The relationship between organisational resources and organisational performance in a national government department
Organisational performance in the public sector has emerged as a critical topic in the post-1994 era in South Africa. This could ostensibly be attributed to the inability of the majority of most public organisations in the country to deliver a satisfactory standard of service to the public. An intense controversy has also emerged the world over on the selection of performance measures that are appropriate for use in public organisations. This debate is actuated by the existence of a multiplicity of performance measurement indices as well as frameworks that can be applied to manage performance in organisations. The existence of these multiple measurement mechanisms tends to confound the entire process of managing organisational performance. Another unresolved controversy focuses on the extent to which various organisational resources impact on organisational performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between organisational performance and three organisational resources; specifically, the human factor, organisational systems and organisational processes. A quantitative design was adopted in which a survey questionnaire was administered to 272 managers and employees of a South African National Government Department. Respondents were selected using a blend of purposive sampling and convenience sampling approaches. Data were analysed using the Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 20.0). Reliabilities were measured using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify the human factors, organisational systems and organisational processes. Spearman’s correlation and multiple linear regression analyses were used to investigate the relationship between organisational performance and the sub-elements under each of the three organisational resources. The impacts of each of the three factors on organisational performance were compared using the mean-score ranking technique. Performance of the National Government Department was measured using the four performance yardsticks of the Balanced Scorecard; namely, customer satisfaction, financial performance, innovation and learning, and internal processes The findings of the study revealed that performance of the National Government Department was highest in four strategic areas; which are the promotion of good corporate ethics and values, client satisfaction, service quality and relations with external organisations. However, performance shortfalls were observed in four key areas; namely, organisational speed, attrition of manpower, overloading of employees and the overburdening of divisions with high workloads. Correlation analysis showed that there were positive relationships between organisational performance and the five human factor components; life satisfaction, quality of work life, ability utilisation, creativity and autonomy. Regression analysis indicated that there were significant and predictive relationships between organisational performance and three human factor elements; namely, quality of work life, ability utilisation and life satisfaction. Among the five human factor elements, life satisfaction exerted the greatest impact on organisational performance. Significant, positive and predictive associations were also found between organisational performance and three organisational system factors; quality, innovation and inter-organisational systems, with quality exerting the greatest impact on organisational performance. Significant, positive and predictive relationships were further observed between organisational performance and the four organisational process factors identified in the study; namely, organisational structure, organisational change, team processes and organisational change. Among these, team processes exerted the greatest influence on organisational performance. Overall, the human factor applied the greatest impact on organisational performance, followed by organisational processes with organisational systems having the least impact. Based on these findings, recommendations were made and implications for further studies were suggested. The findings of the study provide empirical confirmation of the effectiveness of the Balanced Scorecard as a tool for the measurement and management of performance in public sector organisations. Additionally, managers in different public organisations may enhance the performance of their organisations by optimising the sub-elements of the three organisational resources examined in this study.
D. Tech. (Business, Faculty of Management Sciences), Vaal University of Technology
Public sector, Organizational performance, Performance measurement, Service standards, South African National Government Department, Exploratory factor analysis, Balanced Scorecard, Corporate ethics, Client satisfaction, Service quality, Relations with external organisations, Performance shortfalls, Organisational speed, Overloading of employees, Attrition of manpower, Overburdening of divisions with high workloads., Human factor components, Regression analysis, Quality of work life, Ability utilisation, Life satisfaction, Organisational system factors, Organisational change, Team processes