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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

On-line version ISSN 1015-8812

Abstract

COETZEE, Mariette. The perceived treatment of employees from designated groups in the workplace. S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. [online]. 2015, vol.18, n.1, pp. 56-69. ISSN 1015-8812.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2222-3436/2015/v18n1a5.

This article reports on employees' perceptions of the treatment of employees from designated groups in the workplace. The objective of the study was to identify the components of workplace treatment that indicate the perceived treatment of employees from designated groups. The study further investigated the influence of demographic factors on these perceptions. A quantitative approach was followed, and a questionnaire was developed to collect data pertaining to employees' biographical details and their perceptions of the treatment of employees from designated groups in the workplace. The population consisted of 29 688 employees at a leading South African bank and a sample of 1720 was used. A disproportionate, stratified sampling method was adopted and a sample of 349 employees participated. Factor analysis, correlations, T-tests and analysis of variance statistics were computed to achieve the objectives. The factor analysis identified four factors relating to the treatment of employees from designated groups: task autonomy, respect, responsibility and realistic expectations. The results of the T-tests revealed that race, years of service and staff category do influence employees' perceptions of the treatment of workers from designated groups in terms of task autonomy and respect. Black respondents, unlike white respondents, believe that employees from designated groups are not treated with respect, nor are they accorded task autonomy. This study represents a vital step towards a better understanding of the dimensionality of perceptions of fair and just treatment and should ultimately contribute to more effective treatment of all employees in the workplace.

Keywords : affirmative action; employment equity; interactional justice; organisational citizenship behaviours; workplace treatment; task autonomy; respect; responsibility; realistic expectations.

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