Original Research

Transformational leadership in the South African public service after the April 2009 national elections

Manasseh M. Mokgolo, Patricia Mokgolo, Mike Modiba
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 1 | a334 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i1.334 | © 2012 Manasseh M. Mokgolo, Patricia Mokgolo, Mike Modiba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 October 2010 | Published: 23 April 2012

About the author(s)

Manasseh M. Mokgolo, Department of Human Resources Management, University of South Africa, South Africa
Patricia Mokgolo, Learning and Development Unit, Tromso Management Consultants CC, Boyne, South Africa
Mike Modiba, Tromso Management Consultants CC, Boyne, South Africa

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Orientation: The implementation of transformational leadership in public services after national elections has been well recorded in other parts of the world. However, this is not the case in South Africa.

Research purpose: The purpose of the study is to determine whether transformational leadership has a beneficial relationship with subordinate leadership acceptance, job performance and job satisfaction.

Motivation for the study: Leadership is a critical issue that the public sector needs to address in order to survive and succeed in today’s unstable environment. According to Groenewald and Ashfield (2008), transformational leadership could reduce the effects of uncertainty and change that comes with new leaders and help employees to achieve their objectives.

Research design, approach and method: The sample comprised 1050 full-time employees in the public sector based in head offices. The measuring instruments included the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), the Leadership Acceptance Scale (LAS), the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS) and the Job Performance Survey (JPS).

Main findings: Transformational leadership had a positive correlation with subordinate leadership acceptance, performance and job satisfaction.

Practical/managerial implications: Managers can train public sector leaders to be transformational leaders because of the adverse effect lack of transformation can have on employees’ attitudes in areas like satisfaction, performance and commitment.

Contribution/value-add: This study makes an important contribution to our understanding of transformational leadership processes and to how the public service can improve its practices in order to render quality service to South Africans.


job performance; job satisfaction; leadership acceptance; public services; transformational leadership


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