A study of the leadership behaviour of school principals in selected New South Wales State secondary schools

Year: 1999

Author: Barnett, Kerry, McCormick, John, Conners, Robert

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between the transformational and transactional leadership behaviours of school principals in New South Wales State secondary schools and some teacher outcomes and aspects of school learning culture. A survey was carried out in 12 randomly selected schools involving 124 teachers from the Sydney metropolitan area. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire Form 5X (Short) developed by Bass and Avolio (1997) was used to measure leadership behaviour, while, the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Survey developed by Maehr, Midgley, Hicks, Roeser, Urdan, Anderman and Kaplan (1996) was used to measure school learning culture. Factor analysis was used to determine the validity of the leadership model developed by Bass and Avolio (1997) and the school learning model developed by Maehr et al. (1996) in the Australian school context. The factor analysis of leadership items suggested that there were two transformational factors, two transactional factors and one teacher outcome factor. The analysis of school learning culture items identified five factors. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between leadership behaviour with teacher outcomes and, with school learning culture. The results from the analysis of leadership items with teacher outcomes suggested that, transformational leadership behaviour is associated with the teacher outcomes - satisfaction, extra effort and perception of leader effectiveness. However, contrary to what might be expected, multiple regression of leadership items with school learning culture items suggested that transformational leadership behaviour had a negative association with school learning culture. Furthermore, significant interactions suggested that the relationship of leadership behaviour of school principals with school learning culture may be more complex and that further research is warranted.