Enhancing the leadership role of female- managers through participatory action research: a case in the technical vocational education and training college
Majola, Kedidimetse Magdeline
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The aim of the study was to design a plan to enhance the leadership role of female managers through participatory action research in the TVET College. Without the support of management to colleagues taken into consideration, the objectives of the institution will not be achieved. The female managers would not be able to utilize their potential and talents to achieve the mission of the institution. This might result in the stakeholders losing confidence in the institution. This endeavour was conducted in a cooperative and collaborative manner in order to improve the performance of the TVET College. The study focused on the challenges faced by these female managers in their respective workplaces by looking at issues so that we can be well informed before we start bringing a change. The context of this study allows participation of the stakeholders to be actively involved in the social change leading to social justice. Critical Leadership Studies (CLS) will be used as the theoretical framework through which the study is conducted. The study uses Participatory Action Research (PAR) as a methodology to generate data because the participants become co-researchers and not subjects. BMJ (2013: 3) posits that in PAR, participants have the power and control over the process and that may assist to arrive at the following preliminary findings: (i) shared vision can lead all stakeholders to focus on the task at hand; (ii) collaborative planning can lead to ownership of the institution. The study concludes with the set of recommendations for the TVET College. Developing and utilising the mechanisms that can enhance the successful management role of females in the TVET by addressing the issues of gender equity at this institution. The study was conducted on the three campuses by interacting with the campus manager, HODs, senior lecturers, the lecturers and support staff. The findings were that the colleagues, both females and males did not honour their obligations by reporting late for duty, absenteeism without asking for permission first, lack of respect for authority, not setting the assessment tasks as agreed, setting the assessments of a low standard and failing to meet deadlines for submission. Colleagues constantly stay away from meetings and when they attend, they prolong the meetings by unnecessarily questioning every directive if it does not suit them. The conclusion arrived at was that these things happen because the manager was a female. We recommended that forums be held wherein everyone participates in bringing in the solution. In conclusion, the researcher hopes that when the findings and recommendations of this study are implemented, it will enhance significance of the role played by the female leaders at the TVET College. Furthermore, more research is required as to what the root cause of this unbecoming behaviour is.