The influence of leadership, organisational climate, and the mediating role of trust on South African soldiers' willingness to deploy : an exploratory study
Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The African continent cannot achieve economic development and growth without peace and stability. Militaries are therefore faced with increasing demands for peace support missions and border controls to ensure stability. As a result of its socio-political and geographic position, South Africa pledged to be part of the resolution to restore peace in Africa by deploying the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The implication of this is that the SANDF needs willing soldiers to deploy for the successful completion of its missions. This study was therefore driven by the need to understand the influence of psychosocial factors on soldiers’ willingness to deploy. Willingness to deploy is the most advantageous domain of individual mental preparedness for military deployments. The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of leadership behaviour, organisational climate, and the mediating role of trust on South African soldiers’ willingness to deploy. The study was quantitative in nature, and a sample of 206 participants was drawn from two infantry units. The measuring instruments that were used were found to be valid and reliable. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to test the hypothesised relationships between leadership behaviour, organisational climate, trust, and willingness to deploy. Significant positive relationships were found between these variables. Partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was used to test the study model for willingness to deploy. PLS-SEM indicated that trust has a mediating effect on the relationship between the independent variables and dependent variable. The conclusion that can be drawn is that the SANDF can promote willingness to deploy by developing a healthy organisational climate and leadership behaviour (transformational and transactional leadership), and by fostering and enhancing trusting relationships between subordinates and their immediate leaders as well as the organisation. This will greatly benefit the SANDF, as willingness to deploy is crucial for deployment success. The recommendations and limitations presented possible avenues that could be explored for further research studies.
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