Impact Of Human Factors On The Labour Process: A Case Study

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Prakash Singh
Thembinkosi Twalo


Labour Process, Resource Management, Job Performance, Job Behaviour


The sustainability of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) in South Africa is being threatened by the reported cases of poor administration, weak management of resources, inappropriate job performance, and inappropriate job behaviour of some of its employees. Since the structural-functionalists assume that formal education is a solution to societal challenges, it therefore means that the BCMM should not be experiencing this threat since many of its workers have various levels of formal education. Consequently, this case study using the mixed method research approach set out to investigate the paradoxical co-existence of inappropriate job behaviour and performance with formal education at the BCMM. It moved from the premise that labour (ability to work) is a product of multifarious forms of capital and thus amalgamated four forms of capital - human, social, cultural, and reputation into a theoretical framework in order to get a broader explanation of the employees job behaviour and performance. This made it possible for job behaviour and performance to be investigated from multiple perspectives, as opposed to the dominant human capital model that predominantly uses schooling to explain the workers performance. This drew attention to the view that the labour process does not take place in a vacuum, but in a particular context that is shaped by several imperatives and it involves humans with particular motives, will, attitudes, ethics, and values. Hence, this exploratory case study demonstrates how the sustainability of the BCMM is undermined by different factors that are human in nature.


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