The purpose of the study was to assess the institutional support for capacity building of the senior public servants in the North West Province of South Africa. The literature, official documents and the responses from the departments and the senior public servants were analysed. The study has revealed the traditional gap between policy making and policy communication on one hand, and operational management and administration practices on the other. In detail, through the structured interviews and questionnaires, the study established that the public service is not taking a systematic and holistic approach to aligning and integrating the strategic management requirements and HR operations and needs which influence, and are influenced by, the expectations and needs of the senior public servants. Indeed, the dearth of linkages between strategic planning and effective HR planning thrusts a cultural misalignment and misfit within and between the departments, conventional HR practices and the paucity of long-term strategic leadership for the public service of the North West Province. Consequently, the institutional support in terms of effectively inducting the senior public servants; identifying management development and training needs in the context of the senior public servants’ jobs and careers; offering strategic and continuous leadership and professional development; the linkage between performance management review systems and the development mechanisms; and the appropriateness of the development activity to the needs of the current and future senior public servants require a structured framework to holistically confront the challenges of the public service, develop cultures of collective performance and succession management, as well as to sustain public service capability. From the perspective of effective public management, recommendations were made for successful transformation and HR competency management, as well as the durability of political leadership within the system of governance in the public service.
Thesis (PhD (Public Affairs))--University of Pretoria, 2008.