Principals’ experiences of being disempowered by union members

Chris Myburgh, Marie Poggenpoel, Veronica Mapitso Kgabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored school principals’ experience of managing unionised schools in South Africa . Qualitative in-depth phenomenological interviews were conducted with a purposeful selected sample of 13 school principals of unionised schools (age range 36-60 years) . The school principals responded to open-ended interviews on their managing of school business with staff labour union activity . Thematic coding was utilised to analyse the collected data . Findings indicate the school principals to experience managerial paralysis from adversarial and confrontational engagement by union leaders and members towards them . They reported union activity a significant task diversion through mob-mentality co-option of the membership preventing rational discourse and compromising work health and safety of all school community members . Avenues need to be explored for school staff unionisation to be a resource for the core business of child education .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-392
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychology in Africa
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Disempowerment
  • Labour relationships
  • Management
  • Principals
  • Unionised schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Principals’ experiences of being disempowered by union members'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this