Organisational Identity: Another Key Consideration for Facilitating Effective and Efficient Transformational Change – Lessons from the South African Department of Correctional Services
AbstractThis study focused on establishing the identity of the South African Department of Correctional Services as an organisation during the implementation of the transformational change, which entailed a paradigm-altering culture change from the punitive to the rehabilitative philosophy in terms of the treatment of sentenced incarcerated offenders. The treatise presents empirical evidence gathered from the correctional officials based at the regional office, management area offices, and correctional centres of the Department of Correctional Services in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. According to Labich (1994), organisational identity stands at the centre of corporate failure and yet, very little empirical research has been conducted on organisational identity. De Geus (1997) concurs with Labich (1994) on the importance of organisational identity in organisational life when emphasising that organisational identity plays a significant role in promoting long-living organisations, but no extensive empirical studies have been undertaken on organisational identity. Therefore, the lack of empirical evidence on the importance of the notion of organisational identity within an organisational environment has motivated the authors to undertake an empirical study which sought to establish and explore the identity of the Department of Correctional Services of South Africa during the process of transformational change (herein refered to as the DCS change). This was an important study given the fact that arguments have been advanced to the effect that organisational identity is related to other organisational variables such as organisational culture, organisational cohesion, organisational stability, organisational loyalty, organisational commitment, organisational health, organisational functioning, organisational effectiveness, organisational efficiency, organisational sustainability, and organisational change. This study was intended to benefit managers in both the public and private sector organisations globally and particularly in South Africa, where organisations are currently engaged in massive transformational change efforts as a result the government’s programme of reconstruction and development of the South African society. For purposes of contextualising the notion of organizational identity within the Department of Correctional Services and South Africa in general, an extensive literature study was undertaken. The literature study was followed by the empirical study whereby data was collected by means of a survey questionnaire from correctional officials. The empirical findings pointed to the fact that the Department of Correctional Services portrayed a negative organisational identity during the process of transformational change.
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