The operating environment for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in South Africa is undergoing continual change and is becoming increasingly complex. For organisations to cope with this increasingly complex environment, literature proposed that organisations need to operate as a Complex Adaptive System (CAS), and proposed competencies that leaders require, in order to foster this type of environment. Although the MNOs have been described by literature to be operating a CAS, the purpose of this study was to compare what competencies literature stated are required for a CAS, as opposed to what the executive ICT leaders at Mobile Network OperatorsÕ stated their competencies are. To gain an understanding of what critical competencies are required by these leaders, a
qualitative, exploratory research design was followed, which included 13 semi-structured, indepth,
face-to-face interviews with executive ICT leaders at three of the major MNOs in South
Africa. These executive ICT leaders included: Chief Information Officers; Chief Technology
Officers; Managing Executives; Heads of Departments; General Managers; and Executives.
Literature in the complexity leadership field, alluded to 36 leadership competencies which are
critical to fostering a CAS and leading in this complex environment. Key findings indicated a
gap in the field, whereby the executive ICT leaders interviewed, referenced only 15 of the 36
critical competencies as stated by literature. Furthermore, it was found that although people
skills fall within the human resources domain, one cannot negate the importance of this
competency within a CAS environment. This studyÕs findings contribute to the extant literature in the field of complexity leadership.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.