Original Research

Trust and organisational performance: A grounded theory approach for a South African district municipality

Zwelinzima J. Ndevu
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 17 | a1158 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v17i0.1158 | © 2019 Zwelinzima J. Ndevu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 January 2019 | Published: 26 June 2019

About the author(s)

Zwelinzima J. Ndevu, School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Share this article

Bookmark and Share


Orientation: A key role of local government in providing transparent, honest, accountable, efficient and effective service delivery to the communities they serve is determined by a number of plans, designs, actions and implementation. Trust among communities in the organisational set up is key in the success or failure of the efforts of the municipal entity and affects their individual and group performance.

Research purpose: This study examines the relationship between trust and performance within a municipal environment and its effect on service delivery.

Motivation for the study: The lack of sufficient and usable knowledge and information on the issue created the need for this research project that is an on-going effort dissecting and analysing key human resources challenges in the public sector.

Research approach/design and method: Following a brief outline of the legislation, rules and regulations that determine the responsibilities of local government in South Africa and the context of the study, the qualitative method and design of focus groups as the key instrument of data collection was identified and analysed.

Main findings: The results of the study pointed to the lack of trust among leadership and employees at all organisational levels.

Practical/managerial implications: The existence of mistrust and problems identified in the process of performance management and evaluation has negative consequences on employee performance in the municipality.

Contribution/value-add: The study findings have opened new doors to understanding key elements of organisational performance as the topic has received very scant attention in South African research literature.


trust; organisational performance; grounded theory approach; South African District Municipality; public sector


Total abstract views: 1700
Total article views: 2500

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.