Recently on 27 October 2020 and in a landmark decision the constitutional court stressed that in an ‘ever-changing economic climate characterised by increasing global competition, operational reasons not only relate to the downsizing of the workforce, but also to restructuring the manner in which an existing workforce carries out its work’.

Restructuring entails a number of possibilities, including

  • shift system duties;
  • adjusted remuneration; and
  • merging of jobs or duties.

In effect the court accepted that senior management must adapt quickly to survive and prosper failing which enterprises will decline and fail. In that matter senior management engaged with its employees through the trade union regarding a plan to restructure through a consultative process. But the intransigence of the union played a major role in the inability of management to save jobs. Importantly the court also decided that it could not prohibit senior management from terminating the services of many employees because the objectives of the LRA would be undermined and fail to ensure the viability and vitality of enterprises.

The court also stressed that the best interests of society are served when enterprises remain economically viable. Importantly it was also pointed out that owners and senior managers are best placed to conduct the enterprise given that  one of the primary purposes of the LRA is to advance economic development.

There must be a valid and fair reason (bona fide operational requirements) to terminate services after following a meaningful joint consensus-seeking process.  In that event understanding and applying the LRA as a whole does not  preclude senior management from basing its reason to terminate employment on the defined operational requirements of the enterprise.

Intergrating Bloom and managment decision-making levels

It is an interesting exercise to apply the true seven decision-making levels required by the EEA with the six levels of the revised Bloom taxonomy. Decision-making at the most senior managment level involves the ability to ‘create’ and set goals for the enterprise. It is then required of the next lower level of decision-making to ‘evaluate’ and assess the options when formulating the necessary strategy for the enterprise.

Just below that level managment is required to act ‘tactically’ by analysing the strategy in detail and ensuring that it is applied by the fourth level where decisions are taken to ‘apply’ the strategy.  Decision-making at that level requires issues of ‘who’ ‘when’ ‘how’ and ‘where’.

The Bloom Taxonomy of Educational Objectives was revised Spring 2001.

“This note describes the revisions that were recently made to the taxonomy reported in your textbook. It is easier to understand and use in many ways, so you may use either one you wish in doing your test construction project.

Review of the changes

First, the revised Bloom taxonomy gives slightly different names to the 6 levels of the hierarchy:

  • remember (was knowledge)
  • understand (was comprehension)
  • apply (was application)
  • analyse (was analysis)
  • evaluate (was evaluation)
  • create (was synthesis)

Second, the last two categories have been reversed, putting create (synthesis) as the most complex level.

As you can see, the verbs have also been clarified.

These changes clear up two big questions that many people had in trying to use the taxonomy.

  1. What is the difference between comprehension and application?

The panel decided that they overlap because understanding is a very broad term. It had been hard to distinguish which of the two many test items were tapping. (It may sometimes be both.) Both categories now have clearer verbs.

  1. What does evaluation really mean?

The chief confusion was that evaluation is usually less complex than synthesis, which made it difficult to think of what sorts of test items would represent “evaluation.” “Evaluate” now has a clearer meaning.

Source for revised taxonomy: Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.”