Factors contributing to the perceived effectiveness of the Kip McGrath Education Centres at Newholmes, Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
This study centred on factors contributing to the perceived organizational effectiveness within an educational service provider. The guiding assumption of this research was that the general public supports effective organizations because they are perceived as rendering an effective and efficient service. This results in a reciprocal relationship between the organization and its clients. The Kip McGrath Education Centres was studied since it is an organization that has been rendering educational service in South Africa since 1996. There are to date thirty-five centres operating in the country. However, while there has been phenomenal growth in terms of geographical expansion, no studies have been done to establish what has contributed towards this organization's perceived effectiveness. Literature sources informed this study of the indicators that characterize effective organizations. Some of these indicators of effectiveness were used in this research to determine whether the organization under study can be viewed as one such effective organization. The theoretical underpinning of this study is that there are inherent contradictions within models of effective organizations. As such, effectiveness should be determined according to a given model and relevant indicators. This study surveyed perceptions of the major stakeholders on matters pertaining to the organizational effectiveness of the Kip McGrath Education Centres at Newholmes. Both the qualitative and quantitative methodologies were used. That is, questionnaires were used to obtain information from large samples of educational stakeholders and interviews schedules and check-lists were used to collect qualitative data from small samples and observations of facilities and activities at the centre. The findings revealed that the organization under study was rendering an effective service that clients seem to have valued. This consequently led to their support of the organization which led to its growth in size, judged by student numbers. The conclusions derived from these findings were that an effective organization is one that is able to develop because it possesses salient features necessary for delivering an effective and efficient service to its clients, thus ensuring their continued support. A major finding was that parents were willing to pay for the services offered by the Newholmes KMEC because they felt they got their money's worth. This leads to the conclusion that when the public has confidence in an education provider, the public is willing and able to pay for the services. A recommendation arising out of this would be to determine the extent to which perceived effectiveness translates into genuine effectiveness judged by the quality of programmes offered by a number of private education providers. This would offer evidence and support for the role of the private sector in educational provision which can guide government policy and practice.