Leading strategic change : driving the transformation in the provision of legal services to the Eastern Cape Provincial government

by Beningfield, P.G.

Abstract (Summary)
Effective change leadership is important to any organisation undergoing fundamental transformation. In particular, the ability of senior public sector leaders to successfully drive strategic change is crucial to meeting the developmental and service delivery challenges faced by the Province of the Eastern Cape in ensuring the effective, efficient and innovative government demanded by all its various stakeholders.

The creation on 3 October of a Shared Legal Service situated in the Office of the Premier provided a unique opportunity to examine the leadership of this change initiative in the context of the organisational culture that existed in the provincial public service. This thesis consequently probes the phenomenon of effective change leadership by means of an examination of the understandings of the three change agents involved in driving the transformation of the provision of legal advisory services to the provincial administration and its constituent departments.

The picture which emerges from the insights of the participants is one that casts a shadow over the validity of the contemporary theory of transformational leadership. Furthermore, the research conducted has identified the need to view the nature of effective change leadership through a more nuanced, situation-specific lens: one that appreciates the role of relationships and emotions, and that recognises the importance of culture and its impact on the success of organisational transformation.

The case study of the Shared Legal Service change initiative provides useful insights into the many and varied challenges faced by public sector leaders in driving strategic transformation in the provincial administration. It offers an example of successful change leadership and demonstrates the need for change agents within the public service to harness more emotionally resonant and relational forms of leadership if they are to soar to new heights in meeting the service delivery expectations of all who look to provincial government to deliver the fruits of democracy.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:investec business school


Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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