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African women as effective managers in the Free State Provincial Government: addressing performance determinants

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dc.contributor.author Lues, Liezel
dc.contributor.other Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology, Free State
dc.date.accessioned 2017-05-31T10:33:55Z
dc.date.available 2017-05-31T10:33:55Z
dc.date.issued 2002
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/1025
dc.description Thesis en_US
dc.description.abstract Change is a process which, although feared and resisted by many, is unfortunately often inevitable. South Africa, with all its diversity, was no exception, and had to experience its fair share of change with the quantum leap from an Apartheid regime to a democratic government where equality reigns supreme. Democracy in South Africa has brought many benefits, particularly for previously disadvantaged citizens such as African women, who until 1994 had never experienced westernised democracy as professional women in South Africa. Several mechanisms in the South African areas of government and academia have paved the way for African women to enter the labour force as managers in the past decade. Legislation was one area in which gender equality was aggressively promoted. However, it soon became apparent that legislation per se would not be enough to ensure the level of equality that these professional women had hoped for. Several factors influenced the lives and performance of African women managers. This study focused on cultural history, demographic variables and certain operational factors as areas which have had an influence on African women managers in respect of their ability to perform effectively and to deliver effective services. Although it is true that cherished cultures and traditions can enrich a country, some traditions have a detrimental effect on advancement of any kind and should rather be changed so as to benefit all individuals belonging to a certain culture. Examples of such traditions include the customary law, in terms of which an African woman immediately reverted to the status of a minor after marriage, and the "ubuntu" prinCiple, which fosters collective group identity and emotional dependence. These two traditions have undeniably influenced the effective functioning of African women managers negatively. This study has touched on the effect of several of these customary practices, as well as the impact of legislation that was passed after the 1994 elections. Through this investigation, it became evident that a major breakthrough has nevertheless been made regarding the rights and status of professional African women. A survey questionnaire targeting the 79 African women managers in the Free State Provincial Administration was conducted. This was followed by a focus group discussion amongst eight participant from the original sample, as a supporting method of data collection. On a demographic level, significant information was derived from the research. It became apparent that African women managers in the Free State Provincial Administration functioned independently in the social, economic and professional spheres of their lives. The respondents were all well educated, finanCially independent, career-orientated and valued having children of their own. They preferred a lifestyle that would fulfil their needs, while also contributing to the enhancement of their skills and effectiveness as professional women. In the work environment, African women managers experienced factors that influenced their managerial effectiveness both negatively and positively. It was apparent that not all of them were involved in crucial managerial actions that would normally be expected of them; and also that they were sometimes still deliberately denied exposure as managers. This resulted in a lack of basic managerial skills, such as change management, on the part of African women managers. On the positive side, they all had confidence in their judgement and competence to function effectively; but indicated that they wished to enhance their managerial skills. Following the findings of the survey and focus group an appraisal model was firstly introduced, in order to measure the performance of African women managers in the Free State Provincial Administration by means of a competency checklist. This model makes it possible for the African woman manager to evaluate her own performance and also enables the institution, in turn, to measure her managerial effectiveness in terms of the key performance areas stipulated in the checklist. Secondly, the research proposes a quality assurance model to i) provide standards of service excellence for the measurement and subsequent improvement of the actual level of managerial competence within the institution; and ii) create an integrated human resource skills development framework for managers. Both these models aim to create mechanisms to enhance the managerial effectiveness of the African woman manager and the quality of service delivery of the institution as continuously demanded by a democratic dispensation. en_US
dc.format.mimetype Application/PDF
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology, Free State
dc.subject Performance standards - South Africa en_US
dc.subject Women in the civil service en_US
dc.subject Women government executives - South Africa - Free State en_US
dc.subject Provincial governments - South Africa en_US
dc.subject Women,Black - South Africa - Free State en_US
dc.title African women as effective managers in the Free State Provincial Government: addressing performance determinants en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder Central University of Technology, Free State

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