Effects of principals’ transformational leadership characteristics on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Nairobi county, Kenya
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This study explored the relationship between transformational leadership characteristics of secondary school principals’ and students’ academic performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). Although transformational leadership had been linked with academic performance in developed countries, the study attempted to investigate which specific characteristics could be attributed to improved academic performance in Kenya. The study was carried out in Nairobi County, Kenya. Stratified sampling process was used to ensure that both public and private schools in Nairobi were captured in the study. Leadership behaviour was measured using the Leadership Practices Inventory-(“Self” and “others”) (Kouzes & Posner, 1993). Correlational research design was employed in data analysis. Pearson correlations were used to establish if there was a relationship between transformational leadership characteristics and academic performance. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test if a relationship existed between selected demographic characteristics and the interaction of leadership characteristics of principals’ and students’ academic performance. To test relationships between principals’ ratings and teachers’ ratings, ratings of male principals and female principals, t-test was used. Results indicated a positive correlation of “Inspiring a shared vision”, “Encouraging the heart” and “Challenging the process” characteristics and academic performance. There was however, a weak but not statistically significant correlation between “Modeling the way” and “Enabling others to act” characteristics and academic performance. It was recommended that secondary school principals should exhibit transformational leadership characteristics in order to succeed in today’s changing world of educational leadership. Suggestions made for further studies included a replication of the study in more counties.