Managing conflict in primary schools
Motsiri, Tshigwane Elizabeth
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This research investigated the correlation between the principal's leadership style and the school organisational climate. The literature study established the importance of leadership in the context of an open and positive school organisational climate. In this regard, it was found that a supportive principal leadership style is positively related to an open and positive school climate, where educators are engaged and enjoy high collegiality and intimate relationships. The school organisational climate as variously defined, relates to educator perceptions of principals or school management behaviour and refers to how educators experience, especially the management aspects that influence the climate in the school. Thus, organisational climate is related to the quality of experiences an educator has in the school, which is expressed in how he or she experiences the school life. The Organizational Climate Descriptive Questionnaire for Elementary Schools, consisting of six organisational climate descriptive dimensions was used for data collection. The dimensions describe the behavioural aspects of principal leadership namely, supportive, directive and restrictive and educators' behavioural aspects namely, collegial, intimate and disengaged. The behavioural interactions of principals and educators provided the basis for the analysis of the correlation between the principal's leadership style and the school organisational climate. It was established that there was a correlation between principals' leadership styles and school organisational climates. It was found that the organisational climates of the surveyed schools are characterised by principal leadership behaviour that is high on directive behaviour, slightly below average on supportive and restrictive. Educator behaviour was found to be slightly below average on collegial behaviours. Educator behaviour scored below average on intimate behaviour and scored slightly above average on disengaged behaviour. Principal openness behaviour was found to be below average while educator openness behaviour was found to be average which translate to school organisational climates that are relatively closed, which actually indicates a relationship between principal leadership style and school organisational climate. This research therefore draws a conclusion that there indeed is a correlation between school principals' leadership styles and school organisational climates.
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