An understanding of teachers’ attitude and performance through their assessments of their superiors’ leadership and management styles is imperative if to know more of teachers’ manner is desired. In any school organization, the school head is the more, if not the most, influential factor in the development of work attitudes and behavior among teachers. Studies showed that a positive relation between motivation and the level of productivity, it would be beneficial to asses further what directs or redirects, enhances or modifies teachers’ professional actions which can influence their level of accomplishments arising from their assessments of their school heads’ leadership and management styles.
Despite several studies on effective leadership and management styles, it still remains an area of interest. This, perhaps, is due to the complexity of the nature of man, who is the one true factor of any management system. Teachers and their administrators are the most valuable assets in any school organization. The success of the school as an organization greatly depends on the favorable teachers-administrator relationships.
Activities and behaviors of teachers and their administrators may be influenced by internal mechanisms arising from the quality of teachers-administrator relationships and their attitudes, and disposition towards the teaching profession. Teachers who are keen on their professional growth and development, and school heads with favorable leadership and management styles turn out to be “better performers” in terms of role performance than those who have less favorable attitudes and whose relationships with people in the organization are unfavorable.
In a teacher-administrator relationship, authority is exercised to discipline, to form, and to guide teachers. The way the school head exercises his/her authority may influence the teachers’ dispositions and value judgements towards work and, thus, their job performance.
It is believed that basic to the problem of teacher-administrator relations is the development of favorable work attitudes as it affects teachers’ occupational enhancement, job performance, and practices. The quality of teacher-administrator relationship based on superiors’ leadership styles contributes to the motivation and efficiency of teachers in relation to their work.
In the study of the teacher-principal relationship, it would be interesting to probe into the factors affecting teacher’s attitudes. Attitudes direct a person to a particular course of action. It is interesting to note how the school head, as an environmental factor influencing the teachers’ internal mechanism, contributes to the development of favorable and positive work attitudes. The administrator’s leadership behavior, ultimately affects teachers’ performance behavior as dictated by his work attitudes. The school head’s proper exercise of authority as reflected in his leadership behavior, develops among his teachers, the positive attitudes towards work as projected in their work behavior.
Task is a given amount of work or responsibility which an individual must do within a given period of time. According to Killen (2000), tasks to an individual must be motivational. Tasks compel an individual to work hard. An average individual accomplishes the most when committed to do a specific task as he takes pride in accomplishing a set of tasks.
It can be seen as having the four dimensions of goals: clarity, number of methods, solution specificity, and decision verifiability. It is the extent to which task has clearly specified goals, methods, and standard performance. Hoy (2001) further explained that a high structure task is spelled out in detail. With clearer goals, teachers know how they are achieved. The leader and group know exactly what and how to do it. There are accepted methods in performing tasks. If a worker has little leeway in doing his job, he must follow “instructions”.
In measuring task performance, periodic checks of decisions must be set. The more structured the task, the more enforceable the control. Hence, the second most important element in a group is task situation.
Henderson (2002) noted that the degree of task structure measures leadership effectiveness. He feared that if a person’s job is well defined, narrow, and highly routine, interest will fail to develop posing negative impact on leadership effectiveness. The employee will feel the pressure both from his job and his superior. While he may perform better, dissatisfaction will be higher. This was his opinion of directive leadership.
21st century educational administrators, occupy a role with peculiarly contradictory demands. They are expected to work actively to transform, restructure, and redefine schools and the processes and person therein (Hallinger, 2000). They hold organizational positions historically and traditionally committed to resisting change and maintaining stability (Noeld, 2000). In addition, school heads are being forced to clarify roles and responsibilities (Goldring & Ellis, 2003). Political, social, economic, and demographic changes are introducing unparalleled opportunities, unexpected crisis, and seemingly intractable problems (Murphy, 1999).
For many years, evolution of conceptions of the school administrators suggests yet another factor that is contributing to the strain of refining and adapting different professional identities. After defining the metaphoric language used to discuss expectations of school leaders’ behaviors, responsibilities, preferred organizational structures, the role of the principal is an extremely available one, shaped by a diverse set of concerns and events” (Beck & Murphy, 2003).
Many factors have influenced educational metaphors a fundamentally non-educational in nature and in scope. These have made many educational scholars and practitioners changed their understanding of the purposes, responsibilities, and tasks that define the role of the school leader.
School administrators have molded their identities in response to outside forces. Most analysts agree that schooling systems are and should be open, and that external stakeholders should participate actively with administrators and teachers in decision making planning of educational activities. However, some school managers have been silent and passive partners, allowing others to define what school leadership is. While acknowledging that part of the stress experienced by many school administrators today is the result of the complex set of challenges and demands facing them and their schools.
Management of a school is more than a job in itself, it requires the school administrator to strive constantly to enhance instruction, to oversee learners’ growth and development, to inculcate desirable values, to look after the learners’ psychological well-being, and to introduce innovations. Robertson (2003) says:
The tasks and duties of school administrators are exceedingly numerous in terms of responsibilities and activities to promote instructional improvements in schools. School managers undertake varied activities that promote and facilitate teaching and learning, various educational programs and development, and other school activities pertinent to instructional improvement. Added to these activities include helping learners with their problems, visiting pupils’ homes, and monitoring school activities to enhance pupils’ growth. ##