Journal of Public Administration - Volume 42, Issue 8, 2007
Volumes & issues
Volume 42, Issue 8, 2007
Author C. ThornhillSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 745 –746 (2007)More Less
The Journal of Public Administration has experienced several constitutional changes since its first issue in 1965. These included the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1983 (Act 110 of 1983), the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993 (Act 200 of 1993) later repealed and superseded by the current Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
A critical and inter-disciplinary analyses of the selected criticisms leveled against public administrationAuthor N.E. TshikwatambaSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 749 –764 (2007)More Less
The article is critical and inter-disciplinary analyses of the selected criticisms leveled against (P) public (A) administration as a field of study and an activity. The selected criticisms are identified and are those that question the relevancy of (P) public (A) administration; the limitation of the generic administrative functions; the fact that analytical skills lack in the teaching and practice of (P) public (A) administration and the notion of the implementation of apartheid policies. Earlier selected criticisms are also referred to, to demonstrate that the existence of (P) public (A) administration has always been subjected to criticisms that somewhat advantaged its developmental nature. The criticisms in question are not chosen scientifically. It is acknowledged that there are numerous criticisms leveled against the theory and the activities of (P) public (A) administration that are not referred in this article. A reference is made to the New Public Administration and the Mount Grace Consultation as the consultation provided a platform of actioning to the future of the Discipline and its activities in South Africa. The 1968 Minnowbrook Conference is also referred to in order to establish existing commonalities and differences in the applied approaches and focus of the initiatives.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 765 –775 (2007)More Less
Scientific research is essential to increase the body of knowledge and to increase an understanding of the environment around us. Knowledge could be increased through the discovery of facts, interpreting legislation and formulating and implementing policies. Understanding is increased by constructing explanations of the knowledge discovered and by arranging the knowledge and explanations into logical generalizations, or into theories. This article focuses on a theory of public administration, critical theory school of thought and critical theory and Public Administration. In this article, Public Administration (upper case) denotes the theory of Public Administration whereas public administration (lower case) denotes public administration as an activity or practice. The article argues that it is essential and therefore appropriate to apply the methods of critical theory to the subject matter of Public Administration. The role of critical theory in Public Administration is extensively discussed. It is concluded that critical theory provides not only the analytical tools to appraise the public service and local government bureaucracy, but would critically provide means to unpack the underlying inefficiencies and causes of the perennial situation of incapacity and how it impacts on service delivery.
Author E.M. RankhumiseSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 776 –785 (2007)More Less
This article reports on findings from a research study that investigated perceptions of affirmative action appointees regarding training and development intended to assists them to function effectively. The aim of this article is to determine whether affirmative action appointees are provided with the necessary training and development. The research was conducted in the Mpumalanga public hospitals in South Africa. The article also provides perceptual intuition on what affirmative action appointees believe to be essential in carrying out their duties. The research was triangulatory in nature. Using data from structured questionnaires the article explores factors that impede or enhance affirmative action appointees. The findings of the research revealed that the appointees strongly view training and development as a major contributory factor in successfully carrying out their new roles. Therefore, without training and development they argue that some stumbling blocks will be encountered, considering the historical injustices caused by apartheid system. Supporting policies and high commitment by top management are indispensable when embarking on training and development.
Establishing enabling structures and measures for people with disabilities in the South African Public ServiceSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 786 –797 (2007)More Less
Immediately after the 1994 elections the post-apartheid Government intervened and embarked, by means of legislative and institutional measures, upon on strategies to integrate and enable people with disabilities to fully participate in the mainstream labour market as well as in Public Service employment (the Public Service is the largest employer in the country) which aimed to include 2% of people with disabilities by 2005. This target has still not been achieved and in July 2006 the overall average figure stood at 0,15% nationally and provincially. In October 2006 the target date was shifted to March 2009.
The challenges for all role-players and stakeholders are to expeditiously and effectively take advantage of the enabling environment provided by legislative and institutional measures. This requires focused and determined political will in the legislative and public administration domains together with civil society formations.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 798 –815 (2007)More Less
The literature on empowerment distinguishes two types or levels of empowerment, namely structural empowerment that operates on a macro level and includes managerial practices to empower employees, and psychological empowerment on the individual level, referring to the individual's subjective experience of empowerment. This article concentrates on the later and defines the concept as the individual's sense of perceived control, competence and goal internalisation (Menon, 2001). The study was conducted in the military sphere and the aim was to determine, firstly, whether males and females differ with regard to their subjective experience of empowerment, and, secondly, whether members of the different cultural groups experience the same amount of psychological empowerment. Data were collected from 2232 respondents and Univariate Analysis of Co-variance Models were computed to determine to what extent biographical variables related to the participants' sense of empowerment. The results indicate that females experienced less control in the work situation and also could not associate themselves with the organisational goals to the same extent as their male colleagues. Coloureds and Indians (as a combined group) experienced significantly more psychological empowerment than Blacks and Whites. Blacks measured the lowest with regard to control and competency, while Whites experienced the lowest levels of goal internalisation and overall empowerment.
Rationality, disjointed incrementalism and mix scanning theories for decision-making on globalisationAuthor E.O.C. IjeomaSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 816 –829 (2007)More Less
Since the early 90's, globalisation has become a universal slogan in almost all aspects of human endeavours ranging from politics, commerce, economy and public governance. Globalisation has given countries and regions of the world opportunities to play a role on the world stage. This has placed a major demand on the local, national and regional public policy decision-making processes. In response to these demands, there is a need to establish linkages between some major public policy decision-making theories in managing the globalisation process. As different management paradigms are applied in every decision made in the public and private sector institutions, the public policy decision-making theories being considered in this article range from comprehensive rationality, disjointed incrementalism to mixed scanning. Each of these theories represents an explanation of what is or what ought to be the best method of policy decision-making in managing globalisation. As public policy decision-making at all levels of government do not operate in a vacuum, the article encourages policy-makers and scholars alike to always look at the bigger picture in their efforts towards determining appropriate delivery strategies that could have a positive impact on policy decision-making in the present globalisation era.
Research findings : causes, effects, and styles of managing interpersonal conflict in a municipalitySource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 830 –844 (2007)More Less
The purpose of this article is to examine the sources (causes) of conflict, the effect that conflict has on employees in a medium-sized municipality and the types of conflict styles employees apply in conflict situations. Considering the fact that transformation and affirmative action have taken place at an accelerated rate during the past decade in municipalities, it is assumed that interpersonal conflict in these institutions could be the result of unique causes and that it affects employees in different ways. Consequently various styles are used to manage conflict. Addressing this problem of conflict dynamics in a new environment, the purpose of this article is to examine what the causes (sources) of interpersonal conflict constitute, what effect it has on employees, and what conflict-handling styles are applied in conflict situations. The findings of this exploratory study revealed that affirmative action played the most important role in conflict and that a lack of work performance, which lead to depression or stress were the major effects of conflict. The conflict-handling styles used, turned out to be a function of different variables such as age, status, gender, tenure, academic qualifications, and language.