Thesis: Human Capital Management: A South African Perspective Thesis Dr. W. Goosen


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Thesis: Human Capital Management:
A South African Perspective
Thesis Dr. W. Goosen

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Thesis: Human Capital Management: A South African Perspective Thesis Dr. W. Goosen

  1. 1. Human Capital Management: A South African Perspective W. Goosen ThesisPhilosophiae Doctor in the Management of Technology and Innovation The Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management 2012
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  3. 3. Human Capital Management: A South African Perspective by Wynand Goosen Student number: 4470 Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Philosophiae Doctor in the Management of Technology and Innovation at The Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management Academic Supervisor: Prof B Anderson PhD Field Supervisor: Prof M Mehl PhD January 2012iii | P a g e
  4. 4. DECLARATIONI declare that the research project, quantifying human capital: A SouthAfrican perspective is my own work and that each source of information usedhas been acknowledged by means of a complete reference. This thesis hasnot been submitted before for any other research project, degree orexamination at any university.…………………………………….(Signature of student).............(Date)Johannesburg, South Africaiv | P a g e
  5. 5. Human Capital Management: A South African Perspective AbstractThe research problem addresses the issue of learning taking place on broadwalks of life and not just in formal contexts. Learning so obtained attractslimited formal recognition. The objective of the research is aimed atdeveloping a system whereby structure could be given to such learning, forinclusion in formal human capital management systems. The researcherconsiders amongst other the role of organizational objectives, in determiningrequired skills. It is suggested that required human capital could bebenchmarked against “formal learning programs”, with a view to create aformal credit transfer system. The research also probes the possibility ofusing such a system to determine specific skills gaps. Collectively, theresearch is contextualized within the relevance of a Corporate QualificationsFramework (CQF), a system that measures human capital in terms of astrategic plan. A Corporate Qualifications Framework operates on threeprinciples – the required human capital (demand side), the actual humancapital (supply side) and the gap between the two. The demand side consistsof job descriptions, qualifications and occupational profiles. Supply sidestandards are used to measure actual human capital by means ofperformance management, performance assessment and the recognition ofprior learning (RPL).The literature survey demonstrates how “thinking” has evolved overcenturies. The research indicates that the pursuit of knowledge seems tofocus on knowledge and not on profit.v | Page
  6. 6. The development of a Meta Business Framework suggests a businessconsciousness that recognizes the role of thinking and the development ofalternative realities that recognizes the evolution of humanity. Meta Businesssuggests that business honours the relationship between mind and matter aswell as the interconnectedness of all things. Thus, the evolution ofeducational thought, being integral to Meta Business, suggests thedevelopment of learning to serve business requirements, whilst business isdesigned for the benefit of humanity at large.The research concludes with an overview of the research process. Thediscussion is centered on the possibility of using non-formal learning asformal credit in a process termed “work based learning”. The process entailscreating a system whereby the training conducted at the workplacetranslates into credits within formal education programs. The roles ofacademic institutions are important to enhance legitimacy and credibility.The net result is the creation of a framework that is industry based – thatconsiders the needs and objectives of industry. The implications of theresearch findings are that a CQF can be used to develop an integratedsystem of human capital management.The integrated conclusion suggests a redesign of the current educationalsystem in South Africa, to become adaptable and effective, serving theneeds of industry and society at | P a g e
  7. 7. AcknowledgementsMy sincere gratitude to the following individuals without whom this researchjourney would not have been possible:  To my Academic Supervisor, Professor Ben Anderson, for his leadership, insight, patience, dedication and encouragement on my journey of self-discovery and self – directedness;  To my Field Supervisor, Professor Merlyn Mehl, who has always been a mentor and a guide  To, George Lupke, Patrick Mugumo and Celeste Smith, for their help and encouragement.  To Dr. Linda Meyer for sharing her views and encouragement to complete this research study;  To the staff and faculty of The Da Vinci Institute; particularly Onicca Maculube who went beyond the call of duty in her support and as true ambassadors of the Institute;  To the research participants, without whom, this research journey would not have been possible.W. GoosenInitials + surname of studentBryanston, JohannesburgCity/town of student’s residencevii | P a g e
  8. 8. List of Diagrams and TablesDiagram 2.1 Development of knowledgeDiagram 2.2 MorphologyDiagram 2.3 Fractal WallpapersDiagram 2.4 Literature SurveyDiagram 3.1 Action Research CycleDiagram 3.2 Developmental Action EnquiriesDiagram 3.3 Overlapping Phases of ResearchDiagram 3.4 The Paradigm ModelDiagram 4.1 From Concept to TheoryDiagram 5.1 The Current StateDiagram 5.2 The Future StateTable 3.1 The Framework of RelationshipsTable 4.1 Personal Experience ConceptsTable 4.2 Categories developed from Personal ExperienceTable 4.3 Literature Survey ConceptsTable 4.4 Categories developed from Literature SurveyTable 4.5 Research Questionnaires ConceptsTable 4.6 Categories developed from Research Questionnairesviii | P a g e
  9. 9. AnnexuresAnnexure A Research QuestionnaireAnnexure B Concepts and categories from personal experienceAnnexure C Concepts and categories from literature surveyAnnexure D 1 Concepts and categories from research questionnaireAnnexure D2 Consolidation of research categoriesAnnexure E Results from research questionnaireAnnexure E1 Total jobs, vision and objectivesAnnexure E2 How are people doing in their jobsAnnexure E3 Recommended training and skills GAPAnnexure E4 How would SDF measure actual human capitalAnnexure E5 Is there a project plan to drive closure of GAPAnnexure E6 Management review processAnnexure E7 How is CQF implementedAnnexure F Alignment of researchAnnexure G Discourse in the literature surveyix | P a g e
  10. 10. List of AcronymsABET Adult Basic Education and TrainingANC African National CongressATR Annual Training ReportCAT Credit Accumulation and TransferCEP Community of Expert PractitionersCHE Council on Higher EducationCPD Continuous Professional DevelopmentDHET Department of Higher Education and TrainingDOL Department of LabourECTS European Credit Transfer SystemEQF European Qualifications FrameworkETD Education Training and DevelopmentETQAs Education and Training Quality Assurance AuthoritiesFET Further Education and TrainingGDP Gross Domestic ProductionGET General Education and TrainingHE Higher EducationHEQC Higher Education Quality CommitteeHET Higher Education and TrainingHEQF Higher Education Qualifications FrameworkHRD Human Resource DevelopmentMoU Memorandum of UnderstandingNATED National Education PolicyNCV National Certificate (Vocational)NQF National Qualifications FrameworkNLRD National Learners’ Records Databasex | Page
  11. 11. NSA National Skills AuthorityNVQ National Vocational QualificationQCTO Quality Council for Trades and OccupationsQMS Quality Management SystemsRPL Recognition of Prior LearningSACP South African Communist PartySADC Southern African Development CommunitySAQA South African Qualifications AuthoritySAQI South African Quality InstituteSDA Skills Development ActSMME Small-, Medium-, and Micro EnterpriseSETA Sector Education and Training AuthoritySSETA Services Sector Education and Training AuthoritySMME Small, Micro, and Medium EnterprisesTQM Total Quality ManagementVET Vocational Education and TrainingWSP Workplace Skills Planxi | P a g e
  12. 12. Definition of Key TermsArticulate To provide for learners, on successful completion of accredited prerequisites, to move between components of the delivery systemAssessment The nature of the assessment task given totools/instruments the learner to do. Guidelines for the Assessment of NQF registered Unit Standards and Qualifications (SAQA; 2000).Higher Education Higher Education refer to education that normally takes place in universities and other higher education institutions, both public and private, which offer qualifications on the Higher Education Qualifications Framework.Further Education Further Education refers to education offered in Further Education and Training (FET) colleges and similar programs in other vocational colleges. 12
  13. 13. Occupationally directed Training that principally is conducted in theeducation, training and workplace. It is also referred to as ‘on thedevelopment job training’, ‘workplace training’, ’vocational education and training’ or ‘career-oriented education’.Occupational Education Occupational education refers to educational programs that are focused on preparation for specific occupations, as well as ongoing professional development and training in the workplace.Professional education Professional education refers to educational programs that lead to professional registrationQuality Assurance The sum of activities that assure the quality of services against clear pre-determined and described standards. Guidelines for the Assessment of NQF registered Unit Standards and Qualifications (SAQA; 2000) 13
  20. 20. CHAPTER 1: RESEARCH ORIENTATION1.1. INTRODUCTIONIn April 1994 a new socio-political dispensation took theaccountability and responsibility for governing South Africa. One ofthe objectives of the new government was to make education andtraining available for the entire population. According to the findingsof the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) of 1994, thestructure and capacity of education in South Africa became seriouslyoutmoded (ANC, 1994). The consequence was that the educationsystem no longer delivered the industry competence required forsustainable economic growth. The development of business skillsand competence has therefore been influenced by the limitationsrelating to primary, secondary and tertiary education system inSouth Africa.This comes as a result of the modern economy demanding skills thatare focused on both professional and vocational competence. A newsystem that integrates education and workplace training has to bedesigned and developed. As part of such development, industrytraining would have to assume increased responsibility for thedevelopment of industry skills, using in-house industry training tosupplement, assist and in some cases, replace formal training. Thisphenomenon is a precursor to the development of a system wheretraining and education would need to be more measurable. However,it deserves to be mentioned that norms, developed because ofeffective measurements, are in fact a result of social construction.Thus, the existing norms, being the existing qualifications in our 20
  21. 21. society, are assumed to be the correct benchmarks for learning andindustry requirements.The correctness of such an assumption is debatable. In order for thenorms to be valid, the system for engagement of stakeholders wouldhave to be addressed. This research is not focused on the process ofstakeholder engagement but rather on how alternative norms couldbe applied for existing learning. The development of a systemwhereby learning programs could be identified in terms ofcomplexity levels, and subject matter, is imperative. The SouthAfrican education and training system is under review for the pasteleven years, considering the role and impact of, amongst others, aNational Qualifications Framework (NQF).It was believed that by establishing a National QualificationsFramework, learners would be empowered to advance to higherlevels of learning (RDP, 1994:63). According to Aber (1998:49) theNational Qualifications Framework is both an enabling frameworkand a social construct. This means that it should enable people toco-ordinate their learning throughout their lives. Thus, it enables anormative system where a learner can build a portfolio of skills thatis measurable, comparable and mobile. Such an approach will enablea learner to “grow” a skills collection that can be used to obtain aqualification. In this regard the new system for skills development isboth holistic and sophisticated (Lategan, 2001:13). The interimreport of the Sub Committee appointed by the Committee forTutorial Matters (CTM), in South Africa, identified accessimpediments to South African higher education institutions as earlyas 1993 (Committee on tutorial matters, 1993:5). During 1993, 21
  22. 22. Universities in South Africa, enrolled some 350 000 students, 44% ofwhom were white. The Technikons at that time registered 138 000students, of whom 54% were white. Access patterns in SouthAfrican education institutions improved over the past fifteen years interms of cultural identity and variety, but continue to mirror a highereducation system differentiated along racial lines (Committee ontutorial matters, 1993:5). The challenge is to create equitable accessthat recognizes the principles of human development, and to allowlearning that can take place inside as well as outside the class room(The Common Wealth of Learning, 1997:1). In South Africa, thisinitiative was driven by the introduction of the South AfricanQualifications Authority (SAQA), the Skills Development Act and theNational Qualifications Framework (NQF) since 1994.On 23 February 2010 the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations(QCTO) was launched in South Africa. The QCTO is tasked to developindustry profiles for occupations and to use the vocational profiles todevelop curriculums to inform national qualifications. The intention isnot to replace all developed qualifications and unit standards, butrather to compare and update existing qualifications to match thevocational needs of industry.The South African education system does, however, not allow forrecognition of any non-formal or prior learning, unless it is done viathe recognized, accredited residential or correspondence institutions.The only formal system for quantification of human capital,incorporating learning and competence, is the existing educationsystem. An individual can quantify (measure and compare) learningand competence in terms of a Matric certificate, a National Diploma 22
  23. 23. or a Degree. The Higher Education Act (101 of 1997) formallycontrols the issuance of any form of “Degree” and thus thequantification of learning and ultimately, the quantification of humancapital.Non-formal training and education is seldom recognized by formalinstitutions within South Africa, with the result that suchdevelopment is not formally acknowledged, notwithstanding the factthat it takes place in company training rooms (Hamm andAssociates, 1997:1). Skills and competence developed in industrydoes therefore not enjoy the same recognition as skills andcompetence developed by elitist tertiary education systems,notwithstanding the fact that they may be equal in standing.Competency based models for performance and development needto be developed and implemented that will link strategy to businessgoals, clarifying the required and actual competency of individualsand establishing standards for performance (Venter, 1998:43).1.2 BACKROUND AND DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEMThe problem of no recognition of non-formal training and educationhas an historical origin and explanation. No evidence in practice orliterature could be found of recognition of non-formal training inSouth Africa prior to 1985. With the evolution of the South Africaneconomy, companies started training and later educating staff in-house. Company training started moving closer toward formalstructure requirements, and universities, in serving industry, startedcurriculating more and more according to industry needs. Accordingto the RDP (1994:61) industry based education and training should 23
  24. 24. be consistent in design with the National Qualifications Framework(NQF) whereby government integrates industry education withformal education (Government Gazette, 1995:1). However, access tohigher education seems to be a challenge in that black andparticularly African student access to higher education, has beenmainly into academic institutions at which professional, naturalscience, postgraduate and research programs, were the leastdeveloped (Committee on tutorial matters, 1993:5). This, coupledwith the low performance of the Department of Higher Education andTraining (DHET) school system in mathematics and scienceeducation, has meant that African students in higher education arestudying predominantly in the fields of education, arts and socialsciences.Access is thus hampered by the “academic inability” of prospectivecandidates. By creating a system whereby all learning, irrespectiveof origin, can be assessed, measured and transferred as credittowards (for example), a Certificate or even Bachelors degree, theaccess challenge can be alleviated as learners obtain similar creditsfrom other sources. In addition, economic competency and skills canbe created without having to place additional strain on the educationsystem. Using the existing frameworks, such as the matric certificateand the degree qualification, one could facilitate the measurement ofskills, learning and competence. Such measurement should form thebasis for the quantification of human capital.Forty-one percent of South Africas privately held businesses cite theunavailability of a skilled workforce as the biggest constraint tobusiness growth (Business Report, 2009). At the same time, South 24
  25. 25. African unemployment rates have not been lower than 20% since1997 (Index Mundi, 2011). This raises the question whether there isa connection between unemployment and the absence of a skilledworkforce. The redesign of the education and training system shouldtherefore have as an objective, the increased economic output of thecountry as a whole and focus should be on a system that createsskills, productivity and consequently, enables employment for all itscitizens.1.2.1 THEORETICAL CONTEXTThe research is embedded in the human resources field andspecifically the skills development arena. Issues of using competencybased unit standards, as well as extracts from non-unit standardbased qualifications, to define job descriptions, will be investigated.The study will draw on existing labour market theories incompetency and skills creation. The literature survey is intended tounderpin the theoretical construct and illuminate the way forward forhuman capital development.The suggested system will have to be one where learning activitiescan be thought of as building blocks, so that the individual can builda portfolio of credits for qualifications, ranging from the FurtherEducation and Training band (FET) to the Higher Education andTraining band (HET). It is accepted that the skills and academicinability of students and prospective employees are mostlyconcentrated in the disadvantaged population groups within SouthAfrica (Index Mundi, 2011). To ensure the advancement of anunderdeveloped society, this syndrome will have to be counteracted 25
  26. 26. by a constant supply of motivated, economically active and skilledlabour. A society of low achievers implies an ineffective economy andlow tax base for government, which in turn implies inferiorgovernment services like health, police and also, education (Sachs,2005:60).The sustained inability to afford further and tertiary education couldthus be viewed as a challenge that must be addressed at all possiblelevels - in formal as well as non-formal education (The CommonWealth of Learning, 1997:1). Worldwide the principle of CreditAccumulation Transfer as formal credits for primary, secondary aswell as tertiary education, occurs in different forms. In the UnitedStates of America, Bear (1991:45) describes the philosophyunderpinning credit for Life Experience Learning as follows:“Academic Credit is given for what you know, without regard forhow, when, or where credit was acquired”. In the United Kingdom, avery similar system is called the “National Vocational QualificationCouncil.” The credits so obtained by students are called, “NVQ”(Lycos, 1997:1). In the Netherlands, the system is referred to asHigher Vocational Training (Dekker and van Schalkwyk, 1990:105),whilst Germany’s “Bildungsgesamtplan” or education plan, providesfor vocational education (Dekker and van Schalkwyk, 1990:21). InNew Zealand a system called the National Qualifications Authority(NZQA), regulates the context whereby formal credit is given tovocational education (Kiwi, 1997:1). In essence, the recognition ofnon-formal learning as formal qualification credits is aimed atrecognizing existing expertise, thus formalizing learning and creatingadditional competence. 26
  27. 27. 1.2.2 APPLIED CONTEXTAnother impediment to access in tertiary education in South Africa isthe availability of seats (Education Statistics South Africa, 2008: 5).While correspondence institutions such as the University of SouthAfrica (UNISA) are capable of coping with large student numbers,residential institutions have limited seating space. In 2008 only5.7% of all eligible learners in South Africa were enrolled in theHigher Education system (Education Statistics South Africa, 2008:5). The increasing private initiative to provide further and highereducation partly supports this crisis of access to higher education.Government is thus simply not capable of providing solutions for thecurrent challenge. A large number of private education and traininginstitutions can and does provide quality education products to thepublic. Yet, some are hampered from issuance of marketablecertification such as a degree, whilst the word “university” is actuallyforbidden to be used by such institutions. Private further and tertiaryeducation could therefore assist in the seat shortage in tertiaryeducation if their programs can be used for degree credits, providingthat the playing field is fair. Industry also engages in trainingconducted in-house. This is done by either appointing trainers on thepayroll of companies, or by contracting certain in-house trainingneeds to independent external providers.1.2.3 BASIC CONSTRUCT AND CONCEPTS OF THE PROBLEMForeign universities flooded into newly democratic South Africaduring the 1990s but most pulled out after being confronted byrigorous accreditation and registration processes, leaving the small 27
  28. 28. but influential and increasingly stable private tertiary sectordominated by local groups (MacGregor, 2008). This rigorousaccreditation process further impedes formal recognition of non-formal training in South Africa (MacGregor, 2008). Within theShoprite Checkers stable, and specifically OK Bazaars, a majorplayer in the retail industry, it was found that several possibilitiesexist to re-package programs into subject equivalents. The reality isthus, that the equivalent of higher subjects are being offered on afragmented basis, as part of a so-called in-house company training,or non-formal training program. These fragmented training coursesdo not enjoy any recognition similar to that of higher educationsubjects. An employee, having completed such in-house training,can therefore not obtain any formal credits for such training, whenhe or she enrolls at a higher education institution in South Africa.The reason being that in-house training is not "accredited" by thefurther or tertiary education system in South Africa. The logic behindthis is that these in-house training courses vary in aspects such asquality, contact time and level. McLernon and Hughes (2004)examines the relationship between work-based learning (WBL) andinstitutional learning (IL) with a view to determining what academiccredit is awarded for and how it is awarded. The authors furtherstate that there is currently no rational method of awarding credit forwork-based learning and proposes that articulations in currentframeworks for credit accumulation and transfer schemes foracademic learning may provide a substantive and transparent meansof attributing academic credit to Work Based Learning. They alsorecommend that such a framework should be developed specificallyfor work-based learning (McLernon and Hughes, 2004). 28
  29. 29. A system of accreditation is thus required whereby any in-houseprogram can be assessed for credit in relation to existing formalqualifications. No such national system exists in South Africa(Manning, 1991), although some higher education institutions doacknowledge such learning for credit purposes within qualificationsthrough a process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). With theintroduction of the Sector Education and Training Authorities (Seta)driven Education and Training Quality Authorities (ETQA) and thepractical use of unit standards and RPL, this possibility may evolve inthe near future for South Africans.“Industrys original motive for training is to enable a worker toperform his or her job function better” (Decker and van Schalkwyk,1990:1). Later schools of thought introduced the "total personapproach" in management and human relations driven organizations(Harrison, 1993:189). This particular school of thought argued thatby developing the total person, the functional person performing thetask develops accordingly. The implication is that company trainingextends its involvement from task-orientated training to humandevelopment via education (Harrison, 1993). “This developmentimplied shrinkage in the differences between education and trainingas new knowledge and information became the driving force ofregional, national and global economic transformation “(Fehnel,2001:18). Thus, suggesting the initiation of at least a connectionbetween workplace training needs and the recognition of theemployee.The objective of the contemporary enterprise has evolved to long-term shareholder’s wealth, employee development and 29
  30. 30. environmental responsibility (Senge, 2010). The employee hasunlimited needs and limited resources. The need for synergybetween employee and organization is thus always present.Management is faced with the task of finding ways to ensure theattainment of organizational objectives via its people, and in theprocess, satisfying employee needs (Senge, 2010). By linkingtraining to employee needs and organizational objectives,productivity can be increased. “In the process, training must addmeaning and value to the trainees life” (Eveden and Andersen,1992:296). Training must contribute to the employee’sdevelopment, and in such scenario, training must be cost effective,not only for the organization, but also for the country (Dekker andvan Schalkwyk, 1990). In order for workplace training to make sucha contribution systems to formalize such training will have to bedeveloped.According to Orphen (2003:26) companies should “engage inscenario planning in order to ensure strategic success”. Strongeremployee rights have also been established with the introduction ofnew legislation (Whysall, 2003). It should be taken into account thatmoney spent on education in South Africa is tax deductible andtherefore decreases the tax income of a country. The money lost ontaxes could be re-applied in formal education. “Training shouldtherefore be documented, registered, assessed or measured. In thisregard modern companies have formal assessment feedbacksystems in place “(Gering and Pienaar, 2001:40). Training and alsocompetency, must therefore be assessed, relative to existingstructures in education, for example the degree. The process, called"accreditation" implies recognition of training for credit elsewhere, 30
  31. 31. such as a degree (Bear, 1990:23). In order to establish suchaccreditation or recognition, a comparison of non-formal trainingwith formal training has to be made. According to Firer (2002)organizations should view training as a strategic priority – thisimplying that it should follow from the strategic plan.Urquhart (2001) believes that the strategic challenges of theorganization need to be well defined, to enable the organization toidentify what it intends to achieve and how successful it is atdetermining its goals. Such activity could assist in determining therequired human capital priorities. The registration of such humancapital will imply automatic mobility of training - once a company’straining is compared, assessed and accredited; employees will beable to transfer their learning when changing employers.Documentation, registration and accreditation imply theestablishment of a database for the administering of such a system.Such a system would have to be capable of handling large volumescost effectively and timeously.Mobility implies articulation at further and tertiary levels betweenqualifications and institutions. According to the 1992 "Reconstructionand Development Plan" (RDP) South Africa need to develop anintegrated system of education and training, providing equalopportunities to all, irrespective of race, gender, class, color,language and political or other opinion (RDP, 1994). It is alsorequired to address the development of knowledge and skills toproduce high quality goods and services to develop the South Africaneconomy and its people. “Education must be geared towards thedevelopment of the individual and the community, and should also 31
  32. 32. promote tolerance and a spirit of co-operation amongst all people”(Eveden and Anderson, 1992:83).In view of the above a new national human resources developmentstrategy must be developed based on the principles of democracy,non-racism, non-sexism, equity and redress to avoid theshortcomings of the previous South African regime (RDP, 1990). Itis considered the duty of government to ensure that humanresources are developed effectively via industry-based education andtraining boards, with union and employer participation, to design andimplement programs within industries, consistent with the standardsdeveloped for an integrated national framework. The Industry will,for purposes of this study, be defined as all companies engaging theactivity of in-house training of staff.Education and training for skills development should adhere to thefollowing principles: • It must be modular and outcome-based; must recognize prior learning and experience; must develop transferable and portable skills; must have common standards, and • It must be integrated within the national qualifications and accreditation system.Bear (1991:9) defines the term degree as a title conferred by aschool to show that a certain course of study has been successfullycompleted. Degree requirements are all outcomes required for theattainment of such a title. Manning (1997:54) identifies three goals 32
  33. 33. to begin with, namely; ensure that every person in the organizationknows what to do; focus attention on a few key themes and inspirepeople to explore their potential.1.3. THE RESEARCH QUESTIONThe questions related to this research are four fold: a) Could an organizational strategic plan be used to determine the required human capital for an organization? b) Is it possible that industry experience, workplace learning competence and non-formal training programs could be compared favorably in content, level and outcomes, with each other? c) Does a benchmark system exist to determine a gap analysis of skills? d) Is it possible to quantify human capital in relation to a Corporate Qualifications Framework?The question extends to whether industry can quantify humancapital in companies as a mechanism for skills assessment. If such amechanism could be established the process of developing aWorkplace Skills Plan in terms of the South African Skills Act, wouldbe greatly advanced.The expected outcome of this study is that a system of normativemeasurement for skills auditing can be developed. The problemaddressed in this study is thus the absence of an integrated,vocational education and training accreditation system that enablescompanies to determine the required level of skill, and the effects 33
  34. 34. thereof on employees and the economy at large. Thus, the researchalso intends to address the inability to “count”, measure, recogniseor compare skills, irrespective of the origin of such skills.1.4 IMPORTANCE OF THE RESEARCHEducation as it has evolved implies the furnishing of an individualwith a collection of skills as well as the development of his/ hercognitive ability – thus, creating a human capital base. Trainingrefers to the task orientated transfer of technology to participants,with the objective of empowering them to perform specific tasks.The skills and competence of a society determines the economicoutputs of such a society (Sachs, 2005:72). Therefore, if a systemcan be developed whereby a business community can develop itsbusiness competence, productivity would be enhanced. Education isgenerally believed to be taking place at tertiary institutions likeuniversities, while training is believed to be taking place on the job,in industry, by the company itself, or it’s appointed representatives(McLernon and Hughes, 2004). Competent members of industry witha proven track record of ability - having performed successfully attheir jobs for long periods of time, are often people without formalqualifications.Such individuals, when applying for entrance to tertiary education,receive no credit for in house training, nor do they receiverecognition for their proven track record of ability. In contrast, theseapplicants are being treated the same as a person with a matriccertificate. No recognition is therefore given to human capital, unlessformalized in a formal system. What the system implies is that 34
  35. 35. education is only education when it is obtained via the process ofexposure of the self to formal tertiary education and in-housetraining is thus not recognized at all.As a result of non-recognition of in-house training towards formalqualifications, individuals have in the past opted to obtain formalqualifications rather than in-house training. The result was that theobjective for learners became to obtain qualifications rather than todevelop competence. The result has therefore been certificationwithout competence, with no link between the qualifications and thestrategic objectives of the business. The effect is resulting in thecreation of qualifications that do not serve the community at large.In this study the possibility of using business strategic objectives todetermine required competence, will be investigated. The requiredcompetence, so determined, will be tested against acceptablebenchmarks of education and training, to determine whether theattainment of such competence can lead to a qualification.The research intends to contribute to the professional context in asmuch as it assists to define the application of an OrganizingFramework for Occupations, as an instrument to measure humancapital and to quantify jobs in relation to business plans and toenable performance management against a national standard.1.4.1 BENCHMARKS, MOBILITY AND EXIT POINTSBoth education and training in South Africa lack mobility and exitpoints. In the banking industry in South Africa, for example, banksoften do not recognize each other’s teller training programs. The 35
  36. 36. employee moving from one employer to another is thereforeregarded as not being competent or having any training, or havingtraining that cannot be compared or measured formally. Theabsence of mobility is due to the fact that human capital is notquantified in forms other than formal degrees, certificates ordiplomas. It is therefore very difficult to benchmark a one-daytraining program against a degree, diploma or certificate. There iscurrently no system in South Africa by which training can becompared or expressed in relative terms to a formal qualification.The intention is that the National Qualifications Framework willultimately fulfill this requirement. However, the question remainswhether it is possible for companies to quantify their actual humancapital and compare it on a normative scale to an independentbenchmark.Exit points in the present education system are very limited. The useof unit standards in South Africa, however, enables the accumulationof credits on a piece meal basis. Learners who have completed askills program will qualify for access into a certificate program. Thissystem should at least alleviate the problem of exit points, in asmuch as it could provide an avenue to recognize smaller "units" oflearning. Programs such as the National Diploma in Banking andPublic Relations in South Africa, would for example, only havereasonable exit points after the second year. This is due to the factthat the first level of meaningful skill, being the level at which aperson is employable in industry, is reached after the completion of24 months of this three-year National Diploma. 36
  37. 37. 1.4.2 ORGANISATIONAL INTEGRATIONTraining and education programs often lack organizationalintegration. Training is quite often geared to supply the person withskills that are only task orientated, without taking into considerationthe aspect of total person development. Staff is often being trainedin a vacuum resulting in a situation where they are capable ofperforming a task without the understanding of the importance ofthat task. This tunnel vision training limits the employeesunderstanding of the total task, the organization and its mission,vision and objectives (Senge, 2010:297). The employee ends upfunctioning without an holistic vision of the enterprise. According toWylie (2002:48) the answer lies in using scenario planning for thedevelopment of organizational strategies to address developmentissues related to performance. In this regard Addison (2002:25)believes that leadership should be conducted with vision, whilstMotloung (2009) quotes a statement from Telkom employee,Charlotte Mokoena, who states that human capital development, callfor a holistic, multi pronged approach, to serve both business andemployee needs.Education at tertiary institutions in turn, often function on academicgrounds that fail to take into consideration the real needs ofindustry. Graduate recruits often find themselves educated but nottrained for a specific task. Both education and training should takeinto consideration the needs of the individual, and endeavor to unitethe needs of the individual with the objectives of the organization.The employee should therefore obtain some form of credit for in-house courses completed. Such courses must contribute to the 37
  38. 38. fulfillment of the needs of the individual and contribute to theattainment of the organizational objectives. When individual needsare satisfied in striving towards organizational objectives, trueharmony and synergy can be reached within an enterprise. Cole(1998:32) suggests that leading people requires knowledge of theorganization and its strategy.Human capital is considered to be that which the business uses as abase for its operations. Human capital is thus the collective ability ofindividuals to sustain organizational outputs.1.4.3 MACRO ECONOMIC EFFECTIVENESSAccording to the Reconstruction and Development Program (1994)an integrated system of education and training that provides equalopportunities to all, irrespective of race, color, sex, class, language,age, religion, geographical location and political belief, is needed.“Education must be directed to the full development of the individualand community, and strengthen respect for human rights andfundamental freedoms. It must promote understanding, toleranceand friendship among all South Africans and must advance thoseprinciples contained in the Bill of Rights. In this regard educationshould be based on the principles of democracy, non-racism, non-sexism, equity and redress, to avoid the pitfalls of the past” (RDP,1990:60).Statutory bodies, based on appropriate democratic representation ofstakeholders, should establish standards and advise the nationalministry and provincial departments on policy and developmentprograms in education and training. Industry-based education and 38
  39. 39. training boards should be established with union and employerparticipation, to design and implement programs within industries.The definition of economics refers to how society satisfies itsunlimited needs with limited resources (Samuelson and Nordhaus,1989:5). The RDP, as an economic development program, addressesthe very "HOW" of need satisfaction. This "HOW" thus pertains to thestimulus and application of human ability to ensure optimal needsatisfaction. Education and training is responsible for thedevelopment of new and innovative methods of need satisfaction -the "HOW" of macro-economic needs satisfaction (Abel andBernanke, 1991). From there then, arises the need for a nationallyco-ordinate strategy and plan to ensure that the nation is providedwith the required skills for optimum needs satisfaction (Dekker andvan Schalkwyk, 1990:11). At a corporate level, human resourceexecutives need to develop systems to identify and measure its skillsbase. According to Vinassa (2002:8) Human Resource executivesmust become more aware of financial goals and align humanresource functions with strategic goals.1.5 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDYIt is the aim of this study to develop and establish a framework forthe assessment of non-formal training, and in the process, quantifyhuman capital. In doing so, this study has the following objectives: o To demonstrate how a strategic plan can be unpacked into a set of required competencies that can be aligned to educational standards 39
  40. 40. o To demonstrate how non-formal training can be assessed against formal benchmarks and how non- formal programs can become credit bearing o To demonstrate how a benchmark system can be used for a GAP analysis in human capital management. o To demonstrate how a Corporate Qualifications Framework can be developed whereby industry can quantify and manage human capital for purposes of performance management.1.6 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY1.6.1 RESEARCH APPROACHIn pursuit of the research aim and objectives, a literature study andqualitative investigation will be conducted. The literature study willinvestigate how educational thought evolved in order to develop thecontext in which a Corporate Qualifications Framework will findapplicability, using strategic planning and non-formal training in theprocess. It is proposed that strategic planning be considered as apossible source to determine the required human capital of anorganisation. The process that should be followed in determining astrategic plan should incorporate aspects related to the vision,mission and objectives of the organisation. The strategic objectiveswill be analyzed to determine the required tasks to be performed byemployees. These tasks will then be compared and benchmarkedagainst the system of educational standards and unit standardsregistered on the NQF. This will be followed by the development of agraph on which all the required unit standards of competence (for an 40
  41. 41. organization) will be displayed. Thus, the part of the NQF thatapplies to the specific business will be displayed. By using this microapplication of the NQF a business would be building a “CorporateQualifications Framework” (CQF). The study will investigate whethera CQF can be used as a benchmark to consolidate the objectives ofthe business with that of the qualifications of an employee.A grounded theory approach will be followed in order todemonstrate:  How a strategic plan can be unpacked into a set of required competencies aligned to educational standards.  How non-formal training can be assessed against formal benchmarks.  How non-formal programs can become credit bearing.  How a Corporate Qualifications Framework can be developed whereby industry can quantify and manage human capital for purposes of performance management.Grounded theory is a systematic methodology in social scienceinvolving the generation of theory from data (Borgatti, 2011). It ismainly used in qualitative research, but can also be applicable inquantitative data (Borgatti, 2011). The grounded theory is suitablefor this research based for the following reasons:  The research occurs within the natural environment of the respondents (Bogdan and Bilken, 1982:9). There companies identified are asked a set of probing questions to investigate the research question. 41
  42. 42.  Grounded theory is about discovering the participants main concern and how they are constantly trying to resolve it (Glasser, 1998). This research is investigating the possible use of corporate qualifications frameworks and their applicability in the business.  The result of grounded theory is not a report of statistically significant probabilities, but a set of probability statements about the relationships between concepts (Glasser, 1998). This research is focused on exploring relationships between issues and demonstrating frameworks that present new applications and solutions.  Validity in its traditional sense is not an issue in grounded theory, which instead should be judged by fit, relevance workability and modifiability (Glasser and Strauss, 1967). This research is not aimed at providing proof of any hypothesis. Instead a set of research questions are addressed with a view to develop improved business efficiency.1.6.2 RESEARCH DESIGN AND LITERATURE REVIEWDue to the nature of the research, the methodology will bequalitative (Houp and Pearsall, 1987:60). Individual investigationsare the main method of eliciting evidence. Thus, the main source ofinformation would be the people who currently employ specificsystems in skills development, human resources and businessplanning, as well as performance management in South Africa.However, the source of information from people will be testedagainst a solution that will have its origin firmly in applied theory.The development of the framework will result from reports, the 42
  43. 43. internet, books and publications and also conference papers. Acritical analysis of policies, reports and other publications in businessand related industry magazines will also be used. Measurement andobservation of results and situations will be integrated in thedevelopment of the proposed framework.Personal interviews have been shown to have widespread relevancewhen trying to establish opinions in research (Hannan, 2007). Aquantitative survey does not allow for dissenting views, and limitsthe type of responses available to the respondents (Hannan, 2007).When using a qualitative methodology, the company representativesare able to give their exact opinions and are allowed the opportunityto discuss the topic in detail. All the pros and cons can be tabled andanalyzed in detail. This not only allows the participants freedom torespond, but also allows the researcher the chance to obtain varyinginformation and to develop a good understanding of how theconcerned individuals feel, rather than relying on specific questionswhich do not necessarily elicit relevant and important information.The research findings will be presented in a qualitative format andused to discuss the results and recommendations of the researchstudy. A step-by-step plan for the management of the literaturereview and data gathering process will be discussed in the datacollection section.The literature review and data collection will follow closely on eachother. For more information see Annexure A.According to Lester (1993:104) the literature review is a mini essayabout the source material of a research topic. It also sets the 43
  44. 44. context for the investigation of the topic and it organizes andclassifies the resources for the benefit of the reader. In this researchthe literature survey is intended to orientate the research and tooutline the present and possible future environment of skillsdevelopment in South Africa.1.6.3 DATA COLLECTIONThe population, from which the sample will be drawn, will be theservices industry in South Africa. From the population, companieswill be invited to participate, based on the following purposive andconvenience sampling criteria:  Companies must be service seta members  Companies must have been levy paying members for 5 years or longer  Companies must have a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 200 employees  Companies must employ a qualified SDF with at least 5 years experience  Companies must be in good standing with the service seta  Companies must have sent a representative who completed the skills development-training program between 2007 and 2009.From the above, 169 qualifying respondents from a selection ofcompanies were identified. The 169 participants will be used to testthe application of a CQF. Concepts and categories will be developedfrom personal experience, literature survey and researchquestionnaires. Skills Development Facilitators will be asked to 44
  45. 45. complete the questionnaire as a POE. The research will consider allrelevant parties in the 169 respondents who would be influenced andconcerned by the establishment of a CQF.The steps that will be followed:1. Identifying the service industry as target sector2. Identifying and listing of companies in industry whose trainingwill be measured3. Conducting formal quantification of human capital fromselected companies4. Interacting with Skills Development Facilitators to determinetheir opinions5. Auditing skills set of companies - assessment of non-formallearning outcomes6. Comparing non-formal learning outcomes with formal learningoutcomes7. Building an in-house Corporate Qualifications Framework8. Identifying shortcomings1.6.4 DATA ANALYSISAnalysis of data is a process of inspecting, cleaning, transformingand modeling data with the goal of highlighting useful information,suggesting conclusions and supporting decision making (Ader,2008). Data analysis has multiple facets and approaches,encompassing diverse techniques under a variety of names, indifferent business, science and social science domains (Shamoo,1989). In statistical applications, some divide data analysis into 45
  46. 46. descriptive statistics, exploratory data analysis (EDA) andconfirmatory data analysis (CDA). EDA focuses on discovering newfeatures in the data and CDA on confirming or falsifying existinghypotheses (Veryard, 1984). Predictive analytics focuses on theapplication of statistical or structural models for predictiveforecasting or classification, while text analytics applies statistical,linguistic and structural techniques to extract and classifyinformation from textual sources, a species of unstructured data. Allare varieties of data analysis (Shamoo, 1989).The analysis of data will include the following: o Inspecting Data - Identification and qualification of the participants to partake in the research. o Cleaning Data - Consideration of the number of participants that support and are able to implement a CQF o Transforming Data – Investigating the ability of participants to unpack human capital required in relation to a strategic plan o Modeling Data - The ability to align required skills into job descriptions aligned to educational standards o Allocation of functional skills to jobs, as required tasks, from where the alignment to educational standards will commence o Modeling Data into the development of an integrated human capital management framework. 46
  47. 47. The data analysis will be conducted in alignment with the principlesof grounded theory.1.7 STRUCTURE AND OUTLINE OF STUDYCHAPTER 2In this chapter literature available on the subjects of accreditation,credit accumulation, vocational credits and degree (qualification)worthiness would be surveyed and discussed. The material will bereviewed for relevance to the research question. Global trends willbe explored, while the success and failure of different systems willbe considered in light of the South African context. At the same timea definition of human capital will be explored. The purpose of thischapter is to consider accreditation as an element in developing abenchmark against which non-formal training can be measured. Therole of strategic planning in the development of a CQF will beinvestigated via the literature review. Chapter 2 will also address thephilosophical evolution of knowledge and thinking. The concept willbe explored within the principles of quantum physics andmetaphysics to demonstrate how all thinking originates from asource that is potentially bias. The researcher will also consider therisk that such bias may have on resultant constructs such asqualifications.CHAPTER 3The methodology followed in this research is considered to be actionresearch and grounded theory. Action research is a reflective 47
  48. 48. process of progressive problem solving, in a team of practice, butlead by a person from the group, with the view to analyse andimprove management issues and problems in such an organisation(Lewin, 1946). Lewin further described action research as acomparative research methodology on the conditions and effects ofvarious forms of social action, utilizing a spiral set of steps, eachconsisting of planning, action and fact finding about the result of theaction. Such an application of action research suggests that agrounded theory approach should be followed. Grounded theoryrefers to the methodology where data is analysed in concepts andcategories and theory elicited from such data. This will be achievedby studying the 169 portfolios of evidence, submitted by individualsfrom the participating companies. These portfolios will representevidence in categories enabling the grounded theory process to beused. In so doing, the companies will be investigated on anindividual basis. Findings will be scored on a data table, with a viewto eliciting theory on quantification of human capital.CHAPTER 4The research findings will be analyzed and discussed in Chapter 4, asa research report. Different stages of the research will be discussedand the application interpreted. The feedback from the research willbe considered in three sections – the researcher’s personalexperience, the literature survey and feedback from researchquestionnaires. From each section a series of concepts will begenerated and clustered into categories. From the concepts andcategories will themes will emerge. 48
  49. 49. Research objectives will be considered in relation to emergingthemes. Categories will be discussed in relation to the statedobjectives to draw analogies and inform the emerging themes.The research will also debate the practical implications of anintegrated human capital management system for industry. Theconcept of a corporate qualifications framework is investigated as asystem of measuring human capital required within an organization.The purpose of this chapter is, amongst other to inform the questionwhether the NQF can in fact function as the benchmark againstwhich formal and non-formal training can be measured. This chapterserves as the formal documentation of data related to the researchquestion.CHAPTER 5In Chapter 5 the emerging themes for an alternative framework forhuman capital management is outlined. The chapter will discuss thethemes to emerge from the research. The creation of a frameworkwhereby non-formal programs can be accommodated within formalprograms will also be presented. The outcomes of in-house trainingare compared with the outcomes of formal training programs.According to Byham (2001:10) modern assessment centers can playa pivotal role in identifying and maintaining talent within SouthAfrican companies. Assessment centre’s can also play a vital role asperformance management and RPL centers, to assist learners withthe accumulation and articulation of credits earned. Qualityassurance of credits obtained by means of RPL assessment, as well 49
  50. 50. as the understanding of project management, is crucial in theimplementation of a CQF. A CQF can also function as a mechanismto conduct effective and normative skills auditing. By describing astrategic plan in required human capital format, it enables thegraphic and numeric presentation of a framework that is expressedwithin NQF levels and related credits. Actual human capital asmeasured in performance terms, can be added to the framework topresent a graphic view of a potential skills gap. This will be doneboth individually as well as collectively.The chapter is also devoted to inform a policy framework wherebyfuture assessments of non-formal programs can be conducted. Theobjective of this chapter is to inform an integrated system wherebyindustry learning can be packaged and compared against jobdescriptions as well as count as credit towards a qualification.The possible influence of such a framework on productivity is also tobe considered in this chapter.CHAPTER 6This chapter considers the conclusive findings of the research andreviews whether the research questions have been answered. Thestudy will be considered successful if the following criteria are met:  The utilization of an organizational strategic plan to determine required human capital for an organization  Comparing industry experience, workplace learning competence and non-formal training programs favorably in content, level and outcomes with each other 50
  51. 51.  Development a benchmark system to determine a gap analysis of skills  Quantifying human capital in relation to a Corporate Qualifications Framework.The chapter presents a review of the research objectives in relationto the emerging themes. The limitations of the study is discussedwhilst a list of further research topics are proposed.1.8 THE RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONSThe research will be conducted in the services industry. It willlabour under the following assumptions: o That unit standards and / or credits for training are acceptable in industry o That industry accepts the measuring instruments of the NQF o That a Corporate Qualifications Framework could be a practical application of the NQF o That industry stands to gain from human capital quantification o That occupational profiles and job descriptions can have credit values o Those education institutions will accept the principle of non-formal credit accumulation. 51
  52. 52. 1.9 CONCLUSIONAt the end of 1993, approximately 66 000 school leavers achievedmatric exemption and a further 160 000 passed their seniorcertificate in South Africa (Committee on tutorial matters, 1993:5).These numbers are expected to increase significantly as a result ofrising primary and secondary enrollments and performanceimprovements within the South African school system. South AfricanUniversities and Technikons admitted about 105 000 first timestudents in 1994. The achievement in the future of an overall growthin first year admissions and further progress in African studentenrollments, will place considerable strain on the higher educationsystem given the limited resources available. Despite this growth thesystem will not be able to accommodate students who meet theminimum requirements for entry and who wish to enroll atuniversities and universities of technology. This, together with risingexpectations on the part of students for greater access and theavailability of financial aid, creates potential access conflict points.It is therefore the aim of this study to ensure alternative means ofobtaining education other than formal enrollment at education andtraining institutions. The quantification of learning, skill andeducation could lead to the quantification of human capital on abasis equal to the world system of schooling and degrees. Thus, byensuring that non-formal learning could count as credit towards aqualification, the individual has more reason to learn. However, insuch learning, real productive competence is required. Credit isearned towards a qualification whilst the learner can actually 52
  53. 53. perform at a higher level. The development of a CQF should enablethe attainment of a business vision in a normative and constructiveway. Such clarity should also enable the development of appropriatelearning cultures and promote wellness at large.The nature of the benchmarks, being degrees, diplomas andcertificates, should be considered in terms of how they aredeveloped. A qualification ought to enable a learner with an ability tooperate successfully in the economic system. Thus, at the outset,qualifications development should be driven from a systemicperspective. Therefore, the process must start with a contextualunderstanding and orientation that drives the creation of an“abundance” mentality. It is no longer enough to simply have skillsin order to do a job. Modern day humans require a new valuewhereby economic activity forms part of life. Happiness at work is nolonger acceptable as just a dream. More and more young people aremaking career choices based on what would provide them withgrowth, development and fulfillment towards self-actualization. It iswithin this realm, that future economic planning needs to from. 53
  54. 54. CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE SURVEY2.1 INTRODUCTIONThe objectives of this research as outlined in chapter one are:1. To demonstrate how a strategic plan can be unpacked into a setof required competencies that can be aligned to educationalstandards. For this, unit standards and / or other education andtraining qualifications could be utilized, in part or whole, asstandards of required competency in South Africa.2. To demonstrate how non-formal training can be assessed againstformal benchmarks and how non-formal programs can become creditbearing. The study will investigate whether industry experience,workplace learning, competency and non-formal training programscompares favorably in content, level and outcomes, to such nationalbenchmarks reflected in formal education and training programs, inan attempt to assess and quantify human capital within anorganization.3. To demonstrate how a benchmark system can be used for a GAPanalysis in human capital management.4. To demonstrate how a Corporate Qualifications Framework can bedeveloped whereby industry can quantify and manage human capitalfor purposes of performance management. 54
  55. 55. The importance of a literature survey should enable the researcherto scope the study in more detail. By considering similar andassociated works of other authors, the risk of engaging in a topicthat has been researched already is reduced. Pertaining to the firstobjective, the researcher will investigate how a strategic plan can beunpacked into a set of required competencies that can be aligned toeducational standards. The subject matter impacts various aspectsrelated to strategic planning, business management, performancemanagement, human resource management and education andtraining.From a business perspective, the impact of a CQF on strategicplanning needs to be considered as the research investigates thepossibility that the relationship between strategic planning and skillsplanning is functioning less than optimally within South Africa.Similarly, the relationship between performance management,strategic management and human resource management is to beexplored. In keeping, the relationship between education, trainingand certification needs to be compared with strategic needs andperformance management requirements. Foucault (1969) definesthe sequences of relations to objects, subjects and announcements,as discourse. A discursive formation is the regularities that producea discourse. In this research, consideration has to be given to thediscourse and discursive formations that form the realities calledlearning. The potential connection between learning and themetaphysical realm is also to be explored. The purpose of theliterature survey is thus to investigate the views relating to different 55
  56. 56. aspects referred to above and to develop a discourse on the researchquestion.In order to develop such a discourse, the concepts of strategicplanning, competence, knowledge and actual skill are considered.These concepts create a discursive formation and therefore suggesta discourse.In order to develop the discourse, the literature study willinvestigate the views of various authors. See Annexure G.The development of knowledge seems to feed the educationalinstitution that receives its input from the people (industry). Theproblem symptom is the challenge to define competencerequirements from industry. The symptomatic solution refers thedevelopment of education programs to address industry needs.However, education programs don’t always address real industryneeds, thus the side effect. The fundamental solution would be toexplore whether such education actually satisfies human needs.Education institutions formally conduct research that is utilised indeveloping formal learning programs, which could lead tocertification (Burger, 2010).The system is not, however, very robust or flexible as it does notreally absorb learning in the workplace at a dynamic pace. Thus oneof the wicked problems that need to be investigated within theeducation system is the lack of integration of industry, or workbased learning into formal programs (Engel-Hills, Garraway,Jacobs, Volbrecht, and Winberg, 2011). Innovation itself is probably 56
  57. 57. the most dynamic example of learning, but the innovator does notreceive any academic recognition for such inventions (Engel-Hills, etal., 2011).Diagram 2.1 Development of Knowledge(Source: Systems wiki, 2009)Pertaining to the third objective, an in depth analysis is needed toconsider the role of norms. Geertz (1958) writes modern myths,stories that model problem solving strategies and describes how todo anthropology. The author believes that some educators feel thatit is their duty to teach history as verbal and visual culturalexperiences, and thereby fostering character qualities anduniversally shared values in their students. Learning that isadministered in this fashion is mostly repetitive in nature and doesnot encourage creativity. Such educators are "hermeneuticallyinclined", or simply, "modernists." Post-modernist educators on theother hand, are inclined to critique theory (Rip, 2004). Geertzbelieves that such authors dont essentialize; they politicize.Convinced that "truth," "character qualities" and "universally sharedvalues" are just insidiously nice terms for ruling-class tastes, they 57
  58. 58. have turned against pedagogy of inculcation, towards one thatencourages autonomy and diversity. Not surprisingly, these twogroups remain at loggerheads (Solomon, 2003).Redfield (2002) discusses progress that comes with evolution. It issuch evolution that brings about new ideas, new thinking and newknowledge. Resultantly, newly required skills and competenciesdevelop almost every day. As we are living in the information age,information is developing at an ever-accelerating rate. Thus, ourthinking about thinking itself, about knowledge and skill, shouldevolve at a similar pace (Redfield, 2002). As content of knowledgechanges, the skills of how to analyse, deduct and deduce newknowledge, is therefore ever increasing in value. It gives credence tothe modern day spiritual notion, “to live in the moment”, as the nextone would be very different (Tolle, 2008). In keeping, looking at thepast to determine the future will become increasingly difficult andshould decrease in use (Redfield 2002). According to Kenny(2006:xiii) “the hallmark of Cartesian dualism was the separationbetween mind and matter”. The future demands the skills of reason,of post “Cartesian” thinking. Although Des Cartes is regarded as thefather of modern philosophy, one of the principles of Cartesianthinking was the separation of mind and matter. The introduction ofquantum physics and the Copenhagen Interpretation (Arntz, Chasseand Vicente, 2005) however, proves the relationship between humanconsciousness and matter, starting on a sub-atomic level. Theimplications of such thinking is important for this research, as thisdemonstrates the evolution from pre-reformation thinking, toreformation, to post-modern thinking about who we are, what weare and what we could be as a people (Law, 2007). This thinking 58
  59. 59. suggests that “we” are the creators of our reality (Arntz, et al.,2005). Thus, as creators of our reality, we can determine whatreality should be, decide what it would be and adjust our actionsaccordingly to create such a reality (Tolle, 2008). In such contextthe implications for learning is profound, as it suggests that learningought to drive the principle that people determine their own reality(Byrne, 2006). The learner is therefore centerfold to a picture that ischanging, based on the learner’s intent. This principle is the premiseof all contemporary learning, as it defines not just who we are,but what we are. Learning should therefore start at this level - thedeparture point being the introduction of a new mentality thatcombines human evolution with systems thinking and learning.Carroll and Mui (2009) suggest such approach is a migration fromexistence in the fourth, to that of the fifth dimension. This emergingdimensional shift suggests a higher consciousness for the humanrace and thus inspires a form of learning that resides in the humansoul (Wilson, 1991). Metaphysics is defined as the relationship thatwe have with our higher selves, whilst routed in the material world,hence the desire to discover ourselves (McTaggart, 2001). Plato(1516) describes this consciousness dilemma as human beings livingin a cave, with their legs and necks chained together, so as not tosee anything but shadows. In the analysis, the author is describingthe inability of mankind to engage in thinking, debate and reasoning,as being imprisoned by thoughts that are imposed on them. In theconfines of such intellectual prisons, the human mind develops theability to reason only in the confines of the jail. Hence, all thoughtsand values develop in context only. The effect is that reason is basedon assumptions (as is all reason) of the reality in which it occurs(McTaggart, 1991). The work of Plato positions the philosopher as 59
  60. 60. the “thinker” – the human being - that questions, explores, debatesand reasons. Such modern day philosophy is expressed in variousmetaphysical works. Bays and Billet (2009:3) refers to “unconsciousconsumption” as a state of being where the individual is unaware ofwhat he is creating. By developing awareness, the humanconsciousness gets to see how its action creates reality (Osho,2001).The challenge in becoming “aware” brings about understanding ofthe current reality and how it has been formed. Such realityformation has a path of thoughts, leading to the current reality,much the same as a recipe to create a meal. Thus, the currenteducation system is a reality that formed in this fashion. Duringawareness the mind is to realize how past thoughts created,amongst others, fear, joy, sadness, wealth, poverty and aneducation system (Arntz, et al., 2005). In this realization, theconsciousness or “matrix” from which we operate, determinesreality. Dawson and Allenby (2010) explain how humans are linkedforms of energy, operating in the matrix. The authors elaborate howthe human experience can be changed and new realities formed –suggesting that a large enough group of individuals, focusing on anew reality can create such a reality. Accordingly, education normswill also form and change in this fashion.Pratt (1992) refers to a concept called "transculturation". In anelectronic age, it is the process whereby subjects select and inventnew understanding from materials transmitted by mass culture. Itsgoal is to employ one methodology (hermeneutics) to bootstrapanother (heuretics): that is, to divert interpretation into invention 60
  61. 61. (Ulmer, 2002). The implications for knowledge and subsequentcompetency creation are profound. This implies that market trendscan be identified and used to invent new products. As Apple Macidentifies consumer trends, the innovation team predicts futureneeds and develops products to match this anticipated need. Thus,the anticipated need is actually used to create the next level ofconsumer needs. Effectively, using this transculturation, Appleinvents the needs of its customers before it actually happens(Bloomsberg Businessweek, 2004).The word “heretics’” originated as a theological term, as the flip sideor repressed other of “hermeneutics”. To interpret scriptures is toread hermeneutically, whilst to employ scriptures as a means ofinvention is to read it heuretically. Hermeneutics was secularizedduring the 11th century. It provided methodologies of reading,legitimated the study of texts and, in effect, created the Renaissancehumanist (Pratt, 1992). Contemporary literary theorists have alteredthis orientation by reversing the direction of traditional scholarship.Instead of taking a position of knowledge they have assumed aposition of ignorance and applied design and thinking strategies toproblems of textual nature. This implies the development ofdeductive reasoning in education as opposed to the model of simplylearning what others wrote (Wilson, 1991). New thinking of whatlearning content should be and how such knowledge should becreated, follows deductive reasoning (Pratt, 1992). Authors such asDerrida, Barthes, Deleuze, Serres and Ulmer have in this sensechanged the formula of learning. In fact they have altered its goalsand thus, hermeneutics has become a means to heuretics (Pratt,1992). 61
  62. 62. The benefits of this type of approach in education ensure thatteachers continue to train students in analysis and critique. Derrida(2010) refers to a process called "deconstruction,” an approach toasking the most adventurous and the most risky questions about ourlearning, about our institutions and our way of teaching. Kenny(2008) reflect the view of French born philosopher, Rene Descarteson learning and education as follows: Descartes frequently set hisviews apart from those of his predecessors. Many elements of hisphilosophy have precedents in late Aristotelian philosophy, therevived Stoicism of the 16th century. In his philosophy, Descartesdistinguishes two major points: First, he rejects the analysis ofcorporeal substance into matter and form and secondly, he rejectsany appeal to ends — divine or natural — in explaining naturalphenomena. In his theology he therefore insists on “the absolutefreedom of God’s act of creation” (Kenny 2008:187). Thus,advocating indirectly, that anything is possible. By implication, hisview that corporeal substance does not lead to matter, supports theobservation theory. The observation theory suggests that matter andreality is formed as a result of human awareness – that the world iswhat it is because humans see it as such (Arentz, et al., 2005).Descartes shaped much of his beliefs due to a series of threepowerful dreams visions that he later claimed, profoundly influencedhis life (Kenny, 2008). In the first of these dreams, Descartes foundhimself buffeted and thrown down by a powerful whirlwind whilewalking near a college. In the second, he was awakened by aninexplicable thunder or explosion-like sound in his head, seeingsparks coming from the stove in his room. In the third dream, he 62
  63. 63. finds a great dictionary and an anthology of ancient Latin poets onhis bedside table. In the latter book, he reads a verse that beginswith, "What path shall I follow in life?" (Kenny 2008:187). Descartesconcluded from these visions that the pursuit of science would proveto be, for him, the pursuit of true wisdom and a central part of hislifes work. Kenny (2008) discusses the work of Descartes further-according to Descartes God has laid down the laws of nature. This isto include, the art of reason. Levett and Dubner (2006) support thisapproach and suggest that one should assume nothing but questioneverything.Another philosopher, Benedictus Spinoza, who lived between 1632and 1677, said: “by substance I understand what is in itself and isconceived through itself, that is, that whose concept does notrequire the concept of another thing, from which it must be formed”(Law, 2007: 77). Thus, understanding the original, pure thoughtprocess. The impact on education suggests that substance would bethe basis of all knowledge and that all theory and further humanlearning stems from this base.Descartes proceeded to construct a system of knowledge anddiscarded perception as unreliable. Instead he believed thatdeduction alone is a reliable method of knowledge creation. Hefinally established the possibility of acquiring knowledge about theworld based on deduction and perception. In terms of“epistemology” Descartes will be remembered as having introduced“foundationalism” (Skirry, 2008). He is quoted as having said;“reason is the only reliable method of attaining knowledge” (Kenny,2008: page). 63
  64. 64. Blackburn (2010:163) states hundreds of years later: “There aremany so-called constants in nature. They are the values that cannotbe derived from theory, and so can only be determined bymeasurement.” Thus, the notion of investigation or observation toform knowledge is further supported. Alexander (2005) suggeststhat one must dare to be open to question and to explore new ideas.Such exploration could also be explained when considering researchmethodology. When engaged in grounded theory research theprocess suggests engaging and interrogating the data to elicittheory.Aristotles writings were the first to create a comprehensive systemof western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logicand science, politics and metaphysics (Law, 2007). Aristotles viewson the physical sciences profoundly shaped medieval scholarship,and their influence extended well into the Renaissance, althoughthey were ultimately replaced by Newtonian physics (Ackrill, 2010).His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, whichwas incorporated in the late 19th century into modern formal logic.His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest withthe advent of virtue ethics (Ackrill, 2010).These philosophers are inadvertently examples of some of the firstheuretic thinkers and their views on the creation of knowledgesupported the development and creation of knowledge in a morenatural fashion than is the case today. According to Ulmer (2002)morphology of methods developed, as all approaches on learning 64
  65. 65. methodologies share a common set of elements, which can beabbreviated as follows (CATTT): • Contrast-opposing a new method to an old one • Analogy-figuration as a tactic of displacement • Theory-repetition and documentation of newly proposed methods • Task-repetition and documentation of the newly proposed methods • Telling stories and dramatization of the new method.Ulmer observes that every method of learning, from dialectics tosurrealism, must itself be represented in some form or genre.Notwithstanding the value of innovation and learning, asdemonstrated in heuretics and CATT, no certification for suchprocesses exist in the formal education world (Hellberg, 2011).In the diagram below the formation of a picture with the use of apuzzle, attempts to illustrate the phenomenon of morphology.Individual pieces represent one reality (ontology), but collectivelythe pieces of the puzzle present a different reality. 65
  66. 66. Diagram 2.2:Morphology(Source: creation and knowledge formation in educationalinstitutions are driven by research in industry and academic decision(Veness, 2010). However, innovation, strategic planning and thedevelopment of job descriptions are hardly seen as interactive.Innovation is quantified in a strategic plan only as a requiredcompetence (Heathfield, 2011). With the introduction of theOrganizing Framework for Occupations, it can be deducted that suchtype of thinking should somehow become part of the curriculum oftraining (Robertson, 2011). Furthermore the same free-thinkingshould relate to being innovative and should be part of all humancapital development initiatives, supported by a well-defined jobdescription. Such job description then, should function as aperformance standard, and be useful in obtaining formalqualifications (Moore, 2011). Perhaps there needs to be a systemthat translates a strategic plan into a skills plan. When required skillsplans are evident, it implies that the actions needed for success are 66
  67. 67. known to the relevant parties involved in the process of drawing upa skills plan (Heathfield, 2011). Included in the required skills wouldbe the ability to think heuretically, or in effect, the ability to bringinnovation to the workplace. Thus, the business manager wouldknow what to do to be successful. The challenge is then, toimplement the proposed actions. Thus, the quality requirementswould be clear.One of the “quality management” developments of the 20th centurywas the introduction of quality assurance in education, defined asaccreditation. This concept aimed at bringing a sense ofstandardization to education in a region and eventually in the worldat large (Oyaya, 2011). However, based on the varying educationsystems in the world and the constant change in these systems, it isfair to observe that the world and its education systems are stillevolving (Modelski, 1995).Further discussions of how the evolution on knowledge proceeded,are found in Scharmen (2009:81) in what is called the “genesis of anew world”. The author explains how the Berlin Wall’s collapse in1989 gave rise to people feeling that something new was rising fromthe rubble. The rise held three elements according to him: 67