Identifying the effect of coaching as a leadership development tool to transform leadership practice

Shaik, Zahir (2015-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: One of the purposes of management education is to develop people to become effective leaders of organisations with ever-increasing unpredictable futures. Learning from the latest findings in effective neuro-science and well-documented biology and stress research, a more holistic approach to leadership development has been embraced. This approach proposes that leaders, who are able to better sustain themselves through developing their emotional intelligence and cognitive ability, will be more balanced leaders. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is a semi-autonomous organ of state that derives its mandate from the President of South Africa through the SARS Act no.34 of 1997. It was borne into a democracy which brought about tremendous transformation in every facet of South African life, ranging from growing the country’s infrastructure, to social economic welfare for all, education, health services and security. SARS is responsible to collect over 90 per cent of the country’s revenue. They therefore have to display effective leadership as this democracy has been very sensitive and the citizens of SA have high expectations of Government to deliver on a better life for all. One of the most important tasks of SARS was to engage in total transformation of the entire organisation, including its infrastructure, information technology, policies and procedures and a strong learning culture that embraces effective leadership. One of the transformation initiatives, the School of Leadership, procured several leadership training programmes to address the leadership capability. Leadership coaching has been embraced by SARS starting with the most senior leadership and is now being introduced to all levels of management. During this study, the researcher sought to identify and understand the effect of coaching as a leadership development tool to transform leadership practice. The research identified the respective leadership competencies developed as a result of this coaching received by leaders within SARS and determined to what extent leaders embraced it. It is recommended that the coaching programme is accelerated to all levels of management in SARS and that it receives prominence on the agenda of the Commissioner by making it the most prestigious award in the national annual award ceremony. All managers should have a key performance indicator to encourage the practice of these learnt competencies during the coaching process. Lastly, the recruitment process for all leadership positions should feature these competencies as essential and test for it accordingly through appropriate competency assessments.

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