Leadership Development in a South African Health Service

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Public Sector Management, 2002, 15 (6/7), pp. 520 - 533
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The paper reports the outcomes of one module of a collaborative learning project aimed at the development of leadership capacity in district health management teams in the East Cape province of South Africa. A work-based learning methodology was selected for the module with the intention of developing strategic and procedural knowledge bases within these teams as a way of addressing the complex problems of policy implementation in South African state organisations. The paper demonstrates the effectiveness of collaborative work-based projects in developing team members' capacity to solve difficult workplace problems and to implement strategy in a challenging operational environment. It endorses the role of leadership coaching in the development of, and ability to leverage, important strategic knowledge resources that reside within and between team members. The paper concludes with an example that demonstrates the developing ability of team members to initiate successful collaboration around the resolution of complex service delivery problems.
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