Adaptation to change in the Hair Dressing Industry : a Survey of Hair Salons in Lusaka.
Njeleka, Joe P.
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The present study investigated adaption to environ¬mental change among small scale businesses in the hair dressing industry. The hypotheses that (1) adaptation to environmental change among successful hair salons would take the form of buffering, leveling and forecasting, (2) organically structured hair salon organisations would more effectively adapt to environ¬mental changes than those that are mechanistically Structured were tested. The sample comprised 24 hair salons that started their operations in or before 1980 in Lusaka.Information in the form of hair salons' responses to the environment as indicated by the number of hair styles offered to customers, customer attracting techniques, the number of employees and profits, among others, were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. Product moment correlation coefficients were computed among the following Independent and Dependent variables: The independent variables were the number of hair styles being offered, style determination, number of customer attracting techniques and the organisation structure; while the Dependent variables were; the number of customers, profits, number of employees and the researcher's own evaluation of how the salons were doing. Contrary to the previous findings among large organisations, the second hypothesis was not confirmed in these small businesses investigated. Numerous reasons, among which are the size of the organisations investigated (the largest comprised 16 employees), the nature of operation in these organisations (that is, offering of services) and the nature of interaction and proximity of employees, management and the customers, were advanced for the non confirmation of the second hypothesis. The study concluded by suggesting the possibility of extending the present findings to other small business operating in a similar manner to hair salons, which want to be viable in their business ventures.