The Relationship Between Principals Leadership Style And Job Satisfaction Of Teachers In Secondary Schools

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Background to Study

The quality of Educational outcome is the product of effective and efficient utilization of human, material, financial and time resources. Of these, the contribution of the human resources particularly the principals and teachers cannot be overemphasized. The Principals and teachers are the active agents of production who utilize the other resources and skills in a manner that can produce the desired results. The attitude of Principals towards their teaching staff was well articulated by the Federal Government in the National Policy of Education(2004) which states that ‘The success of any system of education is hinged on proper planning, efficient administration. Administration is a function of organization and structure, proprietorship and control, inspection and supervision.’ For teachers the policy also states that ‘teachers are the main determinants of the quality of education.’ Furthermore, UNESCO (2000) was categorical in stating that, improving the quality of education depends first, on improving the quality of educational administrators and, also improving the status and work conditions of teachers.

Nigeria’s educational system is presently undergoing various reforms. Among the reforms is the introduction of Universal Basic Education which shall be of nine-year duration comprising six years of primary education and three years of junior secondary   education.   It also includes adult and non-formal education programmes at primary and junior secondary levels for the adults and out of school youths (FGN 2004). The reform aims at providing free and compulsory education for all Nigerian children. This reform initiative no doubt requires significant capacity development on the part of all education stakeholders. It requires high levels of motivation and commitment on the parts of individual to solving the often complex problem associated with the implementation. In Education, any discussion on reforms of teaching and learning focuses attention on school principals who as leaders of schools are responsible for ensuring effective learning culture in the schools.

The importance of the role of principals on the school organization cannot

therefore be over looked. Principals are very unique is school organizations. This was confirmed by Amoloye (2004). He called them school managers. The job of managing according to him, involves amongst other things, the provision of leadership for men and women, coordinating both human and material resources to ensure the achievement of organizational goals. In the school system, the principal as an administrator influences his teachers to achieve the goals and objectives of the school and also to provide job satisfaction. The fundamental goal of the school is to enhance the teaching and learning process.                                                                                                                              Hence, the school Principal should endeavor to influence the behavior of the

teachers in order to achieve the goals of the school.

Transformational approaches to leadership have been advocated for effective management of the school system. A transformational leader is the leader who inspires people to excel and articulates meaningful vision for the organization. A leader acts in both formal and informal ways to motivate and build employee commitment in the organization. Olaleye (2001), Leithwood, Tantzi and Steinbach (1999) have cited empirical evidences suggesting that transformational leadership contributes to a range of organizational outcomes including motivation, commitment and capacity for teachers to develop new approaches to education and most importantly, job satisfaction. School principals are expected to exhibit this leadership qualities to enhance teaching and learning in the school. The success of a leader depends on the readiness, the willingness, commitment and the ability of the followers to follow as well as the ability, the style, skills and behavior of the leaders.

Consequently the success of educational administrators depends on their effectiveness as well as their efficiency   and the ability to bring about job satisfaction of teachers. This will in turn speed up the actualization of the goals and objectives of the school. The school as an institution is a routinized pattern of social positions established by the society to accomplish certain imperative functions in order to ensure its survival. The school has become an institution devoted to educating young minds through a well structured, systematic pattern of training. Education business is one of the largest concerns of the society. The importance attached to education is predicated on its role in the formation of human capital in effecting national development. The failure or success of education is affected largely by its managerial efficiency and effectiveness. Educational systems are social systems. Peretomode (1991) emphasized that, the human component of the social system is very vital to the attainment of its goals and objectives. He also pointed out that, the behavior of individuals is shaped by two important factors viz: the uniqueness of the individual and the sociological attributes of the environment (organization or setting).                                           The role of the Principal is an important unit, the analytical sub-unit of an educational institution. A role is the dynamic aspects of positions, offices within the institution. In short, it is a position within an institution associated with a set of rights and obligations. Roles may vary in scope ranging from functionally diffuse to functionally specific (Coladarci and Getzels, 1995). In a school setting, greater cognizance is given to the role of the principal which stands out as top rated in the school’s organogram. Therefore, there are certain expected behavioural patterns for persons occupying these roles. Expectations are preconceptions people have about how anyone in particular position, within the school system, should behave.                                                                                     Traditionally, the Principal is the middle manager suggested in William Whyte’s 1950’s classic The Organization Man – an overseer of buses, boilers and books. Today, in a rapidly changing era of standards-based reform and accountability, a different conception has emerged– one closer to the model suggested by Jim Collins’ 2001 Good to Great, which draws lessons

from contemporary corporate life to suggest leadership that focuses with great clarity on what is essential, what needs to be done and how to get it done.

This shift brings with it dramatic changes in what public education needs from principals. They can no longer function simply as building managers, tasked with adhering to district rules, carrying out regulations and avoiding mistakes. They have to be (or become) leaders of learning who can develop a team delivering effective instruction.

Wallace’s work since 2000 suggests that this entails five key responsibilities of a principal:

. Shaping a vision of academic success for all students, one based on high standards.

. Creating a climate hospitable to education in order that safety, cooperative spirit and other foundations of fruitful interaction prevail.

. Cultivating leadership in others so that teachers and other adults assume their part in realizing the school vision.

. Improving instruction to enable teachers to teach at their best and students to learn at their utmost.

. Managing people, data and processes to foster school improvement.

The Principal remains central source of leadership influence

The study of job satisfaction is very crucial to the improvement of productivity and welfare of workers in secondary schools, in developing cities effectively, the Principal must be committed to the satisfaction of the needs and expectations of these individuals.  Job satisfaction which is relevant to this study is the collection of feeling and beliefs that people have about their current job. Teacher’s levels of degrees of job satisfaction can range from extreme satisfaction to extreme dissatisfaction. In addition to having attitudes about their jobs as a whole, Teachers also can have attitudes about various aspects of their jobs such as the kind of work they do, their coworkers, supervisors or subordinates and also their salary (George et al., 2008).Job satisfaction is a complex and multifaceted concept which can mean different things to different people. Job satisfaction is usually linked with motivation, but the nature of this relationship is not clear. Satisfaction is not the same as motivation. Job satisfaction is more of an attitude, an internal state. It could, for example, be associated with a personal feeling of achievement, either quantitative or qualitative (Mullins, 2005). Job satisfaction represents a feeling that appears as a result of the perception that the job enables, the material and psychological needs .Job satisfaction can be considered as one of the main factors when it comes to efficacy and effectiveness of the school system. Effective leadership and employee job satisfaction are two factors that have been regarded as fundamental for the school’s growth. In similar vein, teachers with high job satisfaction are likely to exert more effort in their assigned tasks and pursue the school’s goals and objectives. A school that fosters high employee job satisfaction is also more capable of retaining and attracting employees with the skills that it needs. The concept of Principals’ leadership in general and his style in particular is intertwined in the above assertions as he acts as a major catalysts in  the attainment of the goals and objective of the school. It is also assumed that the Principals overall efficiency and effectiveness sets the tone for the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the personnel within the school system. This assumption is going to be placed under empirical testing. Hence, this research seeks to find out the relationship between principal’s leadership behavior and Teachers job satisfaction in secondary schools within Benin metropolis.

Statement of Problem

Education in Nigeria is an instrument for effecting national development. The country’s educational goals have been set out in the National Policy on Education in terms of their relevance to the needs of the individual and the society (FGN, 2004). Towards this end, the National Policy on Education set up certain aims and objectives, which were to facilitate educational development in the country. In fostering these aims and objectives, the school principal has important roles to play. Amongst this roles include providing effective leadership in secondary schools, thereby enhancing better job performance among teachers. How effective the principal is in performing these roles has been a matter of concern to many educationists (Aghenta, 2000; Ige, 2001). It is therefore not surprising that there is mounting pressure on effective leadership among Principals of secondary schools in Benin metropolis. It seems however that many Principals have not considered their styles of leadership as determinants of teachers’ job performance in their schools. Hence, some of them seem   it difficult to effectively administer their schools.

Also, Previous investigations on teachers’ job satisfaction revealed that lack of effective leadership skills negatively affected teachers’ job satisfaction .Some secondary school teachers had expressed dissatisfaction with their work due to unconducive environment created by administrative flaws. It also has been revealed that teachers feel dissatisfied in school environments that do not provide opportunities for teacher development. For several decades , secondary schools in Edo state were plagued with a series of strike actions carried out by teachers. When compared with their colleagues in other professions, teachers were not getting the kind of satisfaction they ought from teaching. It was evident that some teachers abandoned classrooms for other jobs because of a lack of interest and satisfaction.

In his reflection on “becoming a teacher and the challenges of teacher education” Afe (2003) revealed that 62.94% of 570 teachers sampled in Edo state engaged in menial jobs to support their salary,78.82% regretted being teachers, while 82.35% said they were not satisfied with the teaching profession. In the words of Anyaegbu et al. (2004), teachers had often lost hope and interest in their job.   The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation – BCTF (2000) revealed that in the year 2000, an estimated 500,000 teachers went on strike in Nigeria, for lack of pay increase and poor working condition. The Nigeria Union of Teachers (2001) propounded that the strike action in 2001 was due to grievances against the Federal and State governments, accusing them of being insensitive to the needs of teachers. In 2002 and 2003, teachers embarked on strike action, joining the Nigerian labor congress for a hike in petrol and poor conditions in their work place (Nigeria Union of Teachers, 2003).Not only were Nigerian teachers not satisfied but parents and stakeholders were also frustrated by this lack of teachers’ interest in their job (Asagwara, 1997).

The relationship between principals’ leadership style and teacher’s job performance has been a subject of controversy by researchers (Nwadiani, 1998; Adeyemi,2006). The controversy was centered on whether or not the style of leadership of principals influences the level of job performance among teachers. Common observation in the school system shows that the style of leadership of a principal could have serious impact on teachers’ job performance. The problem of this study therefore is to determine what relationship exists between Principals’ leadership styles and teachers’ job satisfaction in senior secondary school in Benin metropolis.

Educationists have also observed that becoming a teacher in Nigeria is fraught with dilemmas and problems. For example, Ozigi (1992) found in his study that teachers are unhappy, frustrated, uninspired and dissatisfied. This is majorly attributed to the leadership style of the Principal. In addition, Ogonor (1997) described the job design of the school teacher as such that it tends to generate monotony and boredom. It is crucial to note that the Principal’s leadership style is very paramount to the intellectual, psychological and social state of the teaching staff, which in the long run determines the success of the teaching-learning process and the attainment of the school’s goals and objectives.

Unfortunately, research findings indicate an increased pattern in the negative behavior of Principals towards their staff which has led to a high level of dissatisfaction and frustration amongst teachers in their jobs.

It is in view of the need to redress this re-occurring mishap that this study seeks to investigate the relationship between Principals leadership style and Teachers job satisfaction in Secondary schools in Benin Metropolis.

To guide this study, the following research questions were asked:

Research Questions 

  1. Is there any significant relationship between Principals transformational leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers?
  2. Is there any significant relationship between Principals Laissez –faire leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers?
  3. Is there any significant relationship between Principals Autocratic leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers?
  4. Is there any significant relationship between Principals Democratic leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers?
  5. Is there any significant relationship between Principals Idiographic leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers?
  6. Is there any significant relationship between Principals Nomothetic leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers.

The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

  1. There is no significant relationship between Principals transformational leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers.
  2. There is no significant relationship between  Principal’s Laissez-faire leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers
  3. There is no significant relationship between Principals Autocratic Leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers
  4. There is no significant relationship between Principals Democratic Leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers
  5. There is no significant relationship between Principals Idiographic Leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers
  6. There is no significant relationship between Principals Nomethetic leadership style and job satisfaction of teachers.

Purpose of Study

The study focused on the relationship between Principal’s leadership style and teacher’s job satisfaction. There have been strong feelings about the types of leadership styles and the need to review them. Onwana (1998) asserts that some external factors, such as bad roads (leading to the schools), lack of funds, lack of qualified staff, poor infrastructures and instructional materials deter the efforts of teachers and principals. Aka (2001) blames it on dubious legacies of military rule and the neglect of education in the second republic. Olumfemi (1976) focuses attention on poor payment of staff and lack of instructional materials as responsible for low job satisfaction of teachers, while Fafunwa (1974)   pointed accusing fingers at lack of financial assistance.

The purpose of this study therefore was to determine whether there is a relationship between Principals’ leadership styles and teachers’ job satisfaction in the secondary schools within Benin metropolis.                                                                                                                                Significance of Study

Though some studies have been done on the relationship between principals’ leadership skills and teachers’ job satisfaction (Bolger, 2001; Verdugo, Greenberg, Henderson, Uribe, Jr., & Schneider, 1997), many of the school teachers  were still not satisfied with administrative governance of  some school principals and their dissatisfied state (Bogler , 2002).

This situation still calls for more studies in this area. This study will contribute to the body of knowledge and information in the area of effective Principalship for Secondary school teachers in Benin City in particular and in Edo state in general. It is also anticipated that this study will help educators see the need for adjustments and flexibility in school administration.

Similarly, the study will be of great importance to officials of Ministry of Education and School Boards in Benin City, in recognizing the determinants of job satisfaction amongst their staff. It is intended that this study will provide some insights for researchers in the field of educational leadership in advancement of knowledge and in their search for solutions to some of the administrative problems besieging the secondary schools in Benin metropolis.                                                                                                                                    In addition and most importantly, the study will be of great assistance to school administrators in identifying and adopting the different techniques of good leadership and in also identifying the different forms of incentives that should be provided for the staff in order make them more fulfilled and satisfied on their jobs.

Finally, the instrument used in this study can be developed further with the aim of attaining a positive Principal-Teacher relationship in Secondary schools.

Scope and Delimitation of Study

This study focused on the descriptive analysis of the relationship between Principal’s leadership styles and teacher’s job satisfaction in Secondary schools in Benin metropolis.

Therefore, the scope covered secondary schools in the various Local government areas within the city which are: Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-okha Local government areas.

Definition of Terms

Leadership Style: Chermers M. (1997) describes leadership style as a leader’s style of providing direction, implementing  plans, and motivating people. Based on the above definition, leadership style may  be described as the way a leader influences his followers either by commanding or motivating them to achieve set goals.

Principal: In the school system, a Principal is the chief executive of the school and occupies the apex position in the organization. He is the line officer responsible for the major decisions and activities necessary for the achievement of goals of the school.

Job Satisfaction: This   can be seen as an emotional state that results from various independent aspects of the work environment namely; work itself, supervision, and characteristics of co-workers, opportunity for promotions and pay.

The Relationship Between Principals Leadership Style And Job Satisfaction Of Teachers In Secondary Schools

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