Background of the Study
Leadership is fundamental to the existence of any organization. It focuses on the accomplishment of goals and objectives of the organization. The leader influences the behaviours of the people who work for an organization so as to achieve the basic goals upon which the organization or group is found. The process through which leaders influence their followers to work towards attainment of certain goals that represent the values, needs, aspirations and expectations of both the leaders and the followers is termed leadership.
Leadership connotes the ability to get things done with the assistance and co-operation of other people within the organization (Ake, 2007). The effective leader is not only able to make his subordinates do what they have to do but also recognize that they must be motivated to ensure that they continue to work hard until the goals and objectives of the organization are met. Other qualities of good leaders are unquestionable discipline, endurance, integrity and persistence in attaining goals. Most good leaders have crucial vision. They know how to motivate people to believe in the same vision they have for themselves.
Leadership is very crucial for school administration. Leadership and administration are usually mistaken to be the same, but there are differences. While every administrator is a leader not all leaders are administrators. In leadership, authority is derived from the followers but in administration authority is derived from the statutory functions of the office holder (Chiaha, 2009). However their qualities are similar. Good school administrators are perceptive and strategic leaders. Ezinne (2010) observed that a good school administrator should have the knowledge to make the correct call in making sure that the organization is successful. Therefore, a good school administrator must have to be strategic, wise and perceptive. Similarly, a good school administrator, just like a good leader, must be passionate charismatic and good communicators to enable them carry along the teachers and other members of staff to enhance good administrative and learning climate in the school. A good school administrator with the above qualities tends to actualize the goals of the school in terms of improving teaching and learning along side welfare of the staff.
In the secondary school system, the school administrator (principal) has the responsibility as an instructional leader to ensure effective teaching and learning by exerting his influence or position as the school administrator. This is especially needed where there is an upsurge of private secondary schools in recent times (Collins, 2009). This upsurge refers to the sporadic springing up of private schools due to poor instructional leadership quality of public school principals whom parents often accuse of not rendering high quality educational services to the learners (Ugwu, 2010). The reaction is based on the proactive measures which the principals of private school often adopt for ensuring instructional improvement of their students. This implies that parents and stakeholders often look forward to effective leadership of schools to enable their wards progress academically. Apparently, therefore, transformational leadership seems to be the answer to their problem.
Experts express opinions that transformational leadership appears to offer the most comprehensive description and generate the most beneficial results in an organization. Leithword (2007) observed that transformational leaders have three main goals which comprise development of staff, maintenance of collaborative school culture and participatory decision-making process which is geared towards the attainment of both individual and organizational (group) goals. The second goal is fostering teacher development by giving teachers a role in solving school problems by allowing them some ownership of the problem and its solutions. Ultimately, transformational leaders help followers solve problems more effectively by encouraging collaboration and promoting the idea that staff, working together, can often find a better solution to a problem than the administrator acting alone. This is probably why private schools seem to apply the use of transformational leadership more often than not (Adebayo, 2009).
Private secondary schools refer to those educational institutions whose ownership and control are in the hands of an individual or group of individuals in the society. Government has only supervisory rather than direct control and involvement in the day-to-day running of the school. Privately owned schools are established to correct the long year’s ills and lapses of government involvement in running of schools (Adebayo, 2009). Adebayo further asserted that the emergence of the private schools is to correct such ills of the public schools as lack of basic infrastructure, poor funding and incessant strike actions by teachers. According to the National Republic of Nigeria (2004) in her National Policy on Education private sector participation is allowed in the running of the education sector in Nigeria to enhance educational and technological advancement of the country. The policy document further stated that such private educational institutions should operate under the guideline stipulated by the Federal Ministry of Education to enhance high quality education for her citizens. All these measures are adopted to ensure minimum standard among all private schools in the country in line with the government policy.
Private schools are seen as enterprises which usually involve capital investments and risks. This implies that private schools have chances of success as well as failure. Another glaring feature of private school is that the capital is provided by private individuals-the owners. Okeke (2007) observes that the bulk of capital for putting up private schools comes from savings, loans or money borrowed from friends or banks unlike public schools which funding comes from statutory allocation from the government. The source of funding of private schools makes it imperative for the proprietor to ensure high standards and prudent management of limited resources hence, the objective of establishing private schools is to make profit. This implies that private schools are established not only to provide educational services but to make profit which tends to outweigh the expectations of public schools in accountability and performance (Anyanwu 2008). The school administrator as the manager of the school exhibits leadership styles that tend to depict the potential management of resources to ensure the maximization of profit at the expense of the actual performance of the students. The owners of private schools tend to spend less on the employees than in themselves. This is occasioned by the need to appropriate funds to ensure their profit maximization bid. This is probably why Ochise (2009) opined that in private schools administrators are more concerned with managing funds personally than in the provision of quality education.
However, Hicks (2008) asserted that administrators of private schools are expected to be inspirational leaders with basic values and enthusiasm, with communication skills and a compelling vision, which will enhance group behaviour in the schools. This greatly enhances the intellectual stimulation of the teachers which is a distinguishing feature of transformational leadership style.
The public enterprise on the other hand refers to those business outfits established by the government which aims are the provision of services to the general public at a very low cost. For instance, public schools like unity schools, state and federal controlled primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions are entirely managed, organized and controlled by the government through its various agencies or boards. The financing of such enterprises comes from the public source. This implies that the funds used to run such enterprises are entirely provided by the government. Profit motive is not the rational behind the establishment of public schools unlike the private schools. Public enterprises are established by the government to provide essential services to the general public.
Nsukka Education Zone in made up three Local Government Areas (Nsukka, Igbo-Etiti and Uzo-Uwani) where several public and privately-owned secondary schools co-exist. These schools are expected to provide quality education to the citizens of the zone. In recent time there has been an upsurge of private secondary schools which compares with public secondary schools for population. Eze (2009) attributed this upsurge to the leadership potentials being exhibited by the leadership of the private schools in the provision of quality education. However, this view of Eze is subject to review as this study progresses.
Bass (1985) described transformational leadership as the process of influencing followers to transcend their self-interests for the good of the group or organization by raising their awareness of the importance and value of group outcomes. Graham (2009) observed that transformational leaders encourage their subordinates charismatically and lead followers to develop their skills so that they might eventually develop initiative in working for the leader’s goals. This type of leadership is all about building a unified common interest between leaders and followers. Leithword (2008) considered transformational leadership as a form of leadership that facilitates a redefinition of a people’s mission and vision for the revival of their commitments and capacities as organizational members for accomplishing goals that may result in organizational functioning and greater productivity.
All these definitions allude to a form of leadership where leaders work to transform their followers’ standards and ideals towards the realization of organizational feats. By so doing, such leaders may be able to create significant change in both followers and the organization with which they are associated. Precisely, transformational leadership could be inferred as an interaction between a leader and his followers in which the leader, working through his workers, aims at advancing workers’ attitude to accomplish organizational goals, mission and purpose. These processes involve a rounding-off of followers’ interests and zealousness, commitments that are mostly important to the fulfillment of organizational leadership. This is combined with both top-down and strategies aimed at democratic and participative decision-making of all staff of the organization.
A transformational leader is expected to integrate the four basic components namely; charisma or idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration to ensure that the challenges are squarely faced and solved. Bass (2006) a charismatic leaders uses the personal qualities to ensure the attainment of the organizational objectives. By this, the leader makes adequate use of the natural qualities to influence the actualization of the group objective. Inspirational quality of the leader entails the use of both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards by the leader to ensure that the workers put in their best to attain the educational or organizational objective. Intellectual stimulation involves the leader engaging the workforce in a training to beef up their intellectual horizon. By this a good leader is expected to involve the teachers in in-service training to build up their knowledge. A transformational leader is also expected to be individualized in the performance of their functions. This involves the leaders and the workers in the organization. Bass further asserts that a leader who takes into consideration the personal needs of the workers tends to be successful administrators. A leader who is transformational in nature is expected to integrate the personal needs of her workforce with the organizational needs to avoid crisis. This would enable the organization to attain the stipulated objectives.
According to Hall, Johnson, Wysocki and Keppner (2002), these components correspond with the four behaviours of transformational leadership known as the “four I’s” idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration. From the above four components the “Additive” effects of transformational leadership was formulated. According to Northhouse (2001) addition of the four factors of transformational leadership result to “Performance beyond expectation”. Piestick (2010) asserts that transformational leadership requires a number of different skills and is closely associated with instructional leadership styles that will integrate its basic components to attain the school goals.
The principal of both the private and public schools are expected to employ various strategies to achieve the goals of the school. These could be the organization or provision of facilities for workshops, recommendation of staff to attend conferences useful to the professional growth of staff, sharing information gained from conferences with staff members as well as sharing individual talents with one another.
A common strategy of transformational leadership is the active involvement of staff in decision-making, decision is implemented from opinion of staff but not necessarily an imposition from the leader. Apart from the above, the four basic components of transformative leadership helps to articulated in schools a workplace in form of participating decision-making, recognition, autonomy, professional development of staff, efficient and effective management and co-worker interrelationships. All these are geared towards the attainment of the school goal, and job satisfaction of the teachers.
Transformational leaders specifically pay attention to and are sensitive to the needs of their subordinates as well as their own needs. The transformational school principal integrates or cultivates the acceptance of group goals by their followers (teachers and non-teaching staff) through intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration. The Principal seeks to unite with his staff in the school in order to attain a common purpose which is improving the teaching and learning processes.
This study will seek to compare private and public secondary schools’ application of transformational leadership, in the attainment of educational goals in the schools. Therefore, the focus of this study is to compare the application of transformational leadership styles of administrators in private and public secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State.
Statement of the Problem
Leadership functions are the cardinal roles of the secondary school principals. These functions are performed by the principals of both private and public secondary schools. The school system is currently facing a lot of problems like inadequate funds, poor infrastructural development, ill motivated staff and poor labour relations that require effective leadership. This situation in secondary school does not give room for the attainment of the educational objectives. With the educational system in this condition, the stakeholders in the education sector, parents and guardians, who are concerned about giving their wards the best available education, are worried over this ugly trend.
Their worry in this era of transformation and global world class standard may be which of public or private school will be interested in achieving the educational goals through a purpositive leadership style. It is therefore assumed in this study that the performance of private and public schools is dependent on the application of transformational leadership by the school administrators.
Nsukka is an educational zone that is highly influenced by the existence of the university. Education students often do their teaching practice in the public schools in the zone while the schools also form research grounds for the undergraduates and post graduates. It is therefore expected that the school administrators are very much aware of what is expected of them to become the world class institutions. The study therefore seeks to compare transformational leadership styles of school administrators in private and public secondary schools in Nsukka Education zone of Enugu State. The problem of this study therefore is to compare the transformational leadership style of private and public school administrators in Nsukka Education Zone.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to find the extent to which transformational leadership styles of administrators are applied in private and public secondary schools in Nsukka Education zone of Enugu State. Specifically the study seeks to:
- compare the extent to which administrators in public and private secondary schools develop visions and goals in their school.
- compare the extent to which administrators in public and private secondary schools initiate intellectual stimulation among their staff.
- compare the extent to which the school administrators in public and private secondary schools symbolize professional practices and values.
- compare the extent to which the school administrators in public and private secondary schools provide individualized consideration for their staff.
Significance of the Study
The study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the study is hinged on contingency theory by Fielder (1967). This theory arises due to dissatisfaction of researchers over behavioural theory. The study is based on the belief that the leadership style adopted by the principal is dependent on the situation where the leaders exist, hence, there is no best way to administer an organization. The relationship of this theory to this study is that the principal should be dynamic in his administration; hence, the leadership style adopted is dependent on the prevailing circumstances. The findings of this study will be beneficial to the school principals, classroom teachers, students and researchers in the fields of educational administration and the planning.