Author(s): Deshini Pillay, S. Govender, N. Dorasamy
This study focused leaderships’ handling of conflict in schools in the Phoenix Circuit. The purpose of this study was to investigate secondary and primary school educators’ perspectives of prevailing leadership styles when resolving conflicts within the school context. Conflict management by leadership is important as it reflects on the type of leadership skills used in an institution. The role of a leader in an organization is vital as it impacts significantly on the institution at large. A leader is accountable for everything that transpires at the institution. It is often contended that the school principal should be seen as a fundamental agent of transformation, creating a space for deliberation and dialogue. School leaders need to work closely with their educators, hence there needs to be collaboration among them. Inappropriate leadership styles have a tremendous impact on the culture of teaching and learning; performance by learners and the morale of educators is affected. The researcher conducted the research in the Phoenix Circuit as this area has many documented cases of unresolved conflict put forward a motion that within Phoenix there are conflicts between leaders and educators in various schools that require urgent intervention from the SADTU Phoenix Branch. Owing to the many unresolved cases of conflict in the Phoenix Circuit from 2013 to 2019, the researcher found that this warrants investigation. The researcher being an executive member of SADTU had open access to case files compared to other unions like NAPTOSA or NATU. The study established the main reason for the escalating conflicts in the Phoenix Circuit was that the majority of the principals were exhibiting inappropriate leadership styles and using ineffective conflict resolution strategies.