South African Journal of Education
Print version ISSN 0256-0100
MESCHT, Hennie van der and TYALA, Zakunzima. School principals' perceptions of team management: a multiple case-study of secondary schools. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2008, vol.28, n.2, pp. 221-239. ISSN 0256-0100.
The notion of school management through teams (team management), though not a new phenomenon in South Africa, was formalized after the advent of democracy in 1994 and the subsequent reorganization of the education system. The concept was subsequently fleshed out in official documentation where the composition and roles of school management teams (SMTs) were elaborated upon. The notion of team management is rooted in theories that stress participation, notably site-based (school-based) management, teamwork, and distributed leadership. We report on a study in which the perceptions of secondary school principals, in Grahamstown, South Africa, of team management were explored. The study was interpretive in orientation, and utilized qualitative data gathering techniques in all (ten) of the state-aided secondary schools in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province. We found that, while team management was generally welcomed and even celebrated by principals, there were fundamental tensions surrounding principals' understanding of their leadership roles in a team context. We considers the implications of these findings for leadership development in the context of team management.
Keywords : educational leadership; educational management; leadership development; school management teams; team leadership.