n Journal of Public Administration - Administrative leadership and public policy implementation in the public service

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The policy implementation process encompasses various activities which aim at converting the goals and objectives of various policies into public goods and services for a better life for all the citizens. These activities are carried out by various public service officials who are at different hierarchical levels, with different qualifications, expertise, behaviour, beliefs, norms and values. A concerted effort by all public officials at all levels is required for the South African government to successfully implement its policies so as to have services delivered efficiently and effectively to the community. Botes (1994:24) highlights that supervisors and managers are appointed, not because of their marketing skills or investment abilities, but because of their particular leadership abilities.

Leadership at the lower levels of the hierarchy (where goods and services become visible) is essential to ensure that public officials strive to, not only achieve their own goals and objectives, but also those of the government. Therefore, a specific type of guidance and leadership is needed that will motivate and induce officials to give effect to the provisions of section 195(1)(d) of the , 1996 which stipulates that services must be provided to all citizens impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias.
In this paper a brief literature review of leadership concepts will be done in order to obtain an understanding of the nature and scope of administrative leadership. This will facilitate an investigation into the relationship between administrative leadership and policy implementation, as well as highlighting the importance of administrative leadership during policy implementation. Additionally, the capacity needs and factors influencing administrative leadership during policy implementation will be examined.

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