Leadership behaviours for the successfull strategic repositioning of Sanlam

Coetzee, Jolize (2008-12)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The current effects of globalisation are requiring of leaders to deal with many changes in the workplace, including a globally changing, diverse workforce. The question that this research report aims to address is what does it require of a leader to be successful in the business environment today and what characteristics or behaviours would such a leader display? It is argued that although the context of leadership has and will continue to change, the fundamentals of leadership have essentially remained the same (Kouzes and Pousner, 2002:xviii). A comprehensive study of literature in the field of leadership will reveal the views of various writers on this subject, namely what constitutes effective leadership. Five leadership theories, which in the researcher's opinion give a balanced overview of the various theories, are discussed in more detail and later on used to evaluate the leadership characteristics and style of one of the very successful leaders in South Africa, the current CEO of Sanlam, Dr. Johan van Zyl. The combination of these five theories focuses on leadership characteristics, leadership behaviours, different leadership styles and the relational aspect of leadership, that is the interaction between the leader and his followers. These five theories include the situational leadership theory, servant leadership, transformational leadership, the theory of level five leadership and emotional intelligence. A broad overview of Sanlam's history focusing on the company's transformation in recent years and its contribution to broad based empowerment are also discussed, providing the background and context to discuss the leadership provided by Johan van Zyl in recent years. The fourth chapter of this report provides an analysis of primary data collected through questionnaires sent to senior executives of Sanlam as well as through an interview with Van Zyl. The final chapter contains conclusions from the research results, namely the leadership characteristics and style of Van Zyl and his leadership approach as compared to the various theories studied. The researcher is of the opinion that valuable lessons are to be extracted from examining Van Zyl's leadership characteristics and style and that these could be applied to modern business practice. The research results showed that Van Zyl has characteristics of most of the leadership theories investigated in this study including characteristics of the situational leader, transformational leader, level five leader and that of an emotionally intelligent leader and that this is standing him in good stead for the transformation and strategic repositioning of Sanlam.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die huidige gevolge van 'n globaliserende wereld vereis van leiers om voortdurende veranderinge in die werksplek te bestuur, insluitende 'n globaal veranderende, diverse werkspan. Die vraag wat hierdie navorsingsprojek pobeer beantwoord is wat vereis dit van 'n leier om suksesvol te wees in die besigheidswereld vandag en watter leierseienskappe en gedrag sal so n leier betoon? Dit word beweer dat alhoewel die konteks van leierskap verander het en voortdurend sal verander, het die fundamentele begrip van leierskap dieselfde gebly. 'n Omvattende literatuurstudie in die veld van leierskap sal die standpunte van verskillende skrywers in die vakgebied daarstel om vas te stel wat, volgens die teorie, effektiewe leierskap behels. Vyf leierskap teoriee, wat in die navorser se opinie 'n geredelike oorsig gee van die verskeie leierskapsteoriee, word in groter diepte beskryf en later gebruik as die grondslag waarop 'n baie suksesvolle leier in Suid-Afrika, huidige uitvoerende beampte van Sanlam, Dr. Johan van Zyl se leierskap eienskappe en styl ge-evalueer word. Die kombinasie van die vyf teoriee fokus op leierseienskappe, gedrag, leierskapstyle, en die verhoudingsaspek van leierskap, byvoorbeeld die interaksie tussen die leier en navolgers. Die vyf teoriee sluit die situasionele leierskapteorie, dienende leierskap ('servant leadership'), transformasionele leierskap, vlak vyf leierskap en die teorie van emosionele intelligensie in. 'n Bree oorsig van Sanlam se geskiedenis wat fokus op die maatskappy se transformasie die afgelope paar jaar en bydrae tot breed gebaseerde swart ekonomiese bemagtiging ('broad based black economic empowerment') word ook bespreek en dien as die agtergrond en konteks om Dr. Johan van Zyl se leierskap te evalueer. In Hoofstuk Vier word 'n analise van primere data gedoen. Die data is ingesamel deur vraelyste wat voltooi is deur senior bestuurders van Sanlam asook deur 'n onderhoud met Van Zyl. Die finale hoofstuk beval afleidings i.v.m die leierskapseienskappe en -styl van Van Zyl en sy leierskapsbenadering soos vergelyk met die teoretiese benadering bestudeer. Die navorser is van die opinie dat belangrike lesse geleer kan word vanaf die studie van Van Zyl se leierskaps eienskappe en -styl en dat dit toegepas sal kan word as moderne besigheids beginsels vir leiers. Die bevindinge van die studie het getoon dat Van Zyl eienskappe van die meeste van die leierskapsteoriee wat bestudeer is in die studie betoon. Dit sluit eienskappe in van n situasionele leier, 'n transformasionele leier, n vlak vyf leier en 'n emosionele intelligente leier. Hierdie bevindinge word onderskraag deur die literatuur oor leierskap en die navorser is van die opinie dat hierdie eienskappe hom in n goeie posisie plaas vir die transformasie en strategiese herposisionering van Sanlam.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5537
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