Original Research

Mindset shifts for the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Insights from the life insurance sector

Lynne Molloy, Linda Ronnie
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1543 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1543 | © 2021 Lynne Molloy, Linda C. Ronnie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 December 2020 | Published: 22 July 2021

About the author(s)

Lynne Molloy, Graduate School of Business, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Linda Ronnie, School of Management Studies, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) challenges organisations to embrace and adapt to a rising wave of technological innovation to remain relevant.

Research purpose: Based on the interaction between technology change, the industry as a whole and the perceptions of individuals within organisations, this study explored how South African life insurance companies view the 4IR and how they are responding to the changes prompted by it.

Motivation for study: This study sought to establish a baseline for practitioners in the life insurance industry to navigate the 4IR more effectively and for researchers to undertake further inquiry into specific enablers and inhibitors of technology transformation.

Research approach/design and method: The study took an exploratory, qualitative approach. Interviews were conducted with 12 organisational leaders, purposively selected from a range of large, medium and start-up life insurers in South Africa. A thematic analysis method was used to analyse the data.

Main findings: Four key themes related to organisational change and resistance to change within the industry were found: lack of urgency; lack of agility; partnerships and ecosystems; and abilities of people and leaders.

Practical/managerial implications: Managers should recognise the urgency for proactive change, encourage collaborative practices by leveraging ecosystems and forming partnerships and ensure lifelong learning of employees.

Contribution/value-add: There is a paucity of empirical work on managerial perceptions of the 4IR and the readiness for change within the life insurance industry. This study contributes to this debate and provided insights on organisational views at a management level.


Keywords

the Fourth Industrial Revolution; technological innovation; life insurance; organisational change; change readiness; resistance to change

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