Effects of principals' leadership behaviours on teacher motivation in public secondary schools in Murang'a county, Kenya
Muiruri, Charity Wambui
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of principals' leadership behavior on the motivation of teachers in Murang'a County. The objectives of the study were to: determine the leadership behaviors of secondary schools principals in Murang'a County; investigate the principals' leadership behavior that teachers respond most positively to; determine the influence of principals' leadership behavior on teacher motivation; and establish the extent to which teachers' level of motivation affects their job performance in Murang'a County. The study employed a descriptive survey design targeting all the 249 principals and 2,696 teachers from the 249 public secondary schools in Murang'a County. Stratified sampling was used to select 25 schools according to type - boys' boarding, girls' boarding, mixed day, mixed day and boarding and mixed boarding schools. All the 25 principals from the sampled schools were purposively selected to participate in the study. Simple random sampling was used to select 270 teachers to take part in the study, giving a total of 295 respondents. The study employed questionnaires as the main tool for data collection. Before data collection, a pilot study was conducted in two schools from Murang'a County to pre- test the instruments. The aim of the pilot study was to assess the clarity of the questionnaire items so that those items found to be inadequate or vague may be modified to improve the quality of the research instrument thus increasing its validity and reliability. Data obtained was quantitative. Quantitative data collected was coded and entered into an SPSS programme for analysis. The results of the data were presented in form of frequency tables and bar graphs. The study established that principals in Murang'a County mostly employed democratic and laissez-faire approaches. However, a significant proportion of the teachers felt that principals were engaging in authoritarian leadership which is discouraging. This is because teachers felt that they were not involved in school decision making processes and also principals suppressed their ideas. Moreover, the study found out that the most preferred leadership approach by most of the teachers was democratic, followed by laissez-faire and then autocratic. Pearson product moment correlation revealed that different leadership approaches employed by principals had an influence on teachers' motivation. The study found out that democratic and laissez-faire leadership had a positive impact on motivation whereas authoritarian leadership had a negative impact on motivation. The study finally concludes that leadership style of the principal is demonstrated by the activities he/she engages in. Therefore, good administrative leadership would lead to conducive working environment, improved educational plans and also effective school programmes. Consequently, this would lead to achievement of the school goals and objectives. The study recommends that: For an effective leadership, the school principal needs to employ all the leadership approaches depending on the circumstances and situation in the school; the Ministry of education should organize regular inspection to school to monitor the style of leadership used by principals that could enhance high levels of teacher motivation; among other recommendations.