Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences ]]> vol. 11 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Calculating operational value-at-risk (OpVaR) in a retail bank</b>]]> The management of operational value-at-risk (OpVaR) in financial institutions is presented by means of a novel, robust calculation technique and the influence of this value on the capital held by a bank for operational risk. A clear distinction between economic and regulatory capital is made, as well as the way OpVaR models may be used to calculate both types of capital. Under the Advanced Measurement Approach (AMA), banks may employ OpVaR models to calculate regulatory capital; this article therefore illustrates the differences in regulatory capital when using the AMA and the Standardised Approach (SA), by means of an example. Economic capital is found to converge with regulatory capital using the AMA, but not if the SA is used. <![CDATA[<b>The experience of work-life interaction in the Northern Cape mining industry: An exploratory study</b>]]> The objective of this research was to investigate how Afrikaans and Setswana employees in the Northern Cape mining environment experience the interaction between their work and personal lives and to determine which major strategies employees use to deal with work-life interaction (WLI). A non-probability purposive voluntary sample of 25 mineworkers was taken in the Northern Cape Province. Male and female participants were stratified in terms of language (Afrikaans and Setswana) and interviews were conducted with them. Interview questions focused on the main interacting dimensions in the lives of mineworkers and major strategies that employees use to deal with WLI. Content analyses were used to analyse the data. Several preceding factors (like work pressure, heavy workload, stress, and family obligations) that led to definite consequences (e.g. lack of quality time for self and family, physical and emotional strains, and low levels of productivity), as well as coping strategies (e.g. prioritising, time management, communication, and planning) were explored during the interviews. Although there were similarities, it seemed that there were definite differences between gender and language groups regarding their experiences of WLI. <![CDATA[<b>The impact of shopping mall development on small township retailers</b>]]> The retail sector forms a critical element of a community's economic and social welfare. It provides people with choices and services. These choices were until recently very limited in township areas. The pre-1994 retail landscape was dominated by small, often informal businesses offering basic household necessities to relatively low income earners. This has resulted in township residents' preference to shop outside townships, known as 'outshopping'. Rapid income growth of township residents since 1994 resulted in a substantial increase in consumer expenditure in these areas, known as 'in-bound shopping'. This lucrative emerging market forms the last retail frontier in South Africa and is being explored by national retailers, especially supermarket chains. This article is aimed at establishing the impact of shopping mall development in townships on the traditional small township retailers including spaza/tuck shops. The net balance sheet on the impact of shopping mall development on small township retailers clearly suggests a decline in the township retailers' market share. A change in small business model towards, inter alia, effective customer service with a small dedicated assortment of merchandise, satisfaction of emergency needs, selling in small units and extension of credit facilities may result in the survival of some small township retailers (albeit often at a smaller turnover). <![CDATA[<b>Tracking SMME research in South Africa's priority sectors</b>]]> The National Industrial Policy Framework and the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa emphasise the importance of promoting select 'priority sectors'. This paper provides a review of existing research concerning SMME development in the three priority sectors of tourism, business process outsourcing and offshoring (BPO & O) and, creative industries. The paper argues for the importance of undertaking sector-differentiated research on SMME development in South Africa in order to complement other research which is focussed on sector development as a whole. <![CDATA[<b>A study of customer commitment through the use of the conversion model in the South African motor vehicle industry</b>]]> Consumer markets have become increasingly competitive. Numerous measures to gauge and predict loyalty and commitment have been developed to assist management in this respect. The marketing literature contains many examples illustrating that longer relationships achieve customer retention, and have been rewarded with a considerable increase in customer net present value. Customer retention is undoubtedly a major contributor to profitability in the long term. Research shows that the most successful measures for achieving customer retention are customer delight, customer satisfaction and customer commitment. This study makes a closer exploration of customer commitment, as measured by the Conversion Model, in the South African motor vehicle industry. The findings highlight the commitment segments of the most popular motor vehicle brands in South Africa, as well the typical marketing strategies for managing the different commitment segments. <![CDATA[<b>Export intensity and the Competitive Intelligence of exporting companies: Evidence from South Africa</b>]]> The present paper investigates the relationship between Competitive Intelligence (CI) factors, characteristics, information sources, needs, requirements and the export intensity of exporting companies in South Africa. We establish whether there are significant differences between firms, grouped according to export intensity with respect to awareness, use, information sources and attitude towards CI activities. A questionnaire was developed and sent to exporting firms, resulting in a usable sample of 309 South African respondents. These firms are grouped according to export intensity, and CI practices between groups are compared. The results show that export intensive firms appear to be more aware and supportive of CI activities than less export intensive firms. <![CDATA[<b>South African exporter performance: New research into firm-specific and market characteristics</b>]]> The export marketing performance of any firm is influenced by a multitude of different factors. Given the multi-faceted nature of the export market, this research study investigated specific factors such as how firm-specific characteristics, product characteristics, market characteristics and export marketing strategies impact on the export marketing performance of South African manufacturing firms. Some of the findings of this research study indicated that firm size, investment commitment and careful planning, as firm-specific characteristics, had a significant influence on export marketing performance. The relationship between export experience and export marketing performance was insignificant. The degree of pricing adaptation and product adaptation had a significant effect on export marketing performance, while this was not the case with respect to the degree of promotion adaptation and distributor support. <![CDATA[<b>Rethinking ASGISA and the rand exchange rate</b>]]> The ASGISA policy document identifies the exchange rate as one of the factors constraining accelerated growth in South Africa. This note argues that currency developments do not translate into business cycle movements in the aggregate economy, and that a weaker exchange rate is less likely to boost either foreign investment or export performance in the face of regulatory uncertainty. The South African government has recently launched the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (ASGISA) aimed at raising the long-term growth path of the economy. The plan identifies several so-called "binding constraints" that are considered to be inhibiting the economy from rising to more elevated levels of economic growth. One such "constraint", according to the ASGISA policy document, is the "volatility and level of the currency" (Republic of South Africa, 2006). By including this issue, policymakers have signalled that fluctuations in the rand are considered significant to broader economic fluctuations in South Africa. This research note questions such a conviction by offering evidence that currency fluctuations are not mirrored in the South African business cycle. Nonetheless, proponents may argue that a weaker rand will stimulate particular sectors, mostly those that are export-oriented, while it will boost Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). However, this note argues further that a weaker rand is less likely to generate sustainable improvement in either export-oriented industries or FDI in the absence of other reforms. The following sections consider these two issues in sequence.