The strategic management of a DERI

Smuts, Petrus Gerhardus (2004-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The term DERI stands for Defence Evaluation and Research Institute. DERls are strategic institutes, established primarily to provide technological support to the Department of Defence. They are responsible for the cost-effective development, maintenance and application of advanced technologies and concentrate on specific application areas in the South African Defence Force, corresponding to the User Support Teams in the Armament Technology Acquisition Secretariat. The research problem is how to strategically manage such a DERI in terms of vision, mission, goals, structure of organisation, clients, alliances and resources such as funding, personnel, facilities and equipment, to optimally provide the best possible service to the main client, the DoD and in the process ensure the long term sustainability of the DERI. An interview was held with the senior executive manager of each of the five official DERls and also with two very knowledgeable persons on the subject of Defence and Evaluation Research management, with the aim of determining which attributes or factors they deem important in the strategic management of a DERI. The interviews were typed ver batim and all the attributes were included in a questionnaire. A few more attributes determined from literature and discussions with De Wet, were also added. Afterwards the abovementioned managers completed a questionnaire in which they indicated the relative importance of the various attributes. The attributes that scored the highest rating were grouped into clusters and are analysed accordingly. The clusters are as follows: • ''people" cluster since it is about the knowledge, skills and trust of people • ''value-for-money cluster since the attributes are about planning, funding and objectives • "you-have-to-earn-your-survival cluster since it is about disciplines, application of R&D and the right of existence of a DERI All three clusters are enlightened by the comments, remarks, suggestions and concerns raised during the interviews with the senior executive managers. People attributes came out as being the most critical success factor in the strategic management of a DERI. "People" can effectively be divided into two categories - the DERI's employees on the one hand and the clients' employees on the other. Everything concerning people is seen as important namely: training. remuneration, quality service (internal and external), trust, growth and development, communication, Black Economic Empowerment, stakeholder interface, etc. There is a concern about the longer-term survival of the DERls because they are currently situated in two different organisations in two different state departments with different visions, missions and goals. A clear indication of the road ahead should be given as soon as possible. A solution to the integration question would be an independent investigation by people who have no vested interests in the outcome of the decision. Whatever the final answer (one of the two current state departments or a new organisation or the slatus quo), both departments (Arts, Science and Technology and Defence) should not feel endangered and the solution should be a win-win situation for both parties.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: DERI is die verkorte vorm vir Defence Evaluation and Research Institute oftewel Evaluasie- en Navorsingsinstituut vir die Weermag. DERI's is strategiese institute wat daargestel is om tegnologiese ondersteuning aan die Departement van Verdediging te bied. DERI's is verantwoordelik vir die koste-effektiewe ontwikkeling, instandhouding en aanwending van gevorderde tegnologiee en fokus op spesifieke toepassingsareas in die Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag. Die ondersteuning vind plaas in ooreenstemming met die behoeftes van gebruiker ondersteuningspanne in die Wapen Tegnologie Aanskaffingsekretariaat. Die navorsingsonderwerp is hoe om 'n DERI strategies te bestuur in terme van visie, missie, doelwitte, struktuur van organisasie, kliente en bronne soos befondsing, personeel, fasiliteite en toerusting, Ten einde die bes moontlike diens aan die hoofklient, die Departement van Verdediging, te lewer en terselfdertyd die DERI volhoubaar te maak oor die lang termyn. 'n Onderhoud is gevoer met die senior uitvoerende bestuurder van elke DERI sowel as met twee baie kundige persone op die gebied van Verdedigingsevaluasie en Navorsingsbestuur. Die doel hiervan was om te bepaal watter faktore as die belangrikste in die strategiese bestuur van 'n DERI, beskou word. Die onderhoude is woordeliks getik en al die faktore aangedui, in 'n vraelys opgeneem. 'n Verdere aantal faktore, wat uit literatuurstudies en gesprekke met De Wet verkry is. is ook ingesluit in die vraelys. Die vraelys is aan die betrokke persone gestuur met die versoek om die relatiewe belangrikheid van die faktore aan te dui. Die faktore wat die meeste gewig dra, is in groepe saamgevoeg en sodanig ontleed. Die groeperings is as volg: • "mense" groepering aangesien dit handel oor kennis, vaardighede en onderlinge vertroue tussen mense • "waarde-vir-geld" groepering aangesien dit handel oor beplanning, befondsing en strategiese doelstellings • "moet-jou-oorlewing-verdien" groepering aangesien dit handel oor dissiplines, die toepassing van navorsing en ontwikkeling en die bestaansreg van 'n DERI Die drie groepe word toegelig deur kommentaar, opmerkings en voorstelle van die bestuurders tydens die onderhoude. Die "mens"-faktor is verreweg die belangrikste sukses faktor in die strategiese bestuur van 'n DERI. "Mense" kan in twee kategoriee verdeel word - die DERI se werknemers aan die een kant en die van die klient aan die ander kant. Alle aspekte rakende mense, word beskou as belangrik naamlik: opleiding, vergoeding, kwaliteit van diens (intern sowel as ekstern), vertroue, groei en ontwikkeling, kommunikasie, Swart Ekonomiese bemagtiging, kontak met belangehouers, ensovoorts. Daar bestaan onsekerheid oor die voortbestaan van die DERl's oor die langtermyn as gevolg van die feit dat hulle tans deel is van twee organisasies binne twee verskillende staatsdepartemente. Hierdie departemente het verskillende visies, missies en doelstellings. 'n Aanduiding van die pad vorentoe moet so gou as moontlik verskaf word.

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