Title page for ETD etd-03162010-154736

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Shongwe, Bambo
URN etd-03162010-154736
Document Title From barricades to boardroom : transition from struggle leadership to government and business
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Mr J Cook Supervisor
  • organisational change
Date 2010-03-16
Availability unrestricted

South African business has seen a growing number of business leaders whose leadership capabilities were initially demonstrated in the political struggle against apartheid, later transition to leadership in the public sector, before venturing into business.

The purpose of this research was to explore the mobility of leadership competencies which the studied leaders possess. This entailed an examination into how their leadership capabilities and political convictions developed or changed as they moved between the different spheres, how they influence the companies they lead, and finally what impact did moving between the political, public and private spheres have on the researched leaders themselves.

Semi-structured interviews based on open-ended questions were conducted in order to gain insight into the respondentsí leadership aptitudes. This was validated by a quantitative measure of each skillís importance in delivering objectives in each sector.

The findings were as follows:

  • The researched leaders possess similar skills to those which are critical in delivering on company values, as suggested by the literature.
  • Some skills which might have been developed in the struggle are valuable to industry and can be transferred between both the private sector and the public sector.
  • Their personal values, rather than a political ideology, guided the researched leadersí behaviour.
  • The impact of moving between the spheres was seen to have a negative effect on the respondents due to different demands based on flexibility versus control, and internal focus versus external focus (as demonstrated by the Competing Values Framework of Leadership Roles)

Copyright © 2008, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Shongwe, B 2008, From barricades to boardroom : transition from struggle leadership to government and business, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03162010-154736/ >

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