The development of a partial school principal competency model

Janse van Vuuren, Jaco (2015-04)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The unequal distribution of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) across all South Africans is perhaps the most fundamental problem faced by South African organisations in terms of building sustainable human resource capacity. This inequality has a profoundly negative effect on the upward mobilisation of potentially competent employees within the labour market. Therefore, if the Human Resource Management and Industrial Psychology fraternity earnestly plans to earn the title of “strategic”, then both its academic and professional spheres need to get involved there where the fundamental cause of the problem originates: the lack of quality primary and secondary education in South Africa. Previous research found that the unequal distribution of the quality of primary and secondary schools in South Africa is to a large extent attributable to a lack of effective school leadership and management, with the school principal being the focal point (Van der Berg, 2007; van der Berg et al, 2011; Taylor, 2011). This finding leads to the research initiating question: why do some school principals outperform others in effectively leading their schools? The objective of this study is to offer an exploratory step towards explaining variance in school principal performance by studying the behaviours (competencies) associated with successful school principals. A comprehensive literature review was conducted to understand the context and identify broad categories of variables. This was followed by semi-structured interviews with a diverse sample of highly effective South African school principals (N=10). The qualitative analysis based on grounded theory principals, resulted in the refinement and expansion of the variables that were identified through the literature study. The final product culminates in a framework of eleven competency clusters, 32 School Principal Competencies (SPCs) and 173 behavioural examples. Similarly, the results yield two additional School Performance Outcomes (SPOs). Finally, a conceptual model is proposed that depicts the possible interrelationships between the School Principal Competencies and School Performance Outcomes. The study therefore contributes as a stepping stone in the path towards developing empirically-based human resource management instruments that in turn can lead to the improvement of the selection, development, and performance management of South African school principals. Due to the exploratory and qualitative nature of the study, follow-up studies are needed to develop and validate a School Principal Competency Questionnaire. This will enable future research to empirically test and validate a comprehensive school principal competency model.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die ongelyke verspreiding van kennis, vaardighede, vermoëns en ander eienskappe (KVVAe) is waarskynlik een van Suid-Afrika se grootste uitdagings in die proses tot die bou van ʼn volhoubare en gebalanseerde arbeidsmag. Hierdie ongelykheid veroorsaak ʼn negatiewe effek op die opwaartse beweging van potensieël bevoegde werknemers binne die arbeidsmark. Indien die Menslike Hulpbronbestuur en die Bedryfsielkunde gemeenskap dus werklik die titel “strategies” wil verdien, moet beide die akademiese en professionele terreine van hierdie funksie betrokke raak by die oorsprong van die probleem: die tekort aan kwaliteit primêre en sekondêre onderrig in Suid-Afrika. Vorige navorsing dui daarop dat ongelykheid in die kwaliteit van skole en onderwys grotendeels is as gevolg van swak leierskap en bestuur met die skoolhoof as die sleutelrolspeler. (Van der Berg, 2007; van der Berg et al, 2011; Taylor, 2011). Hierdie bevindinge lei tot die navorsingsinisiërende vraag: waarom presteer sommige skoolhoofde beter as ander in terme van die effektiewe leiding en bestuur van die betrokke skole? Die doel van hierdie studie is om ʼn verkennende stap tot die verklaring van variansie in die prestasie van skoolhoofde te bied deur middel van die bestudering van gedrag (bevoegdhede) wat met suksesvolle skoolhoofde geassosieer word. ʼn Omvattende literatuurstudie was uitgevoer met die doel om die konteks te verstaan en breë kategorieë van veranderlikes te identifiseer. Dit was opgevolg deur semigestruktureerde onderhoude met ʼn diverse steekproef (N=10) van hoogs-effektiewe Suid-Afrikaanse skoolhoofde gevoer. Die kwalitatiewe analise, gebaseer op gegronde teorie, loop uit op die verfyning asook die uitbreiding van die veranderlikes soos geïdentifiseer deur die literatuurstudie. Die eindproduk ontwikkel in ʼn raamwerk bestaande uit elf bevoegdheidsgroeperings, 32 Skoolhoof Bevoegdhede en 173 gedragsvoorbeelde. Twee addisionele Skool Prestasie Uitkomste spruit ook voort uit die analise. Ten slotte bied die studie ʼn konseptuele model wat die moontlike verwantskappe tussen die Skoolhoof Bevoeghede en Skool Prestasie Uitkomste uiteensit. Die studie bied dus ‘n waardevolle wegspringplek in die pad tot empiriesontwikkelde menslike hulpbronbestuur (MHB) instrumente wat op hul beurt weer kan lei tot die verbetering van die aanstelling, ontwikkeling, en prestasiebestuur van Suid-Afrikaanse skoolhoofde. As gevolg van die verkennende aard van die studie, is opvolgstudies nodig om ‘n Skoolhoof-bevoegdheidsvraelys te ontwikkel en te valideer en ten einde ‘n omvattende Skoolhoof-bevoegdheidsmodel empiries te toets en te valideer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97068
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