An African leadership paradigm : the missing link for productivity and empowerment - the case of Lesotho

Ntsike, Austeria Letholetseng (2001-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: An African leadership paradigm: The missing link for productivity and empowerment in Business - The case of Lesotho is a study done in response to socio-economic problems facing Lesotho due to a lack of, or an out-of-step kind of leadership prevailing in the business sector in that country. This study is a mixture of theory and application. The chronological framework of production, empowerment and leadership practices in Lesotho is presented so as to create the context within which the study is conducted. The examples of leadership practices and theories explaining the leadership behaviour of past and contemporary African leaders are also presented because an African leadership paradigm relies more on skills and wisdom than on techniques and specific knowledge. Explaining this paradigm therefore has to be done through presenting real experience, not through a list of principles. This study takes the position that there is a need for leadership transformation in Lesotho business. This transformation should represent a fundamental shift in the relationship of business with individuals and the society as whole. This implies therefore that Lesotho businesses have to reconnect with the people that comprise them. The African leadership paradigm described in this study is argued to be an appropriate approach that would help realize this shift because it emphasizes collaboration, open lines of communication in all directions throughout the company, and advocates creativity and innovation. Furthermore, the organizational structure advocated by the African leadership paradigm is seen as a means to achieve objectives, not an end in itself. The structure is flatter, formed around teams and task forces. It has also been observed that the view of business leadership in Lesotho is currently a mechanistic one, and it is now time to replace this mechanistic view with a more organic one. The latter would recognize the biological nature of business and the sanctity of individual human life. Moreover, today business has become a very different place. International boundaries have faded as business takes on a more global perspective. The technology of the information age has contracted the time it takes to communicate and make decisions. The African leadership paradigm takes a panoramic view of this change and finds its place in it. The integration provided in this study describes an African perspective framework for leadership, thus placing the African leadership paradigm firmly in perspective and linking the entire framework to actual leadership practices. It is argued in this study that an African leadership paradigm should be used as a guiding approach in the business sector in Lesotho. This would help in determining how this approach fits into the total organizational picture. It is believed that a balanced effort to improve leadership qualities would yield the most effective motivational climate in the business sector. It is also argued that an African leadership paradigm should not be regarded as something extreme over and above the duties of leaders, but rather as a way of leadership, a way of doing better what is done now. It is an approach to increase the effectiveness of the business and to fully utilize human resources in solving work problems. Forces of change such as globalisation and smart partnerships and how they transform the way business is done, are also observed in this study. These forces have a major influence on whether a business could either succeed or go down in flames. The study suggests that the focus of Lesotho business during this transition period should be to find or create partnerships that would provide profitable business relationships and raise competitiveness. This is because the world is increasingly becoming a global market where integration across traditional borders is evident in almost every dimension of life. Therefore the focus should be on getting beyond organizational boundaries to more profitable, more desirable relationships such as smart partnerships. These partnerships enlarge the pie and in doing so let each party emerge as winner. The partners open up the borders between their companies and this enables them to tap into the productivity that lies between their establishments, and as a result they make substantial mutual gains. Lesotho business leaders are therefore urged to transcend boundaries in order to survive. It is also observed that globalisation poses ethical challenges for business and hence the call for business ethical codes and philosophical moral reasoning such as utilitarianism and deontology for business in Lesotho. This compels Lesotho not only to adapt to the globalisation of the world economy but to a new leadership paradigm that would facilitate ethical business behaviour, that is, the proposed African leadership paradigm. In a nutshell this study assumes that leadership in Lesotho should have exposure to effective principles of leadership and that they need to acquire skills and attitudes advocated by the proposed African leadership paradigm. The emphasis should be on motivation, communication, personal effectiveness, collaboration, decision-making and coordination of functions.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Afrika-Ieierskapsparadigma: Die ontbrekende skakel nodig vir produktiwiteit en bemagtiging in Besigheid - Die geval van Lesotho is 'n studie wat gedoen is in reaksie op die sosio-ekonomiese probleme wat Lesotho in die gesig staar as gevolg van die afwesigheid van, of die onbevoegde soort leierskap wat die besigheidsektor van daardie land karakteriseer. Hierdie studie is 'n mengsel van beide teorie en toepassing. Die kronologiese raamwerk van produksie, bemagtiging en leierskapspraktyke in Lesotho word voorgehou met die oog daarop om die konteks waarin die studie gedoen word uit te spel. Voorbeelde van die leierskapsgebruike en teorieë wat die leierskapsoptrede van eertydse en kontemporêre Afrikaleiers verduidelik, word voorgehou omdat 'n Akrika- leierskapsparadigma juis afhanklik is van vaardighede en wysheid, eerder as van tegnieke en gespesifiseerde kennis. Hierdie paradigma word dus verduidelik deur die weergee van werklike ervaring, eerder as om 'n lys van beginsels voor te lê. Die studie neem die posisie in dat daar die behoefte bestaan aan die transformasie van leierskap in Lesotho-besigheid. Hierdie transformasie behoort 'n fundamentele verskuiwing in die verhouding van besigheid tot individue in die samelewing in die geheel te behels. Dit impliseer dus dat Lesotho besigheid weer moet skakel met die mense wat hulle in die eerste plek uitmaak. Die Afrika-leierskapsparadigma wat in hierdie studie beskryfword, word voorgehou as 'n toepaslike benadering wat sal help om hierdie verskuiwing mee te bring, juis omdat dit klem plaas op samewerking, oop kommunikasie kanale in alle rigtings deur die maatskappy, as ook omdat dit kreatiwiteit en innovasie aanmoedig. Verder word die organisasiestruktuur wat deur die Afrika-leierskapsparadigma voorgehou word gesien as 'n middelom 'n doel te bereik en nie 'n doelop sigself nie. Die struktuur is as't ware plat en gesentreerd om spanne en taakgroepe. Dit word gestel dat die huidige sienmg van besigheidsleierskap in Lesotho meganisties van aard is, en dat dit nou tyd is om hierdie meganistiese siening met 'n meer organiese siening te vervang. So 'n siening sal die biologiese aard van besigheid en die onaantasbaarheid van die menslike lewe erken. Boonop is die hedendaagse besigheidswêreld 'n heel ander wêreld. Internasionale grenslyne vervaag soos wat besighede 'n meer globale perspektief begin aanhang. Die tegnologie van die informasie-era het die tyd wat dit neem om te kommunikeer en om besluite te neem ingekort. Die Afrika-leierskapsparadigma neem vanuit 'n panoramiese blik op hierdie veranderinge sy posisie daarteenoor in. Die intergrasie wat deur hierdie studie voorgestel word, beskryf 'n raamwerk vir leierskap vanuit 'n Afrika-perspektief en plaas die Afrika-leierskapsparadigma in perspektief deur die hele raamwerk in te skakel by werklike leierskapspraktyke. Die studie hou voor dat 'n Afrika-leierskapsparadigma as 'n riglyn-benadering in die besigheidssektor van Lesotho gebruik behoort te word. Dit sal help om vas te stel hoe hierdie benadering by die oorhoofse organisatoriese prentjie inpas. Dit betoog dat 'n gebalanseerde poging om leierskapskwaliteite te verbeter die mees effektiewe motiverende klimaat in die besigheisektor sal vestig. Dit argumenteer ook dat 'n Afrika -leierskapsparadigma nie as 'n uiterste, bo en behalwe die gewone pligte van leiers, beskou behoort te word nie, maar eerder as 'n nuwe manier van doen vir leiers, 'n manier van doen wat beter is as wat tans die geval is. Dit is 'n benadering om die effektiwiteit van besigheid te bevorder en om menslike hulpbronne ten volle te benut in die oplossing van werksprobleme. Veranderingskragte soos globalisering en "smart partnerships" en die wyse waarop hulle besigheidspraktyke beïnvloed word ook ondersoek in hierdie studie. Sulke kragte het 'n wesenlike invloed op die sukses van 'n besigheid, al dan nie. Die studie stel voor dat die fokus van die Lesotho besigheidssektor tydens hierdie oorgangsperiode daarop gemik behoort te wees om samewerking te vestig wat winsgewende besigheidsverhoudinge sal verseker en wat meedingendheid sal aanwakker. Die rede daarvoor is die neiging in die wêreld na 'n globale mark waar integrasie oor tradisionele grense heen 'n kenmerk word van byna alle aspekte van die lewe. Die fokus behoort dus te wees daarop om verbyorganisatoriese grenslyne te strek na meer winsgewende, meer gesogte verhoudinge soos "smart partnerships." Hierdie verhoudinge verseker groter opbrengste en elke party tree by wyse van spreke as wenner na vore. Die betrokke partye dra daartoe by dat die grense tussen hulle maatskappye vervaag en dit stel hulle in staat om voordeel te trek uit die produktiwiteit wat tussen hulle instansies lê en om sodoende substantiewe, wedersydse wins te maak. Daar word gevolglik 'n beroep gedoen op Lesotho se besigheidsleiers om grense te transendeer om hulle eie voortbestaan te verseker. Daar word betoog dat globalisering etiese uitdagings vir besighede inhou en juis daarom word daar 'n beroep gedoen om besigheids-etiese kodes en filosofiese morele redenering soos die utilitarisme en die deontologie vir die besigheidsektor van Lesotho. Dit moedig Lesotho aan om nie net in te val by die huidige globaliserings neiginge van die wêreldekonomie nie, maar om 'n nuwe leierskapsparadigma daar te stel wat etiese besigheidspraktyke sal fasiliteer, dit wil sê, die voorgestelde Afrikaleierskapsparadigma. In 'n neutedop saamgevat begin hierdie studie by die aanname dat die leierskapsgarde van Lesotho blootgetsel behoort te word aan effektiewe leierskapsbeginsels en dat hulle nodig het om die vaardighede en ingesteldheid wat in die Afrikaleierskapsparadigma voorgehou word, te bekom. Motivering, kommunikasie, persoonlike effektiwiteit, samewerking, besluitneming en die koërdinasie van funksies behoort benadruk te word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52089
This item appears in the following collections: