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International Journal of Business and Management Studies

Yıl 2010 , Cilt 2 , Sayı 2

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Towards depicting the organisational culture of universities of technology (uots): a south african perspective

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Central University of Technology1
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South Africa should like the rest of the world embrace the Knowledge Age. This is not always an easy task as the country struggles with huge skill shortages that hamper progress. This is aggravated by the fact that national research outputs have declined since the 1990’s and existing knowledge producers (scientists) are ageing fast. South Africa has classical universities (which focus on pure academic programmes), Universities of Technology (that focus on career oriented education) and comprehensive universities (which are a combination of classical universities and UoTs). This paper centers on Universities of Technology (UoTs) with its relatively recent emergence as universities. UoTs were previously known as Technikons and were re-designed as UoTs by the Minister of Education in October 2003. The focus of UoTs is mainly on technologydriven training, development and research, essentially dove-tailing theory and practice. This is in line with similar institutions of higher education world wide. UoTs assist classical and comprehensive universities in generating new knowledge, but with an added component – that of delivering knowledge workers to business and industry. It is thus reasonable that attention should be focused on creating sustainable research outputs at university level, as a mechanism for not only generating new knowledge but also to address the impeding skill shortages South Africa face (SATN Research Output Committee, 2008). In this regard organisational culture could impact on the sustainability of research outputs at UoTs, as it has the potential of unifying organisational effort which could lead to increased outputs. This article aims to trace the history of UoTs and to, by means of an explorative analysis, elaborate on the forces that shaped the overall organisational culture of UOTs in South Africa. 

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