Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Do Strategic Leadership and Self Efficacy among School Leaders Make a Difference?

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Do Strategic Leadership and Self Efficacy among School Leaders Make a Difference?

Article excerpt

1. Introduction and Background

The prime emphasis of the school leaders in many countries in the last two decades were school effectiveness (B. J. Davies & B. Davies, 2009) and school improvement (Hairuddin, 2011). In regard to this, the quality school improvement programs have found to be very pertinent for schools to accomplish their excellent education level (Hairuddin, 2011). The positive impacts and the changes that will be imparted from these programs are significant to both the school and at the classroom levels. One of the essential mechanisms that possibly can bring school reform is strategic leadership practices of school leaders (B. J. Davies & B. Davies, 2009; Eacott, 2008, 2013). Several studies have clearly revealed that a purposeful leadership, teacher collaboration and a central focus on learning outcomes are the factors that support quality school change (Fullan, 1993). In this era of significant school reforms, efforts to improve schools initially looking at the spearhead change efforts at the school level because Tschannen-Moran and Gareis, (2004) argued that good principals are the cornerstones of good schools. The principal and the senior management teams are seen as the key agent at the school level, initiating change by raising the level of expectations for both teachers and students. What principals do is a direct consequence of what and how they think (Sergiovanni, 2001; Leithwood, Jantzi, & Steinbach, 1995; McCormick, 2001) and hence, this is where leadership self-efficacy is able to play its role.

1.1 Astounding Issues

School improvement reform efforts to improve student achievement have flooded the educational community and as a consequence call for effective leadership (Mazzeo, 2003). One of the astounding and challenging issues faced by the schools and educational authorities is preserving 'quality leaders' and filling up the leadership positions with effective leaders' (Eacott, 2010). According to a statement by the former deputy Minister of Education, Maldives, Abdulla Zareer, the major issue faced by the schools in Maldives is the necessity to hire at least 20% foreign experts every year to lead the schools. This is to fill up the vacant seats left by local school leaders who resigned due to increasing and demanding responsibilities. This is very disappointing situation and needs to be addressed amicably. Every year the Ministry of Education needs to allocate a huge amount of budget to hire those quality leaders from neighboring countries to fill up the management positions in schools but this does not guarantee the highest rate of return from this investment. According to a daily newspaper report "Haveeru" regarding the Cambridge 2011 exams results, the former Minister of Education, Shifa Mohamed emphasized that the quality of education crucially depends on good leadership and quality of teachers. Therefore, possessing the strategic leadership characteristics is important as it facilitates and drives the strategic cycle of strategically focused schools (Davies, 2004, 2006; B. J. Davies & B. Davies, 2004, 2006, 2009; Eacott, 2008). There are also very little about the efficacy beliefs of leaders, in particular (Chemers, Watson & May, 2000; Tschannen-Moran & Gareis, 2005). There is a dearth of studies that account for relationship between the strategic practices among school leaders and their self-efficacy specifically focusing on school outcome in Asian context. The strategic leadership study has been found to be mostly researched in the developed countries such as USA and most of the studies that have been carried out are based on qualitative compared to quantitative approach.

1.2 Research Framework, Objectives, Research Questions and Hypotheses

The conceptual framework of the study originated from B. J. Davies and B. Davies (2004) nine-point model (as illustrated in Figure 1) of strategic leadership. It is a combination of five organizational capabilities (ORGACAPAB) and four individual characteristics (INDVCHAR) of strategic leadership characteristics. …

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