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This study investigated principals’ leadership styles and teachers effectiveness among secondary school. The study was carried out in ten secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State. A total of 190 individuals have participated in the study. 170 teachers were included as a sample through simple random sampling technique. Additionally, 20 secondary school principals were included. Questionnaire and interview were the main instruments of data collection. The instrument for the study was a five-point Likert type questionnaire. Principals’ leadership styles and teachers’ performance were identified as the independent variables and as the dependent variable respectively. The questionnaires on communication, decision-making and delegation of duties were used to describe the principals’ leadership styles. While lesson plan, assessing students and co-curricular activities were used to determine the teachers’ performance in the schools. The analysis of the quantitative data was carried out by using frequency, percentages, mean, standard deviation, one-way ANOVA, Post Hoc Test and Pearson correlation. The findings indicates that there is a positive relationship between leadership styles and teachers’ performance(r=0.890) the relationship is significant (Sign=0.000 at 0.05 level). From the entire study and findings, the results revealed that the principals adopted three leadership styles in their administration namely; autocratic, laissez faire and democratic, it is clearly evident that there is no leadership style that is superior to one another. The findings revealed that the independent variable (democratic) was the most practiced leadership style in secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State. In general the findings was supposed to conclude, that principals leadership style in secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos Statehad significant effect on decision-making, communication and delegation to improve the level of teachers performance and teachers have not been performing to the expectation. Based on the findings, it is recommended that the principals in secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State should neat a mixture of autocratic and democratic styles of leadership. While teachers ideas and taught should be considered in decision-making about the training criteria in their administration in order to enhance better performance amongst teachers.



Background to the Study

The success of any organization is highly rated upon the head, boss or the manager of such an enterprise, like business, school or any organization. The leadership impact is desirable in an organization to aid easy and maximum success. Leadership is an instruction used in an organization for behavior modification. It determines the goals of an organization and means of accomplishing them. Therefore, leadership in an organization has been seen as motivator whereby one person who is the head motivates others towards the achievement of specific goals of the organizations.

However, fellowship is the essence of leadership, in other words it is the willingness of the people to follow that makes a person a leader. Moreover, people follow those perceived to be providing means of achieving their own desires, wants and needs. In this case, we can see that leadership and motivation are closely interconnected. Motivation enables us appreciate better what people want and why they act as they do. In secondary school administration, the success of any school to achieve its stated goals or objectives depends on the ability of the chief administrator otherwise known as the principal and his leadership style.

Effective leadership role provided by the principal will lead to the achievement of the schools goals and objectives. Education among other concern is an instrument for effecting national development with the formulation of national policy on education. To achieve the stated aims and objectives of the national policy, all stakeholders in the educational sector have different roles to play. At the grass root level, the management of available resources rest solely upon the schools principals inclusive in principals’ roles is the provision of effective administrative skills which cannot be separated from their leadership styles. The principals’ leadership style in secondary schools is a pointer of the level of productivity of teachers or their job performance. With the close review of the setbacks being experienced in some secondary schools, pressure groups are agitating for effective leadership styles. It is glaring that some principals in Yaba Local Government area of Lagos have not considered their styles of leadership as the determinants of teachers’ job performance level. Hence, some principals seem to find it difficult to effectively administer their schools (Gronn, 2000, Adeyemi 2004). Every school principal is in a unique position as the manager or administrator of the resources in their schools.

The school administrator is a leader of the staff and the students of the school. He is expected to be knowledgeable in the area of administration. He should be able to address difficult issues or problems at different point in time. The leadership style of the principal is demonstrated in his abilities which make him to be recognized as leader of a group. Many people strongly believe even when there is an educational plan, good school programme, adequate staff and facilities, what is more important is good administrative leadership style to coordinate all these for the progress and success of the school. In case, where the leadership style of the principal is ineffective, even the best school programme, the most adequate resources and the most motivational staff and students will be rendered futile. Therefore, the importance of good leadership style in an organization cannot be overemphasized. The key for an effective leader is the ability to lead effectively, coordinate a complex situation and show concern through prudent management of human and material resources available. According to Koontz (2008) “If all school principals can’t rely upon all the subordinates to contribute towards group goal accomplishment with zeal and confidence, there would be no need to develop the act of leadership”. There is always the need to boost the moral of teachers, which will even make them to serve to their maximum capability. Therefore, among the administrative functions of the principal is to persuade teachers and use his leadership style to coordinate all activities to ensure they contribute willingly to organizational goals. It’s worth knowing that the improvement of any educational institution depends on quality of its teachers. The main objectives of any educational system are to promote teaching and learning process. Teachers are therefore expected to be committed to facilitate the teaching process.

To ensure the possibility, principals too must provide conducive atmosphere for their teachers. The type of leadership style being operated in the school will make staff in schools to be inspired, zealous and co-operate to work harmoniously with the principal. Educational objectives can only be achieved with the full co-operation of the school community. Effective administrative leadership involves the understanding of the behavior of members to be led in any organization or institution of learning. The issues of teachers’ performance in the classroom, based on principals leadership style is a concern of this project. In addition to being influenced by motivation, productivity is affected by workers ability and a number of situational and environmental factors. The objectives of the school will not be achieved if there is no harmony in the school between teachers’ performance and principal’s leadership style. Several researchers have defined leadership style in different contexts, in view of the foregoing, (Chandan, 2007) defines leadership style as the ingredient of personality embodied in leaders that causes subordinates to follow them. Okumbe, (2008) on the other hand defines leadership styles as particular behaviours applied by a leader to motivate subordinates to achieve the objectives of the organization. It refers to the underlying needs of the leader that motivate his behavior (Siskin, 2004; Okeniyi, 2005).

It is the manifestation of the dominant pattern of behaviour of a leader (Olaniyan, 2009; Okurumeh, 2012). It is also a process through which principal influences a teacher or a group of others in the attainment of educational goals (Akinwumiju and Olaniyan, 2006; Adeyemi, 2006). Therefore, the Leadership style of a principal depends on the leaders behaviors. This behavior is the main foundation for choosing efficient leadership style (Douglas, 2006). Scholar has proposed path goal theory to explain leadership. According to (House, 2008) in the path goal theory, a leader does the following: clarifies and sets goals together with the subordinates and properly communicates to them. Besides, delegates duties to subordinates according to their abilities, skills, knowledge and experience. The leader further helps the subordinates to find the best path for achieving the desired goals. Defines positions and task roles by removing barriers to performance and promotes group cohesiveness and team effort.

The leader finally increases personal opportunities for improved work performance by reducing stress, making external controls and people’s expectations clearer (House, 2008). In supporting this theory, (Ajayi and Ayodele, 2011) the behaviour of the leader is acceptable to the subordinates only if they continue to see the leader as a source of personal opportunities to improve performance and satisfaction. But, some leaders seem to find it difficult to effectively administer their schools (Gronn, 2012). Therefore, it is imperative that they learn and understand the importance of the styles that enhance positive performance in the schools. As such, leadership style occupies an important position in school administration as the principal who controls schools’ resources resulted in positive achievement of educational goals (Adeyemi, 2004). Basically, such achievements in secondary schools are dependent on three identifiable leadership styles namely; autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire (Lunenberg &Ornstein, 2009).It is no doubt that there is mounting pressure by styles of leadership among principals of secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State. It seems however that many principals have not considered their styles of leadership as determinants of teachers’ performance in their schools. Teachers’ performance could be described in various ways. (Robert and Tim, 2009) as the act of accomplishing or executing a given tasks. On the other hand (Obilade, 2009) defined teachers performance as the duties performed by a teacher at a particular period in the school system in achieving educational goals whereas, (Akinyemi 2003; Okeniyi, 2005) defined it as the ability of teachers to combine relevant inputs for the enhancement of teaching and learning processes. However, (Meindl, 2008) argued that teachers’ performance is determined by the workers level of participation in the day to day running of the organization. Supporting this argument, (Adepoju, 2007) asserted that variables of teachers’ performance such as effective teaching, lesson note preparation, effective use of scheme of work, effective supervision, monitoring of students’ work and disciplinary ability are virtues which teachers should uphold effectively in the school system.

In this regard, the teachers’ performance could be measured through annual report of his/ her activities in terms of performance in teaching, lesson preparation, and lesson presentation, mastery of subject matter, competence, teachers’ commitment to job and extra-curricular activities. Other areas of assessment include effective leadership, supervision of students’ work, motivation, class control and discipline of the students are the virtues that teachers should uphold effectively in secondary schools. As such, (Ibukun, 2007) argued that the main task of the principal is to create a conducive atmosphere for the teachers to be able to achieve desired changes in students. He noted that teachers’ perform effectively under different leadership styles. Due to this, the principal was expected to encourage effective performance of their teachers by identifying their needs and trying to satisfy or meet them. Supporting this argument (Ijaiya, 2010) remarked that teachers in Nigeria express a desire for more participation in decision-making.

As indicated by UNESCO report (2006), there is implicit recognition of the important role which school management plays in achievement of school goals. Therefore, principals’ need to display leadership styles that can enhance teachers’ performance thus improve students achievements.

Leadership styles that were considered in this study were democratic, autocratic and laissez-faire (Okumbe, 2008). The democratic leadership style decentralizes power, authority and decisions are made through consultation. The use of the style makes the teacher feel as part of the organization and will therefore improve the teachers job performance.

Autocratic leadership style centralizes power, authority and decision making. In this case, the teacher has a feeling that he/she is not appreciated thus affects his/her job performance. Leaders who opt for laissez-faire tend to avoid power and authority. This leadership style may lead to poor performance and high cases of absenteeism. Therefore, the concern of this study was to describe the principals’ leadership styles in terms of involvement in decision making, communication and delegation of duties to teachers in secondary schools of Education District IV of Lagos State.

Statement of the Problem

The relationship between principals’ leadership style and teachers’ job performance has been a subject of controversy by many researchers. 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 perhaps have serious impact on teachers’ job performance.

Therefore, Principals as educational leaders play a pivotal role in the success of the school. In building a strong culture of collaboration and creative problem solving, set appropriate curriculum implementation mechanism, and possess an instructional leadership quality that takes responsibility for students’ achievement, develop and Communicate plans for effective teaching, among all staff members and monitor students learning progress and closely work with parents. Hence, the collision of principals’ leadership style and teachers’ performance has been a subject of disagreement by researchers (Nwadian, 2008; Adeyemi, 2006).

The argument was centred on whether or not the principals’ leadership style influences the level of performance among teachers. Therefore, it was necessary to determine the extent to which principals’ leadership styles influence teachers’ level of job performance since principals need to strive to satisfy the teachers so that they exhibit maximum production which can be measured through good academic achievement of the learners in learning institutions. The problem of this study therefore was to investigate the effects of principals’ leadership styles on teachers’ job performance in secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of the principals’ leadership styles on secondary school teachers’ job performance in Education District IV of Lagos State.

Objectives of the study.

Specifically, the study sought to:

1. Find out the most commonly used leadership style among principals in secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State.

2. Examine if there is any significant relationship between principals leadership style and job performance.

3. Investigate how principals involve teachers in decision making and the effect it has on their performance in Education District IV of Lagos State.

4. Investigate how principals communicate with their teaching staff and the effect it has on teachers’ performance in secondary schools

5. Determine the leadership style used by principals that enhances teachers’ performance.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study:

1. To what extent does teachers lesson preparation, assessing of students and involving students in co-curricular activities affects teachers’ performance?

2. To what extent does school principals’ leadership styles in terms of decision-making, communications and delegation of duties influence the level of teachers’ performance in secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State?

3. Which type of leadership style of school principals’ enhances teachers’ job performance?

4. Which leadership style is most commonly used by principals in secondary schools in Yaba Local Government Area?

Research Hypotheses


Ho1: There is no significant relationship between principals’ leadership styles secondary school teachers’ job performance in Education District IV of Lagos State.

Hypothesis 2

Ho2: There is no significant difference between principals’ democratic leadership style and secondary school teachers’ job performance in Education District IV of Lagos State.

Scope of the Study

The scope of the study covers ten public secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State. The total numbers of teachers in the sample secondary schools were (341). The teachers and principals, were included in the study. Thus, out of (341) secondary school teachers’ 180 were taken as a sample in the study and 22 principals were also taken as a sample in the study. It also covers the extent to which the various leadership styles by secondary school principals has influenced the teaching and learning situation.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this research have deep significance for the enhancement of secondary school teachers’ performance by prioritizing performance in the study area. In addition, principals of schools are always regarded by their teachers as leaders in the administration and in school board of education, parents and teachers and other various public people usually hold principals responsible for success and failure of school organization. Specifically the result of

this research has the following importance for the school principals, teachers, students and others.

First, it may help the school leaders to be aware of the styles against the level of teacher performance and the practitioners’ principals to exercise efficient leadership styles so as to improve teachers’ performance.

Second, it may help the school principals to revisit and be enriched with new knowledge, theories, methodologies and practical behaviors leaders need in secondary schools and other institutions of learning in general for their motivating approach to make the teachers more effective.

Third, it may give the clear picture of principals’ leadership style on teachers’ level of performance for decision-makers, such as practicing educational administrator/principal, educational administrators in training, local state board and ministry of education officials.

Fourth the school principal who is in mount exposure to different pressures both internal and external has to constantly review his own leadership style as effective guide in performing his/ her task.

Fifth, this study may be useful to the principals to be equipped with knowledge on how they can boost job satisfaction of teachers which may contribute to good academic performance as well as organizational success and the findings may also serve as a guide to educational practice in determining areas of dissatisfaction among teachers which need to be addressed to retain teachers.

Lastly it may serve as the reference and may call for further in-depth of researchers on the topic, particularly principals’ leadership style and teachers’ performance in secondary schools in Lagos State.

Limitations of the Study

Even though the research has attained its objectives, there were some unpreventable limitations. First, due to the limit of time, finance and material resources; this research was not incorporating all models to see teachers’ performance. The investigation is run by focusing on the three leadership styles and teachers performance. Styles, which are prepared based on House (2008) path goal theory of leadership. In addition because of financial and time constraints, it would have been possible to extend the study to cover both primary and secondary schools but for the limiting factor of time and finance this research was conducted on secondary school teachers in Education District IV of Lagos State. The study would have involved more participants from both school levels all over Lagos state and not Yaba alone. Therefore, the findings will be generalized to include all primary and secondary school teachers.

Operational Definition of Important Terms

Leadership styles: This is the patterns of behaviours, which a leader adopts to influence the behaviours of his/her followers.

Principals’ leadership Styles: Refers to the pattern or way of doing things by the principal in pursuit of his or her duties. In this study, leadership styles are looked at in terms of the way principals involve teachers in decision-making; the way they communicate and the way they delegate duties to teachers. The way the principals behave in line of decision-making, communication and delegation is hypothesized to determine teachers’ performance in secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State.

Teachers’ performance: Refers to identification with, and involvement in the teaching occupation. In this study, the teachers’ performance considered as the act of scheming, lesson planning, and assessment of students through giving tests, exercises and participation in co-curricular activities of the schools.

Autocratic style: Is a style that leaders communicate irregularly to teaching staff with limited involvement in decision-making and less delegation.

Democratic style: Is a style that leaders regularly communicate with teaching staff and to participate them in decision-making for more delegation of duties.

Laissez–Faire style: Is a style that leaders advocates minimal supervision and moderate involvement in the instructional process.


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