An evaluation of the effectiveness of work-flexibility practices in improving performance of firms in the food processing industry in Zimbabwe (2010-2013)
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The study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of work-flexibility practices in improving the performance of firms in the food processing industry in Zimbabwe for the period 2010-2013. Secondary sources gave pertinent insights on the topic through literature review. The Literature review highlighted significant links between work-flexibility and firm performance. Reviewing literature also explored the definition of work-flexibility, organisational performance and explored the different forms of work-flexibility practices. Literature of the drivers of these practices was also reviewed giving important insights into the significance of aligning to ever changing customer needs. The advantages and disadvantages of work-flexibility practices to firms in the twenty first century were also looked at. In this study both qualitative and quantitative research designs were used to ensure the research’s validity and reliability was strengthened. A survey questionnaire was administered in a random stratified sample of employees in selected major companies in the food processing industry. The results were analysed using Microsoft excel and were presented in tables and figures. The nature and prominence of some form of work-flexibility was found to vary from widely to sparsely in nature. Declining worker protection from the unions and ever-changing customer needs are chief drivers for firms in the food processing industry to adopt human resources practices of work-flexibility. The findings of the survey show that the major benefits to companies in implementing work-flexibility practices is reduction in costs whilst the major shortcoming identified from the findings was that of loss of job security. It was concluded indeed, human resources practices of work-flexibility are effective in boosting performance in companies in the food processing industry. The research recommended further study in assessing the role played by the unions in ensuring the protection of workers’ rights in Zimbabwe in as far as implementation of human resources work-flexibility practices is concerned.
Additional Citation InformationMudzi, T. (2013). An evaluation of the effectiveness of work-flexibility practices in improving performance of firms in the food processing industry in Zimbabwe (2010-2013). (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Zimbabwe.