Journal of Public Administration - Special issue 1, September 2005
Volumes & issues
Special issue 1, September 2005
Author C. ThornhillSource: Journal of Public Administration 40 (2005)More Less
The Editorial Board of the Journal of Public Administration has resolved that institutions be allowed to request that a special issue of the Journal be devoted to contributions solicited by a particular institution or by more than one institution. The special issues emanating from such requests do not replace the regular issues of the Journal. Therefore, the special issues are assigned special numbers. In the case of this issue, the designated number is Vol 40, No. 3.1, September 2005.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 180 –181 (2005)More Less
Whatever else can be said about public administration theory and practice in South Africa, there can be no doubt that it is, like elsewhere on the globe, characterised by constant change, or, perhaps more accurately put, by constant adaptation to change. This characteristic of public administration can be traced in any society, but is certainly starker in transformational societies; however "transformational societies" may be defined. The challenge that faces the public administration practitioner and theorist that has to ply his / her trade in such an environment is not only to respond optimally to current institutional and societal problems, but also to address the ethical dilemmas that result from increasingly complex human interactions.
Developing the multi-discipline of public administration - propositions for South African and continental agenda settingSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 182 –193 (2005)More Less
The transformation of the South African government, public sector, and society has afforded opportunities to learn from global precedents, but also demanded situation specific responses from politicians, academics and public officials. A reasonable expectation would have been for the said transformation to have had far reaching affects on the development of South African public administration theory and praxis. However, evidence seems to suggest that theory development has played a secondary role to the developments in praxis, that praxis was / is dictated by political agendas and that what is taught in public administration and management schools and departments is evidently uncritically supportive of these agendas. It is evident that the credibility and growth of public administration calls for critical theory development that takes into account a large number of factors that are largely left off the current research agenda, including resurging nationalism, social science theories, international political and governance verities, globalisation, and African continental historiography. The critical investigation and analysis required cannot be done from a stance of neutrality but must take into account the South African and continental context in order for it to be dubbed authentic African public administration informed by national and international verities.
Good governance as a sine qua non for sustainable development in the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) : a conceptual perspectiveAuthor M.H. MaserumuleSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 194 –211 (2005)More Less
Empirical and textual analyses of development issues seem to suggest that the fundamental flaw in the early initiatives of Africa's leadership to address the socio-economic problems of the continent was embedded in neo-liberal inspired economic reductionist approach to development. This approach is premised on the 'econo-mythical invocation that if the economics are right everything else would fall into place' (Cernea 1994:07). An economic reductionist approach to Africa's development is inadequate. Cultural, sociological, psychological, political and administrative factors are also important dimensions of development that merit substantial consideration in the quest for the solution of the socio-economic problems besetting the African continent. For development to be sustainable a multi-disciplinary approach is required. In this article the political administrative dimension of development with specific reference to good governance in the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is, from a conceptual perspective, examined.
Re-politicizing the bureaucracy to solve apartheid's inequalities? The 'political-administrative interface' in South AfricaAuthor K.J. MaphunyeSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 212 –228 (2005)More Less
This paper examines the politicisation of the senior civil service, i.e. the management positions of South Africa's public service, especially the affirmative action policy as a strategy to deal with the apartheid legacy in the country. The author argues that there is an attempt to re-politicise the current public service but that this poses a dilemma for the ruling African National Congress (ANC). 'Politicisation' is examined from three angles : politicisation as participation in the political decision-making; as partisan control over the bureaucracy; and as political involvement of public servants in a country's politics (Rouban, 2003). However, the contested meaning and lack of consensus on the 'politicisation' of the public service or public bureaucracy in South Africa is acknowledged.
To examine the 'political-administrative interface' (relationship between elected and appointed officials), the article has relied on several research methods including an analysis of official documents, policies, legislation, and media reports. The international literature on the politicisation of the civil service (especially by Suleiman, 1974, Aberbach, et al, 1981, and Rouban, 2003) also helped the author to understand South Africa's situation. The article's argument also relies on data from the author's recent doctoral study (Maphunye, 2002), which gave indications of the perceptions of politicisation amongst senior public servants in some government departments with strong indications amongst some that the South African public service was becoming increasingly politicised; some preferred a more professional public service as in the British tradition of the Civil Service College or the French ENA (Ecole National d'Administration). The paper concludes with an observation that the politicisation of the senior positions of the South African public service might be linked more to Rouban's (2003) second observation of partisan control over the bureaucracy than it is to his other two criteria. Although there is no stipulated policy to enforce such partisan control of the bureaucracy, the top echelons of the public service might be differently politicised or occupied by skilled pro-ANC individuals though the use of affirmative action policy. But it is also possible that politicisation occurs partly because since the ANC took power it has embarked upon a particular project of transformation, which seems to be abolishing any sharp divide between party and state.
Increasing customer satisfaction through enhancing service delivery : an internal marketing approachSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 229 –246 (2005)More Less
Low job satisfaction affects the quality of service and may be a contributing factor associated with shortages of health care providers in South Africa. Public service organisations incessantly claim their commitment to service quality, but evidence indicates that almost without any exceptions, negative gaps exist between customer expectations and their perceptions. The missing element is called internal marketing. This involves treating frontline, contact employees as internal customers in an effort to encourage these employees to provide excellent service for the end customer. The purpose of this article is to propose innovative ways in measuring the quality of service delivery in the public service by introducing an internal marketing strategy approach to the public service. This was done by focusing on service delivery in health care; more specifically to determine the levels of satisfaction with regard to predetermined employee satisfaction variables in a provincial hospital in Gauteng, South Africa.
Measuring customer and employee satisfaction and business excellence in local government green industriesSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 247 –268 (2005)More Less
Various measurement instruments are available in assessing customer satisfaction and business excellence in the private and government sectors. The paper focuses on :
- Business excellence measurement (South African Excellence Model);
- Customer satisfaction measurement (SERVQUAL questionnaire), and
- Employee satisfaction measurement (Minnesota Job Satisfaction questionnaire).
Although the South African business excellence model was used only to get a "snap shot" of the organization very valuable results, specifically in relation to customer and employee satisfaction, were obtained. The SERVQUAL instrument was used to measure customer satisfaction and consisted of three sets of the same twenty two questions. The first set of statements measures the customer expectations in terms of what level of services is expected, the second set of twenty two statements measures the respondent's perception of the perceived level of service and the third set of questions addresses what minimum level of service would be acceptable. The survey targeted three main customer group categories, namely, the "Selected Organisation's" regions, the councillors and the ratepayers associations. In terms of employee satisfaction the Minnesota job satisfaction questionnaire, short form, consisting of 20 questions and focusing on intrinsic and extrinsic reinforcement factors of employee attitude, has been applied. The questionnaire consists of a Likert-type scale with five response alternatives. Demographic variables have been examined to determine their effects on the overall level of job satisfaction as well as satisfaction with various aspects of the job experienced by staff.
Author A.J. DialeSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 269 –279 (2005)More Less
Corruption and maladministration, coupled with the culture of secrecy within the modern industrial system of democratic governance, are a serious epidemic with the potential of destroying the very essence of democracy. In order for governments to deal with them effectively, they need citizens / employees of conscience, vigour and exceptional courage to expose such maladies. These people, in their quest for administrative justice, are faced with the likelihood and possibility of getting both their careers tarnished and their family lives destroyed as a result of reprisals that normally accompany such disclosures. In order to encourage such disclosures, Governments have devised some protective mechanisms in the form of Protected Disclosure legislation. South Africa was no exception to such efforts. The gist of this paper is an attempt to provide a critique of this legislation in comparison with similar pieces of legislation in Australia (Queensland), Britain (UK) and the United States of America, to identify some management implications and, suggest some practical where applicable.
The perceived usefulness of WebCT training for Public Management students at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)Source: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 280 –289 (2005)More Less
At previous conferences in the subject field of web-based teaching and learning a number of presenters emphasised the importance of training to users of WebCT, as well as the unsuccessful implementation of WebCT tools and applications due to insufficient training. To address this important and basic step of successful use of WebCT, third year Public Management students at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) received intensive training to make use of particular WebCT applications comfortably.
The focus, pertaining to WebCT activities in the subject Public Human Resource Management, is primarily on on-line assignments and e-tivities, as well as the use of quizzes for self-assessment. The WebCT training subsequently focuses primarily on the use of the assignment and quiz tools in WebCT, additional to the use of general tools such as the bulletin board and calendar. The paper will outline and explore the various steps and applications, used to enhance WebCT training to these students. Special measures were implemented to accommodate a large group of students (200). Furthermore, the perceived usefulness and value of a Camtasia Studio training DVD, compared to face-to-face training in the Electronic Research Centres (ERCs), will be explored.
This article aims to focus on the end results and success in terms of the experiences of intensive training for the use of particular WebCT tools. It will be determined by exploring a number of training strategies and approaches for WebCT. Using the idea that "Creative training strategies can make a difference, this article uses interesting empirical data to illustrate the use of student training as a key success factor in the implementation of WebCT in the teaching and learning environment.
House of Bush - House of Saud : The Secret Relationship between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties, Craig Unger : book reviewSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 290 –291 (2005)More Less
It is now public knowledge that the United States had gone to war against Iraq on March 19, 2003 based on an array of false assumptions and allegations. Craig Unger's book provides evidence for what careful observers probably suspected about the motivations for war. Against the backdrop of the many publications that deal with the presidency of George W. Bush, which for the most part have been all but flattering, Craig Unger's book adds to the woes of the current White House incumbent.