Journal of Public Administration - Volume 36, Issue 4, 2001
Volumes & issues
Volume 36, Issue 4, 2001
Author C. ThornhillSource: Journal of Public Administration 36 (2001)More Less
It is argued that knowledge and technology double every eighteen months and that existing knowledge and technology have a shelf life of three years. These arguments require of scholars of Public Administration and practitioners of public administration and management to ensure that they remain au fait with trends and developments in the Discipline and practice.
Author J.J. (Kobus) MullerSource: Journal of Public Administration 36, pp 284 –295 (2001)More Less
The organic and biological metaphors increasingly utilised in organisation theory to describe organisations - emphasising processes instead of structures - are used in this article to explore the notion of self-organising structures. To create room for flexibility and innovation this type of organisation uses self-organising teams as its basic mode of operation. The team members have multiple, overlapping skills so that they can produce and reproduce the competencies, skills, vision and values of the organisation on an ongoing basis. As a point of departure, some of the philosophical and theoretical concepts that underpin the notion of self-organising structures are described before the practical and leadership implications for the design and functioning of these organisational forms are considered. Finally, a real- life organisational application of the self-organising concept will be illustrated through a case study example.
Author Gerrit Van der WaldtSource: Journal of Public Administration 36, pp 296 –311 (2001)More Less
Increasingly public institutions are making use of project management to implement service delivery programmes. Through the delivery of various non-formal certificate courses in Project Management at various public institutions, at local, provincial and national levels, it became evident that public managers to a considerable degree, fail to infuse project management as part of the functional operations, processes and structure of the institution. Furthermore, there is an apparent lack of understanding on how to utilise project management on an ongoing basis for the operationalisation of institutional strategies and objectives. This article proposes a process to address these two issues. The main recommendation is that senior management should establish a Management by Projects approach whereby all functional activities for service delivery are seen as projects. Guidelines will be proposed to implement this approach in public institutions.
Author K.J. MaphunyeSource: Journal of Public Administration 36, pp 312 –323 (2001)More Less
This paper analyses the roles of South Africa's senior public servants and the challenges they face in national and provincial departments. 'Senior public service' here refers to the managerial positions from assistant director level. At provincial levels, the study cover only the departments of Health and Education in Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng, and KwaZulu-Natal; at national level, the departments of Health and Public Service and Administration.
The paper examines the roles of these officials (180) and how departmental or ministerial structures affect them, including the influence on these roles by the politicians in their departments or ministries. For this purpose, the literature on comparable executives, covering relationships between government ministers and public servants around the world was helpful. The overall changes occurring in South Africa's public service are important for study, but this paper specifically focuses on only those affecting the senior public servants. It argues that the departmental or ministerial structures affect the roles of the senior public service, and that this possibly determines the nature of change inside the public service. The discussion focuses on the top echelons of the public service to investigate how this group of officials implement South Africa's new public policies.
Author M.J. MafunisaSource: Journal of Public Administration 36, pp 324 –339 (2001)More Less
This paper examines the role of professionalism in promoting effective, efficient, impartial, fair, equitable and ethical municipal service delivery. The paper starts by identifying relevant literature on the topic. It further focuses on the identification of the characteristics of a profession. These characteristics include: intensive compulsory education at recognised educational institutions as prerequisite for entry, existence of a code of conduct, organising into a professional association, a monopoly in a particular field of work and intellectual rather than manual work. These characteristics are used as yardsticks to determine whether public administration (hence municipal administration) is a profession or not. Attention is paid to the role of municipal administration education and training in promoting professionalism. The role of the Institute for Local Government Management of South Africa in promoting professionalism has been identified. The professional roles of municipal managers are identified and explained. These roles are acknowledging politics, acting as leaders, promoting ethics and acknowledging workplace diversity. It is concluded that municipal employees must be willing to pay the price for choosing to uphold their obligations as citizens (as whistle-blowers) in the face of governmental corruption and irresponsible conduct. The price they must be willing to pay include victimisation.