Last Updated 11 Jul 2021

New Political Dispensation in South Africa Black Economic Empowerment (Bee)

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Aims of the dissertation

Since the new political dispensation in South Africa black economic empowerment (BEE) has continually come under scrutiny (Leonard & Grobler, 2006). It has been seen as an ethically just initiative to compensate previously disadvantage individuals, and as a pragmatic strategy, which undercuts the nation of merit with a very strong undertone of racism. Increasingly, physicians, in both primary care and specialities form partnership of single or multi-specialty group practices as competition among physicians grows.

The purpose of this dissertation would be to investigate challenges transformational leaders are facing within private pathology services in South Africa. Nationalization of medical funders and how it would affect the private business has long been a concern within the South African private pathology market. Focusing on change strategy and how the role of different leadership images can be applied in making multicultural knowledge sharing work and eventually develop an organizational culture were people feel empowered.

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To quote Kotter and Heskett (1992), “When culture are our own, they often go unnoticed, until we try to implement a new strategy or program which is incompatible with their central norms and values. Then we observe first hand, the power of culture. ” Culture and organizational structure dimensions relationship within private pathology have in recent years being influenced by advancements made in technology, regulation enforced by current political dispensation and the emerging characteristic of the 21st century corporations.

The aim of this dissertation will be to determine whether the current leadership and culture in this fast changing social and economical environment will have an impact on sustainable growth of the pathology sector and whether current organisational structures will be able to address the internal and external impacts of a fast changing environment. In order to determine the impact of leadership and culture influence the researcher will concentrate on the four dimensions of organizational structures:

  • Specialization - people with the necessary skills and knowledge that can contribute towards sustainable growth
  • Standardization – technological development and advancements in the industry and their impact on private pathology industry sustainable growth
  • Formalization – the way how current leadership formalizes rules, regulations and instructions and the impact current internal and external leadership and culture have on sustainable growth
  • Centralization – the effectiveness of communication and the perception people develop around the centralization of certain core and supplemental services

Many researchers have studied leadership impact and cultural differences in a fast changing environment. Hofstede’s four dimensions of organization culture such as individualism / collectiveness, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity / femininity within the four dimensions of organizational structure will play a significant role in the interpretation of the results.

In answering these questions the researcher aims to deliver a dissertation paper which would concentrate on finding answers to the challenges leaders face in developing an organizational culture based on enhancing innovation, enhance competitive advantage, motivate staff, and increase quality and customer value. The Nadler and Tushman’s Congruence Model of change (Palmer, Dunford, & Akin 2009, pp. 126-128) will form the basis around which leadership dynamics will be developed in aligning private pathology practise (services) within the current South African context (regulations, technology, culture) of change.

We all desire to feel self-worth and make contributions and be recognized for them. It is through this investigation that the research might develop a deeper understanding of the dynamics of change within private pathology practises. Challenging the status quo through the formulation of a strategy that would address the current inequalities (culture and knowledge) might result in an organizational culture that all can associate with. Organizational culture is a complex set of values, believes, assumptions, and symbols that defines the way an organization defines it business.

The Nadler and Tushman’s congruence model will assist the researcher in conceptualized the dynamics of leadership and culture within private pathology.


Centralization and standardization received high priority and specialization and formalization were exclusively the responsibility of power distance unequal distribution of power from top management. Culture, in organizational context, may be broadly defined as the sum of groups, or nation way of thinking, believing, feeling and acting and will inadvertently play a significant role in the restructuring process of any organization.

Given the nature and complexity of the issues to be examined, the research approach would be to conduct a multi-step study incorporating both quantitative and qualitative methods. Literature research for the dissertation will concentrate on the sense-making process of change and the leadership images involved in change processes within the private medical practice industry within South Africa (Kally, Wale, Soudien and Steyn, 2007). Change in private pathology within South Africa is technology and politically driven. The pressure current government places on private sector to comply have in recent years been intensified.

Private industry in general had to comply with employment equity regulation or face strict penalties that will economically impact on the organization. The aim of this research will be to determine whether leadership could keep up to these fast changing environments and to what extent culture difference has an impact on the organizational culture. The research hypothesis relies on factual data in proving current hierarchy structure and current change leadership as well as the cultures characteristics, create a ‘tipping point’, where current sustainable growth will not be attainable.

Quantitative research

The researcher will collect factual data from Human Resources (HR) about employee turnover the past three to five years. This data will then be sorted according to employee turnover, training, disciplines within the different designted groups (Africans, Coloureds, Indians and Whites) and at the different professional levels throughout the organization. The aim of this process will be to identify areas of concerns and will guide the researcher to develop an initial impression of the general culture within the company.

The researcher will be guided by literature on the subject of leadership, culture and the sense-making process of change in such a diverse working environment. Internal data or the triangulation ‘within-methods’ of information from the company with regards to employment, lay-off disciplinary actions, training and social activities will be collected from Human Resources (HR) in a process to understand the current organizational culture and develop an idea or hypothesis around these facets and the impact of current culture diversities within the company (Maxwell & Rijamampianina, 2002) will have on future sustainable growth.

Qualitative research

The research approach throughout this dissertation will rest on factual literature, observation and and non-random (non-probability) sampling of survey data. Purpositive sampling (White, 2000: 63) which will indicate why change transformation in the private pathology practice is important for future if sustainable growth is to be maintained. Managing such a diverse workforce is challenging but economically imperative. Thus asking question around perception and expectation will form the basis of interviews and questions.

The researcher through these question aims to understand the behaviour actions and perception people have developed which may have led to the current organizational culture:

  • Are we moving towards a workforce that will be operationally focused and rely on technology advancement made in first world countries in maintaining sustainable growth?
  • Has the focus of management shifted towards advancement made in technology and not on employment of a workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge? Is the vast amount of internal knowledge and skills residing within employees being utilized and are employees empowered to contribute towards sustainable growth?
  • Did employment equity requirements to any extend result in the organization developing a strategy that would be less reliance on knowledge but on automation of routine analysis which as though would address the compliance issue towards current pressure to change?
  • Will the current leadership and culture dynamics within private pathology lead to sustainable growth?

The challenge of the qualitative research will be to find answers relating to questions above through asking questions relating to knowledge management, job satisfaction, employee benefits and general relationship within the workplace. A combination of interviews and survey question will be designed around these issues. Holistic realistic sense-making process throughout the research will play a significant role in the recommendation of a change model that would incorporate the data from surveys, interviews and literature.

Sense - making refers to implementation of change processes that would not place unnecessary strain on the existing infrastructure and profit margins of the organization. Greenhalgh & Todd (1989) observed that survivor sense making and the reaction to organization decline may be due to job insecurity as an attitudinal variable and will definitely influence the sustainability of private pathology on the long run. Whether current organizational culture and the impact of fast changing external environments and work relationships will have an impact on sustainable growth needs to be confirmed.

The researcher also realizes that true qualitative and quantitative data observation may revert back to sense – making process and literature justification too support any generalization of results and that this approach may be unique to the private pathology industry in South Africa. 3. Feasibility and Required Resources: The proposed research project will require certain data that might be sensitive to the organization. For the purpose of confidentiality, company names and places will not be mentioned.

As highlighted in the method above literature research will mainly concentrate on publications generated in South Africa. Additional supportive literature with regards to leadership and cultural will be sourced in support of the information obtained through the method as described above. When required or necessarily, supportive and additional information will be sourced from international literature in support of the findings.

The initial data will be soured from HR and analysed as discussed in method. Qualitative and quantitative interviews and survey will be compiled in order to get a deeper understanding and feeling about the current organisational culture and leadership dynamics.

Relationship to existing published work

The power of servant leadership to transform health care organizations in the 21st century has been a point of discussion as well as a point of concern for many leaders within these organizations.

Despite the fast changing market environment of health care services organization still practise an outmoded transactional style of leadership based on organizational hierarchies that are inherently stagnant (Schwartz & Tumblin, 2002). Leadership styles are not novel concepts but few physicians (leaders) have been introduced to transformational, situational and servant leadership styles or combination thereof with the goal of creating an environment of learning that will be beneficial to the organization and the economy it serves.

The article by Swartz and Tumblin (2002) managed to address the importance of change leadership and transformation as well as the influence that emotional intelligence and ethical behaviour has on the fast changing internal and external forces within the medical environment. Holistic sense-making process will be applied throughout this project. Introducing a generic conceptual and methodological process for the fast emerging social and intellectual patterns currently seen in the private pathology field and the impact leadership sense-making process will have on sustainable growth.

Making-sense of our own reality and applying the knowledge gained through a process of sense making in understanding current situation within the private pathology practices is the initial approach the researcher has in mind. In the article ‘Making sense of executive sense-making’ by Parry (2003) the author has identified seven characteristics of sense-making that might be applicable and might form the basis of change strategies when addressing the leadership images appropriate in private pathology practises. Parry (2003) introduced the researcher to the possible epistemological problems that might be encountered throughout the studies.

Throughout the analysis process of the article by Parry (2003) the researcher realized that sense-making process might be restricted to literature referencing as any deductions made from the literature will be qualitative. The new political dispensation in South Africa paved the way towards multicultural organizations changes. Together with current changes of global markets private pathology have been effected in ways were new cultures have changed and impacted on current values and behaviours of people within the organization.

Rijamampianina and Maxwell (2002) believe that managing multicultural organizations will be challenging and will call for a leadership style that recognizes cultural diversity and a willingness to share success, share mental models, share vision and share competence to the extend that people feel empower prior to changing or adapting to any dominant organization culture. Rijamampianina and Maxwell (2002) proposed a model of change, which focused on the creation of an environment of learning and interaction as the basis of accommodating a diverse culture.

Making business decisions around leadership dynamics culture impact and change strategies is a crucial job and most properly one of the riskiest especially when external environments of change place significant pressure on private business to change. Bad decisions can ruin your company and are normally the result of distortion of biases, mental flaws and the sabotage of reasoning the psychological traps of the unconscious. Addressing the status quo in an environment was external and internal pressures dictated the rationality and objectivity of decisions and the biases that influence the choices we make.

Very often decision makers (leaders) display a strong bias towards alternatives that would perpetuate the status quo (Hammond, Keeney, & Raiffa, 1998). Then again, private pathology status quo may indeed be the best choice as they in general have developed dependence around service from developers of technology and analysis techniques. Hammond, Keeney, and Raiffa focused on decision making and the trade-off as well as the difficulties associated with flawed thinking as described in “The hidden traps of decision making. Over the years a number of publication that have addressed the concerns of culture and leadership in South Africa (e. g. Rensburg, 1993; Booysen, 2007; Coldwell & Moerdyk, 1981; Schwartz & Tumblin, 2002; Finestone & Snyman, 2006) all have studies certain relationships that resulted from the new democratic dispensation. Even if we find a solution to the diversity within private pathology a realization that maintaining quality across the network of pathology services will be a priority through the project.

The purposed model of change should stand the sense-making of transformational leadership and the following publications touched on the subject (e. g. Leonard & Grobler, 2006; Parry, 2003; Greehalgh & Todd, 1989; Labiance, Gray & Brass, 2000). Dombai & Verwey (1999) focussed on the impact of organizational culture as context of interpersonal meaning on the management of organizational diversity. The authors have demonstrated that affirmative action employment may develop perception among individuals or groups that previously disadvantage groups will be appointed without the necessary credentials, knowledge or skills.

The authors empirical research managed to prove that individuals experience of organizational culture as a context for the construction of meaning, are more important to diversity management than individual value differences as result of diversity in term of age, gender or race. In conclusion, the researcher knows that literature survey will from the basis of the dissertation with the understanding to develop a model of change that could address current leadership and culture diversities in private pathology.

The researcher almost through the evaluation of the article became aware of the vast literature available on this subject. The challenge however will be find relevant information, which will support and be supplemental to the research.

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New Political Dispensation in South Africa Black Economic Empowerment (Bee). (2018, Oct 08). Retrieved from

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