goods. These entrepreneurs sought financial support from investors who did not want to become directly involved in the management or operations of these entrepreneurial business organisations, but were interested only in acquiring wealth by maximizing their income from said investments. This development gave rise to the emergence of public companies in which these investors were stakeholders, which introduced the further dynamic into the sciences of business management of a focus on stakeholder interest management.

 

Finally, the globalization of the international economies and the so called liberalization of the international markets during the second half of the 1980s changed the dynamics of economic activities from a focus almost entirely on the procurement of an income and possibly the generation of wealth for the entrepreneurs who started businesses, to a focus also on the interests of stakeholders in the form of investors and thereafter to a focus on the interests of other stakeholders such as the local communities where these businesses were located, the national and later the international communities that were impacted by these globalized business organisations.

 

By the beginning of the new century in the year 2000 stakeholder interest management had become accepted as an important, albeit separate part of the management sciences that gave rise to extensive publication by academics and theoretical management scientists and also significant empirical research findings on the subject. The research findings of inter alia Heath (2004:45) suggested that for any business organisation remain viable and sustainable in the global economic environment, according to the empirical research finding it is imperative that its functional activities and interventions, its operational strategies and policies, and also the general management behaviour in the day to day operations of the business, must be reconciled with the perceptions, attitudes, needs, and aspirations of its key stakeholders.

 

Whereas a mine is unequivocally a business organization, albeit that it has unique dynamics and is subject to a unique set of forces, the findings of Heath (ibid) can without doubt also be applied to a mine. Because of the unique development histories of the platinum mines in the rural Limpopo region and their placement within traditional rural communities who perceive the minerals found on their traditional land to be owned by them, it is trite that the continued viability and sustainability of these mines must be understood to be a determinant of the efficacy of the stakeholder relationship strategies of these platinum mines, as an integral part of the effectiveness of the management of these mines.

 

In the case of a platinum mine in a rural area where traditional culture,  lifestyles and leadership prevail, the traditional leadership of the local community which can articulate the perceptions, attitudes, needs, and aspirations of the local community and who would be able and mandated to voice the concerns In the case of a platinum mine in a rural area where traditional culture,  lifestyles and leadership prevail, it would certainly be the traditional leadership of the local community which can articulate the perceptions, attitudes, needs, and aspirations of the local community, and who would be able and mandated to voice the concerns of the said community, as well as matters of mutual interest In the case of a platinum mine in a rural area where traditional culture,  lifestyles and leadership prevail, it would certainly be the traditional leadership of the local community which can articulate the perceptions, attitudes, needs, and aspirations of the local community, and who would be able and mandated to voice the concerns, as well as matters of mutual interest of the community, who would be an external stakeholder of the mine.

 

In support of the findings by Heath (ibid) mentioned above, Scherer and Patzer (2011:14) suggest                that, whereas a business organisation is comprised of individuals and groups, each with their psycho-social dynamics determined by their respective attitudes, perceptions, needs and aspirations which have to be optimally aligned if the organisation is to continue to function properly, to remain viable and to continue to be sustainable and competitive in the global economic environment. They also suggest that if this alignment is not achieved, the organisation will become dysfunctional and could cease to cease to exist. The abovementioned researchers (ibid)       also suggest that, at least by implication, if optimal, preferably maximal, alignment is  achieved the organisation will procure the greatest degree of competitiveness in the market in which it operates. Finally, they suggest that this essential alignment applies not only to the internal stakeholders of the company but also to the external stakeholders.

 

Similarly, Freeman, Wicks, and Parmar (2004:34) and Jensen (2001:36) agree that alignment of the often diverse attitudes, perceptions, needs, and aspirations of the various stakeholders, can only be achieved if the stakeholders engage openly, honestly and in a meaningful way. They suggest that such an engagement  could be achieved by establishing of a forum or platform where the stakeholders can meet regularly. They also hold the view that virtually all forms and methods of stakeholder engagement will contribute significantly to assuring the continued viability and long-term sustainability of a business organization such as a platinum mine in a rural area with its traditional community and traditional leadership system.

 

This proposition appears to be supported by various research findings by, inter alia, Freeman and Edward (2001:46), Scherer and Patzer (2011:34) as well as Hausman and McPherson (2006:67), who all propose that the key to successful engagement between the mine management and its local community stakeholder, is the ability by management to garner support for the mine’s formalised vision, mission statements as well as the long term operating and business strategies, and conversely that any attempt to exclude the local community stakeholder or to ignore their attitudes, perceptions, needs and aspirations will almost certainly have a negative impact on the mine’s continued viability and sustainability.

 

Both the researcher teams of Donaldson and Preston (1995:10) and Harrison, Bosses, and Phillips (2010:67) warn however that very few stakeholders of any business organization, including a platinum mine in a rural area in Limpopo, will have the same attitudes, perceptions, needs and aspirations as the executive     and management of such a business organization. This is unequivocally also true for the platinum mines in Limpopo. They also point out that because the needs, desires and aspirations as well as the objectives of various stakeholders in every situation and every environment will unequivocally differ, it will probably not be possible to develop a single blueprint that is applicable or even suitable for all situations. This presupposes that the engagement between the management of a platinum mine and its local community stakeholder, must be driven by the honest and open communication during a willing interface, otherwise the unique stakeholder relationship that is evolved may be doomed from the  outset.

 

2.2      CONTRARY VIEWS

 

Despite the various recent research findings promoting the abovementioned theoretical proposition that an effective  supported stakeholder relationship strategy, unique unique to a specific business organization and its environment such as a platinum mine, that was developed by effective engagement between the various stakeholders, will assure the continued viability and longer-term sustainability of that business organization, it would be dangerous  to accept this as being universally true. This specifically true of a business organization such as a platinum mine established and operating in a rural geographic area, occupied by a traditional indigenous local rural community and socio-politically governed by traditional leaders.

 

 

In the first place there are a plethora of extraneous factors that         determine the viability and sustainability of such a platinum mine, including but certainly not limited to the international commodity price of platinum. This commodity price is determined primarily by a large number of international economic drivers that  have no relationship with the stakeholder relationship strategy and its impact on the management of the mine. Also, the commodity price of platinum is totally beyond the control of either the management of the mine, the local community or its leadership, the national government of the country or any other local socio-economic or socio-political factors.

 

Examples of such factors could include international political events, technical engineering developments, international investment trends, or even local and international political dynamics that negatively impact the demand for any mineral such as platinum.

The reality is that a platinum mine, whether in a rural environment with a local indigenous community or in an urban environment such as that of Rustenburg with a cosmopolitan community including foreign labour to whom the local urban community could be very hostile for a variety of reasons, is a highly complex business organisation. The point is made by McPhail (2017:67) that a stakeholder relationship strategy and its proper management alone is only one of a multitude of factors that impact the viability and sustainability of any business organisation, including a platinum mine. This suggests that while the efficacy of a stakeholder relationship strategy may be a very important determinant of the viability and sustainability of a business organisation such as a platinum mine, it remains only one of the determinants and can never be considered insolation.

 

2.3       IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PLATINUM MINING INDUSTRY

 

It is a trite comment that the mining industry and indeed the whole of the mining sector in South Africa has undergone substantial changes in the recent two decades and is increasingly confronted by the demand for what has become known in the popular media as socio-political and socio-economic restructuring, albeit that what is meant by this demand for change is more often than not determined by the source of the demand.

 

On the one hand, the industry is faced with pressure from the national government and the ruling political party to change structurally in line with public policy and the pressure from various interest groups to reform, albeit that even the construct of ‘reform’ is dependent                       on the interpretation of the source of the demand and the underlying motive, often quite nefarious, of the source of the demand. On the other hand, the industry is constantly confronted by trade unionists and other pressure groups with the demand that the mineral wealth of South Africa must be “…equitably shared…”, which in most cases can be translated as a demand for greater wages that will enhance the material, economic situation of labour and the opportunity for wealth creation in terms of the acquisition of material possessions.

 

While it is common knowledge that the whole of the mining industry is faced with the various demands referred to briefly above, it is equally well known that the platinum mines operating in rural areas on land occupied even if not actually owned, by local indigenous communities, living in terms of their traditional cultures and ruled by their traditional leaders, entails a unique situation. In this environment stakeholder relationships function in a unique and inordinately complex context, when compared to, for example, a traditional gold, iron ore or manganese mine in an established, urban environment, a to McPhail (2017:45).

 

2.4      STAKEHOLDER RELATIONSHIP STRATEGY TRENDS

 

According to Remme and de Waal (2020:4), since the discovery of the mineral wealth of the country, until about two decades ago, the mining industry remained stable and relatively peaceful but then became increasingly turbulent. Numerous researchers have traced the change in the operational climate in the sector indicated by the increasing aggression and hostilities manifesting in overt disruptive behaviour by labour and local community members.

 

Soon after 2000, the industry started experiencing increasing aggressive and hostile attitudes of the labour force, the communities around the mines and organised labour in general. This resulted in the relationship between mining executives and management and its environment deteriorating significantly. As protectors of the environmental communities the mine security and the South African Police Service became involved in this deteriorating relationship and various journalists have referred to the mining environment as a “…war zone…”. This has been especially true of the platinum mines in Limpopo, operating in the traditional homelands of various ethnic   rural communities and their traditional leadership.

 

This overt conflict has had a ripple effect, according to Northey et al. (2019:45). They focused their investigation on the human cost of the protracted conflict incidents, an example of which is the much-reported comment on the Marikana massacre. Most sources attribute the tragic event and its outcome to the alleged recalcitrance of mine management and their failure to respond timeously to the demands of the mineworkers, mine security acting on the instruction of the mine executive and management, and the South Africa police. Several authors have also attributed the incident to party political interests. At the same time, only a very few sources were brave enough to focus on the covert provocation resulting from the behaviour of the miners and local community members and leaders who gathered, banishing various weapons and singing ostensibly militant songs. The tragic cost of this incident, however, justified it may have been and probably was, including the death of at least 40 people, the severe injury of an unaccounted number of other people, and billions of rands of damage to public and private infrastructure that was vandalised by the miners and local community members who according to the media were acting peacefully. In addition, very significant losses were incurred by the mine due to mining operations having to be halted for prolonged periods and by the thousands of mining employees who were not paid while not working during the incident and who lost their jobs, according to a report by Remme and de Waal, (2020:4-5).

 

In this context, Northey et al. (2019:45) point out that the tragedy of this incident which held international attention for the greater part of 2014, must be attributed, at least in some part, to the failure of the Stakeholder relationship strategy of the mine, suggesting that if the management of Glencore had adequately engaged with its stakeholders timeously, this tragedy could have been averted.

 

Similar incidents have been reported in Limpopo at various platinum mines in the Northwest province and the Northern Cape and Gauteng provinces. Mining companies such as Anglo Platinum, Sibanye Gold, Bokoni Platinum, and Dwarsriver have witnessed labour and community protest action during the said period, according to Remme and de Waal (op cit., 4).

 

The three main reasons were given by investigators for these protest actions, and militant behaviours by labour and local communities are,

  • The failure by the mining organisations to anticipate the dissatisfaction, aggression, and hostilities of either labour or the local communities.
  • The failure or refusal to proactively engage with labour or the local communities on matters of concern to them and the related failure by the management of the mining organisation to prioritise locals to  distribute Economic
  • The failure by the management of the mining organisation to invest appropriate resources for the development and establishing mutually accepted and supported stakeholder relationship strategies and

 

2.5     SUMMARY

 

The business organisation to be sustainable as well as viable in the long term must try to reconcile the varied operational policies and strategies, the interventions as well as the functional activities in fulfilling the attitudes, the needs, and the aspirations of the stakeholders. Further, the business organisation must try to function optimally by checking whether they fulfil the attitudes, needs, and perceptions. The business organisation is likely to become dysfunctional if the alignment of the company cannot be achieved in accordance with the business requirements and the demands of the customers. There should be an enhanced and stronger bond between the various stakeholders of the platinum mine. It is the responsibility of the management to check that it establishes a vital platform following the requirements of the stakeholders. There have to be careful attempts made in the articulation of the attitudes, perceptions, and needs so that the voice of the customers is to be provided with due consideration. Further, the platinum mine can function effectively only if there exist honest and open ways of engaging with the stakeholders in a meaningful way. The leadership, the attitudes, the aspirations as well as the voice of the customers are also to be provided with due consideration.

 

The effective and collaborative engagement of the stakeholders is likely to contribute to the long-term sustainability and viability of the platinum mine. There has to be an effective level of engagement between the stakeholders of the local community as well as the mine management. It is also important to keep an eye on the long-term business operational strategies, the attitudes, the perceptions, aspirations as well as the needs of the stakeholders to a great extent. On the other hand, the stakeholders must also be provided with an improved and enhanced level of recognition so that it becomes easier to maintain an improved and enhanced level of collaboration between the stakeholders in all situations. However, it is also important to keep an eye on the shortcomings of the stakeholder relationship theory which states that there has to be an effective and relevant relationship among the stakeholders linked with the development of sustainability as well as the long-term viability of the platinum mine. It is also important to keep an eye on the geographic area of the stakeholders so that it becomes easier to carry out the task following the demands of the customers. As there exists a wider range of extraneous factors affecting the growth of the platinum mine, viability, as well as sustainability, plays an effective and vital role. In some cases, it is found that there exist no such economic drivers that are linked with the development of the close association with the stakeholders as well as the effective management that is beyond the managerial control. The political events, the investment trends as well as the varied political dynamics also negatively affect the growth of the platinum mines. In the stakeholder relationship theory, viability, as well as sustainability, plays an effective role in the effective operation of the platinum mine. In some cases, the platinum mine also faces threats from the national government, the varied confrontations from the trade union as well as the substantial changes thereby affecting the growth of the organisation to a great extent. Moreover, there might also exist greater operational complexities thereby making it difficult for the stakeholders to carry out the stakeholder management process accordingly. There are changes witnessed in the operational climate of the mining industry and thus it is the responsibility of the local community and the labour to manage the socio-political dispensation to a great extent. It is important to keep an eye on the varied conflicts that have affected the operation of the mining industry and thus careful measures are to be taken to avoid such tragedies in the long run. Therefore, there has to be a careful and appropriate level of investment along with the adequate allocation of the stakeholders for the effective functioning of the mining industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

 

3.1       INTRODUCTION

 

A basic definition of research design proposed by De Vos, Strydom, Fouché and Delport (2005:9) is that it refers to a “…blueprint or detailed plan of how a research study is to be conducted”. Similarly, Welman, Kruger and Mitchell (2005:56) explain that research design explains the rationale for the selection of the research approach, methods and techniques that will be used in the acquisition of new knowledge about, or a better understanding of, a phenomenon or a problem.

 

In support of the abovementioned definition, Terre’ Blanche, Durrheim and Painter (2006:73) describe research design as the prior decisions relating to the systematic process by means of which a researcher intends to investigate some problem in order to add to the body of scientific knowledge in a specific area of science. It has also been described as a step-by-step plan for collecting information relating to a specific topic or problem, the analyses of that information by means of statistical techniques to extract meaning from the information and the drawing of conclusion about the topic or problem from the findings in order to add to the body of scientific knowledge about the topic.

 

The earlier theorists Hague and Jackson (1996:46), proposed that research design should consist of the following processes:

  1. Defining and describing the research topic in the context of the field of study being investigated.
  2. Determining the nature, structure, size and location of the research population.
  3. Deciding on sampling issues such as the nature, structure and size of the sample, probable sub-groups in the sample, access to the probable respondents and the methodology of accessing these respondents.
  4. The data collection methodology, and the most suitable research instrument where applicable.
  5. The most suitable methodology for the analysis of the raw data that is collected.

 

An important view expressed by Wessels (1999:9) is that the perceptions, beliefs and values of a researcher is totally determinant of what constitutes knowledge and how it can be understood. This implies that the design of an investigation is invariably determined by the physical, biographic and psychological background of the researcher. because these factors determine the perceptions, attitudes, and opinions of the researcher. This suggests that no research is ever completely free of the personal influence the researcher and therefore that care has to be taken by the researcher to remain unbiased; this is generally referred to as the epistemology of research.

 

Various researchers seem to be of the opinion that the most important decision a researcher has to take when deciding to undertake an investigation is whether to use a quantitative or a qualitative approach, because this will be determinant of the choice of the most appropriate research methodologies to be used. Clearly it is not only the epistemology that determines the research design decision but also  the actual nature of the investigation needs to be taken into account when choosing between a quantitative or qualitative approach, because this will determine the choice of the sampling, data collection and data analysis methodologies.

Research scientists such as Bentz and Shapiro (1998:64), Cooper and Schindler (2003:71) and also Neuman (2006:94) promote the view that the basic difference between quantitative and qualitative research is that a quantitative approach is concerned with the what, where and when of a topic, while a qualitative approach is concerned with the why and how of behaviour. Similarly, they suggest that the appropriate research design for an investigation is determined by the view that where an investigation aims to obtain a description of the properties of a phenomenon or a topic, a quantitative approach will probably be the preferred methodology, while Terre’ Blanche et al. (2006:72) suggest that a quantitative approach usually focusses on measuring or evaluating the difference between the before and after states of a subject, while Collis and Hussey (2003:52-53) suggests that a positivistic approach to

an investigation always “…seeks… (to identify) … the characteristics of a social phenomenon or the causes to a problem….(from the researchers perspective)…”. Finally, various theorists hold that where deductive logic and reasoning has to be used to understand the meaning of the data that is collected, the investigation must be an empirical, quantitative investigation in the form of an explorative survey.

 

Given the suppositions mentioned above the decision in the envisaged investigation was to conduct an explorative survey using a specially developed questionnaire to collect information regarding the views of the executive and senior management of the platinum mine that would be used as a case study, because they were presumed to have personal knowledge and experience of the formal stakeholder relationship management strategies of the mine, the determinants of the successful management of the mine in the present international commodities markets and the mining industry in South Africa. This suggests that the investigation would have to be quantitative so that information that is collected can be analysed statistically using standardised methodologies, according to the guidelines provided by inter alia Collis and Hussey (op cit., p.19), which in turn indicated that the data would have to be collected by means of a questionnaire attached to a measuring instrument.

 

3.2       THE RESEARCH POPULATION

 

Whereas the consensus amongst researchers is that the initial decision to be taken in an investigation, is to identify the research population, which is defined by inter alia Benz and Shapiro (1998:56), Wessels (1999:14), De Vos et al. (2005:47), Wellman, Kruger and Mitchell (2005:63) and Neuman (2006:98), as all the sources from which information can be collected for purposes of the envisaged investigation. In support of this definition, Collis and Hussey (2003:87) suggests that the construct of a research population refers to the total number of sources from which information about the research topic can be extracted. In explorative surveys such as that envisaged in the envisaged investigation, the research population will consist of all the persons who have and are prepared to share information in answer to the research questions that constitute the research questionnaire, or who are prepared to express an opinion related to the topic being researched by way of responses to the questions comprising the research questionnaire.

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Research theorists generally differentiate between two types of information that can be collected during an investigation, being, (a) primary information or data which is characterised as information that is ‘..new..’, in the sense that it does not already exist anywhere else and (b) secondary information that does in fact already exist somewhere else, such in company records, minutes of meetings, research reports, media and academic publications, and academic or scientific books, to name but a few.

 

Examples of new or primary information or data are the opinions, perceptions and the personal views of persons responding to the investigative questions comprising a research questionnaire, measurements of some activity, or the quantification of responses to questions attached to a measurement scale. It is trite comments that where the ultimate objective of an investigation such as that envisaged in the intended dissertation, the research population that is eventually demarcated will have to be competent to provide both primary and secondary information or data, if the said information or data is to be adequate to procure findings and conclusions that will actually add to the relevant body of scientific knowledge.

 

Given the nature and context of the research problem statement and the Null hypothesis on which the envisaged investigation was predicated, it was unequivocal that the research population for the said investigation would, of necessity have to the 200 executive and senior management employees of the Mogalakweng Platinum mine, inter alia because the said mine was to be used as a case study and therefore only the executive and management of this mine would have knowledge and experience of the policies, procedure and management dynamics of the said mine and secondly only these 200 potential respondents would have an adequate understanding of the specific local and national mining environment, the local communities and their traditional leadership, the internal differentiators and determinants of the viability and sustainability of the mine and lastly, the national and international extraneous factors impacting the said mine within the auspices of the mining conglomerate of which it is a member.

 

 

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3.3      SAMPLING METHODOLOGY AND THE RESEARCH SAMPLE

 

One of the inherent practical problems with any investigation that must be obvious even to the inexperienced researcher, is that it is highly improbable that it will actually be possible to access all the sources of information that are identified as comprising the  research population, when the actual investigation is done. This premise is particularly true when the said sources of information are people and even more so if these people are the employees of an active business organisation. It is trite comment that where the research population is comprised of the employees of a mine who are involved on a fulltime employment basis, busy with the onerous and time consuming activities of a mine, the probability of being able to access all the persons included in the identified research population is in fact even lower.

 

Clearly the solution to this problem is to determine what the greatest number of sources from which or from whom in the case where these sources are people are that, practically speaking, can be accessed with a substantial degree of certainty in order to collect the desired information or data. It is this process of determining this number of sources that can be accessed with some certainty, that is generally characterised in research science as sampling. Over time as research science evolved various sampling methodologies were developed, each to address the dynamics of differing research environments and situations and each to procure a pre-determine, desired result.

According to research scientists such as De Vos et al. (op cit., p.55), Terre’ Blanche et al. (op cit., p.75), Collis and Hussey (op cit., p.91), Cooper and Schindler (op cit., p.74) and Neuman (op cit., p.47), a critically important consideration when deciding on the sampling process and the actual final sample that is obtained, is to ensure that sufficient relevant information, characterised as raw data, is collected so that meaning can be extrapolated and scientifically defensible conclusion drawn from it, by means of standardised statistical analysis methodologies.

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Another problem that a researcher is faced with, is ensuring that the findings extrapolated and the conclusions drawn from the data are scientifically defensible in the sense that these are representative of the the knowledge that these findings and conclusions suggest, can be said with a substantial degree of certainty to be as true of the whole research population as for the research sample. It is trite that only if the findings and conclusions can with certainty are scientifically defensible, that this knowledge can be said to actually add to the body of scientific knowledge applicable to the broader society or environment. This problem is encapsulated in the construct of the representativity of the sample as well as the findings and conclusions.

 

This question of the representativity of the research sample is usually addressed in terms of two criteria, being, (a) the comparative size of the sample, usually expressed as a proportion or percentage of the research population and (b) the similarity of the characteristics of the sources of information in the research sample compared to the characteristics of the sources of information in the research population. Where the sources of information in the sample and the population are people, the comparative characteristics are usually biographical by nature, such as age, gender, level of education, type and degree of related training, knowledge, work related experience, seniority.

 

The abovementioned characteristics could include anything that could conceivably be a differentiator as far as the research information of data is concerned. In essence the concept is that the sample and population must be directly comparable in terms of whatever criteria the researcher decides on as being determinant of the information or data that is required to procure answers to the investigative questions that the research problem is predicated. A scientifically representative research sample is therefore, by definition, a selection of the predetermined, scientifically appropriate, portion or number of the sources from the research population from whom to collect the information that is required to be able to draw scientifically defensible conclusions about the research topic. characteristics of the sources of information in the.

 

 

 

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As stated above, the representativity of the research sample is usually expressed as a proportion or percentage of the research population in survey research such as that envisaged in this investigation, and the percentage is usually indicative of the extent of

the scientific defensibility of the findings and the conclusions drawn from those findings. As a general rule of thumb, a sample size of 10% or greater of the research population is usually accepted as adequate and scientifically defensible in public surveys where the probable research population numbers are quite large.

 

In private surveys where the research population is not sufficiently large, a sample of only 10% of the population will probably not be accepted as being adequate for indicating an acceptable level of representativity and an accepotable degree of scientific defensibility. Consequently, with private surveys such as that envisaged in this investigation, other sampling adequacy indicators have to be relied on and use is often made of statistical formulae that produce a statistical index of the representativity.

One such approach to determine a statistical sampling adequacy index to indicate representativity, is the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin index of sampling adequacy, usually shown simply as a KMO statistic. In the envisaged investigation it was decided to rely on this KMO index of sampling adequacy, irrespective of the proportion of the research population that could be included in the research sample.

 

It is a common cause that there are primarily two main approaches to sampling. These are:

  1. Probability sampling, where the researcher can determine in advance whether each category of respondent in terms of biographical characteristics or specified criteria of the population, will be equitably represented in the sample.
  2. Non-probability sampling, where the researcher cannot with certainty predict, forecast or guarantee that each category of the population will be represented equally in the sample

Probability sampling can, according to Watkins (2008:54-55), be categorised into various sub-methodologies, being, (a) random sampling, (b) systematic sampling and, (c) stratified sampling. By definition therefore probability sampling entails a process where the sample size, structure and content is pre-determined. According to Leedy and Ormrod (2013:211), non-probability sampling refers to a process where the respondents can be accessed equally. In terms of research where the respondent sources are persons, the sample is constructed entirely on the basis of the availability of the potential respondents and their preparedness to participate in the research. In this type of sampling the researcher has no way of forecasting or guaranteeing that each category of the population will be represented in the sample, and therefore that the sample size, structure and content cannot be pre-determined.

 

Non-probability sampling, according to Watkins (2008:55-56), is a process that can be subdivided into three sub-processes, namely, (a) convenience sampling, (b) snowball sampling and (c) purposive sampling. Purposive sampling is usually the methodology of choice because it implies a situation where the availability or preparedness to participate by some of the respondents is uncertain, due to factors beyond the control of the researcher or even of the participants themselves.

 

Reliance is often also placed on the widely held view that the representativity of a sample is determined by the response rate of the sample of respondents to the questionnaire that constitutes the research instrument. This approach to representativity has substantial merit in public surveys where the research population is not easily defined and where the selection of the sample is done by means of standardized sampling methodologies and approaches.

 

Conversely, the validity of this approach to representativity where the population is clearly defined, the research sample virtually is captive and the response rate almost a foregone conclusion, is open to some doubt. When the response rate approach to determining the representativity of the sample is combined with the comparison of the

structures of the research sample and the research population, the validity of the response approach in substantially improved. However, using this approach to representativity produces the so-called R-factor, and where the R-factor is determined for a series of interrelated and correlated factors, reference is usually made to the R-matrix

 

Relying on the abovementioned theoretical propositions relating to sampling and taking into consideration the nature and dynamics of the research problem being investigated, it was decided to rely on a non-probability, purposive sampling approach to selecting the sample for the envisaged investigation. In spite of this decision however, every possible attempt was made to urge all the prospective participations that constituted the identified research population, to participate in the investigation.

 

Another rule of thumb proposed by Leedy and Ormrod (2015:62) is that the typical sample size for research relating to a subject such as the specific Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment strategic initiative that was developed by the national power generator and its partners, and its practical application, is a minimum of five respondents who have direct knowledge and experience with the specific subject. This rule of thumb is rather dubious however and should rather not be considered as a guideline, if for no other reason that such a small sample would almost certainly result in a significant statistical bias.

 

3.4        THE RESEARCH INSTRUMENT

 

As the nature of the envisaged investigation suggested a positivistic, quantitative empirical survey, the most appropriate research instrument was deemed to be a questionnaire using an interval scale by means of which quantitative information, or raw data, could be collected from the sample of respondents. This was premised on the views of a number of research scientists, that questionnaires make it possible to collect quantitative information about factual aspects such as knowledge, experience, skills level, as well as more esoteric aspects such as perceptions, attitudes, feelings and opinions about a specific topic that is not otherwise directly measurable.

 

The premise underlying the choice of a questionnaire as the research instrument in this investigation emanated from the understanding that the choice by a respondent to report a positive perception of the specific Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment strategic initiative that was developed by the national power generator and its partners and its practical outcomes, or to express criticism of it, axiomatically emanated from the knowledge and experience of the respondents, but the choice is also of course motivated by the perceptions of and attitudes of the respondents relating to the subject under investigation.

A questionnaire is described by Watkins (2008:67) as follows, “… A questionnaire is a list of carefully structured questions, chosen after considerable testing with a view to elicit reliable responses from a chosen sample with the aim to establish what a selected group of participants do, think or feel ”.  Similarly, authors such as Groves (1996:389) suggest that research questionnaires are perhaps the most appropriate and suitable research instruments to use to collect data because “…Surveys are quantitative beasts”, and also “… produce the quantitative data that would form the basis of empirical research”.  He suggests that this quantitative data will be in the form of measurements of the knowledge and experience of the variables on which the research questions are based.

Perhaps the more succinct reason for using a research questionnaire to collect raw data is, however, given by Neuman (2006:246-251) who suggests that questionnaires are neutral, meaning that if properly constructed they can be virtually free of bias, that they are fair in the sense that all respondents have an equal opportunity to respond to the questions, under the same circumstances and free of external influences, and finally as a practical consideration that they are probably the cheapest method of collecting the raw data.

Against the background of the motivation for the use of a questionnaire as research instruments, various authors of research design such as Neuman (2006:251-270), emphasise the critical importance of proper, scientific questionnaire construction, and have developed clear guidelines for the construction of a research questionnaire.

They suggest that there are two key principles to keep in mind when constructing a research questionnaire, as well as when formulating the questions to be included in the questionnaire. These are, (a) to avoid confusion and, (b) to keep in mind who the respondents will be.

Research design theorists such as De Vos (op cit.), and Cooper and Schindler (op cit.) concur with Neuman (op cit.), but add that (a) a well-designed questionnaire should specifically pursue the stated research objectives, (b) should focus on eliciting all the requisite, relevant data that relates to the investigative questions on which the research was based, and (c) should use simple language, vocabulary and sentence construction, so that the questions can be easily understood by the respondents and so that confusion is avoided.

They also suggest that the questionnaire must not consist of too many questions, but do not give guidelines with regard to the optimum number of questions. Instead they seem to agree that the appropriate number of questions in a questionnaire must be determined by the complexity and the dynamics of the topic being investigated. They also suggest that the questions should not be complicated and that the questionnaire should make it easy for respondents to respond to the questions so that they will provide the requisite raw data. Lastly, they point out that a good questionnaire should be constructed so that it facilitates the effective and efficient statistical analysis and interpretation of the raw data.

These authors also suggest that the questions included in a questionnaire can be formulated in the form of statements with which the respondents can either agree or disagree with a yes or no response, thereby providing only nominal data, or can also respond by selecting a pre-determined response from a selection of responses spread along an interval scale, thus providing interval data that can be more valuable in contributing to an analysis of the  distribution of the responses.

Various authors of academic texts on questionnaire construction such as Benz and Shapiro (1998), De Vos et al. (2005), Cooper and Schindler (2006) and Neuman (2006:262), promote the use of either a four point or preferably a six-point interval scale.

Such interval scales should be included in the questionnaire so that a frequency distribution of responses will be produced that will facilitate statistical analysis, which in turn will facilitate the calculation of the measures of central tendency. This will allow the interpretation of trends and patterns and thereby extract meaning from the raw data. The promotion of the use of either four or six point interval scales, instead of for example five point interval scales, is motivated by the fact that such scales will not offer a middle point interval that will allow an indecisive response, and therefore will obviate the phenomenon of a ‘centralizing tendency’ that Neuman (2006:317) warns against in questionnaire construction.

The questionnaire that was constructed for use in this investigation will be structured into two separate sections, as can be seen in Annexure A. The first section was intended to collect responses relating to the biographical characteristics of the respondents on the understanding that these characteristics would be indicative of the extent that the responses could be relied on, that is, if the respondents have adequate knowledge of and experience in stakeholder relationship management strategies, specifically on the Mogalakwena platinum mine. If this is so his or her perceptions, attitudes and opinions regarding the relative value and outcomes of the initiative could be relied on with certainty. The first section will be constructed to collect biographical information about the respondents collected only nominal data and aimed only at determining that the final respondent sample was representative of the research population in a general sense.

The various warnings by various research scientists against the phenomenon of what is known as the ‘..centralizing tendency..’, were taken into account during the construction of the questionnaire and the attached interval measuring scale. Consequently was decided to construct a scale of  six intervals to avoid having a mid-point, also referred to as a ‘..non-comital response..’ by inter alia Wellman et al. (2005) and De Vos et al. (2005). The rationale for this decision, given the warnings against the centralising tendency, was two-fold. In the first place the nature and content of the questions was designed to collect empirical data in terms of a bi-polar measurement scale.

Traditionally such a scale would have used negative numerical values for the three intervals on the negative side, that is, starting from -3 and decreasing to -1 towards the middle of the interval scale and positive numerical values starting from +1 in the middle of the scale and increasing to +3 on the furthest positive interval, shown in the following schematic table as an example.

              Table 3.1      Schematic example of a traditional bi-polar scale

           -3          -2            -1          +1           +2         +3

 

Although an interval scale will be used to quantify the responses obtained from the completion of the questionnaire by the respondents and therefore that the presumption could be that interval data was collected by means of the questionnaire, it needs to be noted that the exact measures of the values attached to various intervals are not indicated, indicating that each interval relates to a range of values, and that these quantifications of the intervals in reality in reality produced only ordinal data

3.5      VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY

 

Research scientists agree that another critical consideration when constructing a questionnaire and developing questions or statements by means of which responses can be elicited from the respondent sample, is the determination of the validity and reliability of the questionnaire, as well as that of the questions or statements that comprise the questionnaire. The critical importance of validity and reliability can best be demonstrated by the statement of the causal relationship between the questionnaire, its component questions or statements and the outcomes of the statistical analysis of the data that is collected by means of the questionnaire. Simply put, this means that if the questionnaire is not valid, the data will not be valid or reliable, which means that the findings will not be valid and ultimately the conclusions drawn from the findings will not be valid or scientifically defensible.

 

The general definition of validity given by, inter alia, De Vos et al. (op cit.) and Neuman (op cit.). is that it refers to the degree to which the data that is produced by the

 

36

responses to the questions or statements, is the actual data required to ensure that the investigative questions of an investigation can be answered. The validity of a research instrument refers, therefore, to the question whether the questionnaire actually does elicit the data that it purports to elicit. It is axiomatic that the data produced by the responses to the questions will be determined by whether the respondents understand what the questions seek to discover, as well the extent to which the questions actually relate to the intention of the researchers.

 

Another consideration that relates closely to the concept of validity, is that of the reliability of the questionnaire and the various questions contained in it. The general view is that the reliability of a questionnaire refers to the extent to which the questionnaire will produce the same data and the same findings if repeated and applied to the same respondents under similar conditions. According to Leedy and Ormrod (op cit., p.101), there are four types of validity, to wit:

  1. Face validity, which refers to the extent to which the instrument seems

to measure a particular characteristic.

  1. Content validity, which refers to the extent to which the instrument adequately        represents the content area being measured.
  2. Criterion validity, which refers to the extent to which the instrument’s result correlates to that of a related instrument.
  3. Construct validity, which refers to the extent to which the instrument measures characteristics that are not obtainable by observation.

 

Following the guidelines proposed by Leedy and Ormrod (2015), the following processes were used to determine the validity of the developed questionnaire for this investigation:

  1. A proper literature survey was done to identify the (theoretical) dynamics of Black Economic Empowerment in general and the said Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment strategic initiative developed by the power generator and its affiliates, specifically.

 

 

 

  1. These dynamics were used to develop the questions, to align them with the research objectives so that they would collect the relevant data required to answer the investigative questions and address the research objectives. This would ensure both the face and content validity or the questionnaire.
  2. A small sample of persons was subjected to the proposed research questions and were asked to explain what data they thought the questions were intended to collect, and whether the questions were clearly understandable.
  3. These respondents were also required to indicate whether the questions would be understood by potential respondents who were knowledgeable of and experienced in Black Economic Empowerment in general and the said Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment strategic initiative specifically.

 

Similarly, Haupt (2008:41) suggests that there are four separate forms of reliability, to wit:

  1. Inter-rater reliability, which refers to the extent to which two or more researchers, evaluating the same characteristics in similar samples, with the same or a similar research instrument, will produce fundamentally the same or similar data, results and findings, so that the same or a similar conclusion can be drawn from the data that is collected by means of the questionnaire.
  2. Internal consistency reliability, which refers to the extent to which similar items in the instrument will yield the same results.
  3. Equivalent forms of reliability, which refers to the extent to which different variants of the same instrument will yield similar results.
  4. Test-retest reliability, which is the most commonly used and fundamental form of reliability and refers to the extent to which the instrument will yield similar results when used on different occasions with the same sample.

 

The reliability of the questionnaire that was developed for this investigation was determined by ensuring that questions or rather the statements that comprised the questionnaire were duplicated at least once although with different wording in most cases.

 

Reliability was also pursued by assuring that the understanding of these repeated questions or statements were the same and did not differ in any significant way. In spite of the relatively limited size of the research population of only forty sources and also of the eventual sample size of 41 completed questionnaires that made the use of inferential statistical methodologies technically unacceptable, the statistical reliability of the questionnaire and of the data that was collected was determined by the calculation of the Cronbach’s Alpha index, not as a scientifically defensible measure of statistical reliability, but merely as a confirmatory measure.

 

3.6     DATA COLLECTION

 

The term data collection is used to describe the actual actions, process or procedure by means of which a researcher distributes the research instrument to a sample of respondents, uses the research instrument to collect data from these respondents, and collates the responses that are obtained prior to submitting this data to statistical analysis. This definition extracted from the description by the various research scientists, is simplified by Leedy and Ormrod (op cit., p.78) who state that “ … data collection represents the way the research instrument is used to collect data about the variables that are being examined to submit to robust statistical analysis…“.

 

Authors such as Collis and Hussey (op cit., p.160), explain that there are two types of sources of data that can provide respectively, primary and secondary data. The data collected from an original source is usually identified as primary data, while data that already exist elsewhere, for example in a company’s operational or financial reports, in administrative records, or in scientific or academic publications is referred to as secondary data. In the envisaged investigation, the data collected by means of the research instrument from the respondent sample who are regarded as original sources resulted in primary data. The data or rather the information that was collected from the literature review must be regarded as being secondary data.

 

The questionnaire will be distributed electronically to the sources of data comprising the potential respondent sample of 200 persons who were regarded as suitably knowledgeable of and experienced regarding the stakeholder relationship management strategies of the Mogalakwena platinum mine that will be used as a case study. They will be requested in the covering letter to return the completed questionnaire as soon as possible but not more than one week after receipt, and they were urged not to discuss the questionnaire or their views relating to the subject of the research or their actual responses with any other person. The completed questionnaires will be captures onto in a secure file on the researchers computor that will serve as the basic data base as they were received, until it becomes clear that no further completed questionnaires will be returned, and then the responses will be accessed only by the researcher and used to statistically analyse the data to extract meaning from it.

 

3.7     DATA ANALYSIS

 

It is axiomatic that the term statistical analysis refers to the application of mathematical models to manipulate the numerical values extracted from the raw data, so that the features or characteristics of these values become evident. This description of the concept allows the differentiation between two types of statistics, namely:

  1. Descriptive statistics, describes the features or characteristics of the numerical values.
  2. Inferential statistics, allowing inferences or conclusions to be drawn by way of inductive or deductive logical reasoning, about the topic under investigation.

 

A easier explanation is that the statistical analysis aims to reduce the raw data to a format that will allow patterns and trends to be identified and will facilitate the extraction of meaning from the data.  The motivation for doing statistical analysis of the raw data, according to Collis and Hussey (ibid) is that the raw data is incorporated into frequency distribution tables, cross tabulations, correlations, charts and graphs that can all serve to illustrate schematically the patterns or trends mentioned above and that will give meaning to the data. Furthermore, Neuman (ibid) suggests that the significance of the data can be computed as statistical measures such as T-tests, F-tests and Chi-squared indices.

 

In this investigation the following statistical analysis methodologies were used to extract meaning and significance from the raw data. This will be done by using the  Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, commonly referred to as the SPSS analytical programme, now known only as SPSS 25.

 

  1. Frequency distribution

 

The methodology of frequency distribution is perhaps one of the most commonly used and uncomplicated descriptive statistics used to show the comparative rank of the numerical values of the responses to the questions, in the sense that a value of 2 suggests a higher value that a value 1 and equally a value of 3 is greater than a value of 2, but the precise magnitude of the degree to which a value of 3 is greater than a value of 2, is not known, thus characterising the data as ordinal rather than being interval data.

 

Descriptive statistics rely on the researcher grouping data together into categories or classes of data, the most convenient form of presentation of this statistic would be in the form of frequency distribution tables, although frequency distribution graphs or charts are also commonly used.

 

The questionnaire that was to be used in the investigation was designed to collect ordinal data about a number of variables, the findings of the research will be illustrated with multivariate statistics. In this statistic the numeric values were totalled and shown as frequencies distributions that provided a comparative measure of the responses to a particular question.

 

In this investigation the frequency distributions are shown as frequency tables and Pie charts as the most convenient way of showing the data according to Neuman (2006:316-319). These alternative representations of the numerical values are more often than not used because they are simple, user friendly illustrations that have substantially greater visual impact than frequency tables.

 

  1. Mean, Median, Mode and Standard Deviation

 

Commonly referred to as “…measures of Central Tendency…“ by De Vos et al. (2005:71), Wellman et. al. (2005:78) and   Neuman (2006:117), the three measures characterized as the Mean, the Median and the Mode, are generally held to be measures of the central value of the frequency distributions. As such the Mean is theoretically the sum of all the individual numerical values of the response set divided by the number of responses in the set. The mean could be treated as a collaborative property of the whole set of values. One can obtain a fairly good idea of the whole set of data by calculating its mean. The value of calculating the mean of a frequency distribution can be found in the fact that it is a translation of the data set into a single comparative according to Neuman (op cit., p.318) who says that the Mean is simply the arithmetic midpoint of a scale of numeric values.

 

Equally, the Median is the numerically middle value of a data set. Therefore, if a distribution of numerical values are shown on a continuum from the lowest to the highest value, the Median would be the actual, numerical middle value of the range of values or, more simply put, the midpoint of the range of values and therefore it represents the 50th percentile. This means that half the numeric values are less than the median and half are greater. The importance of determining the Median lies in the fact that it separates a set of numerical data into two parts. The Median can be calculated for all data except for nominal data.

 

The Mode, according to Neuman (op cit., pp.317-318), is the easiest descriptive statistic to calculate and to use as it is in fact simply the most frequently occurring numerical value in the data set. It is also as important measure in that it can be used by nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio data.

 

The last of the measures of central tendency to be used in the analysis of the raw data in this investigation is what is known as the Standard Deviation which is probably the most widely used although it is more difficult to compute than the other such measures.

Like the other measures, it is a measure of dispersion or spread, says Neuman (op cit., p.320) which is used to create Z-scores, also known as ‘Standardized Scores’, that allows the comparison of two or more frequency distributions. Unlike the other measures of central tendency that give only a single number summary of the distribution by indicating the centre, the Standard deviation shows the variation around the centre or mean. By means of this spread or dispersion around the mean it allows the demonstration of the different characteristics, for example, between two sets of distribution that have identical means and medians but have different Standard Deviations. Unlike the other measures of central tendency, the Standard deviation can only be used with interval and ratio data.

 

The measures of central tendency discussed above are basically descriptive statistics. It was deemed necessary to also perform at least one inferential statistic so that conclusions can be drawn from the findings and the existence of probable causal relationships be established. Based on this presumption it was decided to use one of the most commonly used inferential statistics to determine the strength and direction of the association between sets of variables. Although this measure is by definition an inferential statistical methodology, it was used basically as a descriptive statistic. If it was used as an inferential statistic, it would have provided as a measure of the probability that the association between variables is due to chance and this does not properly support the objectives of the investigation.

 

This powerful methodology is called the Chi-square coefficient or measure. If there is no association between variables, the Chi-square coefficient will be zero, and the greater the coefficient, the stronger the association can be said to be. Perhaps the greatest problem with using the Chi-square coefficient to determine the extent of the association between variables is that, it does not in itself, indicate the direction of the association, which is whether the association is positive or negative. What is well known however is that it is very rare that any association or relationship between variables identified by means of the Chi-square coefficient has occurred by chance; Neuman (op cit., p.341) suggests that a chance association is found only in one case out of every thousand, which in turn suggests that any association that is found will probably be causal.

 

3.8    ETHICAL CONSIDERATION

 

The term ethics, according to Watkins (op cit., p.69), refers to the appropriateness of the behaviour of the person conducting the investigation in relation to the rights of the persons who are the subject of investigation or who could possibly be impacted by it. On the other hand, Leedy and Ormrod (op cit., pp.107-108) suggest that most of the ethical issues in research fall into one of four categories, namely, (a) protection from harm, (b) informed consent, (c) the right to privacy and (d) honesty with professional colleagues. For this investigation which aimed at collecting information from persons who were stakeholders and role players in a project that formed the basis of the investigation, strong emphasis was placed on the voluntary nature of their participation as well as the privacy and anonymity.

 

With the strong adherence to these ethical principles, it will be easy for the researcher to come up with realistic and quality information to understand the importance of an effective stakeholder relationship strategy in assuring the longer-term sustainability and continued viability of the mine.

 

3.9       SUMMARY

 

In order to carry out the research investigation, the researcher will rely on research methodology to collect relevant, valid and reliable information regarding the critical importance of stakeholder engagement strategy for achieving on-going viability and longer-term sustainability for the Mogalakwena platinum  mine in Limpopo which will be used as a case study. The investigation will consist of collecting information from 200 respondents who comprise the executive and senior management of the abovementioned mine regarding the critical importance of effective stakeholder relationship management strategy. The rationale for using these 200 potential respondents is that they are understood to have personal knowledge and experience of the stakeholder relationship strategies of the mine and engagement with the local community and its’ traditional leadership related to the se strategies.

 

An explorative survey using a questionnaire attached to a quantitative, six-point, bi-polar, interval scale as the research instrument, will be used to collect information or data regarding the stakeholder relationship management strategies of the mine and engagement with the local community and its traditional leadership related to the se strategies from the sample of research respondents. This data will be analysed statistically using standardised analytical methodologies to procure answers to the investigative questions on which the investigation is predicated, and to either accept or reject the Null hypothesis formulated as the basis of the investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggested framework for chapters 4 and 5

CHAPTER 4     FINDINGS OF THE INVESTIGATION

4.1         INTRODUCTION

4.2         FINDINGS FOR VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY

4.3         FINDINGS EXTRAPOLATED FROM THE DATA

4.4         SUMMARY

CHAPTER 5     CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1         INTRODUCTION

5.2         CONCLUSIONS

5.3         LIMITATIONS OF THE INVESTIGATION

5.4         RECOMMENDATIONS

5.5         SUMMARY                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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