The transition from social worker to Non–Profit Organization manager : a challenge to grow
Expert management is a present-day concept which is viewed as the reason why some organisations merely function while others excel. The demands on managers of businesses and Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) in the current management milieu are very high and require knowledge, skills and experience. The management structure of NPOs should be well informed of the management skills possessed by their counterparts in the business sector. Social work training in South Africa has come a long way and has, in the past 20 years, developed into various specialities within the field. Social work service delivery facilitates the growth and development of social workers to the extent that their rapid progress places them in the spotlight for managerial positions. A broader knowledge base regarding the dynamics of management is required for a smooth transition from social worker to efficient manager. Social work training institutions that offer management training in South Africa do not currently provide this training with particular reference to the NPO context. Chapter 1 focuses on the formulation of the research topic and the research design that was implemented in this study. The central strategic arguments as well as the goals and objectives of the study are presented to the reader. Chapter 2 describes the research methodology utilised in this study. Chapter 3 is composed of a literature study regarding the current functioning of NPOs in South Africa. The focus is on management and governance processes and role players within NPOs, the social, political and economic factors influencing the functioning of NPOs, management models and theories, leadership, and the transition from social worker to social work manager. This information provides a background against which the functioning of NPOs in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Free State and the Northern Cape can be contextualised. In Chapter 4 the data received from the situational analysis with NPO managers in Mpumalanga is processed and reported. An overview is presented regarding NPOs in Mpumalanga, including the management processes and role players. Thereafter a profile of NPO managers in Mpumalanga is presented with specific focus on the management knowledge and skills of these officials. The training needs of NPO managers are summarised and prioritised. Lastly, the availability of management training programmes in social work training institutions in South Africa is presented. Chapter 5 describes the current situation within South African NPOs as per data received from focus group discussions with social workers functioning as managers of NPOs in Gauteng, Free State and Northern Cape provinces. Emphasis is placed on the personal experiences participants underwent during their transition from social worker to NPO manager. The specific management processes and role players indicated by participants as involved in facilitating the transition from social worker to NPO manager are emphasised. In Chapter 6 a model is presented to potentially facilitate the process of transition for managers. Specific training needs are also incorporated into this model. Chapter 7 consists of the conclusions and summary of this study. Recommendations are finally made regarding the facilitation of the transition from social worker to NPO manager.
- Humanities