Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences/School of Public Leadership/Researchers/S/Schwella Erwin

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Erwin Schwella, Professor at the School of Public Leadership, University of Stellenbosch

About the Researcher

Personal Particulars

Born: 6 November 1953 in Bloemfontein, Republic of South Africa

Educational Qualifications


December 1971, Standard 10, Bellville High School

First Class Pass with distinction in Afrikaans


December 1975 B.A. (Law), University of Stellenbosch

December 1981 Hons.B in Public Administration (cum laude), University of Stellenbosch (Passed with 80% mark)

December 1982 Sociology, 3rd Year (passed with distinction), University of Stellenbosch

December 1983 M.P.A. (Master of Public Administration) (Passed with 70% mark), University of Stellenbosch

December 1984 Honnours B.A. Sociology (cum laude), University of Stellenbosch

December 1988 Ph.D in Public Administration, University of Stellenbosch

Career Particulars

Non-academic Career

November 1975 - June 1977, Department of Justice: Clerk of Court and Public Prosecutor.

July 1977 - September 1979, South African Defence Force: Personnel Officer attained rank of Substantive Lieutenant, Temporary Captain.

October 1979 - December 1980, Cape Town City Council: Assistant Job Analyst-Writer and promoted Training Officer.

Academic Career

University of Stellenbosch:

January 1981 - Junior Lecturer December 1981 - Lecturer January 1989 - Senior Lecturer April 1990 - Associate-professor

Discipline: Public Administration

January 1992 – December 2003 - Professor and Director: School of Public Management & Planning

January 2004 –Professor of Public Leadership: School of Public Management and Planning

Present position comprises lecturing at under- and postgraduate levels to students in Public Administration and research into politics, government leadership and management

Teaching (Topics)

Undergraduate teaching at University of Stellenbosch

Taught undergraduate course in:

Taught undergraduate courses in: Introduction and Advanced Public Management

South African Governmental Institutions

Public Personnel Management

Governmental Enterprises

Topical Issues in Public Administration

Administrative Law

Administrative Theory

Public Organisation Theory


Post-Graduate Teaching at University of Stellenbosch

Taught post graduate courses in:

Research Methodology and Methods (to Political Science and Public Administration Students)

Advanced Theory of Public Administration

Advanced Public Personnel Management

Advanced Public Management

Advanced Organization Development

Leadership and Change Management

Other Teaching activities:

  • Guest Lecturer at various national and international academic institutes.
  • External examiner at numerous academic institutions.

Special Honnours

  • Since 2001 listed in Who’s Who in the World as a global leader in areas of interest.
  • Member of the Board of Overseers of the Centre for Public Leadership, Dutch Institute of Public Administration(ROI) in the Hague, Netherlands since March 2003
  • First National Chairperson and founding member of the Association of Southern African Schools and Departments of Public Administration and Management (ASSADPAM) since 2001.
  • Visiting academic at the following international institutions:
  • The British Civil Service College, Sunningdale,UK
  • The European Centre for Development Policy and Management, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Leiden University, The Netherlands
  • Tilburg University, The Netherlands
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, The Netherlands
  • The Dutch Institute of Public Administration (ROI), The Netherlands
  • The Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands
  • Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA
  • The University of Wyoming, USA
  • Rutgers University, USA
  • Potsdam University, Germany
  • Umea University, Sweden
  • Manchester University, UK



Chapters in Books

1. A chapter on the contribution of P.M. Blau's exchange theory to political science theory in Faure, AM en Kriek, DJ, Die Moderne Politieke Teorie, Butterworth, Durban, 1984.

2. A section under the title "Hulpmiddels vir effektiewe beleidbepaling en besluitneming" published in Local Government: Challenges and Prospects, Schwella, E, and Van Rooyen, A. (editors), Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Stellenbosch, 1985.

3. Co-editor of a publication entitled Local Government: Challenges and Prospects published by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Stellenbosch, November 1985.

4. A section under the title "The Relationship of Public Administration with Business Management and Administration: A Public Administration Viewpoint" in Gildenhuys, JSH, (ed.) South African Public Administration: Past, Present and Future, Owen Burgess, Pinetown, 1988.

5. A chapter "Verklarings vir Korrupsie en Wanadministrasie" in book Ethics and the Public Sector, Juta, Cape Town, 1991.

6. Co-author of Public Management, Juta, Cape Town, 1991.

7. A chapter: "Public Accountability and the Ideal of Democratic Accountability in South Africa" in Du Toit, A (Ed), Towards Democracy, IDASA, 1991.

8. A chapter: “Public Admininistration from a Public Management Perspective” in McLennan, A and FitzGerald, P, The Mount Grace Papers, published by Public and Development Programme, Faculty of Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits.

9. Co-author of a chapter "Environmental Administration" in a book Environmental Management in South Africa, Fuggle, RF, and Rabie, MA, (Eds), Juta, Cape Town, 1992.

10. Schütte LR, Schwella E and Fitzgerald P (Eds), 1995, Changing Public and Development Management: South African Cases, Juta & Co Ltd, Cape Town.

11. Schwella E (Consulting Editor) with Van der Waldt G and Helmbold R, 1995, Die Grondwet en ’n Nuwe Publieke Administrasie, Juta & Co Ltd, Cape Town.

12. Schwella E et al, 1996, Public Resource Management, Juta & Co, Cape Town.

13. Two chapters, namely: “Philosophical Issues in Management” and “The Paradigmatic Debate in South African Public Administration: A Continuing Struggle” in Wessels, JS and Pauw, JC (editors) Reflective Public Administration: Views from the South, Oxford University Press, Cape Town, 1999.

14. Co-editor with Francois Theron of a book The State of Public and Development Management in South Africa, the Mount Grace II Papers, the School of Public Management and Planning, University of Stellenbosch, Bellville. 2000.

15. A chapter: “Paradigms: context and competencies” in Theron,F and Schwella,E, 2000, The State of Public and Development Management in South Africa, the Mount Grace II Papers, the School of Public Management and Planning, University of Stellenbosch, Bellville. 2000.

16. A contribution to Gasper, D.R., E. Schwella and R. Tangri. ‘"Healthy" Public Enterprises: Lessons for and from South Africa .”’ in: Service Delivery Review: A Learning Journal for Public Managers. 2002(2002)1, pp.25-28.

18. Regulation and competition in South Africa’, Working Paper No 18, Centre on Regulation and Competition, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Mannchester, February 2002.

19. A chapter: “Privatization in South Africa” in Parker,D and Saal,D 2003,(editors): International Handbook of Privatization, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham, UK.

20. A Case: “Meltdown at Koeberg” co-authored with De Beer. J. in: Public Performance and Management Review, 2004, Volume 28 , 1 September 2004, pp. 114-122.

21. Co-editor of the International Case Book of Public Administration with Olshfski,D, and Callahan,K, 2004, Sage Publications.

22. A Chapter “A Tale of a City in Two Ages: Innovative Leadership for Public Purpose” in Vernieuwend leiderschap Persoonlijke reflecties uit de praktijk, Becking, K and Hopman, N (eds.) 2006, ROI-reeks, Sdu Uitgewers bv, Den Haag, Nederland.

23. A Book Review: “Agendas and Decisions: How State Government Executives and Middle Managers Make and Administer Policy” by Dorothy Olshfski and Robert B Cunningham in Public Administration Quarterly, Volume 33, Nr. 1 Spring 2009, pp. 149-152.

24. Two chapters (author of one, co-author of one) in Reflective Public Administration to be published 2012 Wessels, JS, Pauw, JC and Thani, XC (Eds). 2012. Reflective Public Administration: Fresh views from the South. Pretoria: Unisa Press. The Chapters are:

• Chapter 3: Philosophical issues in Management (Erwin Schwella and Mogie Subban)

• Chapter 12: Revisiting the Paradigmatic Debate in South African Public Administration: On the Relevance of Speaking Truth to Power (Erwin Schwella)

Journal Articles (in refereed academic journals)

  • An article "Public Administration or Public Management - Another Perspective or, Why not Public Administration and Public Management?" in the March, 1985 edition of SAIPA-Journal of Public Administration.
  • An article published in SAIPA-Journal of Public Administration, December 1986 under the title "Gemeenskapswaardes, owerheid en tegnologie".
  • An article "Organisation Development: A South African Public Service Application" published SAIPA-Journal of Public Administration, December 1988.
  • An article "Newspapers and the Maintenance of Public Responsibility in South Africa" in Ecquid Novi Tydskrif vir Joernalistiek in Suider-Afrika, Vol 10, nos 1 en 2, 1989.
  • An article "Openbare Gesondheidsdienste: Perspektiewe op Organisering en Beheer" in Administratio Publica, Vol 1, no 1, 1989.
  • An article "Geheimhouding en Vertroulikheid by Plaaslike Owerhede in Kaapland: 'n Kritiese Evaluering" in Politikon, Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Staatsleer, Vol 16, no 2, December 1989.
  • An article "Demokratiese Beheer en Openbare Verantwoordelikheid" in Administratio Publica, Vol 1, no 2, 1989.
  • An article "The Theoretical Debate in South African Public Administration" published in Administratio Publica, Vol 2, no 1, June 1990.
  • An article "Selected Aspects of Democratic Accountability in South African Public Administration" in Perspectives, Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol 1, No 1, 1991.
  • An article "Contemplating a Challenging Future: A Public Management Approach to Health Services" in Curationis, Vol 15, No 1, April 1992.
  • An article "The Role of the Communication Media in Fostering of Public Accountability" in Administratio Publica, Vol 6, No 1, 1995.
  • An article "South African Local Government: A Systems Perspective" with Ballard HH, in SAIPA-Journal of Public Administration, Volume 31 no 1, March 1996.
  • An article “Decision-making in Local Government: Selected Theoretical Perspectives” with Ballard HH, in Politikon, South African Journal of Political Studies, Vol 23 no 2, December 1996.
  • An article: “The Effects of Globalisation on Public Administration” with Liebenberg, AL in Administratio Publica, Vol 8, No 1, June 1997.
  • An article with Carstens, J: “The South African Police Service: A Metaphorical Analysis” in Administratio Publica, Vol 8, No 1, June 1997.
  • An article: “Die Rol van Transformasieleierskap in die SA Nasionale Weermag” with Gouws, J in SAIPA-Journal of Public Administration, Vol 33 No 2, June 1998.
  • An article with Ballard, HH: “The Impact of Globalisation on Local Government in South Africa. Development Southern Africa Vol 17 no 2, 2000, 737-750.
  • An article: Globalisation and Human Resource Management: Context, Challenges and Change” in Administratio Publica, Vol 10 no 2, 2000, 88-105.9.
  • An article “Public Sector * Policy in the New South Africa: A Critical Review”. Public Performance and Management Review, Vol 24 No 4, June 2001, 367-388.
  • An article with Keyter, C. “A Normative Distance Education Management Model for Dual Mode Institutions” in Administratio Publica, Vol 11, no 2, 2003.
  • An article: “Inovação no governo e no setor público: desafios e implicações para a liderança” in Revista do Serviço Público (Journal of Public Service), Brasilia (Brazil): ENAP, vol. 56, nº. 3, Jul-Set (July-September), 2005, 259-276.
  • An article with Ackron, J “Institutionalising Local Economic Development: A Trends Based Analysis of New Approaches in South Africa” in: International Journal of Applied Public Sector Management Volume 1 Issue 3, November, 2005, 1-19.
  • An article with Rossouw, A. “Competencies for the Senior Management Service in the South African Public Service: An Evaluative Assessment” in: SAAPAM: Journal of Public Administration, Volume 40, no 4, December, 2005, 761-779.
  • An article: “Drops to Drink” in: Administratio Publica, Volume 14, no 2, 2006, 1-22.
  • An article with Cloete, GS.: “Impact of technology on governance”, published in: SAAPAM: Journal of Public Administration, Volume 41, no 3, September, 2006.
  • An article: Schwella, E & B Ketel : “Management capacity-building in the South African Police Service at station level” International Journal of Police Science and Management, Volume 10 no 2, 2008, 145 – 164
  • An article: “Administrative reform as adaptive challenge: selected public leadership implications” in Politeia, Volume 27, no. 2, 2008, 25-50.
  • Van Der Molen, K. and Schwella, E. Developing a coaching model as an approach to improve individual performance in the South African Public Service theoretical, conceptual and practice perspectives” in: Administratio Publica, Volume 18, no 3, 2010, pp 25-45.

In professional journals

  • An article published in the November 1985 edition of Munisipale en Openbare Dienste entitled "Hulpmiddels vir Effektiewe Beleidbepaling en Besluitneming".
  • An article “The Leadership Challenge” in Accountancysa, August 2004.


  • An article published in Sake-Rapport 23 February 1986 entitled "Staatsadministrasie anders as Privaatsektor".
  • An article "Secrecy and corruption: role of the Press in SA" published in The Cape Times, 16 March 1989.

Participation in Academic and Professional Conferences


Numerous papers delivered in international settings including:

  • The Relationship of Public Administration with Business Management and Administration", First Winelands Conference on Public Administration, Past, Present and Future, Stellenbosch, 1987.
  • Explanations for Corruption and Maladministration", Second Winelands Conference on Ethics and the Public Sector, Stellenbosch, 1989.
  • Assessing Democratic Accountability in South African Government and Administration: A Case Study Approach" at a conference on Responsible Democracy, Cape Town, 1990.
  • "Strategic Considerations in Designing Administrative Service Systems for the Environment" at a conference Protection of the Environment in a New Constitution, Environmental Law and the Role of Lawyers in the Protection of the Environment held by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, October 1990.
  • "Potential for Expanding Current Training Facilities For Public Sector Management" at a conference on African Participation in Public Administration and Public Sector Economic Activity organised by the Newick Park Initiative, Cambridge, England, April 1991.
  • “Change Management in Public Administration in South Africa” at a seminar hosted by the Civil Service College, Sunningdale, United Kingdom, 1 September 1994.
  • “South African Civil Service in Transition” at an international conference Civil Service Systems in Comparative Perspective held at Indiana University, Bloomington, United States of America, 5-8 April 1997.
  • Co-author of a Paper: “The South African Ship of State: Continued Restructuring of its Civil Service Machinery” delivered at the Conference of the American Society of Public Administration, Seattle, USA, May 1998 by Burger, J (co-author).
  • “Globalisation and Human Resource Management: Context, Challenges and Change” at the Cambridge Conference for National Mapping Organisations, St John’s College, Cambridge, UK on 23 July 1999.
  • “Regulation and Competition in South Africa” at the Centre on Regulation and Competition international conference, Manchester University , 2001
  • Leadership, Poster and Round Table Presentation, ILA Conference, Washington DC, November 2004
  • Panel Chair and Presenter on “The Innovations Process” at the 1st biannual Global Network Conference of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, titled “Making Democratic Government Work: Connecting Principle and Practice,” 2005 Harvard, Kennedy School of Government, April 12-14 , 2005.
  • "Administrative Reform as Adaptive Challenge : Selected Public Leadership Implications” Schwella, E, 29 pp. Leading Administrative Reform IASIA Conference, Como, Italy, July 2005
  • “Dealing with Organizational Corruption as Part of a Training Session: The Case of the South African Police in the Northern Cape” Schwella, E. and Olshfski, D. American Society of Public Administration Conference, Miami, USA, March 2009
  • “Building Integrity into a System Redesign: The Case of the South African Police Service in the Northern Cape” Schwella, E. and Olshfski, D. Conference “Governing Good and Governing Well” The First Global Dialogue on Ethical and Effective Governance, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, an International conference organized by The Study Group on Ethics and Integrity of Governance (EGPA) The Ethics Section, May 2009 Co-presenter
  • "Revisiting the Paradigmatic Debate in South African Public Administration: On the Relevance of Speaking Truth to Power" at the Annual ASSADPAM Conference, Cape Town, September,2011.
  • “Global Challenges, Leadership Implications” in cooperation with drs Nikol Hopman and Prof dr Rob van Eijbergen at the International Leadership Association Conference, London, October 2011
  • Co-presenter “Serving the Public, the Profession and/or Politics, Ethical Dilemmas of Public Servant Leaders: A Dutch/South African Comparative Perspective” at the International Studying Leadership Conference in Bristol, UK in December 2011 in cooperation with drs Nikol Hopman


  • Participation in at least 100 national events as organiser, speaker and facilitator. Details can be supplied on request but involvement covers various aspects of public and development management in all spheres of South African Government.


Masters Thesis on:

  • "'n Organisasie-omgewingsontledingsmodel vir Suid-Afrikaanse Owerheidsinstellings", 1983.
  • Extensive empirical survey study on the organisational climate of a South African Government Department, namely the Administration House of Representatives. This project undertaken as contract research for an organisation development project in the administration.
  • Doctoral dissertation on "The role of the Newspaper press in the maintenance of Public Responsibility in respect of the South African Executive" completed December 1988.
  • Academic promotor for numerous masters and doctoral students at Stellenbosch University.
  • External examiner for numerous masters and doctoral dissertations at other Universities.
  • Research for Academic Publications listed under "Publications" heading.
  • Research for Public Appearances at Conferences and Lectures listed under "Participation in Academic and Professional Conferences".
  • Appointed to lead research on Regulation and Competition in South Africa for an international consortium in conjunction with Manchester University

Community Service

Adult and Professional educational activities:

  • Member of a number of organising committees for conferences (details can be furnished on request).
  • Served as founding trustee of educational foundations including the Joint Universities Public Management Education Trust (Jupmet) until 2003
  • Chairperson of the Association of Schools and Departments of Public Administration of Southern Africa, 2003-2004

Service to Practice

  • Senior organisation development consultant and policy advisor to numerous South African Central, Provincial and local governments including the South African Police Service, Provincial Administrations of the Western Cape, Northern Cape and the Cities of Cape Town and Tygerberg.
  • Consultant to the British Civil Service College and Senior Visiting Fellow to that College in the area of South African Public Administration.

Membership of Professional and other Bodies

  • Professional member of the South African Institute of Public Administration.
  • Registered Personnel Practitioner, (highest category of membership) Education and Research with the South African Board of Personnel Practice.
  • Member and Deputy Leader and Leader Deacon of the Dutch Reformed Church Council, Kenridge parish, various occasions since 1984.
  • Member of the Institute of Town Clerks of Southern Africa.
  • Deputy Chairman Ratepayer's Association Ward 1, Bellville and Member Federal Executive of the Ratepayer's Federation, Bellville.

UPCOMING EVENTS 14th International Winelands Conference 2014


DATE: 31 MARCH - 04 APRIL 2014



The School of Public Leadership (SPL) of Stellenbosch University, South Africa is pleased to announce that Abstract Submissions and Registration is now open for the 14th International Winelands Conference – “Innovation for the Urban Age”.

The topic of the Conference and the themes will form the basis for dynamic interaction between academics, practitioners and stakeholders dealing with this very topical subject.

The conference will have a wide variety of themes relating to innovation and urbanisation which will all add value to the discourse on these issues. There will be a strong focus on innovative concepts that are pragmatic and implementable.

For more information please click CALL FOR PAPERS CLICK HERE to download the Call For Papers for more details


Conference Director Mr David Daniels

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