Original Research

Applying the nominal group technique in an employment relations conflict situation: A case study of a university maintenance section in South Africa

Cornelis (Kees) S. van der Waal, Josephine (Tina) M. Uys
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 7, No 1 | a232 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v7i1.232 | © 2009 Cornelis (Kees) S. van der Waal, Josephine (Tina) M. Uys | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 June 2009 | Published: 09 September 2009

About the author(s)

Cornelis (Kees) S. van der Waal, University of Stellenbosch
Josephine (Tina) M. Uys, University of Johannesburg

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After a breakdown in employment relations in the maintenance section of a higher education institution, the authors were asked to intervene in order to try and solve the employment relations conflict situation. It was decided to employ the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) as a tool in problem identification during conflict in the workplace. An initial investigation of documentation and interviews with prominent individuals in the organisation was carried out. The NGT was then used in four focus group discussions to determine the important issues as seen by staff members. The NGT facilitates the determination of shared perceptions and the ranking of ideas. The NGT was used in diverse groups, necessitating adaptations to the technique. The perceived causes of the conflict were established. The NGT can be used in a conflict situation in the workplace in order to establish the perceived causes of employment relations conflict.


Nominal Group Technique (NGT); conflict resolution; workers; focus groups; employment relations


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