Leadership behavior of principals as perceived by principals and teachers in one Louisiana school district

Diane Clisbee Wakefield

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the difference between the perceptions of principals and their teachers on the leadership behavior of the principal in a selected school district in southwest Louisiana. In addition, this study was to determine the relationship among the variables of teachers' school level, age, experience, education level, and gender, and the criterion variable of principals' and their teachers' perceptions of leadership behavior. The population for this study consisted of 25 principals and 684 classroom teachers, counselors, librarians, and resource teachers. A total of 24 principals and 359 teachers returned accurately completed survey instruments. Each principal and teacher participated by completing a Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire - Form XII and Demographic Form. The leader behavior instrument produced scores for each of twelve leader behavior dimensions. The data analysis for this study were accomplished through the application of multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and multiple linear regression. Major findings of the study included the following: (1) Perceptions of principals and the perceptions of their teachers differed on the set of twelve subscales measuring leadership behavior and on the subscales of Tolerance of Freedom, Consideration, Predictive Accuracy, and Integration. (2) The differences between the perceptions of principals and the perceptions of their teachers on the Representation, Persuasiveness, Initiation of Structure, Production Emphasis, and Predictive Accuracy subscales measuring leadership behavior were related to teachers' school level, age, experience, education level, and gender. (3) Principals' perceptions did not differ on the twelve subscales measuring leadership behavior when categorized by school level. (4) There was not an independent relationship between teachers' education level on any of the twelve subscales measuring leadership behavior. Recommendations include the need for this study to be replicated using a larger sample size of principals, thus increasing the possibilities of obtaining significant relationships and more representatives of a broader geographical region; the need for further research regarding the differences between perceptions related to other variables not investigated in this study; the need for a study conducted utilizing the teachers' perceptions of leadership behavior when categorized by school level; and the need for staff development for principals in the areas of Tolerance of Freedom, Consideration, Predictive Accuracy, and Integration.