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The management profession and skills in South Africa: Report for the Scarce Skills Research Project of the Human Sciences Research Council

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Corporate author/s:

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC); Economic Justic Agency CC; Department of Labour South Africa

Person/s author/s:

Mbabane, Loyiso


research report



The first challenge that one confronts in attempting to define the skills shortage among managers is the basic issue of who or what a manager is. Unfortunately, the challenge is not only confined to issues of qualifications; levels or types of managers, even the 'job' itself and its meaning are in contention. Also crucial for the purposes of this study are the sets of technical, human and conceptual skills that managers need in order to play these roles effectively. The extent to which management is a 'profession' in the true sense of the word has a bearing on how managers are developed and how standards are assessed. Besides considerations of ethics and professional image, the extent to which 'management' has developed into a 'profession' has implications for the type of education and training that future managers should receive. It is thus necessary to explore what a profession is and whether management is a profession or not. If it is, then we ought to ascertain the implications of this for the training and development of managers, including, if need be, the retraining of current managers.

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