Nelson Mandela University

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    6746 research outputs found

    The relationship between readiness to change and work engagement: a case study within an accounting firm undergoing change

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    Readiness to change is a critical element for the successful implementation of organisational change (Weiner, 2009). Work engagement is an important driver for organisational success (Lockwood, 2007) and it is important that organisations sustain work engagement during organisational changes. Readiness to change and work engagement are both important aspects of a successful organisation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between readiness to change and work engagement within a mid-tier accounting firm in South Africa. A combined questionnaire, incorporating two measuring instruments was utilised to gather the data for the purpose of this study. These instruments are the Organisational Change Questionnaire – Climate of Change, Process and Readiness (OCQ-C,P,R) as well as Utrecht’s Work Engagement Scale (UWES). The measuring instrument utilised demonstrated adequate reliability. By utilising the OCQ-C,P,R two additional constructs were incorporated into the study namely process of change and trust in leadership. The measuring instrument was sent electronically to all the staff members within the mid-tier accounting firm across South Africa. The researcher obtained a sample of n = 340. A model was constructed based on the measuring instrument to illustrate the hypothesised relationships between the constructs. Results from confirmatory factor analysis suggested that there was a good model fit with the data. Both descriptive and inferential statistics techniques were used for the data analysis. The relationships between the constructs were tested through structure equation modelling and Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficients. The results of the study indicated that there is a practical and statistically significant relationship between readiness to change and work engagement. The results of the study implied that high levels of work engagement will generate high levels of readiness to change. Engaged employees are better able to cope with job demands during change processes which ultimately will impact whether change implementation is successful. Readiness to change and work engagement also indicated significant correlations with process of change and trust in leadership. Demographic groups had significant differences in the mean scores for work engagement, process of change and trust in leadership

    NMMU students' perceptions of their creativity

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    Creativity is seen as the driving force behind innovation. It can even be said to be the same process. It is critical to implement the creativity in order for innovation to actually take place. This combination of creativity and innovation is required for economic growth, sustainability, continuous improvement and competitive edge for organisations. Creativity is more than just artistic ability but includes scientific and problem solving steps and basic everyday creativity. This combination would be key in government departments, organisations and universities today. People’s perception on creativity could hamper their growth and development in this key area, not only for themselves but of others that they come into contact with. People’s perception on creativity is that it is either a genius form in either artistic or musical terms or it is not at all creative. They do not necessarily view the everyday tasks as creative. The research approach for this study is positivistic and deductive. The students’ perception of creativity is gathered using a quantitative questionnaire, where they rank their perceptions. The questionnaire was from an international study and it was made available to all students at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The data analysis will be both descriptive and inferential in nature. The research seeks to examine students’ perception of their own creativity and how they rate various creative products or services. Students are on their way to the pinnacle in their fields and the creativity should therefore be at its peak to be able to take full advantage and to get maximum benefit from it. The research will gain insight into their perception via a questionnaire where they need to rate themselves. The literature review will investigate creativity, innovation and the links between them. It will analyse the importance of innovation to business and the unlocking of creativity. There are many differing ways to unlock and stimulate creativity and some of these are addressed

    An e-learning environment for enterprise resource planning systems

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    Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) education can positively impact the success of an ERP implementation. Incorporating new tools and technologies into the learning process can potentially alleviate the evident problems with ERP education. Blended learning and e-learning environments both offer opportunities for improvement in education. However, there are various factors and components that need to be in place for such an environment to be successful. The aim of this research is to provide an ERP e-Learning Environment (ERPeL) that can assist with ERP education in terms of creating an integrated and comprehensive learning environment for novice ERP users. In order to achieve this aim, this study followed the Design-Based Research (DBR) methodology which is specific to educational technology research and was applied in iterative cycles where various components of the environment were evaluated by different participants. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected by means of field studies (interviews, focus groups and questionnaires). The proposed ERPeL underwent several iterations of feedback and improvement. In order to determine the success of e-learning, various critical success factors and evaluation criteria were investigated. Field studies were conducted in order to validate the theory in a real-world context. An initial field study was conducted with third year Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) students who were enrolled in the 2014 ERP systems’ module in the Department of Computing Sciences. Many of the problems identified in theory were found to be prevalent in the real-world context. One of the DBR process cycles involved the implementation of specific components of the ERPeL at the Developing and Strengthening Industry-driven Knowledge-transfer between developing Countries (DASIK) introduction to ERP systems course. Participants were either NMMU students, academic staff or industry delegates. The components evaluated included videos, learning content, badges, assessment and the SYSPRO Latte m-learning application. Additional components of a leader board, live chats, peer reviewing, expert reviews, user generated content, consultancy with experts and SYSPRO ERP certification were implemented in the subsequent cycle where participants were 2015 third year NMMU ERP systems students. The criteria used to evaluate the success of the ERPeL and its e-learning components were adapted from literature and a new set of evaluation criteria for e-learning was proposed. The ERPeL is made up of Moodle, the SYSPRO ERP System, the SYSPRO e-Learning System, the SYSPRO Latte m-learning application, learning content and components. Overall the ERPeL was positively received by the various sample groups. The research results indicate that the use of an e-learning environment for ERP systems was positively received. The most positive aspects reported were the implementation of e-learning components such as the interactive videos, simulations and m-learning. In support of this Masters dissertation, the following three papers have been published and presented at two local conferences and one international conference: 1. SACLA 2014, Port Elizabeth (South Africa); 2. SAICSIT 2015, Stellenbosch (South Africa); and 3. IDIA 2015, Zanzibar (Tanzania)

    The design of a tannery near Bulawayo, Republic of Zimbabwe

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    The purpose of this research is to develop a design for a tannery using alternative tanning methods where natural chemicals would be used in the place of metal based acid. There are unprecedented levels of contamination in the natural water systems due to partially processed chemicals coming out of industries with tanneries producing a significant amount of untreated effluent. The aim of the research is to investigate the process of reclamation, rehabilitation and reuse of the animal hides as well as the reproduction of the inherent context, where a mutually beneficial interaction between the program and the context will be realized. This will involve a process of reclamation of the existing waste land, the remodeling of the existing dilapidated sewerage treatment infrastructure such that the existing structures and the waste treatment processes are adapted for the benefaction of the tannery. The design will explore the symbiotic nature and the contrasts that are inherent in factories as a type, with high volumes of waste and the envisaged mitigation mechanism this facility will have to the natural environment. Spatial concepts dealing with these programmatic contrasts, that is, containment and openness, heavy and light, interiority and exteriority, threshold and termination will be interrogated

    An investigation of the teaching strategies employed by a selection of educators at an FET college to support at risk L2 tourism students

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    The South African education system is based on learner centred principles and encourages the development of critical thinking. This approach is reflected in the South African Qualifications Framework, which identifies critical thinking as a primary outcome of education. In the vocational Tourism programme, there is a link between the subject learning outcomes and critical crossfield outcomes. The role of the vocational college educator is central in facilitating the development of critical thinking skills of all learners. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the selected Tourism educators develop critical thinking skills of risk L2 students. I conducted the study in a selected FET College using a qualitative case study in order to gain deeper understanding of how the educators implement curriculum policy in their classrooms. This study used four data collection instruments to gain an in-depth understanding of the research topic. The findings of the study reveal that educators understand the value of teaching critical thinking. However, there is a gap between educators’ conceptual understanding of critical thinking and their instructional practice to develop critical thinking skills during classroom instruction. The findings also reveal that there are factors that hinder the development of at risk students’ critical thinking skills such as; limited English language proficiency, poor behaviour, and subject guidelines which do not provide educators with guidance on teaching critical thinking skills. The study recommends in-service training sessions that will support educators on how to teach critical thinking skills explicitly. This study also recommends the development of practical guidelines to enhance educators’ critical thinking teaching strategies. The findings of this research will assist me in improving the support that I provide to Tourism educators

    Using data analysis and Information visualization techniques to support the effective analysis of large financial data sets

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    There have been a number of technological advances in the last ten years, which has resulted in the amount of data generated in organisations increasing by more than 200% during this period. This rapid increase in data means that if financial institutions are to derive significant value from this data, they need to identify new ways to analyse this data effectively. Due to the considerable size of the data, financial institutions also need to consider how to effectively visualise the data. Traditional tools such as relational database management systems have problems processing large amounts of data due to memory constraints, latency issues and the presence of both structured and unstructured data The aim of this research was to use data analysis and information visualisation techniques (IV) to support the effective analysis of large financial data sets. In order to visually analyse the data effectively, the underlying data model must produce results that are reliable. A large financial data set was identified, and used to demonstrate that IV techniques can be used to support the effective analysis of large financial data sets. A review of the literature on large financial data sets, visual analytics, existing data management and data visualisation tools identified the shortcomings of existing tools. This resulted in the determination of the requirements for the data management tool, and the IV tool. The data management tool identified was a data warehouse and the IV toolkit identified was Tableau. The IV techniques identified included the Overview, Dashboards and Colour Blending. The IV tool was implemented and published online and can be accessed through a web browser interface. The data warehouse and the IV tool were evaluated to determine their accuracy and effectiveness in supporting the effective analysis of the large financial data set. The experiment used to evaluate the data warehouse yielded positive results, showing that only about 4% of the records had incorrect data. The results of the user study were positive and no major usability issues were identified. The participants found the IV techniques effective for analysing the large financial data set

    Investigating the relationship between mathematical knowledge for teaching and self-efficacy of pre-service mathematical literacy teachers

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    Although a good understanding of mathematical content knowledge is essential for effective mathematics teaching, this might not be enough. Mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) requires a kind of depth and detail special to teaching, and involves mathematical reasoning as well as thinking from a learners’ perspective. Educational outcomes are also influenced by teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding their ability to teach effectively. This study was an investigation into the relationship between pre-service teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) and their mathematical self-efficacy with regard to MKT. Participants in the study were 137 BEd (FET) students at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, specializing in Mathematical Literacy as teaching subject. The quantitative data used for the study were gathered using a questionnaire on MKT for the topics number concepts and operations. This questionnaire was designed by Deborah Ball’s Michigan research team, to which I added a question on self-efficacy for every item. An analysis of the data gathered from the questionnaire reveals interesting and disturbing trends. The results suggest that, in more than 80% of the cases, respondents were either completely sure their answer was correct, or tended to think their answer was correct, indicating high levels of self-efficacy. Since only about 40% of answers were in reality correct, this indicates that participants believed their answer to be correct, although their interpretation of the mathematical knowledge for teaching involved was incorrect. Hence: they don’t know that they don’t know! The results of this study suggest that there is a need for educators of teachers to help improve prospective mathematical literacy teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching. Pre-service teachers should be taught to use cognitive skills that will raise the likelihood of improved learner understanding. For this, robust understanding of the fundamental mathematics involved is needed, as well as high levels of self-efficacy with regard to the teaching of mathematics

    Enablers and barriers to involvement in commercialisation

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    Universities are facing growing pressure to contribute towards innovation which has social impact and which contributes to economic development. Researchers mainly in the Science and Engineering fields are the primary sources of innovation outputs from universities and as such their involvement in commercialisation activities directly adds to the growth of innovative outputs from publicly financed research. Technology Transfer Offices (TTO) have been established at universities across South Africa to foster the involvement of researchers in commercialisation activities, to champion the innovation conversation within higher education institutions and to progress innovations from concept to application in society. This study focussed on understanding the factors which enable or create a barrier to the involvement of researchers in commercialisation activities at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The key elements examined in this study include the researchers’ perception of enablers (monetary and nonmonetary incentives) and barriers to involvement at national, institutional and individual levels. This study undertook to understand the perceptions of researchers of enablers and barriers to involvement in commercialisation at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Researchers in the two faculties of Science and Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology were approached to anonymously complete an electronic survey, the questions for which were developed from literature. The results from the survey were analysed using descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing. This study finds that a combination of incentives is necessary to enable researcher involvement and to lower barriers to involvement in commercialisation research. A set of recommendations based on the study are put forward on how such recommendations can be implemented

    The effects of turtle-introduced nutrients on beach ecosystems

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    Resource subsidies are flows of nutrients from one ecosystem to another. Sandy beach ecosystems are at the interface between land and sea and thus receive nutrients from both land/seascapes. The seasonal nesting of sea turtles introduces large inputs of eggs, and so nutrients, onto sandy beach ecosystems, but little is known about the effects of these spatially and temporally variable nutrient input pulses on the dynamics of consumers in the recipient system. In this study, I examined the ecological role of sea turtles as vectors of nutrients that introduce large amounts of nutrients (in the form of eggs) from distant foraging grounds into nutrient-poor beach ecosystems. Although some of the nutrients return to the sea in the form of hatchlings, nutrients from unhatched and depredated eggs, dead and predated hatchlings, as well as chorioallantoic fluid and egg shells remain on the beach and presumably enter sandy beach food webs. I hypothesized that turtle nutrients significantly increase the availability of nutrients to sandy beach ecosystems and that those nutrients are incorporated by both terrestrial and marine food webs. These hypotheses were tested by comparing isotopic signatures of 13C and 15N of consumers on beaches with high and low turtle nest densities. The response of meiofauna to the decomposition of turtle eggs was also investigated. I predicted that meiofaunal abundance is positively affected by turtle nutrients and that higher meiofaunal abundances will be obtained in decomposing, depredated nests. I tested this hypothesis by comparing meiofaunal abundance in naturally predated nests to densities away from turtle nests (as a control). An in situ experiment that mimics conditions of naturally predated sea turtle nest, was set up to test meiofaunal community responses to turtle nutrients over time. The study indicates that sea turtle eggs represent a short pulsed resource subsidy that increases the nutrient and energy budget of sandy beach ecosystems. The results show that of the five potential nutrient pathways tested, ghost crabs appear to consume egg nutrients in measurable quantities, altering their diet and feeding behaviour according to food availability. The study also showed that there was a strong, but short-lived positive response of meiofauna to the introduction of nutrients, with increased abundance of all taxa in predated nests and experimental treatments. This response was particularly strong for nematodes which peaked in abundance after seven days. I conclude that turtle-derived nutrients represent a pulsed resource subsidy that makes significant contribution to the energy budget of sandy beach/dune ecosystems

    Supra-maximal speed interval training effect on a 40m standing start sprint and timed 3000m running performance in moderately trained female runners: Alterg anti-gravity treadmill running

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    The purpose of this study was to explore what the supra-maximal speed interval training effect was on a 40m standing start sprint and timed 3000m running performance was for two separate study groups when using either the AlterG® anti-gravity treadmill, or downhill running as a training intervention, for moderately trained female runners. The level of delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) after each supra-maximal speed interval session was also captured. Data from 20 women was collected during initial pre-intervention testing; involving the 40m standing start sprint and 3000m timed trial run. During a four week training intervention the level of DOMS experienced by participants at increments of 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours, in each respective training group was recorded. Post-intervention testing was performed to once again measure the participants 40m standing start sprint and 3000m timed trial run values, results were analysed and compared to pre-intervention data


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    Nelson Mandela University is based in South Africa
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