The importance of leadership in schools. Over the course of time, leadership has been the most subjected topic for research and studies due to its importance in carrying out organizations goals and objectives. Leading culture experts, Edgar Schien (2014) and Kargas & Varoutas (2015) cited that culture and leadership are considered the most important and crucial organizational elements for the organization to perform at its peak with consideration of other factors. They found a strong relationship between leadership and culture. According to Kenneth Liethwood (2012), a professor in Toronto, who has led a research on transformational leadership, he said that there are no documented instances of troubled schools being turned around without the intervention by a powerful leader. Meanwhile, Michael Fullan (2001), an author of Leading in a Culture of Change stated that leadership can take on many different forms in school turn around while some leaders opted for transformational leadership or turning good organizations into great ones, other personalities are better suited for distributive leadership, or the sharing of responsibility among few people in the schools.
Transactional leadership vs. Transformational leadership. Leadership and culture influences a lot of aspects in an organization. According to Burns and Bass (2008), known researchers on Leadership & Management, there are two kinds of leadership that they focused on their study on leadership and management and they are transactional and transformational leadership. The two kinds of leadership as defined by them have their own characteristics which affects the manner and approach in providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people in the organization. A school, for example, is one complex organization that is composed of a school leader and stakeholders including learners, teachers, parents and school community. Its main objective is to develop learners holistically in all aspects. The school leader will experience many challenges in addressing gaps and problems considering the presence of internal and external multicultural aspect while leading the school organization to reach its goal. According to Bass and Burns(2008), leadership can be categorized into two, where a leader might have a strong inclination to either transactional or transformational leadership style. To further explain the difference between these two leadership styles in relation to leading a school organization, Burns (1985) stated that a transactional leader is the one who ” approaches followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another” and Bass(1985) added to that statement saying that ‘ it pursues a cost benefit, economic exchange to met subordinates current material and psychic needs in return for contracted services rendered by the subordinates. According to Burns (1985), a transactional leadership is the one who “recognizes and exploits an existing need or demand of a potential follower…and looks for potential motives in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs and engages in the full person of the follower. On the other hand Bass (1985) added that transactional leaders recognize the needs of potential followers and they tend to go further , seeking to arouse and satisfy higher needs, to engage the full person to a higher level of need as reflected in to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. At the end, Bass(1985), concluded that both leadership dimensions have their function. A transactional leader works within the organizational culture as it exists while transformational leader changes the organizational culture. These two leadership dimensions as proposed by Burns and Bass(Bass et.al.,2003) will bring positive results in terms of performance of a particular school..
Transformational leader in relation to evolution of culture. Organizations (like schools) require revamping of organizational cultures in order to effect the necessary changes. According to Geib and Senson (2013) the transformational leadership is needed to renovate the organization; and to transmute the organization in consonance to the new vision which will lead to the evolution of the organization’s culture.
Transformational leadership as a type of leadership. According to Simola et al. (2012) transformational leadership as a type of leadership that bring motivation to its followers to improve continuously, adopt to changes, and upgrade ethical decisions to reach the common purpose of the group.
Transformational leadership as practiced. Cummnigs et al. (2010) observed that regardless of style, leaders who practiced relational and transformational styles had better quality outcomes than those who demonstrated autocracy. One literature suggest that followers and leaders set aside personal interests for the benefit of the group. The leader is then asked to focus on followers’ needs and input in order to transform everyone into a leader by empowering and motivating them (House & Adiya, 1997) .
Transformational leadership as a theory. Transformational leadership, unlike other previous and contemporary theories, which this study is anchored on, raise the motivation and morality of both the follower and the leader.( House & Shamir, 1993). It is considered that the transformational leaders, engage in interactions with followers based on common values, beliefs and goals. This literature will give an impact to the attainment of the desired goals of the organization such as the school.
School culture There has been no clear and consistent definition of school culture. The term has been link with a assortment of concepts, including “climate,” “ethos,” and “saga” (Deal 1993). The idea of culture was anchored from corporate world and tie-in to to the academic world with bringing the same concept on providing clear directions to the stakeholders in the organization with its goal to convey a more efficient and stable learning environment. Many researchers and renowned writers have argued about the meaning of culture for centuries. Clifford Geertz (1973) most influential cultural anthropologist in the United States,. has contributed to defining the word culture in relation to school operations. For Geertz, culture represents a historically transmitted pattern of meaning both done symbols and beliefs of the community.Most definition of school culture jibe much of Geertz’s view. Terrence E. Deal and Kent D. Peterson (1990) collectively agreed that the definition of culture includes “deep patterns of values, beliefs, and traditions that have been formed over the course of the school’s history.” Paul E. Heckman (1993) in his research, introduced the idea of school culture as the commonly held beliefs of teachers, students, and principals.Therefore the term, school culture can be defined as a collective transmitted patterns of meaning that include the norms, values, beliefs, ceremonies, rituals, traditions, and myths understood, maybe in varying degrees, by members of the school community developed through time. (Stolp and Smith 1994).
Importance of school culture. Creating a strong and positive culture in school can bring about improvement with its processes in achieving goals. In the book, How to create a Culture of Achievement in Your School and Classroom by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and Ian Pumpian (2012) shows positive school culture encourages greater effort and productivity, improves collegial collaboration, supports successful change and improvement efforts, builds commitment and identification of students and teachers with your school and amplifies energy and motivation of staff members and students. In another book, Creating a Learning Environment: An Educational Leader’s Guide to Managing School Culture by John Brucato (2005), he shared that without a healthy culture, all efforts and strategies made by the people will not work well
Indicators of a healthy school culture. The three major indicators of a healthy school culture are professional collaboration where people work together and share information, affiliative collegiality where there is a sense of belonging and emotional support from each member, and self determination/ efficacy where stakeholders feel as if they have control of their destinies or do they view themselves as helpless victims of “the system, according to Dr. Wagner (2006).
Professional collaboration. Dutour, Dutour and Eaker ( in Perez, 2015) defined collaboration as teams of teachers who work independently to achieve common goals – goals linked to the purpose of learning for all wherein members are hold mutually accountable. They further stated that collaboration can build strong students and strong teachers.
According to Dyer (2013), the opportunity for teachers to collaborate with other teachers to discuss student’s thinking and learning contributes to the teacher professional development. Professional collaboration will help teachers to reflect upon and further develop their skills and understanding of strategies while making them accountable for making changes to their teaching practice. Collaborative teacher professional development supports teachers to make substantive and sustained changes to their classroom practice by providing time and structure for ongoing collaboration focused on student learning. Through collaboration teachers’ ability to use classroom techniques increases.
School leaders who foster collaboration among novice or inexperienced teachers can improve teachers’ retention and teachers’ satisfaction. They found that new teachers seem more likely to stay in schools that have integrated professional culture in which new teachers’ needs are recognized and all teachers share the responsibility for student success (Kardos S.M & Johnson S.M, 2007).
McClure (2008) emphasized that schools and teachers benefit in a varsity of ways when teachers work together. She reported that a growing body of research suggests a positive relationship between teachers collaboration and student achievement.
Leaders can help low-performing schools tap into the power of collaboration. Helping teachers collaborate in meaningful ways is part of the work of a leader. If a leader is assigned to a school which is struggling, the first step is to increase the level of trust among staff. As leaders bring teachers together to work on a specific goals, they usually begin to feel less alone, more supported and more capable of collectively tackling big issues that must be addressed if the school is to make progress (McClure, 2008).
According to Steven Moats (in McClure 2008), school leaders undermine teachers’ trust when they give verbal support to collaboration but fail to provide time and resources for teachers to work together. To be effective, teacher teams need scheduling access to students data, professional development and other form of support.
Collaborative leadership. Collaboration is a top priority for many leaders but knowing what makes organization successful can be a tricky thing. Collaboration initiatives come from different department with different budget, culture approaches, goals and measures of success. The school system has its members with varying financial standing, orientation, goals and measures of success, hence, leaders must learn the common habits or success factor for collaborative organization ( Morgan, 2013)
Collaborative leadership is a vital source of competitive advantage in today’s highly networked, team-based, and partnership-oriented organization. Leaders today need an expanded repertoire of skills and a new mindset to succeed in an ever-more fast-paced, chaotic and highly competitive environment.
Leaders must be able to think strategically on a global context, articulate an inspiring vision across cultures and make wise choices amid complexity and uncertainty. Leaders must lead global teams, building dynamic networks and develop the organization’s ability to compete. Increasingly, this calls for a collaborative leadership and a collaborative culture that can harness the knowledge and experience of all members to innovate, partner effectively, compete and win (McClure, 2008).
Morgan (2013) enumerated twelve (12) success factors for collaborative organization to unit: individual benefit is just as important as the overall organization’s benefit; strategy before technology; listen to the noise of the members; learn to get out of the way; lead by example; integrate into the flow of work; create a supportive environment; measure what happens; persistence; adapt and evolve; members collaboration benefits the clientele; and collaboration can make the world a better place. He further stressed that if leaders in an organization do not use and support collaborative tools and strategies then why should the members? Leaders are very powerful instrument to facilitate change and encourage desired behavior. The leaders should let their members understand the “why” of the collaborative initiative in order to be successful. They should learn to get out of the way. They can just stifle collaboration within the organization if they try to force things to their members. The members of the organization should be a good part of the decision-making process. The members ideas, needs and suggestions need to be listened to and should be integrated in the strategy of the organization.
Collaborative leadership is grounded on the promise that all members of the team can be smarter, more creative, and more competent than any of the members alone. Collaborative leadership calls for a leader who can use the power of influence rather than positional authority to engage and align people, focus the teams, sustain momentum and perform. Success depends on creating an environment of trust and mutual respect (McClure, 2008).
Creating a collaborative culture. In some schools teacher work together toward common goals while others it is every man for himself. Every teacher works independently to achieve his/her own goal. Some teachers assume responsibility for the success of every student while others will just put the blame on parents or on their administrators. To accelerate a positive change in school, the leader should foster a climate of working together. The leader should create a collaborative culture among his/ her members in school. Teachers who work in school with strong collaborative culture behave differently from those who depend on school head to create the conditions of their work. In collaborative culture teachers exercise creative leadership together to take responsibility of students’ learning (Kohn, B. & Nance, B., 2009).
Affiliative Collegiality. As cited by Barth (2006) and Goddard and Moran (2007), strong and healthy collegial relationship among school teachers is regarded as an essential component of school effectiveness and teacher enhancement. They emphasized the contribution of strong collegial relationship to school improvement and success. To Dillon (2003) teachers need to be given opportunities to collegiate with each other to best serve their students to make their work more meaningful and to transform schooling in a way that is meaningful and relevant to their lives.
Leonard and Leonard (2003) stressed that teachers work better when given the opportunity to work together professionally. They work as a team and this is one of the essential characteristics of a successful organization wherein each member interact to share their ideas and expertise and develop common understanding of organizational goals and the means to their attainment.
As cited by Darling-Hammond and Laughlin (2005) collegiality is seen as a key aspect of teacher professional development and a vehicle to increase teachers knowledge. Moreover , Martin( 2008) suggested that teacher collegiality can modify instruction, therefore, teachers need to recognize the value of working together and to focus on what they in common. Collegiality helps teachers to cope with uncertainty and complexity, respond to rapid change and create a climate that values risk taking and continuous improvement.
According to Jarzabkowski (2009), teachers who work together become more flexible in times of change and can cope better with new demands that would exhaust the energy of teachers working on their own. Collegiality is considered as the most important energy given. Graves (2011) added that when teachers have strong emotional connections with colleagues, their teaching energy is high.
In 2006, RAND Researches Guarino, Santibanez, and Daley found lower turnover rates among new teachers in schools with induction and mentoring program that emphasized collegial support. Similarly, Futernick (2007) in his survey of 2000 teachers in California, he concluded that teachers felt felt greater personal satisfaction when they believed in their own efficacy if they were involved in decision making and if there is a strong collegial relationship in the organization.
Numerous studies have been made on leadership dimensions in relation to culture behavior of an organization. According to Zakeer Ahmed Khan, PhD et al,(2016) on their study on Leadership Theories and Styles: A Literature Review that in conclusion transformational leadership have confidence the arrangement of the past should not be the guide of the future. They believe that successful transformational leaders create clear and workable visions for the future. The transformational leaders focus their energies on vision, long term goals, aligning and changing systems and developing and training others. Bass purports that such leaders show transactional behaviors as well.
Relationship between leadership styles and organizational culture. In a research study conducted by Casida & Pinto-Zipp (2007) on leadership-organizational culture relationship in Nursing units of acute care hospitals, results showed a strong correlation between leadership and organizational culture. In their study, they emphasized that leaders must demonstrate appropriate leadership dimension for the constantly changing, complex and delivery systems in an organization. It also supports the idea on transformational and transactional leadership to maintain organizational effectiveness. They concluded that it is essential for leaders to acquire knowledge and skills on organizational culture competence. Similarly, in an article written in Journal of Business Studies Quarterly (2014) on Situational, Transformational, and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development, relative to the relationship between transactional leadership and organizational culture, the findings showed that there is a meaningful relationship between transformational leadership and organizational culture. Result further stated that organizational culture is affected by factors such as hopeful influence, inspirational motivation, and personal observations.
In another investigation conducted by Karaminia and Amini (2010) relative to the relationship between leadership style, culture and organizational commitment, they revealed that there is a direct relation between transformational leadership style and organizational culture. They concluded in this study that transformational leadership has remarkable influence on the development of organizational culture. More investigation by Rayj & Hosseini (2000) concluded that it is necessary to regard the definition of special leadership styles and application of such styles to organizational culture as the best strategy for increasing organizational performance. Furthermore, results showed that culture can affect any leadership styles and management.
On the other hand,in a relative study conducted by Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, and Snoek (1964) and Shivers-Blackwell (2004) , they argue that if managers desire to develop a transactional or transformational influence within the organization, the leader must comprehend the appropriateness and importance of various role components linked to organizational context including culture.
Conceptual Framework of the Study
The conceptual framework which serves as guide for the researcher in her study is presented in Figure 2.
The primary independent variable taken in the study is the leadership dimension practiced by school heads. The primary independent variable which is represented by transactional and transformational leadership is assumed to have an influence to the independent variable which is the schools’ culture behavior in terms of professional collaboration, affiliative, collegiality, and self-determination or efficacy.
The school heads’ profile in terms of sex, age, marital status, supervisory experience, educational qualification and relevant trainings is considered as secondary independent variable in this study, with the assumption that it can influence school heads’ leadership dimension. The relationships between variables are reflected by arrows.
The inclusion of the aforementioned profile items was based on related literature and studies which proved their significance in relation to school heads’ style of leadership.