The impact of leadership in the acceleration of service delivery in the. Department of Health and Social Development, Capricorn district. - PDF

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The impact of leadership in the acceleration of service delivery in the Department of Health and Social Development, Capricorn district Submitted by Thabethe Lettie Mmamokgothu MINI DISSERTATION Submitted
The impact of leadership in the acceleration of service delivery in the Department of Health and Social Development, Capricorn district Submitted by Thabethe Lettie Mmamokgothu MINI DISSERTATION Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Master in Development in the FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCES AND LAW (Turfloop Graduate School of leadership) at the University of Limpopo, South Africa Supervisor: Prof. MP Sebola 2011 DECLARATION I declare that the mini dissertation hereby submitted to the University of Limpopo, for the degree of Master in Development - The impact of leadership in the acceleration of service delivery in the Department of Health and Social Development, Capricorn district has not previously been submitted by me for a degree at this or any other university; that it is my work in design and in execution, and t at all material contained herein has been duly acknowledged. Thabethe, L. M. (Mrs) 09 September 2011 i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would sincerely like to express my most profound thanks to my advisor and supervisor, Prof. M. P. Sebola, for his dedicated and continuous support, guidance, encouragement, expertise, and invaluable advice throughout the study period. His patience and attention to the many details have helped me to remain on the path during the long and arduous course of my study. Without him the work would never have been undertaken, and my quest to acquire a master s qualification would have been a mirage ambition. I would also like to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all my friends for their guidance, friendship and support throughout the research. I will be ever grateful for the unconditional love of my parents, Jacob and Stella Segopa. I am indeed profoundly grateful to my sisters. Without them, the enthusiasm for the study would have been difficult to sustain. ii DEDICATION I dedicate this study to my sons, Siza and Linda who have always encouraged me to complete my studies, for their patience and unconditional love. iii TABLES OF CONTENTS CHAPTER ONE : INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Problem Statement Aim of the study Objectives of the study Research questions Significance of the study Definition of Concepts Chapter Outline 7 CHAPTER TWO: INTRODUCTION An understanding of leadership The concept leadership Leadership and Management An Overview of Major research approaches to leadership Power influence approach Behaviour approach Trait approach Categories of Personality Tests Situation approach Leadership Styles Autocratic leader Democratic leader Free rein leader Effective Leadership: Leadership that achieves results Practices of leadership Traditional views of leadership Traits theory Contingency theory Situational theory Transformational theory 28 2.7 The manager versus the leader Leadership and service delivery improvement The Batho Pele principles for service delivery Conclusion 35 CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Introduction Research Design Choice of design Rationale for design choice Research methods Sampling Methods Study Area Population Data Collection Methods Structured Questionnaires Documentation Data Analysis Ethical considerations Informed consent Confidentiality Anonymity Conclusion 44 CHAPTER FOUR: FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS Introduction Research Findings Impact of leadership on service delivery Leadership skills and knowledge to ensure service delivery The acceleration of service delivery by the Capricorn District 50 Leadership Proper leadership structure in the department of Health and Social 51 development Perception about service delivery Relationship between leadership and service delivery Leadership contribution to excellent service delivery 52 Conducive environment for service delivery Leadership and implementation of Batho pele principles Leadership problems and service delivery Leadership and change Leadership style Leadership problems 56 5.Conclusion 56 CHAPTER FIVE: Conclusions and Recommendations Conclusions Recommendations 61 6.References 65 List of Figures and Tables Figure 4.1. Percentage and age distribution of all participants 46 Figure 4.2. Job title, Years of experience and university qualification of 47 participants Figure 4.3.Percentage on service delivery perceptions 48 Table: 2.1. Leadership styles 20 Table 2.2. The manager versus the leader 29 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1.1 Introduction and Background Service Delivery is an imperative aspect of making sure that the lives of the people are improved. The researcher explored the impact of leadership in making sure that service delivery is accelerated. The observation is that communities are not satisfied with the services delivered by government departments. This study found out how leadership can enhance the acceleration and delivery of services in an effective and efficient way (Batho Pele Handbook, 1999:38). The South African public service has a responsibility to accelerate the effective and efficient delivery of services. Service delivery is a tremendous challenge in the public service, and leadership and management are often expected to contribute in its realisation. The motivation to deliver service should not only be to satisfy the goals of the strategic plans, but to improve the lives of customers (Batho Pele Handbook, 1999:39). It is therefore imperative to capacitate the leadership of government departments with skills in order to effectively and efficiently realise service delivery. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996, Chapter 7, section 153 stipulates that leadership plays a significant role in the administration and budgeting as well as the planning processes to provide priority to the needs of the community; to promote the social and economic development of the community and to facilitate participation in national and provincial development programmes. The competencies 1 mentioned are achievable where leadership and the employees share common objectives in serving the communities Problem Statement The inadequacy of leadership and management skills negatively affects the acceleration of service delivery. Leadership plays a significant role in service delivery and the lack of its effectiveness may hamper the ultimate expected accelerated outcomes. Where leadership skills are available, styles of leading the functionaries may have own negative effects that affects the quality of service delivery at an accelerated rate. The Department of Health and Social Development in the Limpopo Province is among the government departments where leadership is expected to play an important role since its main objective is to improve the livelihoods of communities and maintain their dignity. According to Bittel & Newstrom, (1990:219) organisations need to identify training needs of employees, which can be gaps between expected and actual performances. The Department of Health and Social Development therefore needs to do a skills inventory in order to address the issue of service delivery. The Competency Framework developed by the Department of Public Service and Administration identifies the necessary skills that leadership and management should possess in the public service most of which are unavailable in the Department of Health and Social Development, Capricorn District (Limpopo Province). Undoubtedly, the competency framework is packaged to bring about the acceleration of service delivery and without these skills in the Department; service delivery is compromised. The Emerging and Advanced Leadership 2 and Management Development Programmes conducted by the South African Management Development Institute (SAMDI) and other service providers are attended by functionaries at the lower levels of the department with little effect on service delivery. After attending such programmes, lower-leveled functionaries are not able to implement learning outcomes as they are positioned in lower level of management. The majority of top leadership and management in certain instances have inadequate formal qualifications. The competencies required by the Department of Public Service and Administration are also not fully available in the Department of Health and Social Development. In practice, these shortcomings culminate to leadership questions in service delivery within the department Aim of the study The aim of the study is to explore the views of social services professionals regarding the impact of leadership on the delivery of services in the Department of Health and Social Development in the Capricorn District of the Limpopo Province Objectives of the study The objectives of the study are as follows: To explore the impact of leadership on service delivery in the Department of Health and Social Development, Capricorn District in the Limpopo Province. To explore relationship between leadership and service delivery ; To identify leadership problems and how they impact on service delivery. 3 To suggest ways and means of addressing leadership challenges and problems in the Department of Health and Social Development, Capricorn District in the Limpopo Province 1.5. Research questions What are the impact of leadership problems in the Department of Health and Social Development and its impact on service delivery? What are the delivery mechanisms to improve services within the department of Health and Social development, Capricorn District in the Limpopo Province? What are the problems in the department, which ultimately impact negatively on service delivery? What are the ways and means that can be adopted in order to solve service delivery problems in the Department of Health and Social Development? 1.6. Significance of the study This study is significant in that it will possibly improve service delivery in the Department of Health and Social Development. Presently the problem with service delivery is that it is moving at a snails pace and the communities are loosing patients with civil servants. Employees need to realise the importance of delivering services to the communities. In the Department of Health and Social Development, the clients are the marginalised groups like, older persons; people living with disabilities; women; children and youth and people living in poverty. These groups of 4 people need services urgently and most of them depend on the government for support. It would also provide an insight for leaders in the Department of Health and Social Development as to whether their leadership is hindering or enhancing acceleration of service delivery. The leadership should realise that they have a role to play in ensuring that service delivery is accelerated. To be able to that it is important for the leadership to know the leadership styles they are using, the expectations of the community and that of the employees. When the leadership knows the impact they have on service delivery, it will definitely improve the delivery of service to the community at large. The knowledge and skills that the leadership have, can influence positively to service delivery if used in the right manner. The information collected will contribute to the literature that can help in improving leadership and acceleration of service delivery in the department of Health and Social Development and other government departments. 5 1.7. Definition of Concepts In this study, the following concepts will be defined: leadership, social services professionals, service delivery and Batho Pele principles. Leadership: According to Bittel & Newstrom (1990:268) leadership is the special skill of getting other people to follow and do willingly the things that the leader would want them to do. The definition implies that the leadership needs to have a range of competencies, personal qualities and attitude to be able to get people to perform certain duties. Social services professionals: For the purposes of this study social services professionals refer to professional social workers and community development workers in the employ of the Limpopo Provincial Department of Health and Social Development. Service delivery: The New Pocket English Dictionary (1992:448) defines service as a system that provides something needed to the public. The Universal dictionary however defines delivery as an act of releasing or conveying something. In the context of these meanings, service delivery in the Department of Health and Social Development is therefore a system that conveys or releases health and social development imperatives to the South African population. 6 Batho Pele Principles: Batho Pele is a Sesotho phrase that means putting people first. In the South African context, the phrase introduced some principles that position the people in the mainstream of service delivery. It is an initiative to get public servants to be service-oriented, to strive for excellence in service delivery and to commit continuously to service delivery improvement Batho Pele Handbook, 1999:35) Chapter Outline Chapter outline gives a brief indication of what will be discussed in each chapter Chapter 1: Introduction and Background This chapter discusses the introduction of the study, problem statement, motivation of the study, aims and objectives, research questions, significance of the study, definition of concepts as well as the summary of chapters Chapter 2: Literature Review The chapter provides the framework and discusses leadership and service delivery. It explores the different leadership styles and how they influence service delivery. It reviews how other contemporary literature view leadership and its role in service delivery. Collection of information in this regard is from academic books, journals and government legislations. 7 1.8.3 Chapter 3: Research Methodology This chapter discusses the application of the selected research methodology and design particularly, the research design, the sampling method, population, data collection instruments and procedures, data analysis and the ethical considerations. The chapter tries to justify reasons for selected methods, designs, sampling methods and data collection instruments Chapter 4: Research findings, analysis and interpretations This chapter provides a description and analysis of the interpretation of results Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations This is the final chapter in the study and it focuses on the conclusions and recommendations for further study in this area. This chapter bears insights that could assist the Department of Health and social Development to improve in accelerating service delivery through the support that the leadership will provide to the employees. The chapter that follows will focus on literature review. The study will engage in arguments of the concept leadership and link it to the concept of service delivery in the government sector. Literature review will involve a thorough perusal of journals, academic books and government legislations on the issue of both leadership and service delivery. 8 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Introduction In the following theoretical discourse, the theories of leadership and service delivery are analysed. Theories are essential in the understanding of the development of leadership among other fields and areas of studies. It is expected that theories will inform the practice. However, in other circumstances, the practice informs the theories. In service delivery, the South African government had institutionalised the Batho Pele principles as the template that provides guidelines for service delivery. The application of these guidelines is primarily determined through how leadership should be practiced in the workplace. The practice of leadership is also explained in certain theories that would be discussed herein (Service Delivery Improvement Guide, 2005:25). The different theories are dependent on each other and none of them alone provides a complete picture of itself. An understanding of leadership will include topics such as: an overview of major research approaches to leadership, power influence approach, behaviour approach (Yukl,1989:7-8). The following theories will be discussed to further explain leadership: traits theory, theories of emergent leadership, contingency, situational leadership theory, and the new leadership, which comprises of transformational leadership theories (Gill, 2006:35). 9 2.2. An understanding of leadership In order to understand leadership it is important to get an understanding of leadership from different points of view. Different writer have different views on what could be the best leadership style for different situations. The following headings will try to provide a clearer picture The concept leadership During the 1930 s and 1940 s, many studies focused on leadership as a trait an inborn quality that makes a person a leader. This theory restricted leadership to only those who believe they possess these characteristics. Later research, however, suggests that from a management perspective, leadership is a process of influencing individuals towards goal attainment (Yukl, 1989:12). It can be argued that leadership can be assigned, based on the position the person is appointed to, or it can be emergent leadership, resulting from what one does and how one acquires support from followers. Leadership as a process of influencing individuals applies therefore to individuals in both assigned and emergent roles. Leadership is seen as the greatest influence on the way the organisation is shaped and transformed (Bell, 2006:123). Strong leadership will enable delivery of the reformed public service. Leaders have the ability to shape organisations and have influence on the culture of the organisation. To be able to do that there is a need to move away from the negative stereotypes of being reluctant to take risks to change the way they have been operating. This means that leaders need to adapt, innovate and carve out a new path through the bush to allow change that will improve service delivery. Leadership is about the functions of guidance, alignment 10 of people, motivation and inspiration of teams. Leadership is the most elusive phenomenon found in organisational science; and it remains the most studied and least understood concept. It is argued that research on leadership shows that there are many views on what constitutes leadership (Covey, 1992:15). A people centered and strategically focused leadership in the public service faces a momentous task in ensuring that the public service is aligned with the priorities of government. Leaders are faced with challenges and the technical or functional skills that are not sufficient. New skills of leadership are required such as strategic skills, to lead beyond boundaries, and keep sight of the vision ahead (Service Delivery Review, 2006:104). This calls for leadership development that will bring about environmental change that will enforce organisational growth and development. This means that as the environment changes, the organisation also needs to grow and develop. Traditional management or leadership has been viewed in functional terms such as planning, leading, organising and controlling. In other countries, for example in Canada, experience has shown that institutional functionalism causes departments to loose sight of their missions. Departments are required to concentrate on ends rather than on the means (Service Delivery Review, 2006:108). Leadership in developing countries is seen as the key to changing the culture of the public service. Due to the complexity and disagreements that occur at the theoretical level concerning the conceptualisation of leadership, there is lack of consensus on the operational definition of leadership (Mouton, 1996: 35). According to Kotter (1999:72) leaders are people who direct others and 11 followers have little authority over the decision making processes related to goals and programming of activities. From this point of view leadership can be described as autocratic in nature and large
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