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The Impact of Organisational Culture on Public Sector Performance: A Case Study of Local Authorities in Zimbabwe

Munashe Huragu


Redgelot Mufaro Chuma

Munashe Huragu 1

Redgelot Mufaro Chuma 2

  1. Principal Officer, Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Zimbabwe 1

  2. Lecturer Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE), Zimbabwe, Tutor Management College of Southern Africa, Doctor of Philosophy Candidate, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe 2

Pages: 33-56

DOI: 10.18488/journal.74.2019.61.33.56

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Article History:

Received: 23 October, 2018
Revised: 26 November, 2018
Accepted: 03 January, 2019
Published: 12 February, 2019


Local authorities play an important role in the national development of any country as they are the vehicle for basic municipal service delivery. They are the interface of government and its citizenry at the local level meaning that local authorities represent government in action. As such, the same are expected to proffer sustainable services in the right amount and at the right time. Local authorities therefore provide the backbone for a country’s socio-economic development. However, the recent history of the local authority sector suggests that councils have fallen way behind in terms of delivering on their mandate due a number of factors. The Ministry responsible for Local Government in Zimbabwe notes that the peak year where councils were optimally functional was 1996 and this is the level that has been benchmarked. In the main, it may be noted, that councils in Zimbabwe rank among the most liquid organisations; their revenues are guaranteed in the Constitution and in some way in the relevant Acts of Parliament. As such, it is within the rights of the public to expect local authorities to offer more than they have done since the turn of the millennium. It may be argued that the set-up of local authorities in Zimbabwe is not aligned to the objective of delivering optimal services to communities with the same not responding to the demands of the people as well the operating environment. To significantly alter this negative spiral of performance, it is imperative that local authorities deal decisively with issues surrounding organisational culture in order to focus members (councillors and employees), policies and processes towards the achievement of both local and national goals and priorities. This study reviews the literature already proffered on the subject matter in conjunction with primary research to add to the body of knowledge in this area of study.
Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes to the existing literature in the field of organizational culture and service delivery in the public sector. Research has been carried out on the private sector’s organizational culture in developed countries. There is limited literature on organizational culture in the public sector in the developing world. The study used qualitative research methods that present a practical way of establishing the organisational culture’snorms, values and belief systems that can’t be measured quantitatively.


Local Authorities, Organisational culture, Organisational performance, Public sector.




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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Both authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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