Original Research

Strategy implementation in South African public entities between 2006 and 2016: Does leadership impact on performance during strategy implementation?

Moses M. Gasela
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 9, No 1 | a562 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v9i1.562 | © 2021 Moses M. Gasela | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 April 2021 | Published: 30 November 2021

About the author(s)

Moses M. Gasela, Department of Business Management, Economics and Management, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Those in leadership must always envision endless possibilities even in the event of what appear to be insurmountable problems. Leadership exists to solve problems in any given context. Leadership is a determinant of value creation and sustainable competitive advantage through superior organisational performance in any organisation. Yet, pervasive leadership challenges are prevalent in the South African public entities, and not a lot of research has been done in this area. Hence, this research was an attempt to determine the influence of leadership on organisational performance during strategy implementation in the Northern Cape based public entities.

Aim: To empirically investigate the relationship between leadership and organisational performance during strategy implementation in the Northern Cape provincial public entities in South Africa.

Setting: Public entities in the Northern Cape province with regards to relationships amongst financial and human resources, poor organisational culture, leadership, organisational performance, as well as service delivery.

Method: A survey design and mixed methods were applied in this study. A survey questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data from a simple random sample of 38 executives of the public entities and government departments in the Northern Cape province. The response rate was 78%. The t-test, correlational analysis, multiple regression analysis were performed. These were complemented by content analysis of government’s strategic documents.

Results: It was found that unqualified leadership and insufficient financial and human resources affect strategy implementations and organisational performance negatively. Most entities have problems with leadership capacity, which creates strategy implementation challenges. Weak Boards in some entities translate into weak leadership because there is no direction in the entities.

Conclusion: Unqualified leadership affect organisational performance negatively. This implies that the public sector entities might fail to fulfil their mandate to serve the public. Recommendations are made to minimise the challenges of leadership in the South African public entities to increase organisational performance. When appointing Board members, the quality of the members in terms of qualifications should be considered. Board members, apart from having competence and requisite skills to execute the mandate in the entity, should also be visionary and dedicated to the province. They should provide ethical leadership and corporate governance both at the strategic and governance level. Ethical and honest leadership which is not tainted by corruption (real or perceived) is of critical importance in any organisation and setting.


Keywords

leadership; organisational performance; strategy implementation; public entities; South Africa

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