Original Research

Change, organisational culture and the development of the South African Military Academy to 2009

G E (Deon) Visser, G AJ Van dyk
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 7, No 2 | a238 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v7i2.238 | © 2011 G E (Deon) Visser, G AJ Van dyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 March 2016 | Published: 31 December 2011

About the author(s)

G E (Deon) Visser, Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
G AJ Van dyk, Department of Industrial Psychology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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This article investigates the impact of change and organisational culture on the growth and development of the South African Military Academy. It explores the impact of Nationalist Party rule since 1948 and black majority rule since 1994 on the institutional culture of the South African military and how that influenced the development of the Military Academy. This is intertwined with an investigation of the nature and impact of the diverging military and academic subcultures at the Academy. The article contends that, together with the historical exclusion of blacks and women from the military, the marginalisation of white English-speaking citizens by Nationalist Party rule denied the Academy the exploitation of a significant portion of the country’s human resource potential in the interest of institutional development. The same happened with the introduction of racial quotas and the marginalisation of whites since 1994. The Military Academy has, furthermore, historically been too reflective of the organisational culture of the South African National Defence Force and its predecessors instead of informing that culture to meet the challenges of military professionalism. The Academy has a potentially vital educational role to play in the South African and Sub-Saharan African militaries, but requires some changes in its organisational culture to fulfil that mission.

Keywords: South African Military Academy, organisational culture, military culture, military education, Stellenbosch University

Disciplines: Military History, Industrial Psychology


South African Military Academy; organisational culture; military culture; military education; Stellenbosch University


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