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Perceptions regarding implementation of the college model reorganisation in the University of KwaZulu-Natal College of Health Sciences.

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The College Model organisational structure was implemented at the University of KwaZulu-Natal after its inception in 2004. In 2010 the organisational structure was reviewed. The outcome proposed numerous changes resulting in the College Model Reorganisation (CMR) in 2011. The most significant change was removing the faculty layer, resulting in a two-layer structure of Colleges and Schools. It also included the reduction, through consolidation, in schools from 54 to 19. This study was conducted to ascertain the perceptions of middle managers regarding implementation of the CMR in the UKZN College of Health Sciences. The literature revealed that whilst there had been studies conducted to determine the impact of the CMR on the support staff within UKZN, there appeared to have been no review of the implementation of the CMR. The literature review included Higher Education Institutions and the impact of the pandemic, change and organisational change in the form of downsizing, restructuring, and reorganisation, as well as change management, the leadership role in change, and change management theories. This study aimed to determine if the purpose of the CMR had been achieved, the challenges experienced by middle managers in implementation, and the factors to assist in embedding the College Model. It is hoped that the study will provide the University with learning outcomes regarding the CMR to improve the implementation of any further change endeavours, including Project Renewal. This study was qualitative with purposive sampling of middle managers used in an interpretive approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 staff (academic and professional services) from CHS middle management layer. Deductive thematic analysis was used. The majority of participants understood the purpose of the CMR. However, there were varied perceptions regarding the achievement of the CMR objectives. The adverse effects of uncertainty, fear, and mistrust generated by the top-down non-consultative approach, lack of engagement and the impact on the psychological contract of professional services employees were evident and need urgent repair. A knowledge management and sharing culture need to be implemented. It was strongly recommended that a review be conducted of the CMR and implementation of a change and communication strategy for the future.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.