Academic explores the link between talent management and small business performance

Associate research professor Petronella Jonck from the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences recently shed light on the relationship between talent management and the financial performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) operating within the informal sector.

As the keynote speaker at a research seminar hosted by the Central University of Technology, her presentation underscored the critical role, benefits, and rewards associated with enhancing the financial sustainability of informal SMMEs.

Furthermore, she emphasised the significance of aligning research efforts with sustainable development goals to foster growth in this often-overlooked sector.

Prof Jonck said the informal sector plays a pivotal role in propelling economic growth and development within the South African economy.

“This sector provides livelihoods to a substantial portion of the population who might be unable to secure formal employment. However, despite its critical role, the informal sector has often been relegated to the periphery of empirical research endeavours. As a result, there is limited information available concerning the factors that contribute to the sustainability and success of SMMEs within this sector.”

Prof Jonck continued to explain how rewards and recognition – integral components of strategic human resource management – can significantly impact the survival and sustainability of informal sector SMMEs. She revealed that managerial implications drawn from the study indicate the importance of offering attractive compensation packages and incentive structures to employees to enhance financial performance, measured through various financial indicators.

Prof Jonck also advocated for the initiation of awareness campaigns. “These campaigns would serve to educate and inform informal sector SMMEs about the critical role that rewards and recognition play in bolstering their performance and sustainability.”

Such initiatives, she believes, could be set into motion by policymakers, thereby making a positive difference in this essential sector.

About Prof Petronella Jonck

Prof Jonck is an associate research professor in the Global Innovative Focussed Talent research niche area at the NWU, and is a C3-rated researcher with the National Research Foundation.

She obtained her PhD in psychology from the University of the Free State and is a registered psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

To date her research outputs include more than 30 accredited journal articles. In addition to supervising postgraduate students, Prof Jonck was also a supervisor for the Southern African Young Scientist Summer Programme that was hosted at the

University of the Free State in collaboration with the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria.

Her research focus areas include career psychology and industrial psychology, human capital development and higher education.


Prof Petronella Jonck was the keynote speaker at a seminar at the Central University of Technology.

Submitted on Wed, 11/08/2023 - 09:25