Date of Award

Winter 2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Marketing

Committee Director

Earl D. Honeycutt

Committee Member

Berhanu Mengistu

Committee Member

Kiran Karande


Recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as one of the world's Big Emerging Markets (BEMs), South Africa has received vast attention from potential foreign investors (IRRC 1994) and has been recognized by scholars as an excellent base for research (Hofmeyr, Templer and Beaty 1994). Unfortunately, little is known about the export behavior of the foreign firm in South Africa (Calof and Viviers 1995) given the country's history of political, social and economic instability.

This dissertation is an effort to increase the understanding of the factors that contribute to the commitment and overall market performance of U.S. firms in South Africa. To accomplish this task, this research effort intends to: (1) identify and examine the major factors that impact the commitment exhibited by the U.S. firm in apartheid versus post-apartheid South Africa; (2) measure the difference between the various predictors of commitment as employed by the U.S. firm currently operating in the South African market; and (3) examine the impact of the commitment exhibited by the U.S. firm in South Africa and its relationship to the firm's overall market performance.

The data for the firms used in the sample have been collected from the Investor Responsibility Research Center in Washington, DC. General Linear Modeling (GLM) was used to test the proposed relationships and provides support for the hypotheses testing a firm's compliance to voluntary codes of conduct, investment of assets during apartheid and the firm's overall performance, as measured according to the firm's commitment during the apartheid era.

Limitations of this base-line study include the use of such broad variables and the lack of discipline related empirical support. Future research should include a closer analysis of the variables used in this study and the examination of social, economic and labor related issues specific to this unique country of study.


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