Original Research

The strategic implications of black empowerment policy in South Africa: a case study of boundary choice and client preferences in a small services firm

Willem H Boshoff
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 15, No 2 | a54 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v15i2.54 | © 2012 Willem H Boshoff | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 July 2010 | Published: 05 June 2012

About the author(s)

Willem H Boshoff, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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This paper studies the relationship between a firm’s boundary choices within its value chain and the BEE pressures it faces from its clients. The paper shows that BEE policy alters the value chain preferences of a firm’s clients. These changes in client preferences motivate the firm to altering its boundaries. More important, boundary changes due to BEE are implemented in a way that ensures that the firm retains crucial architectural knowledge, which preserves its competitive advantage. Firms therefore do not respond passively to BEE-induced changes in client preferences, but aim to meet BEE aims within their broader strategic environment.


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