Perceptions of incentives and leadership styles in innovative cultures: a study of South Africa's financial services and insurance industries

Matema, Mothusi
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South Africa’s business environment is very competitive. Organisations find themselves operating in environments where the rate of change is quite rapid. This study aimed to determine the perceptions of how incentives and leadership styles amplify or limit the effectiveness of employees in innovative cultures within South Africa. The study focused on a spectrum of leadership styles: autocratic leadership, democratic leadership and liberal leadership. An online cross-sectional questionnaire was used to test the hypotheses of this nature and to collect primary data for this study. The most dominant leadership style among the nine organisations surveyed appeared to be democratic leadership. The financial incentives that are perceived to be the most attractive to the employees surveyed were bonuses, followed by an increased basic salary, which is similar to their perceptions about what they actually receive from the organisation. The most attractive non-financial incentive is perceived to be promotion, which is not aligned to what they actually perceive to receive the most from the organisation, which is public honour (e.g. public praise, compliment, crowd cheering). It was found that none of the independent variables, with the exception of non-financial incentives, was correlated with an innovative culture. The study intends to add to the body of knowledge of corporate entrepreneurship by offering a theoretical framework and empirical evidence on the perceptions of incentives and leadership styles on an innovative culture so that companies can understand how these factors influence employees that work within an innovative culture and therefore, give these organisations a competitive advantage. The results of this study could provide insight to senior managers and executives into the potential benefits and attractiveness of certain incentives and the presence of certain of leadership styles within the organisation
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management specialising in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation Johannesburg, 2016
Matema, Mothusi (2016) Perceptions of incentives and leadership styles in innovative cultures:|ba study of South Africa's financial services and insurance industries, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>