The perceived impact of a global pandemic on a provincial department’s organisational structure

Kiara N. Nyanhongo, Lesego V. Mokhutsane, Mahlapane T. Mosebi, Thato M. Thobejane, Thabang S. Mathudi, Musawenkosi D. Saurombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Orientation: Several existing studies examine the effect organisational structures have on businesses, but there is limited research that considers the effects unforeseen crises have on organisational structures. Research purpose: The study sought to determine the effects that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown had on the organisational structure of a provincial health department, specifically relating to performance management, employee productivity and organisational citizenship behaviour. Motivation for the study: Additional pressure on health workers, who were seen as ‘essential workers’ during the pandemic, motivated the investigation of how organisational structure affects employees’ ability to perform their duties during crises. Research approach/design and method: The study employed a quantitative research approach, using surveys. A non-experimental research method and convenience sampling were employed and a sample of 207 respondents (n = 207) was achieved. Main findings: The respondents agreed that the pandemic did not cause a decline in their performance due to effective workload management. They also agreed that they still felt passionate about their work during the pandemic. They further posited that the pandemic emphasised the importance of teamwork. Practical/managerial implications: The study offers insights into some factors that produced successful outcomes when handling the pandemic, which can inform organisational strategy during any similar future crises. Contribution/value-add: The study adds to the limited literature linking human resources management and change or crisis management, which is critical when navigating a rapidly changing present and an increasingly uncertain workplace future.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera2254
JournalSA Journal of Human Resource Management
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • employee productivity
  • organisational citizenship behaviour
  • organisational structure
  • performance management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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