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Research Paper (postgraduate), 2017
89 Pages, Grade: A
LIST OF TABLES
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF ACRONYMS
1.1 Background of the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Purpose of the Study
1.4 General Objective
1.4.1 SSpecific Objective of the Study
1.5 Research Questions
1.6 Significance of the Study
1.7 Scope and Organization of the Study
2.1Theoretical Literature Review
2.1.1 Context of the Study
2.1.2 The Concept of Leadership
2.1.3 Leadership Skills
2.1.4 Katz (1955) Theory of Leadership Skills
126.96.36.199 Conceptual Skills
188.8.131.52 Technical Skill
184.108.40.206 Human Skills
2.1.5 Importance of Leadership Skills Theory
2.1.6 Managerial Level Experiences
2.1.7 Adequacy of Leadership Skills for Headship
2.2 Empirical Literature Review
2.3 Conceptual Model of the Study
2.5 Definition of Key Terms
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Target Population of the Study
3.3 Sampling Technique and Sample size
3.4. Data Collection Instrument
3.5 Scoring and Interpretation of Data
3.6 Ethical Considerations
3.7 Validity of the Instruments
3.8 Reliability of the Instruments
3.9 Data Analysis
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Result of the Study
4.1.1 Demographic Background of the Respondents
4.1.2 Leadership Skills Analyzed through Research Questions
4.2 Discussion of Result
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Summary of Findings
5.4 Limitations of the Study
5.5 Further Studies
This handy work is dedicated to my lovely daughter Dorcas Nunana Komashie, Irvin Junior Komashie and my wife Francisca Effua Dekpey.
It is a truism that the epitomes of every good and successful work are advisors, counselors and guides. Therefore, I would be very much ungrateful if I do not acknowledge the valuable assistance received from several people which have brought this handy work to reality.
My greatest debt goes to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through whose grace and mercy I obtained protection and sustenance in my educational pursuit, and for having bestowed in me such prodigious ability which enable me to come out with this work fruitfully.
Secondly, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to my supervisor Professor Nathan Austin through whose guidance, directions and constructive criticisms has made this work possible. I am indeed grateful to him for his meritorious suggestions, contributions, and corrections despite his tight schedules.
My sincere thanks go to my siblings especially Gladys Doe Komashie , Daniel Dotsey Komashie for their love, financial support, prayers, and encouragement. To them I say “Ayeeko” (well done).
Special gratitude also goes to Mr. Rapheal Kwashie, the present Director of Education, Keta Municipality, Mr. Edmund Doe Gbetodeme, the recent former Director of Education, Keta Municipality, staff of Keta Municipal Education Office and all Basic School Head teachers in Keta Municipality; more importantly, Mr. Justice K. Ameevor of Avete L.A. Basic School, Anloga.
Again I acknowledged the effort of Mr. Ebenezer Duncan Arthur and Dr. Alexander Preko for the hustle and bustle they went through in proof reading the manuscript. God richly bless you.
Acknowledgement is also due to all those whose works have been cited in this study.
Leadership skills are the vital ingredients to organizational success. However, headteachers may lack the leadership skills required of them for effective school management. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess the types of leadership skills possessed by headteachers, the extent of each type of leadership skills possessed and the relationship between types of leadership skills and years of managerial level experience, with the types of leadership skills possessed by headteachers in Keta Municipality, Akatsi South, and Akatsi North districts of Ghana, as the context. Survey- correlational design was adopted, using a structured questionnaire to gather data from sample size of two hundred and thirty-seven (237) headteachers. Data was analyzed descriptively through frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations. Findings showed that the headteachers possessed technical skills, human skills and conceptual skills, respectively. With regard to the extent of each type of skill possessed, 62%, 34% and 4% possessed moderate, high and low technical skills, respectively. Sixty-eight percent (68%), 2% and 30% possessed moderate, low and high human skills, respectively. Also, 59 %, 10% and 31% possessed moderate, low and high conceptual skills, respectively. The study also found a positive relationship between leadership skills and number of years of managerial experience. The study further established a positive relationship between the types of leadership skills (i.e. technical, human and conceptual) which indicates that possession of the three types of leadership skills essential for headteachers in the management of schools. The study therefore strongly recommends that Ghana Education Service develops a formalized pre-leadership skills training for headteachers before their induction into office as heads to ensure quality school management.
Table 3.1: Sample Size and Sampling Procedures
Table 4.1: Gender of Respondents
Table 4.2: Age of Respondents
Table 4.3: Number of Years as a Headteacher
Table 4.4: Highest Academic/Professional Qualification of Respondents
Table 4.5: Items Measuring Technical Skills
Table 4.6: Items Measuring Human Skills
Table 4.7: Items Measuring Conceptural Skills
Table 4.8: Descriptive Statistics of Items Measuring Technical Skills
Table 4.9: Descriptive Statistics of Items Measuring Human Skills
Table 4.10: Descriptive Statistics of Items Measuring Conceptual Skills
Table 14.11: Extent of Technical Skills possessed by Respondents (Headteachers)
Table 4.12: Extent of Human Skills possessed by Respondents (Headteachers)
Table 4.13: Extent of Conceptual Skills possessed by Respondents (Headteachers)
Table 4.14: Correlations Metrics of Relationship that exist between Types of Leadership Skills and Years of Managerial Level Experience
Table 4.15: Correlations Metrics of Relationship between the Types of Leadership Skills
Figure 2.1: Relative Significance of Leadership Skills for different Managerial Level Experience.
LIST OF ACRONYMS
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
There is a growing consensus among educational researchers and administrators in the field of educational leadership and management in both developed and developing countries, that the leadership skills of head teachers are indispensable for school success particularly at the basic school level (Bush & Jackson, 2003; Bush & Oduro, 2006; Kusi & Mensah, 2014; Simkins, 2005) of which Akatsi South District, Akatsi North District and Keta Municipality basic schools are no exception (Ministry of Education, 2010). Kusi (2008) and Simkins (2005) posited that in the developed countries this acknowledgment has led to gargantuan monetary commitment in key initiatives that will bring about improvement in the leadership skills of headteachers in the management of their schools. This was buttressed by Kochamba and Murry (2010) when they stated that educational reforms efforts in the developed countries like United State of America and Britain have focused on the importance of leadership skills of headteachers for the achievement of school success by committing financial resources into the development of headteachers’ leadership skills. All these suggest that headteachers leadership skills are the central pillars around which the school success revolves. Without the headteacher’s leadership skills the school as an organization cannot achieve its aims and objectives as the leadership skills are the major agents aiding the headteacher in the management of the school successfully. Therefore, developing headteachers leadership skills are key steps to enhancing school management.
The Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service have also recognized the importance of headteachers’ leadership skills which enable them to ensure that teaching and learning takes place in the schools in a congenial atmosphere. These leadership skills empower headteachers in the effective and efficient mobilization and management of key resources at the school and the community levels (Ministry of Education, 2010). According to Ghana Education Service (2010) and Ministry of Education (2010) the leadership skills of headteachers are critical in schools for: maintaining focus on learning by ensuring that everyone in the school or associated with the school (i.e. pupils, teachers, parents, school management committee (SMC) members, and all other stakeholders) are directly linked to the promotion of quality teaching and learning as well as creating conditions favourable for learning by ensuring a school culture that emphasize teaching and learning.
It also plays a key role in creating a dialogue about leadership for learning through open communication between and among stakeholders, practicing shared leadership which build a sense of belongingness in pupils and teachers as the headteacher draws on their experiences and expertise in the management of the school which encourages a shared sense of accountability (Ghana Education Service, 2010; Ministry of Education, 2010). Kalargyrou (2009) agreed that leadership skills are essential for effective and efficient school management in this era of competitive and challenging environment.
Bonle (2013) citing Pashiardis, Kythreotis and Kyriakides (2010) posited that leadership skills of head teachers have been found to be a catalyst for school success. Oduro (2009) also stated that headteachers leadership skills are critical in creating an enabling environment for teaching and learning, attracting and retaining pupils and staff, and promoting effective teaching and learning. Tracy (2010) also corroborates that leadership expertise are the vital ingredients that determines the success of any business, department or organization. Therefore, the school as an organization
requires leaders (i.e. headteachers) who have the ability to select, manage, motivate and guide students and subordinate teachers to achieve positive result which is the true measure of any leader’s success (Tracy, 2010). All these suggest that headteachers leadership skills play a key role in the successful management of school for optimum performance.
However, in developing countries like Ghana, little is done about this aspect which is imperative for school performance improvement (Kusi, 2008; Kusi & Mensah, 2014). Anamuah-Mensah et al. (2002) committee report on meeting the challenges of education in the 21st Century stated that the problems of the schools are linked to the inadequate or lack of leadership skills of headteachers in school management such as poor supervision skills, poor human relation skills and lack of skills in strategic policy formulation to bring out the best in teachers and pupils.
Notwithstanding the significance of headship in basic schools, the procedures used in appointing, training, retraining (i.e. in-service education & training) and inducting headteachers in developing countries specifically Ghana and elsewhere in sub-Sahara Africa are inappropriate and leaves much to be desired (Bush & Oduro, 2006; Kusi, 2008; Kusi & Mensah, 2014). That is the newly appointed headteachers are not taken through pre-service activities such as strategy formulation, instruction and curriculum development, staff and students managements, school - community relations; school facilities management; school organization, finance and business management. The practice of not taking newly appointed headteachers through pre-service leadership skills training before induction into office are considered ineffective and inefficient for the development of competent school headteachers in the sub- Sahara Africa for quality educational provision (Harber & Davies, 2002; Ibukun, 2003; Kusi & Mensah, 2014). This suggests that in most developing countries like Ghana; headteachers encounter many problems in managing their schools as a result of lack of leadership skills training before induction into office as headteachers in their new position.
In line with this, Bush (2008) identified two key strategies that are used by Ghana Education Service in the appointment of head teachers which does not promote leadership skills development. The first is the appointment through direct posting of newly trained teachers to headship position in the basic schools, particularly in rural areas. The second strategy is the appointment through selection interviews only which is largely associated with the urban schools. The selection, according to Ghana Education Service Policy (2010) is largely influenced by years of accumulated teaching experiences and rank. The rank at which a professional teacher qualifies to be selected for headship begins from principal superintendent upwards, which means that the teacher has a teaching experience of more than four years as prescribed in the appointment and promotion committee or sub-committee guideline of Ghana Education Service (Ghana Education Service Act, 1995, (Act 506) section 9 (4a); Ghana Education Service Act, 2008, (Act 778) section 22 (8a)). Dragoni, Oh, Vankatwyk & Tesluk (2011) added that leadership requires more than just experience and rank as criteria for selection to management. But Acolatse-Agboada & Akubia (2014) Oduro (2003), and Sekyere (2014) noted that teaching experiences and acquisition of professional qualification in teaching is a necessary condition for appointment as a headteacher under Ghana Education Service, but does not ensure possession of leadership skills for successful school management. These challenges of lack of leadership skills of headteachers are attributed to many factors; chief among them is inadequate resource allocation for training and supervision in educational sector by most government in sub-Sahara Africa (Harber & Davies, 2002; Ibukun, 2003). Ibukun (2003), Mgbodile (2000) and Ukeje (2000) again reported that the educational problems such as poor management of basic schools by headteachers in sub-Sahara Africa, specifically Ghana and Nigeria does not tie with the knowledge and adequate policies but effective planning and sustained implementation of leadership skills training programs for headteachers performance improvement. However, these experts attributed the failure of such educational programmes in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa to several factors such as lack of leadership and administrative will, inadequate funding. Oduro (2008) and Zame, Hope & Repress (2008) emphasized that the need to build leadership skills capacity of headteachers in Ghana is a key step in improving educational management in basic schools.
As a result Ghana has carried out many educational reforms from 1974 to 2007 of which junior high school concept was the most recent one with the view of improving the quality of education, but little emphasis was laid on the preparation and development of headteachers at the basic level. The Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) policy which is a constitutional mandate introduced in 1995 to date requires headteachers to receive training in school leadership and management (Ministry of Education & Ghana Education Service, 2010; Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992) to enable them performs their task effectively. It also, recommends the formation of School Management Committees (SMC), and Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) by individual schools to work hand in hand with the headteachers and guide them in school policy formulation (Ministry of Education & Ghana Education Service, 2010). Also, the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service produced a “Headteachers’ Handbook” in 1995 which was revised in 2010 to facilitate the performance of their leadership roles in quality education provision (Ministry of Education & Ghana Education Service, 2010).
Thus, efforts are being made to support school leaders and managers in Ghana Education Service, but such attempts have not been effective in equipping them with the knowledge, leadership skills and attitude for the job (EdQual, 2010; Oduro, 2008; Kusi & Mensah, 2014). This highlights the need to re-examine the leadership skills of headteachers in the country in order to prepare and train them to be able to perform their school management role more effectively and efficiently.
The issues discussed above have called for further studies to know the current status of headteachers’ leadership skills and competencies in managing the schools. This paper therefore wants to examine the leadership skills of basic school headteachers in Ghana Education Service with focus on headteachers of Akatsi South, Akatsi North and Keta Municipality.
Headteachers charged with the task of utilizing scarce resources to achieve the objectives of the nations’ free compulsory universal basic education lack the leadership skills required of them for successful school management. This could possibly be attributed to absence of school leadership skills training programs for headteachers as a study by Zame et al., (2008) showed that out of 224 headteachers surveyed in greater Accra region only 29% had some form of training which was not specific to school leadership (cited in 26th International Congress for School Effectiveness Improvement on School Leadership: a Ghanaian context (ICSEI), 2013). Oduro (2009) has also reported that out of the 240 rural headteachers surveyed three quarters had little or no training in leadership skills development and management of schools tend to be largely based on trial and error approach. Such situations would adversely affect the headteachers’ capacity to provide effective leadership because as Verspoor (2005) observed, “weak capacity” is a prerequisite for poor organizational performance. Kusi & Mensah (2014) suggested that the changes in Ghana’s educational system require head teachers with developed leadership skills in management, but Ghana Education Service has made no provision for formal pre-service leadership skills training for headteachers. Hence, there is the need to investigate the leadership skills of basic school headteachers in Ghana so as to provide their leadership skills developmental needs.
The purpose of this study was to examine the leadership skills of basic school headteachers to determine the appropriate training needs required for the effective and efficient management of the school system. Therefore, the study assessed the types of leadership skills possessed by headteachers, the extent of each type of leadership skills possessed and the relationship between types of leadership skills and years of managerial level experience, with the types of leadership skills possessed by headteachers for effective and efficient school management.
The overall objective of this study is to examine the leadership skills of basic school headteachers to determine the appropriate training needs required for the effective and efficient management of the school system.
i. To assess the types of leadership skills possessed by headteachers for successful school management.
ii. To examine the extent of each type of leadership skills possessed by headteachers for successful school management.
iii. To examine the relationship between types of leadership skills and years of managerial level experience for successful school management.
iv. To examine the relationship that exists between the types of leadership skills possessed by headteachers for successful school management.
i. What types of leadership skills do headteachers possess for successful school management?
ii. What is the extent of each type of leadership skills possessed by headteachers for successful school management?
iii. What is the relationship between the types of leadership skills possessed by the headteachers and years of managerial level experience for successful school management?
iv. What is the relationship that exists between the types of leadership skills possessed by headteachers for successful school management?
The study will help identify the types of leadership skills possessed by basic school headteachers and the extent of each type of leadership skills possessed so that Ghana Education Service will help to provide formalized leadership skills training needs for any inadequacies identified in the types of leadership skills possessed by headteachers. It will also help to establish the relationship that exists between the types of leadership skills possessed by headteachers for effective and efficient school management in Ghana. Again, it is hoped that the outcome of this study will be useful to other organizations who may wish to provide leadership skills training to their members. Lastly, it will serve as a reference point to those who wish to conduct similar study in this locale.
The researcher acknowledges the fact that a study of this nature and significance should covered all basic school head teachers in Ghana. But a study conducted by Anlo Educational Trust Fund in 2009 revealed that poor performance of the region in basic education certificate examinations could be attributed to lack of leadership skills of the head teachers in managing the basic schools and as a result the study was limited to Volta Region of Ghana specifically basic school head teachers of Akatsi South, Akatsi North and Keta Municipality.
This study comprises of five chapters. Chapter one captures the background of the study, the problem statement, the research objectives, the research questions, the purpose of the study, significance of the study, scope and organization of the study. Chapter two, deals with review of related literature. Chapter three focuses on methodology which describes the research design, the setting, the population, sampling technique and sample size, data gathering instruments, data collection procedures of the study, and methods of the analysis. Chapter four presents the results and discusses the findings. In chapter five, summary of the findings based on the research questions was presented together with conclusions and recommendations. The chapter ends with limitations and suggestions for further studies.
Under the theoretical literature, the review was organized under the following headings: x Context of the study
x The concept of leadership x Leadership skills
x Katz, (1955) theory of leadership skills x Importance of leadership skills theory
This study was carried out in three Districts. These were Keta Municipality, Akatsi South and Akatsi North district respectively which are part of the twenty five (25) Municipalities and Districts in the Volta Region of Ghana.
Keta Municipality shares common borders with Akatsi South district to the north, Ketu South district to the east, South Tongu district to the west and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. It has 99 basic schools comprising of 90 primary schools, 78 junior high school, and 87 Kindergartens. All these institutions are divided into ten (10) educational circuits in the municipality for easy monitoring and supervision, especially by circuit supervisors due to geographic location of the community in which the schools are in the municipality. Therefore, schools that are close to each other in the communities are grouped as a circuit. Other factors which contributed to the grouping of schools into circuits are demographic, socio-cultural factors that are all influenced by (for example) economic, social, political, fiscal, historical and psychosocial factors.
Akatsi South district is located in the South-Eastern part of the Volta Region; bounded to the South by Keta Municipality, to the East by Ketu North district, to the North by North Tongu districts, to the West by Akatsi North district and the Republic of Togo to complete the demarcation of the Akatsi South district. There are 116 primary schools made up of 40 Units and 82 district assembly established primary schools and 40 junior high schools as well as two secondary schools and one training college. All these institutions are divided into six (6) educational circuits in the district for easy manageability.
Akatsi North district is one of the newly created districts which shares boundaries with Akatsi South district to the South, to the North with Adaklu district, to the West with Central Tongu district and to the East with the Republic of Togo. It has 87 basic schools made up of 55 primary schools and Kindergartens, 32 junior high schools and one senior high school. All these institutions are divided into six (6) educational circuits in the district for easy manageability.
Leadership skills are one of the approaches to leadership described in research literature (Northouse, 2010; Yukl, 2010). Achua and Lussier (2010) define leadership as the influencing process of leaders and followers to achieve organizational objectives through change. Yukl (2006) opines that leadership is the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done, how to do it, the process of facilitating individual and the collective effort to achieve shared outcomes. Northouse (2010) also defined leadership as a process whereby individuals in group influence each other towards the attainment of individual and organizational goals. Samra (2014) defined leadership as a set of comprehensive harmonized concept of cognitive, humanitarian and technical skills that leaders should have. He regarded leadership as collective concepts and skills that rely upon the ability to apply skills that one acquires from experience, study, and notice. Al-Khadra (2009) observed that a successful leader is one who not only possess the appropriate leadership skills, but also applies them effectively and efficiently. Therefore, leadership can be defined as the ability of the individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the achievement of individual and group goals effectively and efficiently.
Katz (1955) defined leadership skills as learned competencies that leaders are able to demonstrate in performance and these skills give people in leadership positions the capacity to influence others. According to Northouse (2010) leadership skills are the ability to use one’s knowledge and competency to accomplish set goals. Yukl (2010) also, posited that leadership skills are the ability to do something in an effective manner. Knap (2007) defined leadership skills as the learned ability to bring about pre-determined outcomes with maximum certainty often with minimum use of time, energy, or both. Therefore, leadership skills can be defined as the hands-on capability and the know-how of the individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the achievement of individual and group goals effectively and efficiently. These definitions suggest that knowledge and abilities are critical component of effective leadership.
Katz (1955) was the first researcher to postulate the skill approach to leadership as an endeavour to transcend the trait problem by addressing leadership as a set of developable or learned skills. According to Lord and Halls (2005); Mumford, Campion and Morgeson (2007); Northouse (2010); Yukl (2010) skills theory received little attention by researchers in the early days but was later researched into by many researchers in literature. He suggested that effective leadership depends on three basic personal leadership skills (i.e. technical, human and conceptual) and argued that these leadership skills are quite different from traits of leaders. The view was shared by Northouse (2010) and Yukl (2010) who suggested that skills are what leaders can accomplish, while traits are the innate characteristics of the leaders. Mumford, Zaccarro, Harding, Jacobs and Fleishman (2000) proposed a five component skill based model of leadership which had problem solving skills, social judgement skills and knowledge skills at the core of its components. Peterson and Van Fleet (2004) suggested ten categories of skills essential for school success. They were technical, analytical, decision making, human, communication, interpersonal, conceptual, diagnostic, flexible and administrative skills. Mumford, Campion, and Morgeson (2007) identified four general types of skills: cognitive, interpersonal, business and strategic skills. Another group of researchers, Leithwood and Duke (1999); Murphy and Louis (1999) as well as Richer (2006) were of the view that leadership skills are divided into three main domains as transformational, managerial and instructional. Kochamba and Murray (2008), in their study on critical leadership skills needed by head teachers for school success found conceptual, human and technical skills as the core of leader effectiveness. Hoy and Miskel (2000) suggested technical, interpersonal, conceptual, and administrative skills as the skills that Head teachers as school leaders should possess for school success. Samra (2014) also found conceptual, technical and human skills as leadership skills possessed by faculty members.
These various groups of researchers have found differing categories of leadership skills which were not all related, to be important for school success with the exception of Kochamba et al (2008) and Hoy et al (2000) whose studies were in line with Katz (1955). Mystkowska-Wiertelak and Pawlak (2012), Taie (2014), Ericsson (2014) argued that skills theory is a general theory of learning ranging from cognitive to psychomotor skills which is also consistent with Katz’s (1955) classification of leadership skills from conceptual which is cognitive to technical skills which is also a psychomotor skill. Their study found that leadership skills are learned and developed as the leader gains more managerial experiences over time. Benson, Levenson and Boudreau (2006) posit that managerial experiences are central to leadership skills development which leads to career success. Leadership skills require content and contextual knowledge, practice and to reach high level of skills a considerable period of time are required (Mystkowska-Wiertelak et al, 2012; Taie, 2014; Ericsson, 2014). As a result of the consistency and affirmation by other researchers, the researcher focused this study on the application of the skills theory propounded by Katz (1955). Hence, the detailed descriptions of the three basic components of the skills approach.
According to Northouse (2010) and Yukl (2010) citing Katz (1955), conceptual (i.e. cognitive) skills involves good judgement, foresight, intuition, creativity, and the ability to find meaning and order in ambiguous, uncertain events, ability to convey meaning by developing models and the ability to develop creative solutions as well as new insight into problems, ability to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information, detect deviations from plans, analyze situations and perceive trends, anticipate changes, recognize opportunities and potential threats.
Conceptual skills are central to leaders’ ability in creating strategic plan of the organization (Achua & Lussier, 2010; Northouse, 2010; Yukl, 2010). This means that conceptual skill has to do with the mental work of shaping the meaning of organizational or policy issues by understanding what the organization stands for, where it is and where it should be going. For example, it would take conceptual skills for a head teacher in a struggling and underperforming school to articulate a vision for a new line of action that would steer the school out from the sinking bout of underperformance. In like manner, it would take the conceptual skills of the head teacher with same resources to create a strategic plan that could make his/her school compete successfully with other schools. Achua and Lussier (2010) add that conceptual skills are vital in shaping the leadership skills of employees and raising the organization to a higher level.
Conceptual skills are very significant at the top management levels of organizations (Achua & Lussier, 2010; Northouse, 2010; Yukl, 2010). Northouse (2010) stated that when upper-level leaders do not have strong conceptual skills, they can endanger the whole organization. Conceptual skills are also vital in middle management. As one moves down to lower management levels, conceptual skills become less significant. This implies that conceptual skills are needed highly for Head teachers because they occupy the highest echelons of basic schools. As such, they are required to shape the vision, business policy and strategic or competitive positioning of the school among others.
It is knowledge about processes, methods, procedures, and use of equipment for conducting a specialized activity, a proficiency in a specific type of work (Northouse, 2010; Yukl, 2010). Technical skills encompass a hands-on activity with a basic product or process within an organization. For example, in the teaching profession at the basic school level, technical skill will include knowledge about the preparation of the lesson notes, the various teaching methods, and their usage as well as instructional classroom arrangement (Evertson & Weinstein, 2013; Tamekloe et al., 2005), and also the head teacher’s ingenuity to create a congenial atmosphere (i.e. climate) in the schools for effective teaching and learning, cohesion of staffs (Tamekloe et al., 2005). Knowledge about rule and regulations of the school, code of conduct of the teachers, structures (i.e. channels of reporting), management systems, teacher characteristics, students as product and services’ strengths and limitations (Tamekloe et al., 2005). Yukl (2010) posit that this type of knowledge is acquired by a combination of formal education, training and job experiences. Acquisition of technical knowledge is facilitated by good memory for details and ability to learn technical materials quickly. Successful leaders are able to obtain information and ideas from many sources and store it away in their memory or transformed them into charts, graphs and other symbolic form for use when they need it. Therefore, teachers appointed to headship position are supposedly presumed to be persons of good memory and well discerning to translate their technical knowledge gathered into practical reality for easy assimilation by subordinates.
In the teaching profession at the basic school level, head teachers supervise the work of their subordinate teachers and therefore need extensive knowledge of techniques and equipment used by teachers to perform their work. Technical knowledge of product (i.e. pupils) and processes (pedagogies of teaching) is necessary to plan and organize work operations, to direct and train subordinates with specialized activities, and to monitor and evaluate performance. Technical expertise is needed to deal with disruptions in the work due to equipment breakdowns, quality defects, accidents, insufficient materials and coordination problems.
Northouse (2010) and Yukl (2010) agreed with Katz (1955) that technical skills are essential at all levels but not highly needed at the top management level because individuals at the top level depend on skilled subordinates to handle technical issues of the physical operation. This suggests that though technical skills are relevant to the headteachers who are at the top management level of basic schools, but less needed because they depend on skilled teachers under them to handle technical issues of the school like sport and games, cultural activities.
It refers to the ability to work with people (Northouse, 2010). It is also known as interpersonal skills (Yukl, 2010), people skills (Katz, 1955) or social skills (Mumford et al., 2007) which are knowledge about human behaviour and interpersonal processes; the ability to comprehend the feelings, attitudes, and motives of others from what they say and do (i.e. empathy, social sensitivity); ability to communicate clearly and effectively (i.e. speech fluency, persuasiveness); and ability to establish effective cooperative relationships (i.e. tact, diplomacy, knowledge about acceptable social behaviour) with others. Human skills also mean being aware of one’s own perspective on issues and at the same time, being aware of others perspective on issues, being sensitive to the needs and motivations of others and taking into account needs of others in one’s decision making processes. It includes creating an atmosphere of trust where employees feel comfortable, secure and encouraged to become involved in the planning of things that affect them (i.e. curricular and co-curricular activities of the school). It assists leaders to work well with subordinates, peers and superiors to accomplish the organizational goals (Northouse, 2010; Yukl, 2010).
Human skills are essential in all levels of management (Achua & Lussier, 2010; Katz, 1955; Northouse, 2010). Therefore, head teachers need to possess human skills in order to relate well with the diverse group of people that they will encounter in their day-to-day school management.
The leadership skills approach provides a leader-centered model that put emphasis on the significance of developing particular leadership skills. It is the first approach that conceptualizes and provides a structure of the process of leadership around skills leading to deeper understanding of leadership (Mumford, 2007; Northouse, 2010; Yukl, 2010).
Also, Northouse (2010) and Yukl (2010) stated that the leadership skills theory provides an expansive outlook of leadership that incorporates a wide variety of components, including interpersonal or human skills, technical skills, and conceptual skills. Each of these components can be sub-divided into many subcomponents. That is it provides a picture of leadership that includes a multitude of variables or factors.
Moreover, the leadership skills theory provides a structure which is very consistent with most leadership education programmes. For instance, majority of leadership education programs organized throughout the United State of America and sub-Sahara Africa have traditionally taught classes in listening, creative problem solving, teamwork and conflict resolution just to state a few (Northouse, 2010; Yukl, 2010). The content of these classes mirror many of the components in the skills model. Explicitly, the leadership skills theory provides a credible structure that facilitates framing of the curricula of leadership education and leadership programs (Northouse, 2010).
According to Northouse (2010) the leadership skills theory provides practical perspective by structuring or framing leadership skills as a set of competencies that can be learned as compared to personality traits. This approach is intuitively appealing as it becomes a process that people can study and practice to become better in performing their jobs. Clearly, the description of leadership in terms of skills makes leadership available to everyone (Northouse, 2010; Yukl, 2010).
Benson, Levenson and Boudreau (2006) posit that managerial level experiences are central to leadership skills development which intends leads to effective organizational management. Dragoni et al. (2011) defined managerial level experiences as accumulation of work experiences which refers to the extent to which leaders amassed varied level of roles and responsibilities (i.e.
(a) contributed to execution of projects, (b) assumed managerial responsibility, (c) lead and strategized by setting the overall direction whilst maintaining ultimate responsibility) in each of the key work activities that they have encountered over time in the course of their career. On contrary, leaders who have not encountered these varying levels of roles and responsibilities for each key work activity consistently during their careers would have less managerial level experience accumulation accounting for less leadership skills development (Dragoni et al., 2011). DeRue and Wellman (2009) defined managerial level experiences as experiences acquired over time on the job. They stated that knowledge structures grow and develop when they are challenged by novel information obtained via experiences over time and these challenging on-the-job experiences facilitate leadership skills development by motivating individual to exert additional effort to acquire the leadership skills required of them for the job.
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