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Issues management : a strategy to manage pro-active change in South African universities

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. N. Lessing en_US
dc.contributor.author Theron, Danie Jacobus
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-05T09:07:49Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-05T09:07:49Z
dc.date.issued 2012-09-05
dc.date.submitted 1996
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/6978
dc.description D.Comm. en_US
dc.description.abstract South African universities (SAUs) will be facing two main challenges in the next decade, namely: continuous change and decreasing predictability of the future. The urgency for change in SAUs flows mainly from conditions of turmoil and pressure, which in turn, emanate from public issues as they emerge within the macro-environment of SAUs. Decreasing predictability stems to a great extent from a lack of foreknowledge of how such emerging macro-environmental public issues will develop, and how they can influence SAUs through the public policy process. Management of SAUs therefore need to rely on crucial intelligence and foreknowledge concerning events, trends and developments of public issues that affect the future strategic viability of their institutions. They also need to rely on an agenda for understanding change as well as a means of marshalling participation in the public policy process, in order to manage public issues impacting on their institutions in a pro-active manner. At the onset four management concepts and processes were emphasised in this study, namely the concept of issues management within a macro-environmental context, issues management from an offensive environmental management perspective, strategy from an issues management perspective, and the concept of strategic change management within an issues management context. A proposed public issues management structure indicating the flow of information and actions within and outside the organisation, and how they could combine in public issues management programmes was also proposed. A macro-environmental perspective of universities in general and SAUs in particular was furthermore presented. It included the nature and function of universities, the history and management of SAUs and public issues impacting on SAUs. The practical aspect of this study was firstly based on an analysis of the different mission statements and mission goals of SAUs. The analysis was done to determine the management mode of management in SAUs; that is, whether management in SAUs operates in a pro-active management mode with regard to public issues in the public policy process. Secondly, models developed by Human & Horwitz (1992) as well as Ashley & Morrison (1995) and Theron (1994) were used to empirically determine the manner in which SAUs cope with change and to analyze the quality of the management of public issues in SAUs respectively. Descriptive data indicated that management in SAUs exhibit a proactive management mode with regard to public issues and a reasonable ability to cope with macro-environmental change. The management of emerging public issues and consequently pro-active change is, however, approached with bland commitment, a lack of strategic orientation and inadequate facilities and skills. It was concluded that, in view of the need in SAUs for a structured means of managing emerging public issues and consequently pro-active change, and in view of issues management constituting such a process, there is relevance for the implementation of issues management programmes in SAUs. In this regard a number of general recommendations were made with respect to managing the dynamic aspects of change, the implementation of strategies, and the implementation of an issues management strategy in SAUs. A framework was furthermore suggested for the implementation of an issues management strategy in SAUs in the belief that this framework, and the overall research reported in this thesis could be of theoretical as well as empirical value for managers in SAUs en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Universities and colleges - South Africa - Administration en_US
dc.title Issues management : a strategy to manage pro-active change in South African universities en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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