Original Research

Harmonious, Africanised, and Modern Employment Relations model in strategic Employment Relations

Calvin Mabaso, Face Lesabe, Cookie Govender
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 22 | a2230 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v22i0.2230 | © 2024 Calvin Mabaso, Face Lesabe, Cookie Govender | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 January 2023 | Published: 28 February 2024

About the author(s)

Calvin Mabaso, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Face Lesabe, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Cookie Govender, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: With the world increasingly becoming a global village and many multi-national enterprises exploring African markets, the question of integrating indigenous traditions into employment relations (ER) systems and practices has become topical in the ER field.

Research purpose: This study investigated the integration of African traditions, perspectives and indigenous wisdom in modern ER.

Motivation for the study: There is a limited integration of indigenous wisdom in ER practices. The study examine how African perspectives can be further developed to align with and contribute to current and future workplace trends.

Research approach/design and method: A qualitative research approach was adopted in this study to understand the prevailing workplace dynamics and how an Africanised ER perspective can add value to the workplace. Grounded theory was used as the primary research strategy to support the design of this study. Using semi-structured interviews, a purposive sampling method was used to collect data from 12 participants. Thematic analysis was used to analyse and make sense of the collected data.

Main findings: The findings show three themes associated with the development of Harmonious, Africanised and Modern Employment Relations (HAMER) model, namely, organisational anxiety, organisational unity and strategic leadership. The findings indicated that incorporating indigenous knowledge in ER can improve organisational harmony and relationships in the workplace. The findings also indicated that transforming traditional perspectives to embrace indigenous knowledge requires strong leadership skills and strategic thinking. Most importantly, the study identified a shortage of customised ER content as the main hindrance in the integration process.

Practical/managerial implications: The study proposed the adoption of the HAMER model to align current ER trends and requirements to indigenous knowledge. The model focuses on practical ways of integrating harmony and African perspectives in modern ER.

Contribution/value-add: First and foremost, the study addressed the shortage of Africanised ER content, including the infrastructure and behaviours required to achieve the integration.


Keywords

Africanisation; Ubuntu; harmony; integration; employment relations

JEL Codes

J24: Human Capital • Skills • Occupational Choice • Labor Productivity

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

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