Affirmative Action

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University of Pretoria etd – Motileng, B B (2004)

Affirmative Action: The experience of people in middle
management positions

By

Barnard Buti Motileng

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of:

Master of Arts
(Research Psychology)
In the
Faculty of Humanities
University of Pretoria
PRETORIA
SUPERVISOR
Dr. C. Wagner
May 2004

University of Pretoria etd – Motileng, B B (2004)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

SPECIAL DEDICATION

Thanks to Almighty God for making this childhood dream come true.

My parents, without whom my existence would add up to nothing. You’re the ever-present shade that I run to.

My children, who have been the source of inspiration. You are the most precious jewels that ever happened to me. Seeing you grow just makes me happy.

My family (brothers and sisters) your support has been vital. Together we stand.

The Motileng clan, I remain indebted to you. Special thanks to my grandfather (Phillimon), aunt (Elizabeth) and granny (Annah) for nurturing me.

Family friends thanking you for knowingly or unknowingly remaining my courage and inspiration.

Psy, you are just amazing and unmeasurable, a pillar of strength.

Morwa you are and remain a true friend, from childhood to infinity.

Vinny, you are a brother through thick and thin.

Last but not least my supervisor, Dr. Claire Wagner, for her understanding and diligence.

ii

University of Pretoria etd – Motileng, B B (2004)

Affirmative Action: The experience of people in middle
management positions

Name:

Barnard Buti Motileng

Supervisor:

Dr. C. Wagner

Department:

Psychology

Degree

Master of Arts (Research Psychology)

iii

University of Pretoria etd – Motileng, B B (2004)

ABSTRACT

Affirmative Action remains one of the most highly sensitive, emotive and hotly debated subjects in South Africa. It is nevertheless an important legislated program that needs to be fully researched and constructively debated to bring change to the lives of previously disadvantaged groups. The present study focused on the experiences of black middle managers. The goal being to describe how black middle managers experience Affirmative Action at the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Emphasis was placed on how black middle managers define Affirmative Action, whether they feel that others question their abilities because of Affirmative Action or not and the extent to which Affirmative Action policies affect their job satisfaction and work commitment. The phenomenological approach was used to study the experiences of five middle managers at the SABC.

Results of the study revealed that participants

experienced Affirmative Action positively as a corrective process that provides employment opportunities for advancement and actualisation of potentialities. These results seem to counter previous research studies (e.g., Gillis et al., 2001; Koekemoer, 1998) that propound a high stress level and demotivation among those who are supposed to benefit from Affirmative Action, the affirmed. The current findings are congruent with Skedsvold and Mann’s (1996) assertion that Affirmative

Action

policies

increase

commitment among beneficiaries.

iv

job

satisfaction

and

organisational

University of Pretoria etd – Motileng, B B (2004)

KEY TERMINOLOGIES

Affirmative Action - is a process or strategy implemented by the organisation to overcome barriers to equal employment opportunity, through a broad variety of activities relating to, inter alia, selection and recruitment, development and training and promotion practices targeting all previously disadvantaged communities (Human, 1993).

Black - refers to Africans, Coloureds and Indians.

Discrimination – is an intentional or unintentional act which adversely affects employment opportunities because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, marital status, or national origin, or other factors such as...
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