Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies is showcasing students’ Mini Dissertations (MBA).
This week we showcase Prathna Gopi, GIBS Business School (Gordon Institute of Business Science), University of Pretoria – An eThekwini Water Sector perspective: characteristics of leaders required for effective stakeholder management Mini Dissertation.
In recent years, the eThekwini region has experienced a deterioration in the service delivery of water by its municipalities. A review of available literature indicated that in the current era of managing all stakeholders, effective stakeholder management was a key area of focus for service delivery improvement.
Stakeholder management is context specific, therefore the purpose of this study was to identify and understand the characteristics of leaders required for effective stakeholder management in the eThekwini Water Sector. An exploratory, qualitative, embedded case study approach was adopted since this area of study has been relatively unexplored.
A cross-sectional time horizon combined with purposive sampling was used to undertake 16 semi-structured interviews with senior managers within the eThekwini Water Sector, ensuring diversity in the knowledge and views obtained. This study has determined that effective stakeholder engagement entails ensuring that stakeholders are identified correctly, common goals amongst stakeholders are agreed upon, and all engagements and communication are documented and structured.
This study further confirms the view that leaders within the eThekwini Water Sector have a wide variety of stakeholders to manage, and that one of the main characteristics required by leaders for effective stakeholder management is the ability to manage relationships. These findings are illustrated through the development of two conceptual frameworks which can be used by leaders in the eThekwini Water Sector to effectively manage stakeholders, as well as scholars for future research.