Management Styles of Women in Executive Decision-Making Positions in South African Sport

Article excerpt

Despite South African government officials placing emphasis on gender equality, gender inequality is still prevalent in South African sport management. Traditional perception in patriarchal South African society suggests that one barrier preventing women from management positions is management style. This perception seems apparent by women accounting for only 14% in top sport management positions, compared to their numbers in the national work force (41%) and the South African population (52%). Over the past decade, South African business practices have changed drastically. Business owners are faced with numerous challenges as to how to empower and transform human capital within given and legislative frameworks of South African society. Afro-centric transformational management seems to become the preferred management development strategy, focusing on appropriate or effective behavior and thinking patterns and assuming personal responsibility for growth and change. Thinking patterns (values, perceptions, philosophies and beliefs) influence leadership styles and management performance. The aim of this study was threefold: (a) to determine underlying thinking patterns and resultant management styles of women in executive decision making positions in sport, and (b) to identify weaknesses in management styles of women, and (c) to compare their dominant thinking patterns and management styles to essential 21st century business management traits as identified by Booysen (1999). …