Research Shares Insights on how KZN Municipalities can Improve their Decision Making Processes
The worrying reality of the Auditor-General of South Africa’s constant negative findings about decision-making processes by KwaZulu-Natal municipalities motivated Doctor of Business Administration graduate, Dr Mbuyiseni Ntuli, to explore how this could be turned around.
Through his thesis titled: “An Analysis of Systemic Thinking in Decision-Making Processes in Municipalities within the Province of KwaZulu-Natal”, Ntuli investigated the understanding, application and effectiveness of the thinking technique for gaining systemic (situation-wide) insights into complex situations and problems in decision-making processes in KZN municipalities.
‘The study was premised on the philosophy that the success or failure of any organisation, including a municipality, is - among other factors - the product of the decision-making processes of its leadership and management,’ said Ntuli. ‘Thus, I surveyed 183 senior managers from 81 municipalities within the province. One of the key findings was that there is a need to incorporate systemic thinking in key performance areas of senior management in all municipalities to improve the quality of decisions taken.’
As a Development Lecturer at the Graduate School of Business and Leadership, shaping future leaders is a role that Ntuli takes seriously.
‘I am of the view that this study will benefit all those who are entrusted with management and strategic decision-making responsibilities across the organisational spectrum, the university communities, the researchers and the public at large,’ said Ntuli.
Looking to the future, Ntuli’s academic prospects are focused on contributing to UKZN’s primary goal of research in line with becoming a research-led institution.
‘I was very fortunate to be appointed by the University and become part of its staff. As a result, I was surrounded by a group of erudite scholars in the academic space who are always willing to give any form of academic advice, irrespective of its nature. This qualification came in my life at the right time - it means a lot to me. It qualifies me to be counted as one of a qualifying member of staff to form part of any university community,’ said Ntuli.