An investigation of female leaders' perceptions of themselves and their roles as leaders in a Catholic School

Kauaria, Vejanda (2003) An investigation of female leaders' perceptions of themselves and their roles as leaders in a Catholic School. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




The question of gender in leadership continues to be a contentious and poorly understood phenomenon. There seems general agreement that women do lead differently from men, and this study begins from that premise, focusing on a case in which leadership has traditionally been the domain of females. The case was chosen for its uniqueness, the assumption being that in these circumstances leadership may have developed particular characteristics. Following a qualitative approach (drawing on phenomenology), the study seeks to investigate how women leaders experience their roles as leaders. In-depth interviews made it possible for me to capture the perceptions and experiences of the three women leaders I interviewed. The study reveals that women are more inclined to use interactive styles of leadership. Women use leadership that is more participative, negotiative, cooperative, shared and collaborative. These characteristics are in line with the features of transformational leadership which differs from the more traditional transactional leadership that is more controlled and directive. The study has also shown that leadership develops from within the person of the leader as the leader is the one who spearheads the organization through vision, ideas, beliefs andassumptions. The findings of this study suggest thus that unless women are given chances to prove how they can lead, this new approach of leadership within them and that is required by modern organizations would be lost and leadership would remain relatively unchanged and undesirable. In the context of Namibia, this study should be of potential significance because of the rapid change that is taking place in the inclusion of women in leadership and management positions in education.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Catholic schools, Namibia, Women school administrators, School management and organization, Educational leadership, Women in public life, Sex discrimination against women
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
ID Code:2029
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:30 Sep 2011 14:14
Last Modified:20 Jun 2013 12:42
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