The study on principals’ leadership style and teachers’ performance was conducted on public secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. There were a total of 10 public secondary schools with a total population of 360 teachers found in the schools out of which 200 teachers were picked from 6 schools for the study. Three research questions were generated to guide the study with the questionnaire as instrument for data collection. Responses from the respondents were calculated on a frequency table of Agree and Disagree using simple percentage. The study revealed that teachers performed maximally when the principal used democratic style in running the affairs of the school while low performance was observed when they adopted either the autocratic or laissez-faire styles. It was recommended that the principals of schools should make use of democratic style and that government and organizations should always organized seminars and workshops to educate principals on leadership styles.
1.1 Background of the Study
One of the greatest problems currently facing many strata of society is good leadership. Often-times, people complain that a leader is unjust, proud, arrogant, selfish, self-centred, wicked, ungodly, impatient, unkind, fearful undisciplined and biased. Some leaders are said to show favouritism, encourage gossips, always want to praised, take all the glory for good work done, constantly brag about their achievements, and not listen to their subjects (Umoren, 2007).
There are also leaders who may lack certain knowledge and are humble enough to ask others, they pretend to be better than everyone else, they delight in punishing others, and they deliberately avoid issues of welfare and have no human sympathy or compassion. They feel they are above the law, having nothing to learn from anyone, do everything by themselves, never delegate, do not give others a free hand, never try to motivate others nor carry others along. These types of leaders are found everywhere including the schools system. This account for myriads of problems affecting our school system in Nigeria, thus leading to low work performance.
According to Ihejiamaizu (1996), every organization requires effective leadership or creates vision of the future, develop a strategy towards realizing the vision and enlist the cooperation of employees to achieve the goal. Effective leadership mush accomplish the management process of planning, organizing, staffing, motivating and controlling by employing formal authority. In the secondary school system which is the focus of this study, the principals is the leader and for the teacher to exhibit high level of performance, the principal as the leader must exhibit those leadership traits and qualities that will motivate them for greater performance.
As rightly stated by Ihejiamaizu (1996), a leader must posse a combination of qualities which include sound judgment, intelligence, knowledge, good perception of human nature, commonsense, a good level of training dependability, sociability, economic status, courage, self-confidence and ability to appraise situation correctly. These qualities are important since the soundness of the decisions output of the leader will in one way or the other affect the survival of the organization. The school system as a center of learning cannot survive without a reputable leader with these fundamental qualities. This is more important because teachers are key factors in the development of the students and the nation at large. In situation where teachers are not properly motivated through good leadership to perform at optimum level, the school system is bound to suffer and this would have direct negative consequences on the students and the society at large.
The above reasons led the researcher to carry out a study on the influence of principals’ leadership style on teachers’ work performance in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area and to offer recommendations where necessary.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years, there has been complain of teachers’ low performance in the classroom and poor results from WAEC, NECO and Junior Secondary School Examinations in the state attests to this fact. This poor performance of teachers has been attributed to many factors including the principals’ leadership styles. This study is therefore conducted to ascertain the truth of this assertion especially as it affects secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this study is to assess the influence of principals’ leadership styles on teachers’ work performance in secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. The specific objectives is to:
- Assess the influence of principals’ democratic leadership style on teachers’ work performance in secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.
- Assess the influence of principals’ autocratic leadership style on teachers’ work performance in secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.
- Assess the influence of principals’ laissez-faire leadership style on teachers’ work performance in secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.
- To proffer possible solutions to the problems associated with principals’ leadership styles and teachers’ work performance.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study on principals’ leadership styles and teachers’ work performance in secondary schools would be significant in many ways. It will provide information to stakeholders in the educational system on the need to provide adequate training to principals of schools so as to equip them with the knowledge on how to provide good leadership in schools. Information contained in this study will be a useful guide to principals of schools across the state and beyond as it would help them know a particular leadership style that could be adopted at a particular point in time in the delivery of their civil duties. It will remain a valuable material for future researchers along this line as well as students who have interest in studying leadership styles as they affect work performance.
1.5 Research Questions
The study adopted the following research questions as a research guide. :
- How does the principals’ democratic leadership style influence teachers’ work performance in secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area?
- How does the principals’ autocratic leadership style influence teachers’ work performance in secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area?
- How does the principals’ laissez-faire leadership style influence teachers’ work performance in secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area?
1.6 Limitation of the Study
The researcher faced series of limitations in the course of carrying out this study:
Time: the time allocated for the study was very short and thus became a constraint in carrying out this research.
Finance: lack of finance was also a major challenge as the researcher needed money to obtain more necessary materials from online and as well as transport from one place to the other for data collection.
Since I was carrying out this research alongside my studies and preparation for examinations, all the above mentioned factors seriously constrained the study.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
The study was carried out among public secondary school teachers in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. It covered all public secondary schools in the local government.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined in the study
Principal: A principal is defined as the first or highest in rank person, important, value, etc.; chief; or foremost person in an organization.
Leadership: This is the process of influencing the activities of an organized group.
Leader: This is an individual in a group with the task of directing and coordinating task relevant to the group activity. In this study the principal represent the leader here.
Teacher: A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.
Work Performance: This is the level of work done by the teacher in secondary schools.
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