Marlenie Moodley’s academic journey ensured her remarkable mould – it sharpened Marlenie’s critical thinking and sounded her unique voice. Today she tells her story…
Marlenie is a focused, curious, and disciplined individual, who works hard at her goals. It is these attributes that contributed to her attainment of her Master’s degree. Marlenie singles out her “flexibility and self-motivation” to have helped her through this journey.
When asked to describe how her academic undertaking was, Marlenie says the past two years for her have been a challenge and adds that all the “stress and pressure is overwhelming – balancing being a new mom, wife, having a full-time job and being a part-time student. Every now and then, there were times when quitting seemed easier than continuing.” Marlenie did not quit, however, and her resilience is paying off. Her robust nature is largely linked to her working experiences, which span two decades in three different fields – namely, in contact centres, learning and development, and in strategic projects. This experience, Marlenie explains, “has allowed me to evolve into an analytical and disciplined senior level leader with experience in multiple facets of business.”
Her depth of experience may have been one of the key aspects in her life which prompted her decision to do her Master’s degree.
Speaking of which, Marlenie’s Master’s dissertation is entitled, An exploratory study into key factors towards managing organisational change and transformation. The premise of this study’s argument is that regardless of how large or small, organisations are vulnerable to change. The reality of change has become a norm in sustaining the success and existence of organisations. The study also recognises challenges brought by economic uncertainty and shifting political interests, but nonetheless suggests that organisations should take the lead in developing appropriate solutions for managing change if they are to survive into the future, by leveraging the strengths and synergies of a diverse workforce. To navigate the organisational change landscape for the twenty-first-century economy, the study suggests that organisations will require a robust approach to change management that becomes a part of their culture and strategy.
Marlenie explains that everyone reacts differently to change, and that challenges and requirements vary amongst employees. This is what prompted her to deepen her understanding, through her research, of change management approaches, and how change management can assist staff to cope with any required transition.
Marlenie believes that her research can assist the organisation she researched, as well as other organisations, to establish a framework for change management across the business and not just limited to the sales contact centre. This research, she believes, will lead to greater clarity, employee motivation and reduce risk within the researched organisation, which will result in improved performance and change management outcomes.
Post her Master’s, Marlenie is enjoying some well-deserved relaxation and taking a break from her books to re-balance her family time, after a particularly challenging and time-consuming learning journey. In her own words the Master’s helped her to “build on and enhance the knowledge gained through my practical work experience. It boosted my career progression. Now I can think critically and tackle more complex and challenging tasks.”
At this point, Marlenie shares her advice to other students: “Write pieces of your dissertation whilst completing your course work. Planning and time management is key.”