The Influence Of Leadership Styles Of Principal Officers In Colleges Of Education On Lecturers’ Effectiveness

Project and Seminar Material for Education

Project and Seminar Material for Education

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the study

Leadership is a process of influence between leaders and subordinates where a leader attempts to influence the behaviour of subordinates to achieve the organizational goals. Organizational success in achieving its goals and objectives depends on the leaders of the organization and their leadership styles. By adopting the appropriate leadership styles, leaders can affect employee job satisfaction, commitment and productivity. Effective leadership and employee job satisfaction are two factors that have been regarded as fundamental for organizational success. According to Mosadegh and Yarmohammadian (2006), employees’ effectiveness is influenced by many organisational contextual factors, ranging from salaries, to job autonomy, job security, workplace flexibility, to leadership. A capable leader provides direction for the organisation and leads followers towards achieving desired goals.

Messick and Kramer (2004) argued that the degree to which the individual exhibits leadership traits depends not only on his characteristics and personal abilities, but also on the characteristics of the situation and environment in which he finds himself. Since human beings could become members of an organization in other to achieve certain personal objectives, the extent to which they are active members depends on how they are convinced that their membership will enable them to achieve their predetermined objectives. Therefore, an individual will support an organization if he believes that through it his personal objectives and goals could be met; if not, the person’s interest will decline. Leadership style in an organization is one of the factors that play significant role in enhancing or retarding the interest and commitment of the individuals in the organization. Thus, Glantz (2002) emphasizes the need for a manager to find his leadership style.

Leadership is less about one’s needs, and more about the ‘needs of the people and the organization one is leading (Goleman, 2010). Goleman believes that leadership styles are not something to be tried on like so many suits, to see which fits; but that they should rather be adapted to the particular demands of the situation, the particular requirements of the people involved and the particular challenges facing the organization.

Leadership style is defined as the pattern of behaviours that leaders display during their work with and through others (Hersey and Blanchard, 2003). Miller, Crapo and Hankinson (2002) view leadership style as the pattern of interactions between leaders and subordinates. It includes controlling, directing, and indeed all techniques and methods used by leaders to motivate subordinates to follow their instructions.

According to Kavanaugh and Ninemeier (2003), there are three factors that determine the type of leadership style: leaders’ characteristics,’ subordinates characteristics and the organization’s environment. More specifically, the personal background of leaders such as personality, knowledge, values, and experiences shapes their feelings about appropriate leadership that determine their specific leadership style. Employees also have different personalities, backgrounds, expectations and experiences. For example, employees who are more knowledgeable and experienced may work well under a democratic leadership style, while employees with different experiences and expectations require a autocratic leadership style (Kavanaugh & Ninemeier, 2003). Some factors in the organization’s environment such as organizational climate, organizational values, composition of work group and type of work can also influence leadership style.

Leaders can however adapt their leadership style to the perceived preferences of their subordinates (Wood, 2004). Leadership styles can be classified according to the leaders’ power and behaviour as autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire, where styles are distinguished by the influence leaders have on subordinates (Mullins, 2001 and Rollinson, 2005). More specifically, power has been considered as: the potential of a process to influence people (Hersey and Blanchard, 2001); a part of the influence process at the core of leadership (Northouse, 2004); and the rights that allow individuals to take decisions about specific matters (Rollinson, 2005).

The influence of leadership will differ according to the type of power used by a leader over their subordinates (Mullins, 2001). Hence, leaders will be more effective when they know and understand the appropriate usage of power (Hersey and Blanchard, 2003). According to Kavanaugh and Ninemeier (2001) an autocratic style is embedded in leaders who have full organizational power and authority for decision making without sharing it with their subordinates, while a democratic style implies that leaders share their authority of decision making with employees and delegate, and finally a laissez- faire or free-rein style exists where leaders give their employees most of the authority over decision making.

Goleman(2010) displayed a different approach to leadership style classification.

According to him, there are six leadership styles, and they are:

i. Visionary:

This style, according to Goleman, is most appropriate when an organization needs a new direction. Its goal is to move people towards a new set of shared dreams.

ii. Coaching:

This one-on-one style focuses on developing individuals, showing them how to improve their performance, and helping to connect their goals to the goals of the organization

iii. Affiliative:

This style emphasizes the importance of team work, and creates harmony in a group by connecting people to each other.

iv. Democratic:

This style draws on people’s knowledge and skills, and creates a group commitment to the resulting goals.

v. Pacesetting:

In this style, the leader sets high standards for performance. He or she is obsessive about doing things better and faster, and asks the same of everyone.

vi. Commanding.

This is classic model of “military” style leadership which rarely involves praise and frequently employs criticism.

Blake and Mouton (2004) gave the five types of leaders to be:

i. The Innovator:

Who has the ability to create new ideas and solutions and who also think outside the box.

ii. The Developer:

Who takes actions on original solutions and learns along the way.

iii. The Activator:

Who moves forward to achieve challenging goals, overcome obstacles and gets things done.

iv. The Maximizer:

Who embraces the good of the past while making new changes; and works together with all different kinds of people.

v. The Stabilizer:

Who keeps things running smoothly and efficiently and who creates systems that meet the highest standards of accountability.

In the work of Vroom and Philips (2001), there are two leadership styles: transformationalleadership and transactional leadership. They authors explained that a transformational leader has the influence of charisma and can stimulate the intellect. He also has the ability to inspire and give individual consideration.

Mayo and Blickenstaff (2014) revealed their own leadership style perspective.

They gave four leadership styles of:

i. Directive:

Telling people what to do and expecting them to do it.

ii. Participative:

Seeking input from others and participating in the decision-making process

iii. Laissez-faire:

According to Mayo and Blickenstaff, this is a hands-off approach which allows for both initiative and the latitude to determine process to effect an outcome.

iv. Adaptive:

This, according to the researchers, is a fluid style that takes into consideration the context of the environment and the individual being led.

Reddin (2008), in his own opinion, introduced a model of leadership styles containing four basic types, namely:

i. Integrated style:

Regarded as having high relationship orientation and high task orientation.

ii. Related style:

Regarded as having high relationship orientation and low task orientation

iii. Dedicated style:

Regarded as having low relationship orientation and high task orientation

iv. Separated style:

Regarded as having low relationship orientation and low task orientation

The leadership styles revealed above are just some of the different models proposed, with each model being worthy of note and being interesting in its own right. This study will explore the six leadership styles classified by Goleman (2010) as Visionary, Coaching, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting and Commanding.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Appropriate leadership is needed for an organization to move forward. In this study, the researcher’s concern is centered on leadership styles in Colleges of Education because it has been observed that much of the research studies on leadership styles do focus on Principals of secondary schools. A significant chunk of Nigeria’s budget is allocated to its Education sector every year; albeit still being perennially short of the 13% proposed by the United Nations – and that is just the financial part.

Administrative efforts, which need to be brilliantly combined with financial efforts also need to be well-channeled and disbursed in order to ensure the desired results; because the ability of an educational institution to attain its goals depends partly on leadership style and the extent to which it can be positively used to enhance lecturers’ effectiveness. Based on this, the researcher is led to investigate the influence that leadership wields on the effectiveness of lecturers. This time, in Colleges of Education.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to examine the influence of leadership styles of principal officers in colleges of education on lecturers’ effectiveness. Specifically, the study sought:

  1. To examine the extent to which leadership styles will influence lecturers’ effectiveness.
  2. To determine if personal characteristics of leaders do influence their leadership style.
  3. To ascertain the leadership styles that are mostly utilized by principal officers in Colleges of Education..
  4. To determine the difference between leadership style of principal officers by gender.
  5. To determine the leadership styles mostly preferred by College of Education lecturers.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. To what extent do leadership style significantly influence lecturers’ effectiveness?
  2. To what extent do personal characteristics of leaders influence their leadership style?
  3. Which leadership styles are mostly utilized by principal officers in Colleges of Education?
  4. What is the difference between leadership style of principal officers by gender?
  5. Which leadership styles are mostly preferred by College of Education lecturers?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant relationship between leadership style and lecturers’ effectiveness.
  2. Personal characteristics of leaders do not significantly influence their leadership style.
  3. Leadership styles most significantly utilized by principal officers has no significant influence on their effectiveness.
  4. There is no significant difference between leadership styles of principal officers by gender.
  5. Leadership styles mostly preferred by College of Education lecturers do not significantly influence their effectiveness.

1.6 Significance of the study

The findings of this study will promote progress in the Education sector, particularly the Colleges of Education sector because of the explicit array of leadership ideas this study will generate. This study will also help improve lecturers’ capacity and achievement and consequently their mental and physical health.

The students will be the ultimate beneficiaries because an increase in lecturers’ effectiveness will also generate an improvement in student motivation and achievement.

1.7 Scope of Study

The study focus on leadership styles and lecturers’ effectiveness. It comprises lecturers and principal officers in Colleges of Education in Lagos state.

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms have been defined as they would be used in this study:

i. Leadership Style:

The methods used by leaders to develop individuals, showing the how to improve their performance and helping them to connect their goals to the goals of the institution.

ii. Lecturers’ Effectiveness:

Lecturers’ capacity to generate a improvement in student motivation and achievement.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the principal’s leadership style affect students’ performance?

From the literature reviewed and observations in the school system that the principal’s leadership style have a profound effect on teachers’ job performance, and ultimately on students’ academic performance.

Do principals with autocratic leadership styles perform better in schools?

This study concluded that the performance of teachers is better in those schools where principals are having autocratic leadership styles as compared to those schools where Principals are having democratic style of leadership.

How many types of leadership styles are there in schools?

So, according to the above sentences there are four types of leadership style which are mostly applied in the schools.

What is the role of a principal as an instructional leader?

As the NSDC (2002) principals, as instructional leader; focus on helping teachers to improve their classroom performance and make academic instruction as their schools top priority. In one way (MoE, 2010) argued that principals need to have the theoretical knowledge, skill and adequate experiences in school leadership and management.

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