Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The transformation of the South African Public Service: exploring the impact of racial and gender representation on organisational effectiveness

  • Sergio Fernandez (a1) and Hongseok Lee (a2)
Abstract

The transformation of the South African Public Service into a bureaucracy that is broadly representative of the population is one of the most significant public sector reforms to occur since the end of apartheid. Grounded in the theory of representative bureaucracy, this study examines demographic representation in the South African Public Service and how it impacts the organisational effectiveness of national departments. The empirical analysis is based on longitudinal data from 60 national departments from 2006 to 2013. The findings show that as these organisations become more representative by hiring a higher per cent of Africans, of Coloureds, and of Indians, they achieve a higher per cent of goals. The findings for gender representation are more mixed and show that female representation among most racial groups is unrelated to organisational effectiveness.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The transformation of the South African Public Service: exploring the impact of racial and gender representation on organisational effectiveness
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The transformation of the South African Public Service: exploring the impact of racial and gender representation on organisational effectiveness
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The transformation of the South African Public Service: exploring the impact of racial and gender representation on organisational effectiveness
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Email: sefernan@indiana.edu
Email: lee675@umail.iu.edu
References
Hide All
African National Congress (ANC). 2009. Election Manifesto: working together we can do more. Johannesburg: ANC.
Alexander, P. 2010. ‘Rebellion of the poor: South Africa's service delivery protests – a preliminary analysis’, Review of African Political Economy 37: 2540.
Auditor-General of South Africa. 2013. Report of the Auditor-General of South Africa on a Performance Audit on the Use of Consultants at Selected National Departments. Pretoria: Auditor-General of South Africa.
Berry, W.D. & Feldman, S.. 1985. Multiple Regression in Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Bommer, W.H., Johnson, J.L., Rich, G.A., Podsakoff, P.M., and MacKenzie, S.B.. 1995. ‘On the interchangeability of objective and subjective measures of employee performance: a meta-analysis’, Personnel Psychology 48: 587605.
Bradbury, M.D. & Kellough, J.E.. 2008. ‘Representative bureaucracy: exploring the potential for active representation’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 18: 697714.
Cameron, R. 2009. ‘New public management reforms in the South African Public Service, 1999–2009’, Journal of Public Administration 44: 910–42.
Cameron, R. & Milne, C.. 2013. ‘Representative bureaucracy in South Africa’, in Maravic, P.V., Peters, B.G. & Schroter, E., eds. Representative Bureaucracy in Action: country profiles from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 171–87.
Delaney, J.T. & Huselid, M.A.. 1996. ‘The impact of human resource management practices on perceptions of organizational performance’, Academy of Management Journal 39: 949–69.
Department of National Treasury (DNT). 2012. Guide for the Preparation of the National Report. Pretoria: DNT.
Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA). 1995. White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service. Pretoria: DPSA.
DPSA. 1997. Green Paper on a Conceptual Framework for Affirmative Action and the Management of Diversity in the Public Service. Pretoria: DPSA.
DPSA. 1998. White Paper on Affirmative Action in the Public Service. Pretoria: DPSA.
DPSA. 2013. Annual Report 2012/2013. Pretoria: DPSA.
Dolan, J.A. 2002. ‘Representative bureaucracy in the federal executive: gender and spending priorities’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 12: 353–75.
du Preez, M. 2013. A Rumour of Spring: South Africa after 20 years of democracy. Cape Town: Zebra Press.
Earthlife, . 2009. ‘Energy efficiency: strategy, accord and agency’, Sustainable Energy Briefing No. 9. Cape Town: Earthlife.
Edigheji, O. (ed.). 2010. Constructing a Democratic Developmental State in South Africa: potentials and challenges. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).
Ellemers, N., Heuvel, H., Gilder, D., Maass, A. & Bonvini, A.. 2004. ‘The underrepresentation of women in science: differential commitment or the queen bee syndrome?’, British Journal of Social Psychology 43: 315–38.
Fernandez, S., Malatesta, D. & Smith, C.R.. 2013. ‘Race, gender, and government contracting: different explanations or new prospects for theory?’, Public Administration Review 73: 109–20.
Garcia-Retamero, R. & López-Zafra, E.. 2006. ‘Prejudice against women in male-congenial environments: perceptions of gender role congruity in leadership’, Sex Roles 55: 5161.
Gooding, R.Z. & Wagner, J.A. III. 1985. ‘A meta-analytic review of the relationship between size and performance: the productivity and efficiency of organizations and their subunits’, Administrative Science Quarterly 30: 524–41.
Habib, A. 2013. South Africa's Suspended Revolution: hopes and prospects. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.
Hindera, J.J. 1993. ‘Representative bureaucracy: imprimis evidence of active representation in the EEOC district offices’, Social Science Quarterly 74: 95108.
Johnson, R.W. 2009. South Africa's Brave New World: the beloved country since the end of apartheid. New York, NY: Overlook Press.
Keiser, L.R., Wilkins, V.M., Meier, K.J. & Holland, C.A.. 2002. ‘Lipstick and logarithms: gender, institutional context, and representative bureaucracy’, American Political Science Review 96: 553–64.
Kingsley, J.D. 1944. Representative Bureaucracy: an interpretation of the British civil service. Yellow Springs, OH: Antioch Press.
Krislov, S. 1974. Representative Bureaucracy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Leon, T. 2008. On the Contrary: leading the opposition in a democratic South Africa. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball Publishers.
Lim, H. 2006. ‘Representative bureaucracy: rethinking substantive effects and active representation’, Public Administration Review 66: 193204.
Locke, E.A. & Latham, G.P.. 2002. ‘Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: a 35-year odyssey’, American Psychologist 57: 705–17.
Lowi, T.J. 1972. ‘Four systems of policy, politics and choice’, Public Administration Review 32: 298310.
Luiz, J.M. 2002. ‘South African state capacity and post-apartheid economic reconstruction’, International Journal of Social Economics 29: 594614.
Marais, H. 2011. South Africa Pushed to the Limit: the political economy of change. London: Zed Books.
Maserumule, M.H. 2010. ‘Consolidating a developmental state agenda: a governance challenge’, in Kondlo, K. & Maserumule, M.H., eds. The Zuma Administration: critical challenges. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council, 1549.
Mayende, G. 2010. ‘Rural development under a ‘developmental state’: analysing the policy shift on agrarian transformation in South Africa', in Kondlo, K. & Maserumule, M.H., eds. The Zuma Administration: critical challenges. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council.
Mazmanian, D.A. & Sabatier, P.A.. 1983. Implementation and Public Policy. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.
McCubbins, M., Noll, R.G. & Weingast, B.. 1989. ‘Structure and process, politics and policy: administrative arrangements and the political control of agencies’, Virginia Law Review 75: 431–82.
Meier, K.J. 1993. ‘Latinos and representative bureaucracy: testing the Thompson and Henderson hypotheses’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 3: 393414.
Meier, K.J. & Stewart, J. Jr. 1992. ‘The impact of representative bureaucracies: educational systems and public policies’, American Review of Public Administration 22: 157–71.
Meier, K.J. & Nicholson-Crotty, J.. 2006. ‘Gender, representative bureaucracy, and law enforcement: the case of sexual assault’, Public Administration Review 66: 850–60.
Meier, K.J. & O'Toole, L.J.. 2013. ‘Subjective organizational performance and measurement error: common source bias and spurious relationships’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 23: 429–56.
Meier, K.J., Wrinkle, R.D. & Polinard, J.L.. 1999. ‘Representative bureaucracy and distributional equity: addressing the hard question’, Journal of Politics 61: 1025–39.
Miller, K. 2005. Public Sector Reform: governance in South Africa. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Mintzberg, H. 1979. The Structuring of Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Mlambo-Ngcuka, S. 2007. “Pioneering the needs of our citizens’, Service Delivery Review – A Learning Journal for Public Service Managers 5: 1216.
Mosher, F.C. 1968. Democracy and the Public Service. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Naidoo, V. 2008. ‘Assessing racial redress in the public service’, in Habib, A. & Bentley, K., eds. Racial Redress and Citizenship in South Africa. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council.
Ndletyana, M. 2008. ‘Affirmative action in the public service’, in Habib, A. and Bentley, K., eds. Racial Redress and Citizenship in South Africa. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council.
Nosek, B.A., Banaji, M. & Greenwald, A.. 2002. ‘Harvesting implicit group attitudes and beliefs from a demonstration web site’, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice 6: 101–15.
O'Toole, L.J. & Meier, K.J.. 1999. ‘Modeling the impact of public management: implications of structural context’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 9: 505–26.
O'Toole, L.J. & Meier, K.J.. 2003. ‘Public management and educational performance: the impact of managerial networking’, Public Administration Review 63: 689–99.
Papke, L.E. & Wooldridge, J.. 1996. ‘Econometric methods for fractional response variables with an application to 401(k) plan participation rates’, Journal of Applied Econometrics 11: 619–32.
Pillay, U. 2013. ‘The role of state-owned enterprises in industrial policy’, in Pillay, U., Hagg, G. & Nyamnjoh, F., eds. State of the Nation: South Africa 2012–2013. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council.
Plaatjies, D. (ed.) 2013. Protecting the Inheritance: governance and public accountability in democratic South Africa. Auckland Park: Jacana Media.
Posel, D. 1999. ‘Whiteness and power in the South African civil service: paradoxes of the apartheid state’, Journal of Southern African Studies 25: 99119.
Presidency Republic of South Africa. 2013. State of Management Practices in the Public Service. Pretoria: Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.
Public Service Commission (PSC). 2000. The State of Public Representativeness in the Public Service. Pretoria: Public Service Commission.
PSC. 2010. State of the Public Service Report. Pretoria: Public Service Commission.
Quinn, R.E. & Rohrbaugh, J.. 1983. ‘A spatial model of effectiveness criteria: towards a competing values approach to organizational analysis’, Management Science 29: 363–77.
Rainey, H.G. 2014. Understanding and Managing Public Organizations. Fifth Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Selden, S.C. 1997. The Promise of Representative Bureaucracy: diversity and responsiveness in a government agency. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Selden, S.C., Brudney, J.L. & Kellough, J.E.. 1998. ‘Bureaucracy as a representative institution: toward a reconciliation of bureaucratic government and democratic theory’, American Journal of Political Science 42: 717–44.
Southall, R. 2007. ‘Ten propositions about black economic empowerment in South Africa’, Review of African Political Economy 34: 6784.
Von Holdt, K. & Murphy, M.. 2007. ‘Public hospitals in South Africa: stressed institutions, disempowered management’, in Buhlungu, S., Daniel, J., Southall, R. & Lutchman, J., eds, State of the Nation, South Africa 2007, pp. 312–41. Cape Town: HSRC Press.
Wilkins, V.M. & Keiser, L.R.. 2006. ‘Linking passive and active representation by gender: the case of child support agencies’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 16: 87102.
Wilkins, V.M. & Williams, B.N.. 2008. ‘Black or blue: racial profiling and representative bureaucracy’, Public Administration Review 68: 654–64.
Wood, B.D. & Waterman, R.. 1991. ‘The dynamics of political control of the bureaucracy’, American Political Science Review 85: 801–28.
Wooldridge, J.M. 2009. Introductory Econometrics: a modern approach. Mason, OH: South-Western.
Zulu, P. 2013. A Nation in Crisis: an appeal for morality. Cape Town: Tafelberg.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Modern African Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-278X
  • EISSN: 1469-7777
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-modern-african-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 9
Total number of PDF views: 203 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th September 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.