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Leadership in times of crisis: lived experiences of campus managers in a technical vocational education and training college.

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The study focused on exploring campus managers lived experiences in times of crisis, particularly during COVID 19 in a TVET college. The study examined the leadership challenges inherent in these experiences and the strategies they used to mitigate those challenges. Furthermore, the study looked at different research studies and publications in order to understand and establish leadership in TVET colleges in times of crisis. Three research puzzles were used as instruments to generate field texts. These research puzzles include; What are campus managers' lived experiences of leading TVET college campuses during the COVID-19 pandemic? What leadership challenges do campus managers in a TVET college encounter during the COVID-19 pandemic? How do campus managers in a TVET college mitigate the challenges encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic? Adaptive leadership theory was used in the study as a framework to help analyse and interpret data about the nature of the leadership challenges experienced by campus managers during COVID-19 pandemic and how they adapt and thrive in challenging environment. This study was conducted using narrative inquiry as methodology as this is most appropriate approach to gathering data about lived experiences. Narrative interviews and artefacts were used as data generation methods for field texts. Narrative analysis (first level) and Analysis of narratives were used to analyse field texts. Different perspectives emerged when it came to how campus managers enact leadership on a day-to-day basis. The study found the following key practices: working with internal and external stakeholders, marketing and networking events, implementing governing processes, preparing budgets, managing campus infrastructure, procurement, adapting online teaching and learning. The study revealed challenges that campus managers encounter in their day-to-day leadership during COVID-19 pandemic. The challenges were: loosing staff members, managing people with comorbidities and people who are absent, lack of provision of suitable tools for online teaching and learning and keeping everyone safe Leadership of campus managers used the following strategies to mitigate challenges; engagement of stakeholders, online network practices and development of people. I can conclude that the three campus managers found new ways of leading their TVET college campuses and colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.