Impact of mergers on lower level employees : a case study of the Durban University of Technology
The study arose as a result of a merger between the former Technikon Natal and former M.L. Sultan Technikon, culminating in the formation of a new institution in 2002, called the Durban Institute of Technology (now known as the Durban University of Technology). The focus of the study was on the impact of mergers on lower level employee motivation and staff morale at the Durban University of Technology. Furthermore, the study focused on examining the perceptions of lower level employees towards the merger process which included the pre-merger, during and post-merger phases. A mixed methods research design was used in this study. The quantitative sample was n=50. In addition, six in-depth interviews were conducted for the qualitative part of the study. This study concluded that the merger had a negative impact on the perceptions of lower level employees regarding the merger process in the post-merger phase. The results indicated that staff morale of lower level employees was low post-merger. Some lower level employees proved to be less satisfied than others who adopted the new changes as a result of the merger. Interestingly, the results indicated a high level of motivation amongst lower level employees post-merger. Minimal communication originated from top management to lower level employees. It was recommended, amongst other suggestions that communication and training should be strengthened amongst lower level employees, supervisors and management in higher education institutions. Whilst lower level employees may have low skills and education, an attempt should be made to involve lower level employees early on and throughout higher education mergers.