What type of school leadership satisfies teachers? A mixed method approach to teachers' perceptions of satisfaction

Year: 2005

Author: Barnett, Alan, Marsh, Herb, Craven, Rhonda

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Transformational leadership theory predicts a greater than anticipated commitment from followers as a result of certain prescribed leadership behaviours. This occurs as a result of motivating and elevating followers commitment with a compelling vision of the future that can only be obtained with their help. Further, the theory claims, there is a strong correlation between transformational leadership and the degree of teacher satisfaction achieved. This paper reports on a mixed method approach to evaluating the influence of transformational and transactional leadership behaviours on teachers' perceptions of satisfaction with their leader. A quantitative survey was conducted in 52 secondary schools, involving 458 respondents across NSW, and a multilevel modelling analysis was used to explore the relation between principal's leadership styles and teachers' perception of satisfaction with leadership. Three schools were then selected based on the results of the multilevel analysis, and a qualitative study using a semi-structured interview technique employed to investigate those specific principal leadership behaviours that influenced teachers' perceptions of satisfaction with leadership. Several findings emerged, including the importance of individualised consideration behaviours in accounting for variations in teachers' perceptions of satisfaction with leadership scores, and the utility of specific behaviours such as "an open door policy".