Influence of principals' leadership styles in establishing School climate in secondary Schools in Malindi District
The purpose of the study was to investigate influence of principal’s leadership styles in establishing school climate in secondary schools in Malindi district. The objectives of the study were: to determine the influence of principal’s autocratic leadership styles in establishing school climate, to determine the influence of democratic leadership style in establishing school climate and determine the influence of Liassez-faire leadership style in establishing school climate. The literature review relevant to this study laid the background for the study. Using a cross-sectional survey design and systematic random sampling, the researcher sampled 15 schools in Malindi district. From each school a head teacher and six regular teachers were interviewed using a structured questionnaire during the early part of June 2013. A pilot study was carried out prior to data collection. On the influence of principals’ democratic leadership style on the school climate, the principals’ responses indicated that they always allowed members to participate in decision making, assigned school members particular tasks in school after consultations, a few principals indicated that they never allowed students to elect school prefects. Some principals indicated that they had a good working relationship with the school members. In their responses most teachers indicated that in a democratic school environment, morale was always high, and they always enjoyed working in such an atmosphere. Majority of the teachers always spent time after school with students who had individual problems. It was important that none of the teachers indicated that they were never friendly to students in a democratic school environment. On the effect of principals’ Laissez-faire leadership style on the school climate, the study found that some principals never expected teachers to set their own targets and accomplish them on their own. Principals never allowed teachers to establish quality control standards in school without supervision. The researcher concluded that autocratic leadership style was the most popular style of leadership employed by principals in Malindi District. The study also concluded that the type of leadership styles employed by the principals in school management had an influence in establishing a positive or negative school climate. The study recommended that among others the Teachers Service Commission in its management of teachers should train principals in school leadership. The principals should also undertake in-service courses in order to improve school climate through leadership.