Leader gender and school management practices and processes in South Africa: An outsider perspective

  • Yolande Meryl May
  • Alfred H. Makura
Keywords: Female principals, manage, challenges, high schools, Bloemfontein


Using an etic strategy, the study investigated the practices and processes characterising a typical working day of two high school principals from Bloemfontein in South Africa. Essentially, the research employed a passive observer strategy to document management practices and processes of two principals (male and female) at their schools. Convenience sampling technique was used to identify the two principals. Document content analysis was used to interrogate the data on the observed verbal and nonverbal cues of the participants. Findings suggest that the female high school principal was approachable, kind and warm while her counterpart was fair, firm and direct in his approach. Principals possess skills to effectively manage despite the daily challenges such as managing staff members, learners and parents. The study encourages particularly women to strive for administrative and leadership positions in disadvantaged South African schools and confront the identified challenges with zest.

Key words: Female principals, manage, challenges, high schools, Bloemfontein


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9231