Academic journal article Journal of Marketing and Management

Education Leadership Styles Impact on Work Performance and Morale of Staff

Academic journal article Journal of Marketing and Management

Education Leadership Styles Impact on Work Performance and Morale of Staff

Article excerpt

Introduction

The basis of the study was to determine if there were a relationship between public school principals' leadership styles and the work performance and morale of school staff members, as recognized by the five components indicated on the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) survey: (1) Model the way, (2) Inspire shared vision, (3) Challenge the process, (4) Enable others to act, and (5) Encourage the heart (Kouzes & Posner, 2013). The research study was conducted in the third largest school district in northeastern Georgia.

Results of the study provided an increased awareness of the lack of research on the leadership behaviors and practices displayed by leaders in public school settings and how behavioral patterns impact the work performance and morale of school employees. The study was based on and directed by research questions (1) targeting the connection between the leadership style of public school principals and the work performance and morale of school employees, (2) the characteristics of public school principals that contribute to the commitment of school employees, and (3) the motivational factors of public school principals that attribute to the work performance and morale of school staff.

Findings

With the onset of recent federal and state mandates, such as the No Child Left Behind Act, many school districts and administrators have been relentless in their efforts to close the academic achievement gap and ensure that quality education is provided to all students. The added stress for students to adequately perform on tests has caused many principals to disregard and devalue school employees' abilities and opinions. According to Sorenson and Goldsmith (2008), if a school environment is deemed unfit for employees to work in, then all other organizational functions are unachievable. Therefore, based on this assertion it was important for the researcher to discover whether there was substantial evidence that principals exhibited any of the traits on the LPI, as observed by teacher and support staff (i.e., counselors and paraprofessionals) participants.

Before the study was initiated, it was the goal of the researcher to obtain 79 study participants for the completion of the study. However, due to apprehension from teachers and support staff, only 14 participants (from two research sites) were involved in the collection of the quantitative data. It is noteworthy to mention that principals from each of the research sites were involved in the study as well.

Moreover, the 30-question Likert assessment tool utilized within the study to ascertain the answers to the proposed research questions ranked the quantitative responses utilizing a ten point rating scale: 1 (Almost Never); 2 (Rarely); 3 (Seldom); 4(Once in a While); 5 (Occasionally); 6 (Sometimes); 7 (Fairly Often); 8 (Usually); 9 (Very Frequently); and 10 (Almost Always). The independent (or predictor) variable in the study involved the leadership style of the principals as indicated by the elements listed on the LPI. The dependent (or predicted) variables included the work performance and morale level of school employees. The quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive analysis. Simple regression was the descriptive test of choice and the most logical selection because it helps explain how one variable (i.e., dependent variable) is influenced by another variable, such as the independent variable (Kaps & Lamberson, 2005). For example, the simple regression test performed by the researcher encompassed the regression of work performance onto leadership style. Meanwhile, the second simple regression test performed was the regression of morale onto leadership style.

As a result of the simple regression test performed on the quantitative data, it was revealed that teachers' and support staffs' (i.e., counselors and paraprofessionals) responses were consistent when rating the leadership behaviors of their respective principals. …

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