The impact of leadership styles on academic performance in selected secondary school in Arusha City Council, Tanzania

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2016

38 Pages, Grade: A (5.0)










The task of accomplishing this research project will be a result of various people who assisted me in one way or another to come up with this prosperous report. Though it is technically difficult to note all in this limited document, the researcher would like to extend sincere gratitude and heartfelt expression as well as appreciation to those who have been helpful to accomplish the exercise of producing this report. The researcher is deeply indebted to take note of Eunice Kephas, Debora Masalu, Joyce Malima, Theresia Y. Akonaay and Yusuph Shabani, University of Arusha graduate school students who participated strongly in data collection for this research project report. The researcher recognized and appreciated the cooperation of the respondents from the selected Secondary Schools in providing information for this research work to reach this far.


A study was done on the Impact of Leadership Styles on Academic Performance In Selected Secondary Schools and aim of the study was to find out the Impact of Leadership Styles on Academic Performance in Selected Secondary Schools. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of leadership style on the secondary schools heads on their academic performance in selected secondary in Arusha city council.

Theoretical framework was grouped on the types of leadership and the academic performance; the study used survey design assessing the impact of leadership style on academic performance in secondary schools in Arusha City Council. It involved seventy (70) respondents in selected secondary schools in Arusha City.

Empirical data was collected using questionnaires and SPSS was used as a tool to analyze data. The findings indicated that, there is significance relationship between leadership style and the academic performance.

The findings further indicated that, the types of leadership style used in selected secondary used in secondary school was participative and encourage relationship among the teachers, The study discovered that teachers are involved in decision making. There was positive impact of participatory leadership style of school heads that dominates the area on the academic performance in selected secondary Arusha City Council.

In the light of this study it is recommended that the authorities are responsible for making educational policies and design to provide training and development programmes to head of schools to serve as reference policy decision on leadership.


Background of the study

Bass et al, (2003) found that both transformational and transactional leadership styles positively played a fundamental role in unit performance in most of the larger corporations in America. In most of the public secondary school, the academic performance has been deteriorating for the past five years (NECTA report 2013) due many intervening factors including the leadership styles according to Okumbe (2007). In today’s dynamic world organizations have to contend with desire to maintain or improve their competitive edge. However the most critical resource they must harness is leadership traits/behavior. An in- effective leadership styles has been one of the factor that has significant impact to the performance of many work organizations around the globe.The topics of leadership styles and organizational performance have attracted considerable interest from both academics and practitioners. The concept of leadership and style may differ from one person, situation, or to the other. The word ‘leadership has been used in various aspect of human life such as politics, businesses, academic and even social works.Messick and Kramer,(2004) found that ‘the degree to which the individual exhibits leadership traits depends not only on his characteristics and personal abilities but also the characteristics of the situation and environment in which he finds himself’.

Since human beings are the members of the organization/institution and they are expected to achieve an organization’s corporate desirable objectives, they are active participation definitely depends on how they are convinced by their leader to enable them to achieve both organization and individual predetermined objectives. Glantz,(2002) found that leadership styles in an organization is one of the factors that play significant role in enhancing or retarding the interest and commitment of the individuals to organizational performance and thus emphasizes the need for a manager to find an appropriate leadership styles to manage the organization.

Many of the institutions noted to have failed to realize the fruitfulness of their establishment as the result of many intervening obstacles, leadership styles being one of the reasons.

For example human beings are rational animals such that, they need to be motivated in various aspect during their day to day activities since the organization can be self-sufficient in terms of good technology, finance, buildings and other equipment necessary for the operation of the organization, but people (the staff members), are the key resource that has significant impact to the performance of such institutions and therefore must be treated with great care,Lieberson, (1972) found that, the institution’s leadership relations between principals and teachers has a significant impact to the teachers in active collaboration around instructional matters to enhance the quality of teaching and student performance.

From this consideration, this study is intended to investigate the impact of leadership styles on the performance of secondary schools.

Statement of the problem

The academic poor performance in public secondary schools in Arusha City Council has been impacted by leadership styles among the schools’ leaders. Despite the efforts done through research and other writings however factors that significantly impact the performance of secondary schools have not generally been well itemized. This study is, therefore designed to investigate the impact of leadership styles to the performance of secondary schools.

Objectives of the study

The study involved both general and specific objectives.

General Objective

To investigate the impact of leadership styles of secondary school head on the academic performance in selected secondary schools in Arusha City Council.

Specific Objectives

1. To identify the type of leadership style used by the school heads in the selected secondary schools in Arusha City Council.
2. To determine the extent of teachers involvement in decision making in the selected secondary schools in Arusha City Council.
3. To determine the impact of leadership styles of school heads on the academic performance in selected secondary schools in Arusha City Council.

Research Questions

1. What are the types of leadership style applied by head of schools in selected Secondary schools?
2. To what extent teachers are involved in decision making in secondary schools?
3. What are the impacts of leadership style of schools heads on academic performance in secondary school?
4. What is the relationship between leadership style of school head on the academic performance of Secondary schools.

Research Hypothesis

There is no significance relationship between leadership styles of school heads and academic performance in selected Secondary schools in Arusha City Council.

Theoretical Frame work

Leadership theories

Though the concept of leadership began to surface during the 1700s, scientific research on the topic did not begin until the 20th century (Bass, 1985). A number of leadership theories were developed during the last century due to intensive research on the subject, addressing the construct of leadership from different perspectives. According to Bennis et al, (1985) of all the ambiguous and difficult areas in social psychology, leadership theory remains at the top, because more has been written and less known about leadership than about any other topic in the behavioral sciences. The following is a brief account of various leadership theories, which were

Developed over the years.

The Great man theory

The development of the great man theory before the 1900s was the beginning in the understanding of the concepts of leader and leadership. The 20th century was dominated by the idea that leaders inherit traits of intelligence, energy, and moral strength that influence an individual to exercise authority (Wart, 2003). This concept was the underlying theme of the great man theory of leadership.

These early theorists focused on distinguished men in history such as Napoleon, George Washington, Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, who were able to drastically shift the social and political paradigms of their day (Setters et. al 1990; Wart, 2003). These theorists suggested that a person who copied the qualities and behaviors of these great figures of history would become a strong leader (Galton, 1869 & Wart, 2003).

Conceptual Framework

Conceptual framework is like a mind map created about a particular idea /phenomenon. It is used to provide an outlook for the possible causes of action.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Transactional Leadership style

Managers using the transactional leadership style receive certain tasks to perform and provide rewards or punishments to team members based on performance results. Managers and team members set predetermined goals together, and employees agree to follow the direction and leadership of the managers to accomplish those goals. The manager possesses power to review results and train or correct employees when team members fail to meet goals. Employees receive rewards, such as bonuses, when they accomplish goals. Koh, W. L. at el (1995)

Transformational Leadership style

The transformational leadership style depends on high levels of communication from management to meet goals.

Leaders motivate employees and enhance productivity and efficiency through communication and high visibility. This style of leadership requires the involvement of management to meet goals. Leaders focus on the big picture within an organization and delegate smaller tasks to the team to accomplish goals. Bass (1995)

Task Oriented Leadership style

Task oriented leaders are typically less concerned with the idea of catering to employees and more concern with finding the step by step solution required to make specific goals. They will often actively define the work in roles required, put structure in place and plan, organize and monitor progress within the team. However, because task oriented leaders don’t tend to think much about their teams wellbeing, this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership including causing motivation and retention problems. Bass.(2000).

Significance of the study.

This study is expected to be beneficial to the heads of schools, parents, government, ministry of education and other stake holders in Tanzania. It will help the leaders of school to improve their leadership capacity that will lead to academic efficiency in their schools.

The scope of the study.

The focus of the study is to investigate the impact of leadership on academic performance in Secondary Schools in Arusha city council. This study will base in selected public secondary schools.

Operational definition of terms

Impact in this research it refers to contribution on leadership on the academic performance Leadership-means state or position of being a leader. In this work the researchers mean the heads of schools.

Performance –means how well or how bad something is done.

Secondary School – Is a level of education after primary. In this work the researchers mean Ordinary and Advanced level.


Theoretical Literature Review

A study entitled ‘ Moderating effect of leadership Styles and workers Performance ’ Conducted by Akkoc et al (2013) explored and identified that Task-oriented leadership behavior have effect on the job performance of the employees, more so the study determined that the quality of the leader to member has the moderating relation to employees performance. Theories in research help to come up with answers on the basis of theories employed. In fact, research problems refers ‘‘to some difficult which a researcher experiences in the context of either a theoretical or practical situation and want to obtain solution for the same problem’’ Kothari, (1990). The following theory will be considered to guide this study’s research problem.

The Path Goal leadership Theory

The Path Goal Theory of Leadership was proposed by House and Mitchell,(1975). The theory emphasizes on how leaders can facilitate task performance by showing subordinates how performance can be instrumental in achieving desired results. The theory argues that people are satisfied with their work and will work hard if they believe that their work will lead to things that are highly valued. Moreover the theory advocated that managerial behavior should be one of the motivating factors that enhance goal attainment to the subordinates and clarify the paths to the performance.

Empirical Review

This section reviews some of the studies already conducted on matters related to the impacts of leadership styles on workers performance. These studies are being reviewed to identify the research gap that this particular study sought to fill.

This shows that employees will accelerate the activities they are doing regarding how their leaders behave upon them. This study was conducted in Ankara( Turkey), and therefore this gives us a gap location that our study will be conducted in Tanzania regarding investigating impact of leadership styles on academic performance in Secondary schools.

Another study entitled ; ‘The effect of Team leadership on the job Performance’ conducted by Sivasubramaniam et al,(2002) The study objective was to determine how leadership within a team predict the level of workers performance. The study found that, transformational team leadership behaviors soon after the groups were formed would see themselves as being more potent over time and also would achieve a higher level of performance in the US organization. This study tells us that whenever a leader get close to the team with a shared objectives, definitely the organization can achieve its prescribed motives. Again this study was done in the US which is a developed world hence our study will be done in Tanzania which is a developing word in order to come up with replicable findings.

Furthermore the study entitled; Effects of leadership styles on followers performance’ as conducted by Jung et al,(1999) in San Diego state in America. The objective of the was to manipulated transformational and transactional leadership styles and compared them in individual and group task conditions to determine whether they had different impacts on individualists and collectivists performing tasks. The study found that collectivists with a transformational leader generated more ideas, but individualists generated more ideas with a transactional leader. Group performance was generally higher than that of individuals working alone. The implication of this study is that when a leader allows ideas from the subordinate, they feel to be part of the institution. The study was done in America and thus in this particular context it gives us more room to conduct the study on the basis of Tanzania context.

More so, a study entitled; ‘Leader Behavior impact on Staff Nurse Work Effectiveness’ conducted by Laschinger et al,(1999). The objective of the study was to test a model linking specific leader-empowering behaviors to staff nurse perceptions of workplace effectiveness in a recently-merged Canadian acute care hospital in Canada. This study was done using survey methods and the result was that, leader-empowering behaviors significantly influenced employees' perceptions and predicted lower levels of job tension and increased work performance. This tells us that when workers are empowered they get a sense of job satisfaction and therefore increase commitment and ultimately improve performance of work. However the study used survey method reveals the findings and is this context it provides us with the gap to investigate further on the impact of leadership styles on academic performance using the different approach which is a case study design research.

A study done by Kohl et al (1995) with the title ‘ The effects of Transformational leadership on Teacher attitudes and student performance’ The study was done in Singapore and the objectives was to investigate the influence of transformational leader behavior, teacher satisfaction with leader, and student academic performance. The study found that transformational leadership had significant add-on effects to transactional leadership in the prediction of organizational commitment, organizational citizenship behavior, and teacher satisfaction. Moreover, transformational leadership was found to have indirect effects on student academic achievement. In this particular study we find the gap of place since it was done in Singapore and now we shall investigate the problem in the Tanzanian context.

Specific to Tanzania the study conducted by Kashagate,(2013),with the title ‘ Influence of leadership Styles on Teachers Job Satisfaction’ The study was done in Musoma Municipal.

Council and the research found that there is a positive correlation between transformational leadership dimensions on Teachers’ job satisfaction. Since the objective of this study was to particular on teachers’ job satisfaction, it thus provide our study with the gap on the basis of objective since our study will base mostly on academic performance.


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The impact of leadership styles on academic performance in selected secondary school in Arusha City Council, Tanzania
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Dr. Philip Eric Akech (Author), 2016, The impact of leadership styles on academic performance in selected secondary school in Arusha City Council, Tanzania, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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