Transformational Leadership Style in the Educational Sector: An Empirical Study of Corporate Managers and Educational Leaders

Article excerpt


The purpose of this article is to explore educational school leaders, and the need for transformational leadership style within the educational sector. With society's focus on the present day school reform movement, there is significant emphasis on teacher and leadership performance. With the addition of charter school choice and new local laws, fueled by the federal government's race to the top incentive model, educational leaders are now faced with leadership mandates that will demand enhanced performance of their schools. In addition, recent focus on teacher and school leader evaluations have fueled the public's demand to transform educational school leadership from a status quo paradigm to a leadership framework similar to corporate leaders who must sustain performance while competing in a market driven industries. This discussion also assesses industry leaders and CEOs who practice transformational leadership and lead their respective companies to meet market and share holder demands. A discussion of transformational leadership style to support the strategic changes within the educational sector is presented with a sample of principals who employ the transformational leadership style.


In an era of accountability, our school systems are facing severe challenges to meet bottom line results while external pressures from federal, state and local mandates are compelling educational leaders to drive enhanced student achievement. With the addition of charter school choice and new local laws, fueled by the federal government's race to the top incentive model, educational leaders are now faced with leadership evaluations that will assess the accountability of overall performance of educational leaders. For example, New York State is currently assessing teacher-principal performance evaluations to qualify for federal grants to improve the quality of leadership and student performance in the classroom (Chen & Phillips, 2012).

In this ever- changing era of accountability and performance, we find school leaders are now faced with the same managerial tasks that are practiced by managers and leaders of businesses in private industry. Some of these tasks include managing personnel, controlling budgets, setting strategic goals and collaborating with external forces that include parents, unions, community outreach groups, and also political constituents.

The issue of managing for results takes upon a larger role in today's educational environment as educational leaders focus on the very managing skills that are practiced in private industry. To support the accountability - performance agenda, leadership proficiency has taken on a pivotal focus that can effect bottom line results. As society places more accountability on the educational sector, educational managers and leaders are being asked to perform as manages in private industry.

Managerial tasks have relied upon a leadership framework to help achieve the overall tasks and duties of managing. To support the managerial paradigm and the leadership framework, most theorists have studied the transformational leadership style for environments that are subjected to significant change for bottom line results.

Education in today's business context is an industry that comprises of elementary, secondary and post secondary institutions. Revenues for public elementary and secondary schools amount to $525 Billion for the school year 201 1-2012 (National Center for Educational Statistics). In addition, the post secondary education segment represented 19.7 million students for both public and private institutions, with a per student average annual tuition cost of $32,184 for private and $4,751 for public institutions (Department of Education, 2012). By industry comparison, according to the US Census Bureau, revenues (including service, insurance, and other items) for new car dealers in the US totaled an estimated $553 billion in 2010. …


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