Management strategies of interpersonal conflicts between Teachers and Head Teachers in selected Secondary Schools of Lusaka Province-Zambia

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Sompa, Maureen
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The study sought to establish management strategies of interpersonal conflict between teachers and head teachers in selected secondary schools of Lusaka Province. A survey design was adopted which used interviews, focus group discussions and document review to collect data from a sample of 107 participants in seven public secondary schools. This sample comprised 7 head teachers, 56 teachers, 42 Heads of Department, the District Education Boards Secretary and the chairperson of the Teaching Service Commission. The schools were sampled using random sampling. The head teachers, the Heads of Department; the District Education Boards Secretary and the Chairperson from the Teaching Service Commission were sampled using purposive sampling whilst the teachers were sampled using snowball sampling. The findings showed that teachers and head teachers were able to manage conflict through different management strategies such as confrontation, avoidance, dialogue, maintaining government policy by giving teachers copies of working conditions, charging the teacher, mediation, communication and scolding the teacher. The causes of these conflicts were said to be absenteeism, teachers having higher qualifications than the head teacher, late coming, incompetence on the part of the head teacher, unsatisfactory class allocation, teachers having a negative work culture, favoritism and not submitting teaching files on schedule. These conflicts had a negative impact such as teacher transfers as well as both parties in conflict being frustrated. In light of the findings, the study recommended that the curriculum planning experts in the Ministry of Education should include a course on management of conflicts in the secondary school teacher preparation programmes. It also recommended that head teachers should also be encouraged to adopt a compromising style for conflict management. The study further recommended that the District Education Board Secretary should organize seminars and workshops aimed at improving good rapport between head teachers and their staff and building good working relations between them. Lastly, more research must be carried out in other secondary schools including private schools in all Provinces.
Teachers-Personnel Management , Head Teacher-Management