The role of leadership learning in the developmental needs of the senior managers in a rural municipality : a case study in adult education at Bushbuckridge local municipality

Mkhabela, Lamson Zondiwe (2015-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Municipalities are entrusted with the responsibility of providing sustainable social services to local communities. Issues of capacity to facilitate the delivery of such services feature prominently in these municipalities where a number of communities have expressed their frustration and even anger at the slow pace of delivery of services, or the absence of such service delivery. The reported failure by senior municipal managers to facilitate the delivery of the needed services to communities motivated this investigation. In particular, the possible contribution of leadership learning in the developmental needs of senior managers in the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality was focused upon. The main knowledge claim in this study is that the proven lack of competencies and skills of senior municipal managers have much to do with the weak delivery of acceptable services to communities. Consequently, the study indicated the need to identify the developmental needs of senior municipal managers from a leadership learning perspective and to implement developmental interventions to possibly address such needs. The study was conducted in four phases. First, a number of pre-planning leadership learning questions were formulated, which were determined through document analyses and developing theoretical perspectives from review of relevant literature. Next, a needs assessment among senior managers was conducted. This phase was followed by the implementation of a planned intervention based on leadership learning principles. Finally, the potential success of the intervention was evaluated. The study revealed that although the municipality of Bushbuckridge has an acceptable policy framework that supports leadership learning, the leadership competencies and skills required for senior managers to facilitate delivery of municipal services to communities were lacking. The leadership intervention in this study had limited success due to systemic instabilities within the particular municipal system. The study showed that systemic stability appears to be essential for productive leadership development. It also showed that financial investment in leadership development or developmental interventions may contribute less to enhancing the performance of senior managers if a municipality lacks systemic stability. Given the reported large-scale systemic instability within local municipalities countrywide in South Africa, the results of this study indicate that capacity development initiatives are destined for failure if systemic issues are not addressed first.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Munisipaliteite is daarvoor verantwoordelik om volhoubare maatskaplike dienste aan plaaslike gemeenskappe te verskaf. Kwessies rakende die vermoë om sulke dienste te fasiliteer speel ʼn belangrike rol in munisipaliteite waar ʼn aantal gemeenskappe uitdrukking gegee het aan hul frustrasie en selfs woede oor die stadige pas waarteen dienste gelewer word of die afwesigheid van sulke dienslewering. Die gerapporteerde onvermoë van senior munisipale bestuurders om die vereiste dienste aan gemeenskappe te lewer het hierdie ondersoek gemotiveer. In die besonder is die kollig geplaas op die moontlike bydrae van leierskapleer in die ontwikkelingsbehoeftes van seniorbestuurders in die plaaslike munisipaliteit van Bosbokrand. Die belangrikste kennisaanspraak in hierdie studie is dat die bewese gebrek aan bevoegdhede en vaardighede van senior munisipale bestuurders grootliks toegeskryf kan word aan die swak lewering van aanvaarbare dienste aan gemeenskappe. Die studie het aangetoon dat daar ʼn behoefte bestaan om die ontwikkelingsbehoeftes van senior munisipale bestuurders vanuit die perspektief van leierskapsleer te identifiseer en om ontwikkelingsintervensies te implementeer om moontlik sulke behoeftes aan te spreek. Die studie is in vier fases uitgevoer. Eerstens is ʼn aantal voorafbeplanningsvrae rakende leierskapsleer geformuleer. Hierdie vrae is deur dokumentanalise en die ontwikkeling van teoretiese perspektiewe van ʼn tersaaklike literatuuroorsig gegenereer. Daarna is ʼn behoeftebepaling onder seniorbestuurders gedoen. Hierdie fase is gevolg deur die implementering van ʼn beplande intervensie gebaseer op leierskapsleerbeginsels. Laastens is die potensiële sukses van die intervensie geëvalueer. Die studie het aan die lig gebring dat alhoewel die munisipaliteit van Bosbokrand ʼn aanvaarbare beleidsraamwerk het wat leierskapsleer ondersteun, die vereiste leierskapsbevoegdehede en -vaardighede vir seniorbestuurders om die lewering van munisipale dienste aan gemeenskappe te fasiliteer ontbreek het. Die sukses van die leierskapsintervensie in hierdie studie was beperk vanweë sistemiese onstabiliteit in die besondere munisipale stelsel. In die studie is daar aangetoon dat sistemiese stabiliteit noodsaaklik is vir produktiewe leierskapsontwikkeling en verder dat geldelike investering in leierskapsontwikkeling of ontwikkelingsintervensies waarskynlik minder tot die verbetering van senior bestuurders se prestasie sal bydra as sistemiese stabiliteit in ʼn munisipaliteit ontbreek. In die lig van die gerapporteerde grootskaalse sistemiese onstabiliteit in plaaslike munisipaliteite in Suid-Afrika dui die bevindinge van hierdie studie aan dat inisiatiewe vir die ontwikkeling van kapasiteit sal misluk as sistemiese vraagstukke nie eers aangepak word nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96901
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