Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences ]]> vol. 14 num. 4 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Innovation outcomes of South African new technology-based firms</b>: <b>a contribution to the debate on the performance of science park firms</b>]]> ABSTRACT Science parks are often established to drive regional economic growth, especially in countries with emerging economies. However, mixed findings on the innovation outcomes of science park firms are reported in the literature. This study systematically identifies innovation outputs used in the science park literature and argues: (a) that firms generate different outcomes at various stages of the innovation process; and (b) that their use is a possible explanation for the mixed findings reported in the field. This paper combines a knowledge production function approach, modeling knowledge transfers and spillover flowing to new technology-based firms (NTBFs) in the emerging South African economy with innovation outcomes, which are measured by using a multi-dimensional construct. The estimations produce non-consistent and non-systematic results across different dimensions of innovation outcomes, implying that results are outcome indicator specific and that it makes sense to distinguish multiple indicators of innovation outcomes referring to different phases in a firm's innovation process. <![CDATA[<b>CSIR the motivational role of interactive control in the research sector</b>: <b>a case study</b>]]> The motivation of professional personnel within the confines of formal management control systems is often problematic. The paper investigates how interactive management controls can augment a performance measurement framework (PMF) in order to motivate personnel in a state-controlled research organisation. A case study method, combined with a survey, was used to test the research questions. The results indicate that the PMF motivated its researchers, as well as facilitated the achievement of organisational objectives. The results also indicated the presence of a wide range of interactive management controls that were employed to design and implement the PMF. These interactive controls included leadership enthusiasm, ownership, open communication and other informal activities that acted as a lubricant to reduce the friction of the formal PMF. In effect, these informal controls motivated researchers because they provided a series of rewards, they improved the perception of formal controls and they increased the efficiency of the organisation structure. <![CDATA[<b>Nature of the relationship between strategic leadership, operational strategy and organisational performance</b>]]> Since the mid-1980s a growing body of leadership research has focused on strategic leadership, in contrast to managerial and visionary leadership. It focused on how top leadership makes decisions in the short term that guarantees the long-term viability of the organisation. The best performing organisations are consciously strategic in their leadership planning. These top leaders also have the ability to align human resources in an effective way directly to the business strategy. This article identifies some of the direct and indirect pathways in which strategic leadership influences the operational strategy and performance of business organisations in South Africa. This research pinpointed theoretical and substantively meaningful endogenous organisational capabilities that mediated this relationship and exogenous organisational factors that moderated this relationship. <![CDATA[<b>Social capital configurations for necessity-driven versus opportunity-driven entrepreneurs</b>]]> There is growing literature suggesting the importance of networking and even arguing that social capital may be the most significant source of advantage for entrepreneurs. This research uses the classification of necessity-driven versus opportunity-driven entrepreneurs, which has been found to differ systematically in terms of venture growth and job creation, and also reflects the schism between the informal and formal sectors. Having unpacked the construct of networking as embedded in the theory of social capital, hypotheses are formulated which allow for statistical testing. The results add to the ongoing debate on this dualistic typology of entrepreneurs, where in several instances significant differences are detected across networking diversity, ties, types of assistance and support perceptions. <![CDATA[<b>A comparison of ethical perceptions of earnings management practices</b>]]> In 1990, Bruns and Merchant (1990) surveyed earnings management practices and asked the readership of the Harvard Business Review to rate the acceptability of those practices. Prior to the Bruns and Merchant (1990) study, the morality of short-term earnings management was of little concern to researchers and accounting practitioners. However, in the light of increased financial frauds and failures, new and increased emphasis has been placed on the importance of the concepts of earnings quality and earnings management practices. Despite increased research focusing on business ethics since 1990, there is little evidence that business schools and the profession are educating accountants about earnings management practices. Therefore, this study, similar to other studies, continues to use the Bruns and Merchant survey and compares the results of studies on students and business managers on earnings management practices. Students and business managers were surveyed at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and these results were compared to four studies prior to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 in the US. The expectation will be of changes in attitudes towards earnings management since the financial scandals and passing the Act. Therefore, the aim of the study is to determine if there have been changes in attitudes towards earnings management practices. No surveys using the Bruns and Merchant (1990) questionnaire are available in SA. Therefore, the study in SA was compared to available studies in the US. <![CDATA[<b>Does capital gains tax add to or detract from the fairness of the South African tax system?</b>]]> This research adds to the existing body of knowledge on the perceived impact of capital gains tax (CGT) on the fairness of the South Africa tax system. Building on the largely qualitative work done by Vivian (2006) and Smith (1776), the research makes use of an extensive literature review followed by a correspondence analysis to complement the existing body of research in this area. The literature review discusses the fairness criteria advanced by Smith (1776) (Smith's tax canon) and the identified 'unfairness characteristics' of CGT. The correspondence analysis only tests the theories advanced in the literature review and reveals that there are potential sources of unfairness inherent in the Eighth Schedule to the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962 (the Eighth Schedule). These include the possibility that CGT gives rise to double tax and imposes a high burden on taxpayers' ability to bear the tax load. The findings are relevant in practical terms in that they may have policy implications for subsequent revisions to the Eight Schedule. Theoretical contributions are made by exploring the perceived fairness of CGT using the theory of tax fairness advanced by Smith (1776). <![CDATA[<b>Estimating the price elasticity of demand for electricity by sector in South Africa</b>]]> This paper examines the South African economic sector's electricity consumption in response to fluctuations in electricity prices and economic output for the period 1993 to 2006. The results of the panel data analysis show that the industrial sector was the only one with statistically significant price elasticity over the study period. Further, economic output was a positive contributing factor to the industrial and commercial sectors (having high and significant coefficients). This is in contrast with the other three sectors, agriculture, transport and mining, whose electricity consumption was affected neither by price nor by their production. This anomaly is the result of both the relatively low and declining (in real terms) electricity prices over the study period, and the fact that the proportion of electricity cost to total cost is relatively small for the majority of sectors. There was therefore no major incentive to reduce electricity consumption and/or to be efficient. While these results explain, at least in part, the historical increases in electricity consumption, they may not hold for the period since 2008 (for which adequate data is not yet available), given the sharp increases in electricity prices recently experienced by the country. <![CDATA[<b>Measuring the impact of trade finance on country trade flows</b>: <b>a South African perspective</b>]]> Trade finance (or short-term credit) plays a crucial role in facilitating international trade yet is particularly vulnerable to financial crises as banks increase the pricing on all trade finance transactions to cover increased funding costs and higher credit risks. Whereas South Africa's financial institutions largely managed to strengthen their capital positions during the global financial crisis, the country's trade flows and access to capital (in particular trade finance and its costs) were hard hit by the crisis. Little is known about the extent of shortages or 'gaps' in trade finance and the impact of this on South Africa's recent trade performance. Whilst our research recognises that access to trade finance is not the main cause of South Africa's trade contraction, our research suggests that all else equal, a one percentage point increase in the interbank lending rate of our trade partner could reduce exports by approximately ten per cent.