Title page for ETD etd-01172012-124448

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Maistry, Thashni
Email thashni.maistry@nrf.ac.za
URN etd-01172012-124448
Document Title Attraction and retention of previously disadvantaged science research professionals : a case study of the CSIR
Degree MSocSci
Department Sociology
Advisor Name Title
Prof J I Grobbelaar Supervisor
  • South Africa
  • CSIR
  • disadvantaged science research professionals
Date 2011-09-08
Availability restricted
This research study is concerned to investigate the problem of the attraction and retention of previously disadvantaged science research professionals in South Africa by conducting a case study of the CSIR. In the South African science sector there is the problem of attraction, development and retention of the required number of previously disadvantaged research professionals needed to transform and develop the intellectual human capital base of the country. The concern around the skills shortage in South Africa means that the previously disadvantaged science research professionals are in high demand. Therefore, it is essential to find out what their career perceptions, needs, and challenges are if science workplaces are to facilitate their career needs. The objective of this study is to establish the career perceptions, challenges and, attraction and retention factors, that would keep previously disadvantaged science research professionals in science careers.

Giddens’s theoretical assumptions around structuration are used to explain how people derive meaning for themselves. The research methodology used is a multi-methodological approach using both qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods. Data was collected through a focus group discussion and a cross- sectional online survey.

Key findings are that previously disadvantaged research professionals are: not socialized through their career choices and decisions, that gender difference does not influence career choices and that there is a generation gap at the CSIR. The perceptions of the older and younger respondents differ. In the light of the findings, the following recommendations have been made: government needs to do more in supporting previously disadvantage individuals engaged in science careers through better access to funding and career opportunities, the CSIR should have stronger mentoring programmes so as to address the age and cultural cleavages that exist at the CSIR, the organisation needs to redress their career ladders and remuneration packages as previously disadvantaged researchers are being lured by better packages outside the CSIR, respondents feel that they get career support, advice and opportunity at the CSIR however they do not believe that this is a transparent process across the organisation and equality issues need to be addressed through stronger policies and strategies at the CSIR.

© 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Maistry, T 2011, Attraction and retention of previously disadvantaged science research professionals : a case study of the CSIR, MSocSci dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-01172012-124448 / >


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