Academic's experiences of a merger in higher education

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. C.L. van Tonder en
dc.contributor.author Goldman, Geoff A.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-03-10T06:27:36Z
dc.date.available 2010-03-10T06:27:36Z
dc.date.issued 2010-03-10T06:27:36Z
dc.date.submitted 2007-06
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3073
dc.description D.Phil. en
dc.description.abstract The restructuring of the South African Higher Education landscape in postapartheid era has been the scene of vast organisational change as numerous mergers between Higher Education Institutions have typified this transformation. One such a merger is the merger between the Technikon Witwatersrand, the Rand Afrikaans University and two campuses of Vista University (namely the East Rand and Soweto Campuses) into the University of Johannesburg. Announced on 31 May 2002 and intended to be effective as of 1 January 2005, this merger represents the birth of the largest residential university in South Africa and presents the opportunity of studying the effects of all-encompassing change on employees first hand. In terms of organisational change – with mergers representing a specific type of organisational change – it is apparent that the effect of change on staff members is not only a widely overlooked matter in practice, but also in organisational change literature (and in mergers and acquisitions literature in particular). This study explores the merger experiences of academic staff at the University of Johannesburg and also examines the role leadership has played in these experiences. Using an Interpretive, case study design, 40 academic staff members were interviewed. These research subjects were selected on a purposive basis from all faculties across all campuses. Using the Strauss and Corbin application of Grounded Theory, the collected data was analysed to construct the reality of academic staffs’ merger experiences and perceptions of the merger at the University of Johannesburg. In terms of the University of Johannesburg, findings indicate that institutional predisposition is a major contributor to shaping research subjects’ initial attitude toward the pending merger. Furthermore, the interim phase that the University found itself in directly after merger the date, was a cause of great discontent amongst academic staff and was seen as the greatest debilitating factor to the successful roll-out of the merger. The study indicates that academic staff relay their experiences and perceptions of the merger in three discernable time frames, or perspectives, each with its own unique dynamic. Collectively, these three perspectives constitute the Reflective Experience of Mergers (REM) theory, which examines how the merger experiences of academic staff shape their perceptions of and attitudes toward the merger over time. The REM-theory reiterates the temporal nature of change; it is a phenomenon that evolves over time in discernable stages. Furthermore the REM-theory also underscores the effect change has on the emotional and psychological well being of individuals over time. The REM-theory also highlights the important role leadership plays in a merger as, in the case of the University of Johannesburg, research subjects tended to be far more critical of deficiencies in leadership as opposed to deficiencies in management. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject University of Johannesburg en
dc.subject Vista University en
dc.subject Technikon Witwatersrand en
dc.subject Universities and colleges' mergers en
dc.subject College teachers' attitudes en
dc.subject Organizational change management en
dc.title Academic's experiences of a merger in higher education en
dc.type Thesis en

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