Managing the South African National Defence Force towards productivity : a human resource management perspective

Kahn, Sinval Benjamin (2005-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The end of apartheid, April 1994 brought the dawn of a new era and the integration of the seven armed forces into the South Afiican National Defence Force. For the first time in the history of South Afiica, former enemies are not only colleagues, but work together to guard the sovereignty of the state and defend the country against foreign invasion. The eradication of discriminatory policies and practices established an environment conducive to the implementation of affirmative action and equal employment opportunities. It also instituted special training and development programmes to accommodate historically disadvantaged employees. The effectiveness of these programmes will determine the extent to which disadvantaged employees will contribute to increased productivity and the effectiveness of the South Afiican National Defence Force. Organisational transformation needs to be externally and internally visible. On 27 April 1994, the South Afiican National Defence Force started a process of change and some of the changes soon affected were m: • language policy, including the use of English as the official medium of communication; • appointing a Secretary of Defence as the accounting officer; • organisational culture, structure and design; and • uniform and rank insignia. This research (1994 to 2001), however, found that the South Afiican National Defence Force is still grappling with the challenge of being productive amist the impediments created by the integration of seven former enemy forces. In addition, the former South Afiican Defence Force entered into the amalgamation as two groups, one with a long history of military experience, the other allowed into the former force much later, still subject to various discriminatory constraints. The dissertation focuses on human resource variables to find solutions. Productivity is defined as the input of resources (material, capital, technological and human) and the output of greater qualitative and quantitative consumable goods and services. It improves the factors of production and benefits all stakeholders (government, entrepreneurs, management and employees). Increased productivity is achieved by a motivated workforce, whose competencies, abilities, skills and advanced technology are used to increase performance. However also, management needs to capitalise on employees' competencies, skills and abilities to optimally utilise them and appoint the most competent employees to the most appropriate positions. Management also needs to accept responsibility for achieving increased productivity and reaching organisational goals and objectives since they manage, command and control organisational resources. The South African National Defence Force can achieve increased productivity by the optimal utilisation of its resources. It now has sophisticated armament, equipment and technology. The South African National Defence Force however also needs competent and professional employees to maximise the use of existing armament, equipment and technology. The diverse workforce should be trained, developed, motivated and optimally utilised to increase their performance and enhance productivity. Professional leaders and managers are needed to manage the resources of the South African National Defence Force during the transformation period and the twenty-first century. Effective leadership results in effective human resource management, which is needed to manage, motivate, train and develop the diverse workforce to be effective, creative and productive, and to achieve increased performance and productivity. This will enable the South African National Defence Force to accomplish increased productivity and to exceed the military professionalism of the former South African Defence Force.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die einde van apartheid, April 1994 was die begin van 'n nuwe era en die integrasie van die sewe magte het gelei tot die totstandkoming van die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag. Vir die eerste keer in die Suid-Afiikaanse geskiedenis is die voormalige vyande nie net kollegas nie, maar mede-beskermers van die soewereiniteit van die staat, en hulle beskerm die Republiek van Suid-Afrika teen enige vreemde inval of bedreiging teen die land. Die afskaffing van diskrimenerende beleid en gebruike het 'n omgewing geskep vir die implementering van regstellende aksie en gelyke werksgeleenthede. Dit het ook spesiale opleiding en ontwikkelingsprogramme ingestel om die histories benadeelde werkers te akkommodeer. Die effektiwiteit van hierdie programme sal bepaal tot watter mate die benadeelde werkers sal bydra tot verhoogde produktiwiteit en effektiwiteit van die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag. Die bewyse van organisatoriese transformasie moet ekstern en intern sigbaar wees. Die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag het reeds begin met die proses van verandering op 27 April 1994, en die veranderinge wat gou aangebring is, was in: • kommunikasietaal en die aanvaarding van Engels as voertaal; • die aanstel van 'n Sekretaris van Verdediging as rekenpligtige beampte; • organisatoriese kultuur en strukture; en • uniform en ranginsignia. Hierdie navorsing (1994 tot 2001) het egter gevind dat die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag steeds worstel met die uitdaging van produktiwiteit te midde van die hindernisse wat uit die integrasie van sewe voormalige vyandelike magte onstaan het. Daarbenewens het die voormalige Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag die samesmelting ingegaan as twee groepe, een met 'n lang geskiedenis van militere ondervinding, die ander veel later toegelaat tot die voormalige mag en steeds onderwerp aan verskeie diskriminerende beperkinge. Die proefskrif fokus op menslike hulpbron veranderlikes om oplossings te kry. Produktiwiteit word gedefinieer as die inset van hulpbronne (materiaal, kapitaal, tegnologie en menslik) en die uitset van beter kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe produkte en dienste. Produktiwiteit verbeter die faktore van produksie en bevoordeel alle rolspelers (die staat, bestuurders and werkers). Verhoogde produktiwiteit kan slegs verkry word deur 'n gemotiveerde werksmag, wat hul vaardighede en gevorderde tegnologie gebruik om uitset te verhoog. Om verhoogde produktiwiteit te bereik moet bestuurders kapitaliseer op werkers se vaardighede en hulle optimaal benut. As gevolg van die feit dat leiers en bestuurders organisatoriese bronne bestuur, beheer en kontroleer, aanvaar hulle ook verantwoordelikheid vir die behaling van verhoogde produktiwiteit en organisatoriese doelwitte. Die Suid-Afikaanse Nasionale Weermag kan verhoogde produktiwiteit bereik deur die optimale benutting van hulpbronne. Die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag beskik oor nuwe wapentuig, toerusting en tegnologie. Die Suid-Afikaanse Nasionale Weermag benodig egter ook professionele werkers om die huidige wapentuig en tegnologie ten volle te benut. Daarom moet die veelsydige werksmag opgelei, ontwikkel, gemotiveer en optimaal benut word sodat hulle produktiwiteit kan verhoog. Professionele leiers en bestuurders word daadwerklik benodig om die hulpbronne van die Suid-Afikaanse Nasionale Weermag gedurende die transformasieproses en die een-en-twintigste eeu te bestuur. Effektiewe leierskap het effektiewe menlike hulpbronstuur tot gevolg wat benodig word om 'n veelsydige werksmag te bestuur, motiveer en ontwikkel, sodat hulle effektief, kreaktief en produktief kan wees. Die veelsydige werksmag kan bydra tot verhoogde produktiwiteit en kan die militere professionalisme van die vorige Suid- Afiikaanse Weermag oortref.

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