Exploring women principals' understandings and experiences of leadership and management.
Shezi, Khayelihle Jeffrey.
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This research project explored women principals’ understanding and experience of leadership and management. It was conducted as small-scale qualitative inquiry in three schools, two primaries and one secondary, of one education district in KwaZulu–Natal. The study explored what women principals understand about leadership and management, what they experience as they lead and how they navigate these challenges. This small-scale qualitative study was located within an interpretive research paradigm. Transformational leadership theory and Ubuntu, an African philosophy were adopted for this study. International and national scholastic literature was interrogated to seek more insight on the research topic. One-on-one in-depth semi structured interviews and questionnaires constructed data generation instruments. Data generated was analysed employing thematic analysis that identified codes, categories and themes. The findings revealed that the concept of leadership and management were understood by women principals as two inter-related aspects that should be applied in the South African education system. According to the findings, leadership was understood as an influence to attain goals; creation of vision; and flexible activity. Management was understood by women principals as tools and methods to attain goals and an activity to work with other people. Also, the findings revealed that women principals experienced these two concepts as rejection, nurturing people and exposure to management of funds and School Governing Body matters. The findings also revealed that women principals experience different challenges such as rejection, disrespect and discrimination. In arrogating these challenges, the findings revealed that they are guided by certain ethics and values that reflect Ubuntu which is also a prerequisite of transformation.
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