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South African Journal of Education

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Community strategies of women in educational management

T. Thakathi, E.M. Lemmer

Abstract


This article focuses on the communication strategies of women principals in secondary schools. Against the background of the continued under representation of women in education management abroad and in South Africa, gender differences in communication as a managerial function are discussed and the implications for the workplace outlined by means of a literature review. A qualitative investigation explored the communication strategies of a woman principal in Northern Province, South Africa. Reputational sampling was used for the selection of site and the key participant, the principal. In addition, judgement sampling was used to select six teachers as participants. Rich data were gathered by means of in-depth interviews with the principal and the teachers, observation at the school over a period of two months and analysis of school documents used by the principal in school administration. Findings show the principal's preference for a ";feminine"; style of verbal and non-verbal communication; her us e of symbolic leaders hip strategies to manage her presence as a female manager in a male dominated environment; the constraints of traditional culture regarding communication and coping strategies to transcend these limitations; other barriers to communication and the principal's use of diverse channels of communication in the administration of a well-run school.


(South African Journal of Education: 2003 22(3): 193-197)



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