Orientation: The shortage of technical skills in South Africa is causing grave concern
for the country and businesses alike, impeding economic growth and competition. In
particular, South Africa is experiencing an increasing number of technical professionals
in the oil industry who emigrate. Compounding this situation, South African universities
are not producing enough technical graduates to effectively counter the impact of
Research purpose: Accordingly, the reseacher sought to explore country and
organisational factors that influence emigration of technical professionals in the oil
industry. Furthemore, the research intended to identify and appraise reward elements
that are being expended to curb emigration of technical professionals in this industry.
Motivation for the study: There is a need to understand the contributing factors to
technical professionals' emigration decisions in the oil industry.
Research design, approach and method: The researcher conducted a case based
qualitative study which was exploratory in approach. The sample included technical
professionals drawn from different engineering disciplines at Engen refinery. The
researcher initially used purposive sampling, followed by snowball sampling.
Accordingly, 12 in-depth semi-structured interviews were held. AtlasTi and excel were
used to analyse the results obtained from this research.
Main findings: The main findings of the research revealed that the most important
country factors influencing technical professionals' decisions to emigrate were
remuneration, crime and security. While at an organisational level, leadership and
remuneration were the most important drivers. Technical professionals consider
Engen's reward model stale and in need of innovation. The reward elements are not
aligned with the drivers of skilled emigration and therefore will not limit the rate at which
technical professionals emigrate.
Value add and managerial implications: The value and implication of this research is
that it gives insight into the drivers of emigration decisions of technical professionals in
the oil industry, and provides information to managers of oil companies that can help in
designing attractive employee value propositions, taking into account external factors.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.