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This study investigated the influence of principals’ leadership styles on teachers’ job performance in public secondary schools in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State. Related literatures were reviewed.

The respondents for the study were selected from ten public secondary schools in the local government area. The simple random sampling procedure was used to select a total number of one hundred teachers.

A twenty-item questionnaire was designed by the researcher. The instrument was personally administered; t-test and the Pearson product moment correlation were used in testing the four hypotheses formulated.  At the end of the study, useful recommendations were made on how to motivate teachers to improve on their job performance.


Title page                                                                                          i

Certification                                                                                      ii

Dedication                                                                                         iii

Acknowledgement                                                                             iv

Abstract                                                                                            v

Table of Contents                                                                              vi


1.1               Background to the study                                                          1

1.2               Statement of problem                                                              6

1.3               Research  questions                                                                 7

1.4               Hypothesis                                                                              8

1.5               Purpose of study                                                                      8

1.6               Significance of study                                                               9

1.7               Assumptions                                                                           11

1.8               Delimitation                                                                                     12

1.9               Definition of terms                                                                            12


2.1    Theoretical framework                                                            14

2.2    Leadership styles and effects on teachers’ job performance   18

2.3    Leadership dimension                                                             23

2.4    Types of leadership approach                                                 25

2.5     Relationship between leadership styles and motivation        27

2.6    The role of the principal in fostering staff relationship in

school administration                                                             32

2.7     The role of staff members in fostering effective principal

staff relationship                                                                    34

2.8    Job performance                                                                     37


3.1     Study Area                                                                              39

3.2     Population                                                                               39

3.3    Sampling Technique                                                               40

3.4    Research Instrument                                                               40

3.5    Scoring Method/Statistical Framework                                  41


Analysis of Data and Discussion of Findings                                  43


5.1    Summary                                                                                 51

5.2    Findings                                                                                   52

5.3    Conclusions                                                                             52

5.4    Recommendations                                                                  53

 Suggestions for Further Study                                                        55

 Limitations                                                                                      55

Bibliography                                                                                    56

Appendix   A                                                                                    59

Appendix   B                                                                                    64



1.1     Background to the Study

The wealth of a given country is principally determined by the human resources, available natural resources and the state of her economic development. Of all these, it is the human resources that exploit the natural resources, accumulates physical capital and build the socio-political structure needed for national growth and development.

        Human resources can only be developed through proper education that is geared towards the needs of the individual and the society. This is why every government is concerned with providing education for the citizenry. The need for education draws from the idea that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, hence both local, state and federal government are keenly involved in providing educational services to her citizens.

        Nigerian educational system is to some extent decentralized and democratic in nature. Bothe in policy and practice, education in Nigeria is in the con-current list for both federal and states. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) in the National Policy on Education (1981:P) states in section 96 as follows:

1.       The Federal Government shall prescribe minimum standards of education at all levels.

2.       University, technical, pre-primary and post-primary education shall be the responsibility of both the federal and state governments.

3.       Education Boards or Authorities will be responsible for management of schools and the appointment, posting and discipline of teachers.

The various state governments and the Federal Ministry of Education have responsibility for establishing and managing secondary and other institutions, provided they meet the minimum standards prescribed by the federal government. This is democratic in nature and does not end with state ministries of education but supposed to be passed on to the individual institutions through their respective heads. The appointment of principals and teachers in the state schools are made either by the state schools boards or the state post-primary education and the decisions or reports are communicated to the state Ministries of Education for approval.

This therefore necessitates a deliberate systematic and planned educational system aimed at instilling in the child approved societal behaviours, skills, knowledge, habits and values.

The successful implementation of the above depends on the types of schools provided, how they are organized, the caliber of teachers and administrative heads as well as the attitude of parents towards their children’s and wards education.

The government having established schools, recruits teachers, post them to various schools, pay them monthly salaries depending on their qualifications, occasionally inspecting them to determine the extent to which pre-determined objectives are met. Parents on their parts provide the necessary materials as needed by their wards and children before sending them to school. What happens thereafter between the hours of 8:00am to 2:00pm is under the control of the school head and the teachers.

The success or otherwise of a secondary school, lies largely on the leadership style practiced by the principal. The secondary school as an organization cannot exist without the principal and teachers who perform all the expected school duties. The principal is the head of the school administrative unit. The teacher on his part is regarded as a social worker, a modernizer, a pace-setter who structures environment for effective teaching and learning. As a result of his professional expectation in acting in-loco-parentis and also providing quality instructions, it becomes necessary that a rich and stimulating working environment and managed by a good and an understanding leader be provided for them for the smooth operationalization of educational objectives. This is to ensure that educational goals are realized which manifest in the overall performance of the students in the school certificate examination.

Most often, particularly in the past fifteen years, the final examinations, West African Schools Certificate and now Senior School Certificate results have shown a poor picture. The public leveled criticism against teachers on what they perceived as low standards of education, moral laxity among students, mass cheating aided and abetted by teachers and government lack of interest and commitment to education.

Teachers on their part complain about poor conditions of teaching in public schools. Teachers have always described lack of adequate instructional facilities, salaries inadequacies, interpersonal inadequacies, and above all, principals corrupt nature, indifference and insensitivity. These are factors which are seriously demonstrating even to a workaholic.

Principals on their part leveled the student’s academic poor performance on teachers’ attitude to work, laziness and their failure to make the best of inadequate situations. The problem of moral laxity, indiscipline in schools, mass cheating were blamed on teachers, whose instructional methods and materials have been considered insufficient, unstimulating and inappropriate to the child’s learning experiences, interests and propensities. Principals see teachers as lazy, non-compromising even in the face of no salaries. Their notion is that teachers must work at all times whether they are sick, hungry or not, as an excuse from a teacher to be away from school is considered as sabotage.

In the light of the aforementioned, it is alarming that principals in Sapele Local Government Area have a lot to grapple with in ensuring successful principalship. It is the duty of the school principal to indentify and sustain the teachers’ interest through the initiation of appropriate leadership style.

Since the teachers work under the leadership of the principal, the principals have to provide those motivational devices that will influence the teachers’ attitude to work. There is therefore the need for a type of school administrator (principal) which requires among other things effective staff motivation, harmonious staff interaction between staff and staff and between staff and principal.

As the teacher acts in-loco-parentis, the principal should see himself as a teacher-trainer, he should instructs without ordering, correct without nagging and above all, persuades without insisting (Obe, 1984). Among others, he should maintain fair play, reasonableness, justice and also establish open-door policy and good communication network. When these are done, the principal would have been able to win the support of hid teaching staff.

In a school system where there is no bitterness and rancor between the principal and the teachers, there will be proper integration of personal and corporate objectives. This encourages a harmonious working environment, subsequently leading to improved teaching-learning output. Consequently, the students performance will improve and the required manpower would have been created through good leadership.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

        The maintenance of an effective leadership style and teacher’s job performances in school administration has been held by many educationists to be the foundation of progress. The principals’ leadership style can affect the teachers’ other aspect of human relations, such as those which exist between the staff and the community on the other.

          Educational administration must concern with the satisfaction which the principals and teachers derive from their work. The satisfaction, it appears can only be found in an administrative climate where there is a cordial relationship between the principals and the teachers.

Sometimes, the students, the teachers and members of the community make highly critical comments about the administrative styles of some secondary school principals. Many of the comments are concerned with understanding between the staff and principals, the maltreatment of the young members of staff by the principal and even non-involvement of staff in formulation of school policies and in performance of assigned task by the teachers. All those comments may reflect the leadership style projected by the principal. Sometimes in many secondary school, the end of the academic year often result in the mass transfer of teachers, even students to other schools, because of misunderstanding between principal, the teachers and the students. This atmosphere of constant misunderstanding will definitely hamper the job performance of the teachers. The teachers are supposed to be dedicated to their duty; they know the rules and regulations of the organization. They are supposed to come to school early, teach their subjects and even be involved in other extra-curricular activities if the atmosphere is conducive. But the opposite is the case with a principal who is not friendly. The teachers are forced to show nonchalant attitude to work. This therefore attracts the attention of the writer to look into how the leadership styles of principals have helped or discourage teachers from putting in their best.

1.3   Research Questions

The following questions were raised to guide this study:

1.     Does the leadership style of principal affect teachers’ job performance?

2.     What leadership style is most suitable to encourage teachers?

3.     Is there any difference in the leadership styles of principals in the rural and urban areas?      

4.     Is there any difference in the leadership styles of professionally trained and non-professionally trained principal?

5.     Is there any difference between the leadership styles of female and male principals?


1.4   Hypotheses

        The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

1.     There is no significant relationship between principals’ leadership styles and teachers’ job performance.

2.     There is no significant difference between the leadership of male and female principals.

3.     There is no significant relationship between the leadership styles of principals in the rural and urban areas.

4.     There is a significant relationship between the leadership style of professionally trained and non-professionally trained principals.

1.5   Purpose of Study

Ø   To identify the most suitable leadership style this will make teachers work better.


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