Managing through teams : an investigation of the effectiveness of formal teams in a secondary school in the Pinetown district of the KwaZulu Natal Department of Education and Culture.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the Effectiveness of Managing Through Formal Teams in a Secondary School. The study attempted to identify the role functions and composition of the formal teams at the school, based on the literature that there are complexities of managing through teams in secondary schools. If formal teams are to play a significant role in the management of secondary schools and to operate effectively, then opportunities for team performance and effectiveness are particularly significant. The key focus of the study was to identify the level of operation of the Formal Teams in accordance with the characteristics of effective teamwork and the manner in which the team's goals are accomplished. The overall aim was to focus on the perceptions of team leaders in respect of their team's effectiveness and the perception of team members regarding their team's effectiveness. The study was conducted at a Secondary School in the Pinetown District. Three formal teams were in operation at the school and for each team, the leader and team members were included in the research. Thus, no sampling was required. Quantitative and Qualitative research methodology guided the evaluative nature of the study. The data collection methods included a questionnaire, which was completed by members of the formal teams; semi-structured interviews conducted with the team leaders and observation of the three formal team meetings. Many issues emerged from the data to exemplify the significant absence of team effectiveness at the secondary school. One of the main findings of managing through teams is that all three formal teams seem to be functioning below their potential due to many other factors, resulting in the impediment of team performance. It is clear that monitoring team performance and evaluating team achievements by the leaders are not sufficient enough for team effectiveness. There is also some variance as to how well the leaders feel about their leadership roles in respect of their team's effectiveness. There are instances where team members spend too little time solving problems and too much time debating issues over which there is no control. The study concludes, that there is scope for consideration of more varied approaches towards achieving effectiveness of formal team operation, followed by some recommendations, which suggest ways to improve team effectiveness.