The transforming roles of management boards in non-profit social welfare organisations

Nefdt, Wendy Muriel (2003-03)

Thesis (M Social Work)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Some digitised pages may appear illegible due to the condition of the original hard copy.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Universally social welfare organisations are under considerable pressure to perform in new and demanding ways. Continual change in one form or another is an inescapable part of both social and organisational life. After the political transformation of 1994, all South African non-profit social welfare organisations were called upon to participate in the development of an equitable, people-centred, democratic and developmental social welfare system. The process of reconstruction and development which is currently underway in South Africa requires non-profit social welfare organisations to transform their governance structures and approach in keeping with the new social developmental approach to service delivery such as the White Paper for Social Welfare (1997), the Non-profit Organisations Act (1997), the Public Finance Management Act (1999), the Codes of Good Practice for South African Non-profit Organisations (2001) and the Code of Corporate Governance - King II Report (2002). The political reforms in South Africa and the dramatic change in socio-economic policies and legislation such as the promulgation of the White Paper for Social Welfare (1997) illustrates how the external environment could impact on the provisioning of social welfare services in the non-profit sector. Social welfare organisations are therefore challenged to transform their governance structures to reflect the legislative changes in the country. In order for social welfare service providers to implement a developmental approach to social welfare, management boards of non-profit social welfare organisations need to adopt a proactive role in facilitating the transformation process. The management board is a policy making body of the organisation with a legal duty to ensure that the organisation's actions are consistent with the its goals and objectives. The motivation for the research study is to explore whether management boards of non-profit social welfare organisations had transformed their governance structure and practice in keeping with the transformed social welfare legislation and codes of practice. The literature review demonstrates that management boards of social welfare organisations have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. A more progressive perspective on the roles and responsibilities is linked to the management board's ability to respond to changing environments. According to theorists on modern governance (Carver, 1990, Abels and Murphey, 1981, and Herman, 1989), management boards should initiate, plan and manage the change process in order to improve the operational effectiveness of the organisation and to strive towards what ought to be for the creation of a just society. The White Paper for Social Welfare (1997) describes a just society as being one that facilitates the development of human capacity and self-reliance within a caring and enabling environment. The findings of the study conclude that the majority of management boards of social welfare organisations have transformed their governance structure however, they should be more informed about contemporary governance practices and social welfare transformation processes. Management boards need to develop an agenda for social transformation in order to respond more proactively to the call for a transformed social welfare practice in the country. The legislative framework of the South African Government makes provision for the formulation of principles and regulations that guide transformation practices in the non-profit social welfare sector. In order to ensure that transformation takes place within the sector, the government has mandated the Department of Social Development with the responsibility to monitor the process. The challenge that exists for the Department of Social Development is to create a structure for dialogue and feedback between the various role players in order to share the responsibility for the transformation of social welfare practice.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Oor die algemeen is daar 'n redelike mate van druk op welsynsorganisasies om op nuwe en uitdagende maniere dienste te lewer. Voortdurende verandering in die een of ander vorm is 'n onvermydelike deel van beide die sosiale en organisatoriese lewe. Na die politieke transformasie van 1994 is daar 'n beroep gedoen op alle nie-winsgewende maatskaplike welsynsorganisasies in Suid Afrika om deel te neem aan die ontwikkeling van 'n gelyke, mens-gesentreerde, demokratiese en ontwikkelende maatskaplike welsynsisteem . Die proses van rekonstruksie en ontwikkeling wat tans in Suid-Afrika aan die gang is, vereis van nie-winsgewende welsynsorganisasies om hulle bestuurstrukture en benadering in ooreenstemming te bring met die nuwe maatskaplike ontwikkkelingsbenadering tot dienslewering soos vervat in die Witskrif vir Maatskaplike Welsyn (1997), Die politieke hervorminge in Suid-Afrika en die dramatise veranderinge in sosio-ekonomiese beleid en wetgewing, soos byvoorbeeld die uitvaardiging van die Witskrif vir Maatkskaplike Welsyn (1997), Wet op Organisasies sonder Winsoogmerk (1997), Wet op Openbare Finansiële Bestuur (1999), Kodes vir Goeie Praktyk vir Suid Afrikaanse Nie-Winsgewende Organisasies (2001) en die Kode vir Korporatiewe Bestuur- King II Verslag (2002), illustreer hoe die eksterne omgewing die voorsiening van maatskaplike welsynsdienste in die nie-winsgewende sektor kan beïnvloed. Maatskaplike welsynsoganisasies staan daarom voor die uitdaging om hulle bestuurstrukture sodanig te verander, dat dit 'n weerspieëling sal wees van die wetgewende veranderinge in die land. Om die maatskaplike welsyns-voorsieners in staat te stelom 'n ontwikkelings -benadering te implimenteer, moet bestuursrade van nie-winsgewende organisasies 'n pro-aktiewe rol speel om die transformasie proses te fasiliteer. Die bestuursraad is die beleidmaker van die organisasie en het 'n wetlike verpligting om seker te maak dat die organisasie se optrede in ooreenstemming is met die organisasie se doelstellings. Die motivering vir die navorsing is om ondersoek in te stelof bestuursrade van nie-winsgewende maatskaplike welsynsorganisasies hulle bestuursstrukture en praktyk aangepas het om in ooreenstemming te wees met die veranderde maatskaplike welsynswetgewing en praktyk kodes. Die literatuurstudie toon aan dat bestuursrade van maatskaplike welsynsorganisasies duidelike gedefinieerde rolle en verantwoordelikhede het. 'n Meer progressiewe perspektief op die rolle en verantwoordelikhede is gekoppel aan die bestuursrade se vermoë om te reageer op veranderende omgewings. Volgens skrywers oor moderne bestuur (Carver, 1990, Abels en Murphey, 1981, en Herman, 1989), moet bestuursrade die veranderingsproses inisieer, beplan en bestuur ten einde die operasionele effektiwiteit van die organisasies te verbeter en om te streef na wat behoort te wees vir die totstandkoming van 'n regverdige samelewing. Die Wit Skrif vir Maatskaplike Welsyn (1997) beskryf 'n regverdige samelewing as een wat die ontwikkeling , van die kapasiteit van die mens en sy vermoë tot selfstandigheid fasiliteer binne 'n ondersteunende en bemagtigende omgewing. Die wetgewende raamwerk van die Suid Afrikaanse Regering maak voorsiening vir die formulering van beginsels en regulasies wat die transformasie proses in die nie-winsgewende maatskaplike welsyn sektor begelei. Om te verseker dat transformasie wel plaasvind binne hierdie sektor, het die regering 'n mandaat gegee aan die Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling om hierdie proses te monitor. Die uitdaging vir die Department van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling lê daarin om 'n struktuur daar te stel vir dialoog en terugvoering tussen die verskillende rolspelers sodat hulle gesamentlik verantwoordelikheid kan neem vir die transformasie van die maatskaplike welsyn praktyk.

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