The role of heads of departments as transformational leaders

Phenyane, Nqobizitha Irvin
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South Africa has experienced a lot of changes in the 1990s. This study attempts to assess followers' observations of the role of Heads of Departments (HODs), at a provincial department level, as they translate the transformation policies into results. The main research question is " What role do public service Heads of Departments play as transformational leaders?" The nature of the study is analytic and evaluative. It is analytic in the sense that it reveals the experiences of followers and experts on the current conduct of leaders, and evaluative in as far as they articulate their expectations and what ought to have been. In investigating this role of HODs a case was developed and analyzed. Interviews were conducted with managers and practitioners and a questionnaire survey was conducted among officials of the Mpumalanga provincial administration. The key findings were that the Impact of the personality and skills of an HOD as a transformational leader cannot be felt unless there are substantial indicators of transformative changes in departments they lead. It was found that the essence of transformational leadership starts with giving a sense of urgency and priority in achieving transformation.