Original Research

Requisite leader behavioural competencies for sustainable organisational performance

Schalk W. Grobler, Yvonne du Plessis
Acta Commercii | Vol 16, No 1 | a347 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v16i1.347 | © 2016 Schalk W. Grobler, Yvonne du Plessis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 September 2015 | Published: 18 August 2016

About the author(s)

Schalk W. Grobler, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Yvonne du Plessis, School of Business and Governance, North West University, South Africa


Orientation: Organisations constantly strive to understand the impact of leader behaviour on continued superior organisational performance.
Research purpose: The purpose of the study was to establish a framework of requisite leader behavioural competencies for sustainable (repeated) organisational performance and to determine the interrelationship between leader behaviour and sustainable organisational performance.
Rationale/ motivation: Many studies have been conducted investigating the impact of leadership on organisational performance, but a gap exists in studying the interplay between leader behavioural competencies, organisational performance and organisational context.
Research design, approach and method: A case study research design was used employing a qualitative approach with a constructivist grounded theory research philosophy. Data collection comprised archival document review and semi-structured, in-depth interviews with senior executives in a high performing multinational listed South African organisation as case. Data analysis was conducted with the aid of qualitative data analysis computer software, as well as through iterative open and axial coding to discover patterns and themes.
Main findings: The study resulted in a leader behavioural competency framework purporting a model founded strongly in context and simplicity.
Practical/ Managerial implications: Requisite leader behavioural competencies were identified as: 1) simple focus and providing direction; 2) a sincere regard for people, or employee well-being; 3) creating an environment of absolute trust and empowerment; 4) enforcing innovation and entrepreneurship; 5) full leader support and backup; and 6) affording profound reward and recognition for achievements.
Contribution: Organisations can benefit from an insight into understanding how the identified requisite leader behavioural competencies possibly can impact organisational performance in their respective environments.


Leadership competency; leader behaviour; sustainable organisational performance; organisational culture; simplicity as organisational philosophy


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