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Findings Associated with the Hypotheses: Differences in Hope Between Ethnic Groups and Religious Affiliations

The second set of hypotheses concentrated on hope, and covered potential differences between different ethnic groups and religious affiliations. The results produced significant differences between two groups: White- English and Coloured. Cerff observed that this could be due to “the impact of past political and social history in the nation in which Colored people were disadvantaged'’’,83 and that although discrimination existed against Black people in the past as well, it is possible that there was “a tendency among Colored people to believe that their potential to achieve has not or may not be realized due to past inequalities”.84

The results of the study showed that there were only differences in hope between the White-English and the Coloured groups, consequently Cerff observed that there was more hope present “after the new democracy than was expected”.85 The literature supports the notion of the development of high hope as an essential ingredient for effective leaders. Shorey et al. motivated for the inclusion of hope as a common process in leadership models, and referred to hope as a

trait-like cognitive motivational construct that can be taught at the individual and group levels. Moreover, it can be integrated structurally within organizations to shape environments and behaviors ofleaders and followers alike so as to maximize the attainment of personal and organizational goals86

Shorey et al.’s research underpins the concept of the inclusion of dimensions of hope in leadership development, noting: “The way that hope comes into being in the natural course of human development parallels the process whereby high-hope leaders can instill hope in followers throughout their organizations.”87 The authors view the leader as a role model and coach in instilling hope in followers through

(1) having high expectations; (2) considering followers’ needs and interests; (3) modeling and teaching strategies to achieve personal goals while simultaneously meeting organizational goals; (4) being consistent in levels ofavailability and responsiveness; and (5) maintaining a positive, affirming, ‘you can do it,’ attitude toward followers.88

Further research in this field provides scope for incorporating the aforementioned dimensions into leadership training and development as well as a coaching culture in which high hope is nurtured. Hope traits are more likely to be present in organizational cultures that embrace and advance values-based leadership, and the research of Cerff and Winston’s inclusion of hope into the servant leadership model is of interest, as the authors note that in such an organizational culture, the leader “places a focus on the well-being of the followers”89 and “ leaders possess the capacity to serve their followers in such a way that they would seek to enhance hope, particularly if this construct is lacking in their followers”.90

According to Cerff, the 2006 study’s finding of the existence of high hope equally among the four groups indicates that these developing leaders have the high levels of hope needed for becoming effective leaders, and considering the aforementioned notion that hope will grow in favourable conditions over time, these individuals are likely to become high-hope, effective leaders.

The results of the analysis indicate a significant difference in hope between Christian and non-Christian people, and although a mean difference between Christian and Muslim participants was found, no conclusions can be drawn from the results due to the very small sample size of Muslims.

 
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