Development needs and perceptions of senior managers in Namibian state owned enterprises

Von Holtz, Ursula
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
According to the Namibian Minister of Finance, Namibian state owned enterprises (SOEs) generally underperform: the majority are unable to pay dividends to their shareholders. In the local press-reported public perception, this is due to an apparent lack of competency at, mainly, senior management level. In the organisational development world, it is assumed that senior manager coaching, as one of several potential organisational development process initiatives, would lead to greater senior manager competence, and thus improved organisational efficiency. However, in Namibia, no known research exists on whether this is indeed the case, or on what senior manager development needs actually are. From this research gap derives the research question: What are the development needs and perceptions of senior managers in Namibian state owned enterprises? Situated within an ecosystemic paradigm and Maslow’s humanist hierarchy of needs psychological theory, this study adopts a holistic, interpretive, and empirical approach in one purposively selected SOE to explore this question. Findings suggest that senior managers’ development needs are clustered mainly in Maslow’s “deficiency” category of needs. In particular, managers experience anxiety around competency issues, and a general lack of recognition and appreciation. In contrast, however, the study found a strong sense of affiliation, even loyalty, towards the SOE studied. The frequency with which organisational deficiencies were also mentioned nevertheless suggests that it would be insufficient to address senior manager development needs in isolation from broader organisational development process interventions. The report concludes with recommendations inter alia, for further research particularly around the issues of individual competence, recognition, and affiliation within an organisational context.
Thesis (M.M. (Business and Executive Coaching))--University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, Graduate School of Business Administration, 2012.