Repository logo

Leadership and partnerships : a social sector development perspective.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2009.
The focus of the study falls into leadership development in the social sector as it pursues sustainability of organisations through strategic partnerships that add value and impact. The research uses the context created by the establishment of the National Development Agency (NDA) because of its pivotal role as the only agency mandated to address poverty and its root causes. The research, however, also looks at other case studies from four non-profit organisations located in distinctly different social contexts and serving diverse stakeholders for practical, empirical purposes. The problem statement that informed the study is based on the following questions: (1) Can social partnerships develop and nurture greater, effective leadership and create organisational sustainability? (2) If so, what are the leadership behavioural traits or characteristics that provide support for sustainability through partnerships? Leadership in this study has therefore been narrowed down to those elements and characteristics that add value to building social entrepreneurship, sustainability, self-reliance, cooperative accountability and governance through partnerships. Leadership and partnerships enable people and organisations to tap into the inner-human potential of networks, which as a result build robust and vibrant communities. The study endeavours to suggest practical ways in which leadership and partnerships can enhance social development in an otherwise complex, but developing, transforming and growing sector. Alternative options to enhance partnerships are also explored in order to contribute to a search for knowledge and to gain some understanding to the current social leadership and partnerships dynamics in a post-apartheid era, which may directly or indirectly impact on the private, public and civil society sectors. The research methodology and design used for this study were qualitative and quantitative in nature using interviews and discussions with strategic leaders. An analysis was made in order to establish a theoretical base that would provide insight into the topic under research. The outcomes of the study provide a conclusion that leadership and partnerships form the bases for social enterprise and sustainable development to ensure sustainable and vibrant partnerships. In this discourse, leadership has evolved from situational leadership to a competency-based and character-based model. The study concludes by defining five broad leadership elements that create partnerships and sustain organisations: These are: relationships, trust, sustained dialogue and conversation, social compact and principle-based leadership.


Leadership., Partnership., Organizational change., Organizational effectiveness., Theses--Leadership and innovation.