Leadership and transformation in a South African university
Ngcamu, Bethuel Sibongiseni
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Politicized South African higher education institutions (HEIs) have influenced leaders to be indecisive, error free, fearful of taking risks, marginalizing resisters, emotional and failing to recognize their personal weaknesses while working well with leaders beyond the university. This study interrogates leaders’ capabilities that have the potential to drive transformation at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) in the post-merger and incorporation era. The researcher undertook this study to highlight the prevalence of leadership incapability in the post-merger and incorporation era at DUT which has mainly been caused by leaders failing to take transformative decisions. This study employed a quantitative approach guided by a structured survey questionnaire to a target population of 191 with a response rate of 70%. The questionnaires were analyzed using SPSS generating the reliability coefficient alpha of 0.947 indicating a high degree of acceptance and consistency of the results. The study findings revealed the highest percentage of the research participants who held opposite views regarding the statement that leaders learn from their mistakes (32%) and that they understand their personal weaknesses (27%), with the highest percentage being undecided (46%). Another major highlight of the study was the highest percentage of the respondents who had a view that leaders work well with other leaders beyond the university (55%) as compared to internal stakeholders (49%). Researchers mention leadership capabilities as only being applicable to higher education institutions in general. This study provides information on leaders’ incapability, post-merger and incorporation, which could be of benefit to the university change management specialists in the design of relevant and specific interventions of change with the aim of filling the gaps or preventing bottlenecks identified by the findings. This study will contribute to the body of knowledge in developing countries as there is a dearth of published studies investigating leadership capabilities mishaps in the post-merger and incorporation era at the Universities of Technology.
Ngcamu, B. S. and Teferra, D. 2015. Leadership and transformation in a South African university. Problems and Perspectives in Management. 13(1) : 208-126.