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THE INFLUENCE OF LEADERSHIP STYLES OF PRINCIPAL OFFICERS IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION ON LECTURERS’ EFFECTIVENESS
Background to the study
Leadership is a process of influence between leaders and subordinates where a leader attempts to influence the behaviour of subordinates to achieve the organizational goals. Organizational success in achieving its goals and objectives depends on the leaders of the organization and their leadership styles. By adopting the appropriate leadership styles, leaders can affect employee job satisfaction, commitment and productivity. Effective leadership and employee job satisfaction are two factors that have been regarded as fundamental for organizational success. According to Mosadegh and Yarmohammadian (2006), employees’ effectiveness is influenced by many organisational contextual factors, ranging from salaries, to job autonomy, job security, workplace flexibility, to leadership. A capable leader provides direction for the organisation and leads followers towards achieving desired goals.
Messick and Kramer (2004) argued that the degree to which the individual exhibits leadership traits depends not only on his characteristics and personal abilities, but also on the characteristics of the situation and environment in which he finds himself. Since human beings could become members of an organization in other to achieve certain personal objectives, the extent to which they are active members depends on how they are convinced that their membership will enable them to achieve their predetermined objectives. Therefore, an individual will support an organization if he believes that through it his personal objectives and goals could be met; if not, the person’s interest will decline. Leadership style in an organization is one of the factors that play significant role in enhancing or retarding the interest and commitment of the individuals in the organization. Thus, Glantz (2002) emphasizes the need for a manager to find his leadership style.
Leadership is less about one’s needs, and more about the ‘needs of the people and the organization one is leading (Goleman, 2010). Goleman believes that leadership styles are not something to be tried on like so many suits, to see which fits; but that they should rather be adapted to the particular demands of the situation, the particular requirements of the people involved and the particular challenges facing the organization.
Leadership style is defined as the pattern of behaviours that leaders display during their work with and through others (Hersey and Blanchard, 2003). Miller, Crapo and Hankinson (2002) view leadership style as the pattern of interactions between leaders and subordinates. It includes controlling, directing, and indeed all techniques and methods used by leaders to motivate subordinates to follow their instructions.
According to Kavanaugh and Ninemeier (2003), there are three factors that determine the type of leadership style: leaders’ characteristics,’ subordinates characteristics and the organization’s environment. More specifically, the personal background of leaders such as personality, knowledge, values, and experiences shapes their feelings about appropriate leadership that determine their specific leadership style. Employees also have different personalities, backgrounds, expectations and experiences. For example, employees who are more knowledgeable and experienced may work well under a democratic leadership style, while employees with different experiences and expectations require a autocratic leadership style (Kavanaugh & Ninemeier, 2003). Some factors in the organization’s environment such as organizational climate, organizational values, composition of work group and type of work can also influence leadership style.
Leaders can however adapt their leadership style to the perceived preferences of their subordinates (Wood, 2004). Leadership styles can be classified according to the leaders’ power and behaviour as autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire, where styles are distinguished by the influence leaders have on subordinates (Mullins, 2001 and Rollinson, 2005). More specifically, power has been considered as: the potential of a process to influence people (Hersey and Blanchard, 2001); a part of the influence process at the core of leadership (Northouse, 2004); and the rights that allow individuals to take decisions about specific matters (Rollinson, 2005). The influence of leadership will differ according to the type of power used by a leader over their subordinates (Mullins, 2001). Hence, leaders will be more effective when they know and understand the appropriate usage of power (Hersey and Blanchard, 2003). According to Kavanaugh and Ninemeier (2001) an autocratic style is embedded in leaders who have full organizational power and authority for decision making without sharing it with their subordinates, while a democratic style implies that leaders share their authority of decision making with employees and delegate, and finally a laissez- faire or free-rein style exists where leaders give their employees most of the authority over decision making.
Goleman(2010) displayed a different approach to leadership style classification.
According to him, there are six leadership styles, and they are:
iii. Affiliative: This style emphasizes the importance of team work, and creates harmony in a group by connecting people to each other.
Blake and Mouton (2004) gave the five types of leaders to be:
iii. The Activator: Who moves forward to achieve challenging goals, overcome obstacles and gets things done.
In the work of Vroom and Philips (2001), there are two leadership styles: transformationalleadership and transactional leadership. They authors explained that a transformational leader has the influence of charisma and can stimulate the intellect. He also has the ability to inspire and give individual consideration.
Mayo and Blickenstaff (2014) revealed their own leadership style perspective. They gave four leadership styles of:
iii. Laissez-faire: According to Mayo and Blickenstaff, this is a hands-off approach which allows for both initiative and the latitude to determine process to effect an outcome.
Reddin (2008), in his own opinion, introduced a model of leadership styles containing four basic types, namely:
iii. Dedicated style: regarded as having low relationship orientation and high task orientation
iv.Separated style: regarded as having low relationship orientation and low task orientation
The leadership styles revealed above are just some of the different models proposed, with each model being worthy of note and being interesting in its own right. This study will explore the six leadership styles classified by Goleman (2010) as Visionary, Coaching, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting and Commanding.
Statement of the Problem
Appropriate leadership is needed for an organization to move forward. In this study, the researcher’s concern is centered on leadership styles in Colleges of Education because it has been observed that much of the research studies on leadership styles do focus on Principals of secondary schools. A significant chunk of Nigeria’s budget is allocated to its Education sector every year; albeit still being perennially short of the 13% proposed by the United Nations – and that is just the financial part. Administrative efforts, which need to be brilliantly combined with financial efforts also need to be well-channeled and disbursed in order to ensure the desired results; because the ability of an educational institution to attain its goals depends partly on leadership style and the extent to which it can be positively used to enhance lecturers’ effectiveness. Based on this, the researcher is led to investigate the influence that leadership wields on the effectiveness of lecturers. This time, in Colleges of Education.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to examine the influence of leadership styles of principal officers in colleges of education on lecturers’ effectiveness. Specifically, the study sought:
Significance of the study
The findings of this study will promote progress in the Education sector, particularly the Colleges of Education sector because of the explicit array of leadership ideas this study will generate. This study will also help improve lecturers’ capacity and achievement and consequently their mental and physical health.
The students will be the ultimate beneficiaries because an increase in lecturers’ effectiveness will also generate an improvement in student motivation and achievement.
Scope of Study
The study focus on leadership styles and lecturers’ effectiveness. It comprises lecturers and principal officers in Colleges of Education in Lagos state.
Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms have been defined as they would be used in this study:
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