Production, Safety and Teamwork in a Deep-Level Mining Workplace: Perspectives from the Rock-Face

Sizwe Timothy Phakathi
Head: Safety and Sustainable Development, South Africa

Product Details
23 Nov 2017
Emerald Publishing Limited
280 pages - 152 x 229mm
In almost any industry, the day-to-day lived experiences of workers directly shape production processes. Those experiences are of fundamental importance to a range of managerial concerns including organisational behaviour and human resource management, organisational safety and risk management, production systems, work relations and change management. Yet they are too often overlooked by the executives and managers who design management strategies. 

In this book, Sizwe Phakathi addresses such issues head-on, providing insights into the underlying social, human, managerial and organisational processes that shape workers’ orientations towards reorganisation of work, production, safety, teamwork and work relations. Through an in-depth study of a deep-level mining workplace, Phakathi brings to the fore the realities of how work processes shape the actions of frontline teams, production supervisors and managers. He points out how these realities trigger the informal work practice of making a plan, which is an indispensable organisational tactic for production, safety, teamwork and work relations in the mining workplace. In the process, he highlights frontline miners’ perspectives of managing, balancing and coping with the competing demands of physically challenging work, production, safety and team dynamics while at the rock-face.  

This book will help practitioners, policy-makers and researchers to understand the factors influencing work processes, production, safety, teamwork and work relations – not only in a mining workplace but more generally as well. The insights it provides into the importance of day-to-day lived working experiences will help them to improve organisational, employee and team performance.
Chapter 1. Introduction 
Chapter 2. A Workplace Ethnography of Deep-level Mining Teams 
Chapter 3. The Work Process and Informal Work Practices
Chapter 4. Making a Plan (Planisa) and Safe Production at the Rock-face 
Chapter 5. Making a Plan (Planisa) and the Production Bonus Scheme: Cooperation or Conflict? 
Chapter 6. Generational Differences and Team Performance: Millennial Miners and the Older Generation 
Chapter 7. Self-directed Work Teams and Mining Workplace Productivity 
Chapter 8. Frontline Supervisors: Change Facilitators or Change Resisters? 
Chapter 9. Frontline Supervision and Leadership Styles in Deep-level Mining: A Tale of Two Shift-bosses 
Chapter 10. Conclusion and Reflections, Organising and Managing Production, Safety and Teamwork: Leveraging Perspectives from the Rock-face 
Appendix, Photo-essay: A Day in the Life of a Deep-level Miner

Dr Sizwe Timothy Phakathi (PhD Oxford) is Head of Safety and Sustainable Development at the Chamber of Mines of South Africa and an Employer Convenor at the Mine Health and Safety Council of South Africa. He is a Research Associate at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science and in the Department of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg. Dr Phakathi is an alumnus of the Emerging Leaders in African Mining Programme coordinated by the Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance at the University of Western Australia and University of Queensland.

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