Proposed Leadership Approach for Solidarity Trade Union

Nicolaas Hendrik Arnold, Wilfred I. Ukpere


It is common knowledge that efficiency and productivity, characterised as cost effectiveness in terms of delivery of products and services, are achieved through the complex dynamic interaction of raw materials, funding, manufacturing process, application of technology and a variety of other factors. The World Economic Forum (2005) rates South Africa poorly in terms of its international competitiveness. Some of the competitive disadvantages include cooperation in labour-employer relations, scarce skills, skills outflow, hiring and firing practices, employment rules and trade union contributions to productivity. It is also generally understood that the successful integration of these factors is dependant, almost exclusively, on proper and effective management, which is often described in the management sciences as business leadership. However, it has become clear from a considerable body of scientific knowledge that organisational leaders are the agents that integrate all the forces at play in these organisations and ultimately ensure its competitiveness, sustainability and survival. Whereas it is obvious that the Solidarity Trade Union is a unique organisation even within a business environment of active trade unionism, it is important to apply an appropriate leadership approach in order to survive the tides of change. Comparative leadership theories, including the trait approach to leadership, the behavioural school and the contingency or situation school have been evaluated and compared and it was projected that the application of Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model was the most suitable approach to adopt. Hersey and Blanchard’s approach suggests that it will necessarily require a unique form or style of leadership, in order to be successful within the context of its unique strategic imperatives, whilst being a competitive trade union.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n2p721

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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