The role of leadership work ethic for improved organisational performance
Author(s)Vimba, Mkhuliseni Cyprian
Government executives - Professional ethics
Executives - Conduct of life
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The objective of this study was to explore a group of key employees’ experiences and perceptions at the Government Funded Organisation (GFO) of the service performance of the GFO they work for, as well as to develop a social tool –a model – that could be used to help both the public fulfil its role of developing workable strategies aimed at ensuring that they deliver services according to their mandate. A combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods (mixed method approach) was used in this study. The existing quantitative instrument was buttressed by the empirically derived qualitative insights to form an instrument that was later distributed to all GFO employees with a view to developing a “mixed method model” of leadership work ethic for improved organisational performance for the institution concerned. During the qualitative phase of this study interviews were conducted using an exploratory theory approach. Eight executive members at the level of a Director General (DG) and Deputy Directors General (DDG) were interviewed. The result of the interviews was a qualitatively derived prototype of interrelated concepts in the form of a work ethic model, consisting of rich descriptive data which was carefully analysed using an exploratory theory methodology (Glaser & Strauss, 2007 and Daniels, 2009). This means the development of theory that is derived from an analysis of qualitative data. The computer assisted data analysis tool, Atlas, ti was used to support the qualitative data. The second phase of the study was conducted by distributing a questionnaire to 549 employees of the GFO. From the 549 questionnaires emailed to all employees, 349 were completed and returned, thus constituting a response rate of 76.5%. The questionnaires returned were deemed adequate for conducting a factor analysis. A first level factor analysis v was accordingly conducted on intercorrelation matrix of the 10 theoretical dimensions. A second level factor analysis on a sub-score intercorrelation matrix followed and resulted in six (6) factors being extracted. Iterative item analysis then yielded acceptable metric properties for each dimension and a Cronbach alpha coefficient ranging between 0.611 and 0.697, which was deemed a reasonable acceptable scale reliability for the model. To get at the desired model, the findings of the phases of the mixed method approach were synthesised and interrelated where data from the quantitative phase played a significant role to data from the qualitative phase. The derived model consists of the inner core and the outer core. The elements of the outer core which were qualitatively derived by means of exploratory theory provided a description of the discussion and gave the research participants a say in the inquiry. The elements of the inner core, on the other hand, were elicited through deductive reasoning and gave the model a qualitative exploration through the use of factor analysis. These elements included amongst others, leadership, leadership work ethic, quality management, organisational strategy, strategic management, organisational learning, organisational structure and organisational performance. The elements of the outer core were identified as observing conventions, behavioral traits, reward and recognition, time at work, self-worth and responsibility and time management. The results of the two methods were thus integrated into a model called the New Work Ethic Model (NWEM).