• A marketing mix model for a complex and turbulant environment

      Mason, Roger B. (SAe Publications, 2007)
      Purpose: This paper is based on the proposition that the choice of marketing tactics is determined, or at least significantly influenced, by the nature of the company’s external environment. It aims to illustrate the type of marketing mix tactics that are suggested for a complex and turbulent environment when marketing and the environment are viewed through a chaos and complexity theory lens. Design/Methodology/Approach: Since chaos and complexity theories are proposed as a good means of understanding the dynamics of complex and turbulent markets, a comprehensive review and analysis of literature on the marketing mix and marketing tactics from a chaos and complexity viewpoint was conducted. From this literature review, a marketing mix model was conceptualised. Findings: A marketing mix model considered appropriate for success in complex and turbulent environments was developed. In such environments, the literature suggests destabilising marketing activities are more effective, whereas stabilising type activities are more effective in simple, stable environments. Therefore the model proposes predominantly destabilising type tactics as appropriate for a complex and turbulent environment such as is currently being experienced in South Africa. Implications: This paper is of benefit to marketers by emphasising a new way to consider the future marketing activities of their companies. How this model can assist marketers and suggestions for research to develop and apply this model are provided. It is hoped that the model suggested will form the basis of empirical research to test its applicability in the turbulent South African environment. Originality/Value: Since businesses and markets are complex adaptive systems, using complexity theory to understand how to cope in complex, turbulent environments is necessary, but has not been widely researched. In fact, most chaos and complexity theory work in marketing has concentrated on marketing strategy, with little emphasis on individual tactics and even less on the marketing mix as a whole. Therefore, this paper can be viewed as an important foundation for a new stream of research using chaos and complexity theory to better understand marketing mixes and the choice of marketing tactics for complex and turbulent business environments.
    • Goal clarity and trust in management in educational mergers

      Mason, Roger B. (SAe Publications, 2007)
      Purpose: The aim of this paper is to explore employees’ opinions on goal clarity, trust in management and perceptions of organisational readiness for change in the context of the changes caused by the merger to form the Durban Institute of Technology (DIT) in order to increase knowledge about the human aspects of mergers. Design/Methodology/Approach: A survey of staff was conducted, with a sample of respondents completing a questionnaire, which investigated whether or not there were relationships among the change variables, namely goal clarity, trust in management and perception of organisational readiness for change. Findings: The key finding of the study is that the goals of the institution were not clarified sufficiently during the change process at DIT. The correlation of goal clarity, trust in management and perceptions of organisational readiness for change were all significant at the p < 0.01 level; and the direction of the relationship between the variables was strongly positive (between 0.7 and 1.0). Implications: The results suggest that management success in identifying organisational goals clearly during a change initiative could help improve employees’ attitudes, thereby increasing the likelihood of merger success, and minimising the negative reactions and staff dissatisfaction often associated with mergers. Originality/Value: Although there is a lot of research in the generic field of mergers and considerable research into mergers in higher education, both overseas and in South Africa, there is a lack of research in the human aspects of mergers. This is especially true of the three key change variables of perceptions of readiness for change, goal clarity and trust in management. Furthermore, what research there is has not focussed on the opinions of individual employees, but on the opinions of trade unions and student representatives. Therefore, this study contributes to filling an important gap in the literature on higher education mergers in South Africa.