Original Research

Exploring leadership as catalyst for unlocking social capital in the survival of a state-owned company

Shirleen Titus, Crystal Hoole
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 52, No 1 | a2448 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v52i1.2448 | © 2021 Shirleen Titus, Crystal Hoole | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 November 2020 | Published: 31 August 2021

About the author(s)

Shirleen Titus, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Crystal Hoole, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Purpose: Social capital (SC) has been studied in economics, politics and organisations. Understanding SC can help the leadership of state-owned companies (SOC) foster quality relationships with multiple stakeholders. By 2019 the cost of corrupt relationships had reached R1 trillion in South Africa. The study develops and validates a model for SC underpinned by cooperative behaviours required by leadership from the perspective of multiple stakeholders. No literature exists when evaluating SC from a multiple stakeholder perspective in an SOC. The leadership of SOCs desperately needs to turn around current ineffective performance through mutually cooperative behaviours. SC found in quality relationships can contribute to SOC effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach: A sequential exploratory qualitative approach. Phase 1 collected data through focus groups and interviews for a deeper understanding and to develop a model. In phase 2 a Delphi survey determined the level of consensus by experts and reach validation. Responses were solicited by using purposive sampling from five stakeholder perspectives. Adapted grounded theory and qualitative content analysis provided the foundation for the strategy of enquiry.

Findings/results: Multiple stakeholders want qualities such as trust to be present in their relationships with the SOC for SC to have value impact.

Practical implications: The validated model of behaviours to adopt will significantly help the SOC leadership, who are the main catalyst for the success of the SOC.

Originality/value: This study addresses a gap in literature and contributes to the scientific body of knowledge applicable to an SOC.


Keywords

trust; communication; decision-making; commitment; culture; collaboration and social capital; leadership; corruption.

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