Managing change and transformation of organisations to learning organisations in South Africa.
Makaula, Gunyaziwe Goodworth.
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This study is an evaluation of how to improve organisational performance by transforming an organisation into a learning one - in particular the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL). A qualitative method was used where an exploratory study was conducted through the use of a survey and interviews with selected participants. This was done in order to establish their feelings and perceptions concerning a need for change in our organisations, especially by managers or leaders. In enabling the researcher to follow a more focussed study, nine questions were prepared and one interview question. Most of the questions revolved around the need for change, factors affecting change (whether negative or positive), benefits, and ultimately how organisational performance could be enhanced. An in-depth literature review was then undertaken by the researcher on the nature of a learning organisation and other related principles in order for the researcher to build capacity and empower himself. The current state of implementing change and transformation in SANRAL and other organisations was compared with that suggested by the literature. Twenty-five questionnaires were administered to SANRAL and other stakeholders’ employees, the responses were analysed, and the results were compared with what is suggested by the literature. Most of the respondents agree that there is a need for paradigm shift in organisations, particularly SANRAL. Learning organisations’ principles featured prominently in the participants’ responses. It was also thought that the challenge is how to manage and lead in these rapidly changing times. Issues like communication, participative management and so on were found to be key factors when leading change in an organisation, and vital for organisational performance. The literature review revealed that management needs to be more proactive in their approach when leading under these uncertain conditions. Finally, the dissertation highlighted the shortfalls and critical issues that organisations need to focus on in order to survive in changing environments, while the literature review provided some of the guidelines in addressing these challenges.