n Journal of Public Administration - "That elusive value" - institutionalising management development for developmental government

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



A major challenge facing South Africa immediately after the 1994 democratic transition, which continues to the present day, is the professional development of the public officials and managers who are tasked with driving the developmental agenda of government. Despite recognition of the importance of training public officials to meet the mandates of transformation and public sector reform, there have been few attempts to directly link the transformation agenda of public sector reform to management development strategy. The imperative to make links between the reform agenda and management development has been left in the hands of various government training institutions or external providers and has been at best and absent at worst. This article reviews government management development strategy over the period following the 1994 democratic elections. The primary argument is that public service management development strategies have tended to respond to global trends, national priorities and reform agendas, rather than follow a proactive sustained plan to create effective, performing, developmental public managers over time. This is reflected in a constant restructuring of government management development institutions, changing leadership and shifting mandates. Developing leadership and management capacity for a developmental state may require building upon recent developments with a more consistently strategic approach.

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