Original Research

Management competencies in higher education: Perceived job importance in relation to level of training required

Ingrid L. Potgieter, Melinde Coetzee
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 8, No 1 | a306 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v8i1.306 | © 2010 Ingrid L. Potgieter, Melinde Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 May 2010 | Published: 25 November 2010

About the author(s)

Ingrid L. Potgieter, University of South Africa, South Africa
Melinde Coetzee, University of South Africa


Orientation: The increasing changes and demands placed on higher education institutions in the 21st century and resultant impact on the roles and responsibilities of heads of department (HODs) have led to an increasing emphasis on the development of core HOD management competencies.

Research purpose: The aim of this article is to determine the relationship between a specific set of HOD managerial competencies identified as being important for the job and the level of training required in terms of these competencies.

Motivation for the study: Research has provided evidence that HODs are often ill-prepared for their managerial role, which requires the development of specific management competencies to enable them to fulfil their roles effectively.

Research design, approach and method: A non-experimental quantitative survey design approach was followed and correlational data analyses were performed. A cross-sectional sample of 41 HODs of 22 departments from various faculties of a higher education institution in Gauteng participated in this study. The Management Competency Inventory (MCI) of Visser (2009) was applied as a measure.

Main findings: The Pearson product-moment analysis indicated that there is a significant relationship between the competencies indicated as being important for the job and the level of training required.

Practical/Managerial implications: Training needs of HODs should be formally assessed and the depth of training required in terms of the identified management competencies should be considered in the design of training programmes.

Contributions/Value-add: The information obtained in this study may potentially serve as a foundation for the development of an HOD training programme in the South African higher education environment.


competency framework; head of department; management development; managerial competencies; tertiary education


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Crossref Citations

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