Theses and Dissertations (Marketing & Sport Management)

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    The effects of social media marketing activities on brand equity within the South African banking industry: A cohort-based study
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2023) Mandhlazi, Lawrence; Sandada, M., Prof.; Mokoena, B. A., Prof.; Mafini, C., Prof.
    The South African retail banking industry operates through digital platforms, traditional brick-and-mortar services and automatic teller machines. The online transaction is popularly used because it is easy to use, saves time and money and is also convenient for customers. The most crucial products and services that are promoted on social media include airtime, data bundles, purchasing prepaid electricity, paying for and renewal of vehicle licences, as well as the payment of traffic fines and applying for various instruments such as funerals, study investments, and life policies. The study proposes and tests a conceptual model for social media marketing activities (SMMA), customer brand engagement (CBE) and brand equity (BE) in the retail banking industry in South Africa. Based on the existing review of literature, evidence exists of the inefficient use of social media to actively engage Generation X and Y cohorts, as demonstrated by the high level of complaints and the degree of poor engagement. The study proposes a model that, if tested and then implemented, may prove to be a useful tool for ensuring that the management of SMMA on brand equity is more responsive and useful. This may eventually generate the intended SMMA outcomes in South African retail banks. The study employed a quantitative method in which a purposively selected sample of 352 Generation X and Y individuals based in the Gauteng Province was chosen. Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modelling. The main components of SMMA include perceived risk content, trending content, entertainment content, customisation content, interaction content, value content and electronic-word-of-mouth communication. The results of structural equation modelling (SEM) indicate significant positive interconnections between entertaining content, customisation content and CBE. In turn, CBE exerts a significant positive influence on brand awareness and brand loyalty. The study recommends that financial institutions should integrate customers’ voice towards brand management strategies to ensure that the banking service and brands are more responsive and reflect their holistic preferences within various social media platforms.
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    The influence of generation Y students' perceptions of brand communication, service quality and brand satisfaction on brand loyalty in technical and vocational education training colleges in Gauteng
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2022-03-03) Ramuthivheli, Itani Listen; Dondolo, H. B., Prof.; Sharp, K. L., Dr.
    Due to the rapidly evolving and dynamic nature of the South African higher education sector, it is critical that institutions communicate their brands to stakeholders to enhance their perception of the institution as a quality service provider. Despite this, little attention has been paid to the influence of brand communication, brand satisfaction and service quality on brand loyalty in higher education, particularly in technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Research has demonstrated a positive relationship between brand communication, service quality, brand satisfaction and brand loyalty in the service sector; however, it is unknown whether such a relationship exists in the South African TVET sector. It is essential to investigate how Generation Y students perceive brand communication, brand satisfaction and service quality in the TVET sector in Gauteng. Five TVET colleges were used as a convenience sample to recruit 500 students. In each college, students were given a self-administered questionnaire to complete during class time. The data was analysed using various statistical methods, including exploratory factor analysis, descriptive statistical analysis, correlation analysis and structural equation modelling. The results of the study show that service quality and brand satisfaction have a strong positive influence on brand loyalty. However, the structural model results indicate that this study does not support a relationship between brand communication and brand loyalty. However, there was a significant influence of service quality on brand loyalty towards TVET colleges. In other words, students who have had positive experiences in contact with vocational colleges and are generally satisfied with the services they provide, will undoubtedly develop loyal inclinations towards them. The study also shows that brand loyalty is positively related to brand satisfaction. This study contributes to the body of knowledge by empirically testing a model of the factors influencing brand loyalty among Generation Y students in TVET colleges. The study shows that brand communication, service quality and customer satisfaction are important factors that influence brand loyalty.
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    Selected antecedents, attitudes and willingness to purchase counterfeit sportswear products by students at a selected higher education institution
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2021-11) Mahlangu, Selinah Makamoho; Mafini, C., Prof.; Dhurup, M., Prof.
    Counterfeiting is a global phenomenon in developed and developing countries, causing a threat to national economies and societies. It negatively harms new investment and progressively endangers public health and safety as well. Known and famous brands are often targeted for counterfeiting. This phenomenon is primarily driven by consumers’ aspiring attitudes, social media pressures and the need to differentiate oneself. The aim of the study is to examine the influence of materialism, hedonic consumption motive, utilitarian consumption motive, personal gratification and novelty-seeking on attitudes and the influence of attitudes on willingness to purchase counterfeit sportswear products at a selected HEI. The study is grounded within the positivist philosophy, in which a quantitative research approach was followed, since positivists prefer an analytic and factual interpretation of quantitative data. An online structured questionnaire was used to collect data through an online survey. The study sample was conveniently selected from a population of registered students at a selected HEI in Southern Gauteng in the 2020 academic year. Data were collected on demographic variables, materialism (MAT), hedonic motivation (HED), utilitarian motive (UTL), personal gratification (PGT), novelty-seeking (NOS), attitude towards counterfeits (ATC) and willingness to purchase (WTP) counterfeit sportswear. A total of 327 questionnaires were completed and used in the final data analysis. Descriptive statistics techniques, correlations and regression analysis were used to evaluate perceptions and relationships between the study constructs. The research results revealed the existence of significant positive associations amongst the study constructs. Of the five antecedents, two of the five predictor variables, namely, UTL and NOS showed significant predictive relationships with attitudes towards counterfeit sportswear purchases. Attitudes towards counterfeits (ATC) also emerged as a significant predictor of students’ WTP counterfeit sportswear. Since NOS and UTL seem to predict a positive attitude towards counterfeit sportswear, the study recommends that brand owners develop awareness about ethical purchasing behaviour. They should also educate consumers on the social and economic downside of buying counterfeit products and that seeking novelty when purchasing counterfeit products may soon wane and wear off, leading to regret and cognitive dissonance. Further, brand marketers should also emphasise the utility value inherent in the purchase of authentic branded products instead of buying counterfeits. Since consumers cannot often readily distinguish between genuine and fake sportswear, it is therefore critical for marketers of branded products to promote the contrast of originals and fakes and to underline the quality, longevity, and dependability of their authentic products in the market. These results make a valuable contribution to academics, brand managers and marketers, as the results reveal that consumer buying can be influenced by personality and social interests of different individuals. The study notes that laws only cannot prohibit the sale and purchase of counterfeit products. It requires the stricter implementation thereof. Further, there is a need for behavioural change strategies to counter the effects of counterfeiting. Nudges such as promotions and loyalty programmes may encourage the purchase of authentic products as opposed to the purchase of counterfeits.
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    The influence of social media on brand awareness, perceived quality, brand loyalty and purchase intention of smartphones among university students
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2021-11) Mashapa, Tawanda; Dhurup, M., Prof.; Mokoena, B. A., Prof.
    The evolution of social media has seen people around the world connect with one another, communicate and share information without boundaries and time limitation. Social media is no myth, neither is it just a trend but a powerful communication medium which presents a fundamental shift in communication that cuts across all cultures, be it social, business, politics, sports, news and more. Social media adoption over the years, has seen billions of people participating on social networking sites and the interaction thereof has considerably influenced marketing related correspondence, public relations as well as modern day business communication. In the connected world, social media interaction is the current word-of-mouth, often referred to as electronic word of mouth and in the connected world, everyone is a content generator. In this social media era, information travels faster, reaching millions of consumers and affecting their perception towards certain products and brands based on the information shared and received. Therefore, social media interaction has proved to be an important contributing factor in consumer’s purchase decision process. However, this evolution in communication introduces unprecedented challenges as well as opportunities for organisations as buying decisions are affected significantly by social media interaction, and thus warranties a study of this nature to be carried out. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of social media on brand awareness as well as the relationships between brand awareness, perceived quality, brand loyalty and purchase intention. To attain the empirical objectives of the study, a quantitative research design was adopted and the respondents were selected using a non-probability convenience sampling technique. For data collection, the researcher used a structured self-administered questionnaire survey. Of the 320 distributed questionnaires, the researcher utilised 304 usable questionnaires for data analysis. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25.0 was used to compute both descriptive and inferential statistics (which includes correlation and regression analysis). In addition, the reliability and validity analysis were carried out in relation to the measuring instrument. Results from the correlation and regression analysis revealed positive significant relationship between social media and brand awareness, brand awareness and perceived quality, brand loyalty and purchase intention, perceived quality with brand loyalty and purchase intention as well as brand loyalty and purchase intention. Based on the results of the study, recommendations emanating from the study include the integration of social media marketing in the organisation’s overall marketing strategy, creating and maintaining online brand communities to engage with current and potential customers as well as making use of social media platforms for advertising and promotions. The limitations of the study and the proposed opportunities for further research were also highlighted.
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    Examining the effect of social media marketing dimensions on consumer attitudes and adoption among generation Y consumers
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2021-02) Keta, Keitumetse Tjama David; Van Schalkwyk, P. J., Dr.; Mokoena, B. A., Prof.
    It is evident that social media has become a fundamental instrument in society and has revolutionised the way society interacts and conducts business. More than 75 percent of the South African Generation Y population are active users of various social media platforms and the collective topics that are discussed include the status quo, entertainment, sports and other various issues that affect society as an integrated whole. However, many challenges are associated with social media concerning the affordability and accessibility of the internet. Consequently, it makes it a challenge for organisations to utilise social media as a reliable marketing instrument. Therefore, the study seeks to examine the effect of social media marketing dimensions on consumer attitudes and adoption among Generation Y consumers. The sample consisted of 285 self-reporting social media active users located in the Southern Gauteng region of South Africa. The study adhered to a quantitative approach and a snowball sampling method, whereby data were collected using a paper and pencil based self-administered questionnaire in 2019. A positivist research philosophy was followed whereby hypotheses where formulated for the study. In addition, formal procedure regarding research ethics were observed during empirical data collection and the questionnaire was also tested for reliability as well as validity. A pilot study preceded the main data collection survey processes. The collected data was analysed using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and regression models. The results of the study indicated significant positive relationships for the three dimensions of social media marketing, namely in-formativeness (β= +0.302; t= 6.030; p<0.01), source credibility (β= +0.171; t= 2.767; p<0.01), perceived enjoyment (β=+0.169; t=2.956; p<0.00) and Generation Y consumer’s attitude. The fourth dimension being social identity, did not yield a statistically significant relationship in the regression model (β= 0.017; t= 0.256; p=0.01). Furthermore, significant positive relationships were also observed between consumer attitudes and the adoption of social media marketing (β= + 0.276; t-value= 4.841; p<0.01) among Generation Y consumers. As such, insight acquired from this study will assist both marketing academics as well as practitioners in comprehending Generation Y consumers’ perceptions on adoption and attitudes in relation to the adoption of social media as a marketing instrument. Based on the results, recommendations assert that, among others, marketing practitioners should effectively adopt social media as a marketing platform to communicate their marketing efforts and initiatives. Furthermore, marketers should integrate their marketing initiatives and strategies with the 4th industrial revolution. In addition, limitations, future research avenues are identified, and contributions of this study are discussed.
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    The influence of selected consumer-based brand equity elements on brand preference and purchase intention towards store brands
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2020) Makhubela, Vusimuzi Paulus; Dhurup, M., Prof.; Bojabotseha, T. P.; Mokoena, B. A., Prof.
    Supermarket store brands are affordable alternatives towards the customers’ intended brands. For many years, marketers and retailers of store brands have positioned this brand as a cheap or low-cost brand that could be afforded by most customers. This positioning has catapulted the popularity of store brands. However, on the downward side, most consumers associate cheap or low cost with low quality. The low-cost and low-quality association and perception has been a major impediment towards the real success of store brands. Store brands have long since moved from competing on price, to competing on quality. The shift of focus by marketers and retailers of store brands from price to quality puts store brands on an equal footing with national brands and, consequently, a fierce competitor. This study investigated the influence of consumer-based brand equity elements, namely brand awareness, brand association, brand loyalty and perceived quality on brand preference and purchase intention of store brands. This study restricted its scope to the food brands. Investigating store brands within a South African context is particularly important since store brands are produced and owned by local retailers as opposed to national brands. The literature suggests that store brands are more profitable to retailers compared to their counterparts and serve as a point of differentiation from one retailer to another. A quantitative research design was employed in this study and a non-probability convenience sampling technique was adopted. The target population comprised students from a tertiary institution within the Vaal triangle, namely Vaal University of Technology. A total of 400 questionnaires were distributed to the participants, of which 361 participated in the study. To ensure reliability of the scales, pre-testing and piloting of the questionnaire preceded the main survey. Results from correlation and regression analysis revealed that brand equity elements, namely brand awareness, brand association, brand loyalty and perceived quality explain 68.4 percent of the variance in brand preference. This result suggests that consumer-based brand equity elements significantly contribute towards building consumer brand preference towards the store brands. In addition, amongst all the variables, brand loyalty made the strongest contribution towards explaining brand preference (β= 0.342). Moreover, brand preference explains 65.3 percent of the variance in purchase intention. These results suggest that brand preference strongly contributes towards building purchase intention of store brands. Based on the results of this study, recommendations for retailers of store brands are provided as follows:  Retailers of store brands should implement greater awareness programmes for store brands and create positive word-of-mouth through superior product quality.  Retailers of store brands should strengthen store brands’ brand associations to improve the image of store brands.  Retailers of store brands should pay special attention to creating brand loyalty of store brands through implementing store brands’ loyalty programmes. Limitations, future research opportunities and contributions of this study are discussed in the study.
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    Dimentions and outcomes of buyer-seller relationship intentions for concrete products in the construction environment
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2020-05) Masitenyane, Lehlohonolo Amos; Muposhi, A., Dr.; Mokoena, B. A., Prof.; Dhurup, M. R., Prof.
    In recent years, the concept of relationship-marketing earned eminence in academia with associated implications for marketing strategy. The aim of this study was to examine relationship intentions in the business-to-business (B2B) context from the concrete product environment within the construction industry of South Africa. Literature reviewed reveals that empirical studies for concrete product environment and the construction industry is limited, principally in South Africa, concerning the dimensions of relationship intentions. As deliberations on relationship-marketing intentions carry on maturing, there are imperative concerns yet to be clarified, one of which relates to customer’s buying behaviour in relation to the dimensions and outcomes of relationship intentions. Given the increasing prominence of customer buying patterns in modern marketplaces, the study intends to empirically analyse the dimesions and outcomes of buyer-seller relationship intentions, with reference to the civil and building concrete product users in a B2B setting within the South African construction industry. The civil and building engineering contractor segments were selected as research sites owing to their scope and size, which signify a productive market segment with prospects of influencing future behavioural intentions in the construction environment. The the study was underpinned by the relationship-marketing theory and social exchange theory, which clarified the dimensions and outcomes of relationship intentions of the civil and building constructs that underlie concrete products. As the study intended to determine the dimensions and outcomes of relationship intentions of civil and building contractors (customer) towards their concrete product manufacturer (supplier) organisations, a descriptive research method was chosen. The objective being to confirm and expand the dimensions of buyer-seller relationship intentions in the B2B industry context and to examine the explanatory power of the indetified dimensions. The current study employed a quantitative research method that is entrenched in the post-positivist paradigm, which also underpins this study. Data were collected using probability sampling in the form of systematic random sampling. A sample size of 560 respondents returned fully completed questionnaires. As the study was descriptive in nature, the reliability and validity of data were analysed, correlation analysis and structural equation modelling (SEM) were performed. The exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were also conducted to confirm and expand the factor structure of the relationship intention dimensions. Preceding the main study’s data collection process, a pilot survey was undertaken to examine the correctness and accuracy of the questionnaire. The data collected were examined with the use of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 25.0 and Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS) version 25.0. The preliminary data analysis included the procedure of coding and examining the distribution of scores. In addition, the normality test results revealed that data were normally distributed. To confirm the consistency of the measuring instrument and its items, the reliability and validity tests were carried out. The results of the consistency of measures demonstrated that the measuring instrument was reliable. The correlation analysis disclosed a weak relationship between expectations, involvement and feedback towards relationship quality, whereas a moderate association was revealed between forgiveness and trust towards relationship quality, while a strong association was discovered between fear of relationship loss, information sharing and flexibility towards relationship quality construct. The suitability of the measurement and structural models were evaluated prior to testing the hypothesised relationships. The suggested relationships were verified by structural equation modelling (SEM). The hypotheses testing findings revealed that concrete product repurchase intentions by the study respondents were significantly and positively motivated by the supplier’s relationship quality and commitment that leads to customer satisfaction, loyalty and repurchase intentions. A framework of relationship marketing intentions for the concrete product environment of the South African construction industry was developed. It was anticipated that the proposed framework will contribute towards addressing the insufficiencies in the application of relationship marketing strategies. The empirical study results advocated that concrete product manufacturer-suppliers (CPM) must invest in methods of increasing their levels of relationship quality and commitment to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty, which will lead to customer repurchase intentions. The study results revealed that unlike previous relationship intention studies that found five dimensions, this study proposed and found eight (involvement, expectations, forgiveness, feedback, fear of relationship loss, trust, flexibility and information sharing/exchange) dimensions of relationship intentions within the B2B concrete product environment. Furthermore, the study results revealed that customer satisfaction can be upheld by concentrating on relationship building strategies, which fuel customer loyalty and repurchase intentions by meeting or exceeding customer needs and requirements. One of the study contributions is the investigation of the order of the dimesions of relationship intentions in a B2B context for the concrete product environment within the construction industry. Therefore, the study pens down both the theoretical and practical contributions to the relationship marketing literature. Paths for additional research is offered. The outcome of this study advanced a framework of the dimensions of relationship intentions, which may possibly benefit future researchers. Future studies must consider the application of a cohesive research model, which includes supplementary variables using a larger sample size utilising a longitudinal study with the purpose of increasing generalisability of the results.
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    Customer perceptions of technology-based banking service quality and its relationship to customer satisfaction and loyalty
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2012-06) Redda, Ephrem Habtemichael; Surujlal, J., Prof.; Dhurup, M., Prof.
    The rapid advancement in technology-based systems, especially those related to the Internet, has led to fundamental changes in how banks interact with customers. This study provides a framework for understanding customer perceptions of the quality of technology-based banking service and the relationship of this service to customer satisfaction and loyalty. The conceptual framework of this study was based on extensive study of relevant literature and examination of previously developed measuring instruments of service quality in general and e-service quality and online banking in particular. A modified and fully structured questionnaire was developed to suit the South African setting. Given the nature of this study, a quantitative research approach was applied. Customers from Southern Gauteng, South Africa, who made use of online banking facilities from commercial banks, constituted the population for the study. The sampling procedure (snowball sampling technique) resulted in a sample of 180 online banking consumers. Seven factors were extracted as dimensions that influence customer perception of online banking service quality, using a factor analysis and rotated factor loadings procedure. These were: factor 1 (assurance, trust and appeal), factor 2 (responsiveness), factor 3 (ease of use), factor 4 (accessibility), factor 5 (fulfilment), factor 6 (speed and accuracy) and factor 7 (contact). The percentage of variance explained, eigenvalues and scree plot were used in the process of determining the number of factors to extract for the study. With mean values above four on a scale of one (minimum) to five (maximum), all the factors were found to be critical for improvement of online banking service quality. The overall level of customer satisfaction with online banking service quality was very high, with an overall mean score of 4.22. A mean score of 4.10 for customer loyalty predicts that respondents are likely to commit to patronising their current bank in the foreseeable future. Thus, the overall customer satisfaction and loyalty levels were skewed to the right, suggesting that respondents were generally satisfied with the quality of service rendered by the banks. These high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty should encourage the marketing practitioners of the banks to enhance online banking service quality and ensure its improvement in order to achieve delighted customers. The relationship among the constructs of online banking service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty was established by using correlations and regression analysis. From the findings, it was established that there is evidence that the seven factors positively influence customer satisfaction and loyalty. The results also highlighted a strong positive influence of customer satisfaction on customer loyalty. Customer satisfaction has become a ‘must achieve’ objective for any bank that wishes to remain profitable and relevant in this competitive business environment. Acquiring loyal customers who will patronise and associate themselves with the bank is of particular importance for the potential market share growth and success of any bank. The relationship among the constructs of online banking service quality dimensions, customer satisfaction and loyalty focus must, however, be based on the individual building blocks of service quality, i.e. the factors (service attributes) that influence online banking service quality. Periodic measurement of the levels of online banking service quality should become an integral part of any bank`s effort and strategy in improving service quality levels. The study, which focused on users of Internet banking in South Africa, was not organisation/bank-specific. For more practical purposes, future endeavours could be focused on organisation/bank-specific studies. It must be emphasised that more research is needed before any final conclusions can be reached on the dimensionality and validity of online banking service quality.
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    Determinants of microblog music review credibility and its influence on electronic word of mouth (eWOM) adoption.
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2019-04) Mazibuko, Mdumiso; Van Schalkwyk, P., Dr.; Dlodlo, N., Dr.
    While more than half of the South African adult population are active microbloggers, the most common topics that are discussed include current affairs, sports and music entertainment. Nonetheless, there exists intrinsic fear about the credibility of digital content, which stems from the fact that there are limited standards for quality control in the microglogging sphere. Consequently, this apprehension exacerbates potential problems pertaining to ascertaining the reliability of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) communication. In this vein, this study seeks to investigate the salience of selected determinants on consumers’ perceptions about the credibility of microblog music reviews and future eWOM adoption. The sample comprised 485 self-reporting microbloggers residing in the southern Gauteng region of South Africa. The study applied a quantitative approach, whereas cross-sectional data were collected only once from the sample using a paper and pencil based self-administered questionnaire in 2018. Moreover, a positivist philosophy was followed, whereas hypotheses were framed from the credibility heuristics theory, posited as the underlying cues that aid consumers in the online credibility verification process. The formal protocol for research ethics were followed upon collecting empirical data, whereas the multi-item survey questionnaire was tested for reliability and validity. The hypotheses testing comprised an estimation of two regression models. From the findings obtained, it is evident that source credibility, information quality, homophily and prior beliefs confirmation are the four heuristics that pose a significant effect on the evaluation of microblog music reviews by consumers, yielding approximately 43.3 percent explanatory power on the overall credibility of microblog music reviews. Moreover, the second regression model proved the positive effect of microblog music review credibility on eWOM adoption, whereas the independent variable explains 30.7 percent of the variance in eWOM adoption. These findings point to the significance in applying the heuristics in evaluating microblog music reviews created by South African consumers. As such, the findings could assist both microblog administrators and marketing communication practitioners to better design the platforms to facilitate reader credibility evaluations about various products.
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    Selected antecedents towards the acceptance of m-payment services and the relationship with attitude and future intentions
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2017-03-01) Makokoe, Isaac; Van Schalkwyk, Dr. P.; Dlodlo, Dr. N.
    Keywords: Mobile payments, usefulness, ease of use, security, attitude, future intentions. An increased reliance on mobile phones by consumers for making retail purchases has been witnessed over the years. Given the pervasive use of m-payments and the incessant diffusion of innovations in South Africa, it is important for marketers to have knowledge of the right set of factors that enhance consumers’ intent towards favouring m-payments in future encounters. This study draws from the undertones of Davis’s (1989) Technology acceptance Model (TAM). Whereas the theory alludes to the influences of both usefulness and ease of use on consumer attitudes and behaviour, this study further amplifies the salience of cosumer perceptions of security as a salient drive towards m-payment acceptance. This is because m-payments involve moneybased transactions and therefore it is important for consumers to have assurance that they operate along a secure platform. The TAM was nominated as the underlying theory in this research owing to its effectiveness when applied during the initial phases of an innovation, to avoid costly mistakes of implementing innovation attributes that do not offer the requiredset of elements for persuading consumers. The purpose of this study was to test an integrative research model of the antecedents of mpayment acceptance using a South African sample of consumers. A quantitative study comprising a non-probability snowball sample of 474 consumers aged between 18 and 50 years was conducted in 2016, in and around the five major towns of Southern Gauteng province in South Africa. The structured questionnaire requested respondents to indicate their perceptions regarding the usefulness, ease of use and security of m-payment platforms they have utilised. In addition, the questionnaire relates to consumers’ attitude evaluations of m-payments in general, as well as their intentions to both use and recommending m-payments to others in the future. Initially, descriptive statistics were performed on the data set, including correlation analysis and multicolinearity testing. Subsequently, structural equation modelling was applied by first, assessing the measurement model using fit indices, confirmatory factor analysis and statistical accuracy tests of reliability and validity. Specification of the measurement model led to the conclusion that the future intentions model was a five-factor structure comprising usefulness, ease of use, security, attitude and future intentions. Thereafter, the results of the structural model (Structural model A) supported the existence of a direct influence between usefulness and security with attitude, while the latter was found to have a direct influence on future intentions. Nevertheless, the relationships between ease of use and attitude was not significant and therefore, alternative hypothesis Ha3 could not be supported in this study leading to the need to specify a vi subsequent competing model. Under Structural model B, perceived usefulness is used as both a dependent and an independent variable since it is predicted by perceived ease of use and in turn predicts attitude towards using and behavioural intention to use simultaneously. The results of Structural model B led to the decision to accept the competing model as the ultimate model for this research since the model presents complete evidence of path weights that are greater than 0.20, interpreted as evidence for significant path outcomes. Insights gained from this study could assist both marketing academics and practitioners to understand the perceptions of consumers towards m-payments. In this regard, if a determination is made that conducting m-payment transactions in secure and effort-free environments could enhance the effectiveness of consumers in their jobs and lives in general, then marketers could be in a better position to deliver a worthwhile innovation solution for South African consumers.
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    Selected factors influencing maven tendency and cosmetic products’ trial by female consumers in Southern Gauteng
    (Vaal University of Technology, 2018-11) Dlamini, Zinhle Lindani; Mokoena, Dr. B. A.; Dlodlo, Dr. N.
    In the case of cosmetic products, which convey both psychological and symbolic benefits to consumers, it is imperative for marketers to expand the scope of product trial as it presents a novel strategy for signalling the success of new products. In lieu of this, considerable attention should be accorded to the ubiquitous role of influential consumers who are instrumental in influencing the behaviour of other consumers through exemplary conduct and/or interpersonal word-of-mouth (WOM) communication. In this vein, this study sought to examine the influence of selected factors on market maven tendency and the ultimate trial of new cosmetic products by female consumers in the southern Gauteng. This presents the need to examine empirically the role of market mavens who play an indispensable role in filling the omitted information gaps existing within the market. Particularly, this research is in response to calls for unremitting replications of the work seeking to establish the nomological variables that are antecedent to the market mavenism construct. The study drew from the confluence of the Two-step flow theory and the Stimulus Organism Response (SOR) theory, which provided theoretical lenses in understanding how various stimuli could possibly influence the maven tendency (organism) and the ultimate trial of new cosmetic products (response) by those mavens situated in the southern Gauteng region of South Africa. In view of achieving the overarching objective of this study, a sample survey was conducted in 2018 using a sample of female market mavens that were selected on referral basis, after applying the snowball sampling technique. In the cross-sectional based sample survey, a self-administered questionnaire was utilised. Drawing from the responses, a trichotomisation was developed, enabling the researcher to categorise the participants by including those individuals reporting either low (n=86), moderate (n=141) or high (n=248) maven tendency scores. Resultantly, the findings from a cross-section of 475 female mavens were admissible for statistical analysis. Drawing from the statistical analysis, the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) procedure steered the extraction of six components that are salient towards calibrating the tendency towards market mavenship among female consumers of cosmetic products. The scale items along these six components yielded acceptable internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha coefficients ranged between 0.792 and 0.876), whereas the results of the descriptive statistics revealed mean score rankings above 4.0 across the six components, thereby signalling agreeability among the participants with regard to the determinants of market maven tendency. Likewise, weak to moderate correlation coefficients that were positive and statistically significant (p <0.01) were also established in this work (ranging between +0.297 and +0.639). This inferred the existence oflinear and direct relationships among the variables examined in this work. Based on this, it was possible to conduct a structural equation modelling procedure. Prior to testing the hypothesised relationships, model fit of the measurement model was evaluated. Moreover, analysis of the statistical accuracy measures in terms of the reliability and validity of the measurement model pointed to the existence of a six-variable structure of new product trial, comprising consumer innovativeness, aspirational attractiveness, social norms influence, advertising efficacy, market maven tendency and new cosmetic products’ trial. Correspondingly, the direction and prediction among these constructs was tested by specifying a structural model. The structural model yielded adequate fit indices. In terms of prediction, the four constructs, namely consumer innovativeness (ß=+0.441; Z=9.292; p<0.01), social norms influence (ß=+0.339; Z=7.272; p<0.01), advertising efficacy (ß=+0.293; Z=6.607; p<0.01) and aspirational attractiveness (ß=+0.182; Z=4.099; p<0.01) were proven to have positive and statistically significant predictive influence on market maven tendency, in that order. Together, the four stimuli are presumed to explain approximately 43 percent of the variance in the tendency towards market mavenship among the responding female consumers. Market maven tendency was confirmed as a predictor of new product trial in this research (ß=+0.478; Z=8.448; p<0.01). This latter path proved that the tendency towards market maven behaviour explains approximately 23 percent on the variance in new product trial among female mavens. These maiden findings suggest that it is possible to anchor the construct of market maven tendency along a broader behavioural science theory, comprising selected stimulus elements. In particular, the results derived in this study demonstrate the three-fold orientation of the female maven in terms of innate (consumer innovativeness), context-based (social norms influence and advertising efficacy) as well as the desired or sought-after (aspirational attractiveness) stimuli that influence market maven tendency. In addition, the study confirmed that new product trial could act as an invaluable tool for raising awareness about the features and benefits of new cosmetic products. Based on these results, it is recommended that marketing managers capitalise on the contribution of market mavens as auxiliary dispensers of new beauty product information.
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    The influence of selected antecedents on athlete endoser credibility, attitude towards an advertisement and purchase intentions
    (2017-09) Mahao, Bafokeng Bafokeng
    Given the pervasive use of celebrity endorsements and the high costs involved in this marketing strategy, it is important for marketers to have knowledge of the right set of procedures to follow in selecting an ambassador to market their products. This study draws from the undertones of Ohanian’s (1990:46) Source attributes theory, comprising elements of the Source credibility theory as well as the Source attractiveness theory. Whereas the former (trustworthiness and expertise) influences consumer attitudes and behaviour through a process called internalisation, the latter (attractiveness) influences receivers of marketing communication messages through a process called identification. The theory is useful when applied during the initial phase of selecting which celebrity to use to endorse products, to avoid costly mistakes of choosing celebrities that do not possess the right set of attributes for persuading consumers. The purpose of this study was to apply the Source attributes theory in understanding the key attributes towards consumers’ evaluations of the credibility of an athlete-celebrity endorser. Moreover, the influence of athlete endorser credibility on consumers’ attitudes and purchase intentions towards the celebrity endorsed advertisement. A quantitative study comprising a non-probability snowball sample of 456 consumers was conducted in 2016, in and around the five major towns of Southern Gauteng province in South Africa. The structured-self administered questionnaire requested participants to indicate their perceptions regarding the attributes of nominated athlete-celebrity, namely, trustworthiness, expertise and attractiveness in endorsing the selected product. In addition, the questionnaire related to consumers’ evaluations of the credibility of the selected athlete-celebrity, consumers’ attitude towards the advertisement where the athlete-celebrity appears and purchase intentions towards the endorsed product. Findings from the study indicated that South African consumers have positive perceptions of the selected athlete-celebrity’s trustworthiness, expertise and attractiveness. In addition, the measurement model was verified using statistical accuracy tests, thereby confirming that the purchase intentions model was a six-factor structure comprising trustworthiness, expertise, attractiveness, endorser credibility, attitude towards the advertisement and purchase intentions. The results of both the confirmatory factor analysis and the structural equation modelling suggest that the three dimensions are valid measures of the overall credibility of the athlete- endorser (R2=0.60). This finding provided support for the scale developed by Ohanian (1990) to be a valid vi measure for selecting celebrity endorsers when applied in South Africa. Moreover, the structural model validated the existence of significant, direct impacts of athlete-endorser credibility on attitude towards the advertisement (path estimate=0.704) and attitude towards the advertisement on purchase intentions (path estimate=0.741). Insights gained from this study will assist both marketing academics and practitioners to understand the perceptions of consumers towards the use of athlete-celebrities in product promotions in the South African market. In this regard, if a determination is made that a celebrity could enhance the marketing campaign, marketers should determine to what extent the celebrity should be used. The correct use of the right celebrity, selected in line with these findings, can help ensure greater consumer persuasion.
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    The influence of perceived social risk and buying behaviour on apparel store choice decision among generation Y female students within the Sedibeng district
    (2016-04) Maziriri, Eugine Tafadzwa; Mokoena, B.A.; Van Schalkwyk, P. J.
    Store choice has become an area of concern for a retailer, with no clear verdict as to what drives customers in the selection of a store. Shopping at the right store with the right social reputation may be essential for many customers. Therefore, the dynamic store choice decision can be conceptualised as a problem of deciding where and when to shop. The primary objective of this study was to determine the influence of perceived social risk and buying behaviour on apparel retail store choice among Generation Y female students within the Sedibeng district. This study focused on perceived social risk, as the literature shows that publically consumed products are the ones with a high level of social risk and the consumer’s need for social acceptance with regards to brand and store choices. This study also looked at the buying behaviour of apparel by Generation Y female students within the Sedibeng district because in today’s increasingly complex retail environment, an understanding of consumers’ buying behaviour and their knowledge of products and services is critical for high quality business decisions. In addition, an understanding of consumers’ buying behaviour will assist retailers to segment their client base and target specific customer groups with strategies designed to meet their retail needs. A quantitative research approach was used for this study and a non-probability convenience sampling procedure was adopted in this study. A structured questionnaire was utilised to survey 400 students from the two universities in the Sedibeng district. The target population for this study was restricted to Generation Y female students within the two universities, namely Vaal University of Technology (VUT) and North West University (NWU). Pre-testing and a pilot study preceded the main survey and reliabilities were measured using the Cronbach alpha coefficients. Out of 400 questionnaires sent to the participants, a total of 370 responses were received and this resulted in a return rate of 92.5 percent for the main study. The statistical analysis of the collected data included descriptive statistical analysis, correlation analysis, exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling to test the posited hypothesis. The analysis results of the factor analysis showed that based on the Kaiser-Guttman rule, for each of the constructs (perceived social risk, buying behaviour and retail store choice) only two factors that have intrinsic value greater than one were extracted. For the perceived social risk construct, two factors, which were labelled anxiousness and significant others were extracted and for the buying behaviour construct two factors, which were labelled acceptance and reaction were extracted. Lastly, for the retail store choice construct, two factors, which were labelled word of mouth as well as convenience and physical characteristics of the store were extracted through the exploratory factor analysis technique. According to the results of the structural equation modelling analysis, the tested relationships produced satisfactory results consistent with how they were hypothesised. Specifically, it appeared that there is a direct relationship between perceived social risk and buying behaviour. Buying behaviour also has a positive effect on retail store choice and finally, perceived social risk has a good impact, but there is no significant influence on retail store choice as indicated by the findings. Insights gained from this study will assist marketers of apparel products to increase the patronage levels in their stores by expediting the factors identified in this study. Moreover, these findings may enable apparel retail store managers to comprehensively understand how perceived social risk influences a consumer’s retail store choice and to predict as well as develop a current view of the buying behaviour of female Generation Y consumers, thereby facilitating the evelopment and implementation of more effective marketing strategies in their stores. Implications of the findings are discussed and limitations and future research directions are alluded to.
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    Selected antecedents to approach status consumption of fashion brands among township youth consumers in the Sedibeng District
    (2016-08) Madinga, Nkosivile Welcome; Mahlangu, H. B.; Motale, M. D. B.
    One important motivating force that influences a wide range of consumer behaviour is the desire to gain status or social prestige from the acquisition and consumption of goods. More often than not, individuals purchase expensive and luxury goods to display their social standing. In addition, individuals purchase status products to fulfil their material desires and reinforce their group identity. This is often a case with regards to youth consumers who often purchase expensive, luxury fashionable clothing brands to portray status and impress their peers. This behaviour seems to be trending among township consumers. The township market is a major contributor to the South African economy with an annual spending power of approximately R307-R308 billion. This study sought to investigate the influence of fashion clothing involvement, materialism and group identity on fashion brand status consumption amongst the youth. The research concentrates specifically on township youth consumers aged between 18 to 24 years, located in the Sedibeng district. This study made use of a non-probability convenience sample. A self-administered questionnaire was designed based on the scales used in previous studies. Five fieldworkers were selected and received training from the researcher on the purpose of the research as well as the critical elements of fieldwork. Once the training was completed, the questionnaires were distributed by fieldworkers. The questionnaire requested respondents to indicate on a five-point Likert scale the extent of their agreement or disagreement with items designed to measure their status consumption, fashion clothing involvement, materialism and group identity. In addition, the participants were requested to provide certain demographic data. For this study, a sample of 400 township youth individuals, residing within the Sedibeng district, was drawn. From this sample, only 345 questionnaires were usable leading to a response rate of 83 percent. The captured data were analysed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics comprising of correlation and regression analysis. The findings indicate that fashion clothing involvement significantly and positively predicted status consumption of township youth consumers. Therefore, the results show that fashion-involved consumers are more likely to engage in status consumption. There was a direct relationship between materialism and status consumption. Group identity had a significant positive influence on status consumption. Owing to the high demand for status brands or products by township youth consumers, it is recommended that marketers should tap the market potential of this consumer segment while considering the influence of their reference groups. In addition, their advertisements should emphasise the brand or product’s ability to indicate status. Furthermore, marketers should make use of social media to effectively reach youth consumers. Insights gained from this study will help marketers to better understand township youth consumers, their engagement in status consumption, and their involvement in fashion clothing, which, in turn, should help them tailor their marketing efforts in such a way as to appeal to this segment in an appropriate manner.
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    Online shopping satisfaction, loyalty and repurchase intentions of generation X consumers in Southern Gauteng
    (2014-10) Chauke, Xitshembhiso Difference; Dubihlela, J.; Van Schalkwyk, P. J.
    Internet and online shopping are gaining more attention and momentum, and businesses are moving online, not as a matter of choice, but as a matter of necessity. Online shopping satisfaction, loyalty and repurchase intentions are now at the forefront for most online shops’ strategies. Investigating this phenomenon within a South African context is crucial, considering the fact that online shopping is a recent trend in the country. Most studies have investigated the determinants of satisfaction and loyalty in online shopping. Very few studies examined the factors that entice consumers to repurchase using online channels. Businesses discovered the importance of online shopping as a key success factor. Thus, customer satisfaction, loyalty and repurchase intentions are the topics that have received much attention since the 1990s, as relationship marketing has become a popular marketing scheme. The purpose of this study was to examine online shopping satisfaction, loyalty and repurchase intentions of Generation X consumers to better understand the development of the online shopping sector. There is an absence of research conducted in this direction, resulting in a lack of existing literature. To assist in filling this gap, this study attempted to measure the relationships between these variables. Previous research has shown that consumers’ intent to repurchase online is highly driven by their satisfaction; several articles were reviewed. The target population comprised of Generation X online consumers in southern Gauteng (Vaal region). A snowball sampling method was employed to identify the respondents fitting the predetermined sample criteria. A total number of 326 questionnaires were received. Topical areas, research methods and data acquiring procedures were described. This study develops a model, which aims to describe the degree to which the three variables relate to each other; satisfaction, loyalty and repurchase intentions. The model describes the extent to which online repurchase intention is affected by satisfaction and loyalty, and the degree to which loyalty is influenced by satisfaction. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to test the hypotheses and the relationships. A key contribution of the SEM is the incorporation of the variables under analysis. The analysis finds that satisfaction has a positive significant relationship with repurchase intention, satisfaction also affects loyalty, and loyalty has a positive relationship with repurchase intentions. Lastly, based on the findings of this study, limitations were discussed along with the recommendations and concluding remarks
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    Green consumer buying behaviour: antecedents, selection attributes of generation Y consumers and the relationship with future behavioural intentions
    (2015) Muposhi, Asphat,; Dhurup, M.; Surujlal, J.
    The concept of green marketing has gained prominence in academia in recent years with concomitant implications for marketing strategy. The considerable attention accorded to green marketing is accentuated by concerns about global climate change and its threat to the sustainability of livelihoods. As the debate on green marketing continues to unfold, there are important issues yet to be addressed, one of which relates to the antecedents of green consumer buyer behaviour and selection attributes of green products. In view of the growing importance of green consumer buyer behaviour in contemporary markets, the purpose of the present study was to examine empirically the antecedents of green consumer buyer behaviour and the selection attributes of Generation Y consumers. The Generation Y cohort was considered as the ideal target population for the present study owing to its size, bespeaking a profitable market segment with the potential to provide a “snap-shot” of future pro-environmental behavioural intentions. The theories of Reasoned Action and Consumption Values provided the theoretical lens through which to examine and delineate the antecedents of green consumer buyer behaviour and the selection attributes of Generation Y consumers in the context of a developing country such as South Africa. The present study adopted a sequential mixed-methods methodology that commenced with a qualitative study and was followed by a quantitative study. For the qualitative study, data were collected from a purposively selected Generation Y student sample comprising sixteen participants. The principle of technical saturation was employed to ascertain the adequacy of the sample size. The credibility and trustworthiness of the qualitative study were achieved through pretesting of the interview guide, bracketing, prolonged ngagement with participants, member checks, peer de-briefing, an audit trail of the interviewing process and researcher reflexivity. The analysis of the qualitative data was conducted through the use of content and thematic analyses. The qualitative study identified environmental attitude, environmental concern, social influence, environmental responsibility, government influence, selection attributes and green purchase intention as the main determinants of green purchase behaviour. The qualitative study also revealed that the demand for green products is thwarted by marketing-related barriers such as high prices, misleading green marketing messages and unavailability of products. In line with the methodology of the study, the determinants of green purchase behaviour that emerged from the qualitative study were further examined through a quantitative study. The data for the quantitative study were generated from a conveniently selected Generation Y student sample of 386 respondents, using a structured selfadministered questionnaire. The historical evidence method and the pre-conditions of multivariate data analysis (confirmatory factor analysis) guided the determination of the sample size for the quantitative study. The statistical data analysis procedures utilised for the quantitative study were descriptive statistics, reliability and validity analysis, correlation analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. Prior to questionnaire administration, a pilot study was conducted to improve the accuracy of the survey instrument. The collected quantitative data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 22.0 and Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS) 22.0. The preliminary data analysis involved the process of coding and checking the distribution of scores. The results of the normality test revealed that the data were not normally distributed. Thus, non-parametric statistics were employed for correlation analysis and for testing gender difference in green consumer buyer behaviour. The Mann-Whitney U Test and the Kruskal-Wallis Test revealed that Generation Y female consumers are more apt to engage in pro-environmental behaviours than their male counterpartsIn order to verify the reliability of the measurement items, Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, the item-to-total values and composite reliability were computed. In addition, the validity of the survey instrument was enhanced through content, convergent, discriminant and predictive validities. The reliability and validity measures employed in the present study attested that the survey instrument utilised in the quantitative study was both reliable and valid. The results of correlation analysis indicated that environmental concern, environmental attitude, environmental responsibility, government influence, social influence and selection attributes have a positive association with green purchase intention. The correlation analysis also revealed a weak association between green purchase intention and actual purchase behaviour. Prior to testing the hypothesised relationships, the fitness of the measurement and structural models was assessed. The model fit indices that included the chi-square value over degree of freedom ( 2/df), Goodness-of-Fit Index (GFI), Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA), Comparative Fit Index (CFI), Incremental Fit Index (IFI) andTucker-Lewis Index (TLI) yielded satisfactory results that are consistent with acceptable thresholds, demonstrating that the measurement and structural model fitted well with the data. The posited relationships were tested using structural equation modelling. The hypotheses testing results revealed that green purchase intention was significantly and positively influenced by environmental attitude, environmental concern, social influence, environmental responsibility and selection attributes, but not by government influence. The results also showed that the relationship between green purchase intention and actual purchase behaviour was moderated by selection attributes. The findings of the study imply that marketers need to formulate and implement green marketing strategies that enhance environmental attitudes and concerns, initiate programmes that foster environmental responsibility, understand the selection attributes of Generation Y consumers and utilise social networks to stimulate pro-environmental behaviours. The results also suggest that the South African government needs to re-invigorate its environmental initiatives to foster green purchase intention and the purchase of green products. Finally, the study also provided evidence that suggests an insignificant relationship between green purchase intention and actual purchase behaviour. This result suggests an urgent need by marketers to understand the underlying factors causing the gap between green purchase intention and actual purchase behaviour. To effectively promote green consumer buyer behaviour, marketers need to understand the determinants of green purchase intention and craft effective strategies to translate green purchase intentions into actual purchasing behaviour. The findings of the present study provide avenues for further study in a discipline that is increasingly gaining theoretical and practical prominence. Future research efforts should consider the use of an integrated research model that encompasses more variables, utilising a broader sample frame and employing a longitudinal study in order to enhance the generalisability of the research findings. Overall, the study offers valuable insights for stimulating green purchase behaviour among the potentially profitable Generation Y cohort and equips marketers with green marketing strategies to position green products competitively in the marketplace.
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    Managerial and socio-economic implications of the implementation of telework in Gauteng
    (2008) Van Wyk, Elsa; Hoffman, E. C.
    Telework can be defined as a flexible work arrangement, where selected employees work at home one or more days per week or at a site near home, instead of physically travelling to a central workplace. Telework has progressed globally, especially during the past decade to a work option that has an impact on commerce and industry in a most beneficial manner. This flexible work arrangement emerged in organisations because of the development of information and communication technology (ICT) that forms the key component of the teleworkers equipage. This investigation focussed on telework aspects, such as the effects on the environment, quality of life and economic effects. It is evident that telework generates significant benefits to the corporate environments, improves work and personal life experiences for human resources, improves environmental and social circumstances and has resulted in a significant paradigm shift in the corporate arena. The investigation also identified barriers that constrain managers from implementing telework. The investigation furthermore determined how South Africa, in particular, might benefit socioeconomically Inferential conclusions indicate that telework could counteract many of South Africa's transport and related socio-economic problems that pose detrimental consequences for the environment and other resources, as is the case in many other countries.
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    Store selection criteria amongst black consumers in the purchase of sportswear apparel in Soweto and the relationship with store satisfaction and loyalty
    (2013-01) Mathaba, Ryan Lesetja; Dhurup, M.; Surjlal, J.
    Research on apparel store choice and patronage has been widely studied locally and internationally. However, it is still important to understand consumers’ purchase behaviour and to develop appropriate retailing strategy. South Africa is currently experiencing a substantial growth in retail infrastructure especially in townships. Formal retailers are now expanding into township markets. Most of those retailers differentiated themselves from their competitors by developing a corporate identity, inter-alia through their store image. The purpose of the research was to examine apparel store selection criteria amongst black consumers in Soweto. In addition, this research examined the relationship between store satisfaction and loyalty. The literature review focuses on consumer behaviour variables and store image variables influential in store selection. The review was necessary to provide an overview of how consumers decide where, how and when to shop. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 489 respondents who were selected using non-probability convenience sampling. The sample size comprised sportswear apparel shoppers (blacks), both male and female, 18 years and older who patronised three shopping malls, namely Protea Gardens, Southgate, and Jabulani Mall. Data were analysed using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), mean rankings, the Mann Whitney U test, correlation analysis and regression. Six factors were found to be appropriate to capture the dimensions of store selection. These factors were labelled sales assistant, store atmospherics, store appeal (interior/exterior), in-store induced appeals, promotion/brand availability and store accessibility. Furthermore, the data obtained revealed a strong linear relationship between satisfaction and loyalty as well as significant relationship amongst the dimensions of store selection. Regression analysis revealed that promotion/brand availability and store satisfaction are strong predictors of loyalty. The Mann Whitney U test revealed no significant difference in the store choice dimensions between female and male respondents. The recommendations arising from the current study could help retailers understand what motivates shoppers to select one store amongst other stores. The identification of in-store and out-of-store activities that encourage consumers to stay store loyal, are critical to the success of retail businesses. Future studies may be extended on the purchase of other products apart from sportswear items.
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    Marketing of Universities of Technology: examining the relationships between market orientation elements, barriers and University performance
    (2015) Mokoena, Bakae Aubrey; Dhurup, M.; Penceliah, S.;
    The marketing concept is posited as the philosophical foundation of the marketing disciplines and market orientation invariably refer to the operationalisation of the marketing concept into a management orientation. Engaging in marketing activities may be important but market orientation is a vital ingredient in determining an institutional success, despite inherent barriers towards its successful implementation. A higher education institution (HEI) can be market oriented only if it understand its market. This study was conducted with the main objective of seeking to establish Universities of Technology (UoTs) implementation levels of market orientation, possible barriers to market orientation and their influence on university performance. A non-probability sampling method (convenience sampling) was used in the study. The sampling frame for the study included full-time employed academics in all six UoTs in South Africa. Pre-testing and a pilot study preceded the main survey and reliabilities were measured using the Cronbach alpha coefficients. Out of 1250 questionnaires sent to participating institutions, a total of 528 responses were received and this resulted in a return rate of 42.24% for the main study. The statistical analysis of the collected data included exploratory factor analysis, descriptive statistical analysis, correlation analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling to test the posited hypotheses. The findings of the study supported the predetermined theoretical and the empirical objectives as well as the hypotheses of the study. The findings further indicated that the market orientation of UOTs in South Africa was determined by seven fundamental factors within the institutions being market intelligence generation, interfunctional coordination, customer orientation, market intelligence dissemination, intelligence response design, intelligence response implementation and interdepartmental dynamics. Furthermore, three key barriers to market orientation were identified, namely internal, external and organisational environmental factors. In addition, the study also found a significant impact of market orientation on university performance as consistent with previous market orientation studies undertaken in other contexts. Recommendations emanating from the study will address various concerns on effective incorporation of the market orientation paradigm. Commitment and communication from top management to all units to support market orientation is critical. The support of those making strategic decisions is needed to garner the necessary support of other employees in UoTs, especially top and senior management buy-in and support. Marketing information generation should be a starting point when developing or adapting marketing strategies. HEIs should realise that marketing information dissemination is an effective way to reach prospective students and to create credible and persuasive communication channels. The development of a marketing strategy should also involve the inter-functional coordination and interdepartmental dynamics that enables HEIs to meet students’ needs and enhance service delivery to all its stakeholders. Key aspects that need to be prioritised includes: establishment of structures for marketing coordination, marketing efforts to be driven by teams to bring about synergy and cross fertilisation of ideas across departments and marshalling of resources in order to improve performance of all business units. Managers in different HEIs can also enhances performance of their instituions by implementing these key recommendations. This study will significantly contribute to the critical challenge facing HEIs, being to create the combination of the culture and the climate that maximises organisational learning, resources and capabilities to create superior university performance that is prescribed by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DoHET). Other HEIs could learn from this study and utilise the research to diagnose and remedy barriers within their operational spheres.
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    Computer literacy as additional empowerment mechanism in learning programmes
    (2004-01) Van Staden, A; Hoffmann, E. C.
    The world of digital interactivity, of computers, of cyberspace and the "e-revolution', is making computer literacy more indispensable than ever. There is an increasing demand for ICT skills worldwide- South Africa is not alone in identifying shortages. The information and communication technology in South Africa is exacerbated by emigration on the one hand and the previously disadvantaged learners on the other hand. With an education system that is stretched, higher education has not kept pace with information and communication technology training in South Africa, therefore learners display a shortcoming of basic computer skills. The purpose of this study is to emphasise the importance of implementing computer literacy training throughout the entire learning programme of learners at higher education institutions. Learners randomly selected from the Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, indicated their computer literacy via questionnaires and levels of experience. It is clear that the abilities of the learners are not sufficient to ensure that they are computer literate or that they will be effective users in the workplace. This study results in a powerful argument in support of the extension of continued growth in computer usage in the workplace.