Influence of headteachers’ leadership styles on teachers’ job commitment in public primary schools in Rongo sub-county, Migori county, Kenya
The leadership styles used by head teachers have great influence on teachers’ job commitment and children are the greatest sufferers. The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of head teachers’ leadership styles on teachers’ job commitment in public primary schools in Rongo Sub-county, Kenya. The study was directed by the following objectives: to assess the influence of transformational leadership style, to establish the influence of transactional leadership style, to determine the influence of democratic leadership style and to examine the influence of autocratic leadership style on teachers’ job commitment on public primary school teachers job commitment in Rongo Sub-county, Kenya. The theory of the study was based on situational theory by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. Descriptive survey research design was adopted in which 68 were the total target population of head teachers and 798 teachers in public primary schools in Rongo Sub-county. Simple random sampling technique was used to get 34 head teachers and 160 teachers. Two questionnaire sets were used to collect the required information from the head teachers and teachers. Reliability and validity of instruments was addressed through piloting in 2 schools. Test retest method of reliability was employed to ascertain the reliability and co-efficient was used to test validity. Expert judgment by two supervisors was conducted in order to ensure research instruments were valid. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for descriptive statistic for quantitative data and qualitative data was analyzed in an ongoing process as themes and sub-themes of the study emerged. On the influence of transformational leadership style on teachers’ job commitment, the study found that 67% of teachers indicated head teachers did not employ this leadership style. This was found to be negatively influencing teachers’ job commitment. Regarding transactional leadership style, 60% of teachers indicated that their head teachers were not practising fully the behaviours associated with transactional leadership style and this lowered their job commitment. On democratic leadership style, 69% of teacher respondents stated that head teachers were not using democratic leadership style as most of them were not involved in decision making leading to low job commitment. Finally on autocratic leadership style, 79% of sampled teachers stated that their head teachers were practising many elements of autocratic leadership style contrary to 50% of head teachers who denied being autocratic. Based on the study findings it was recommended that head teachers should use effective leadership style that enhances collective responsibility and creates conducive environment in schools. Recommendations should ensure that subordinates participate in decision-making on areas of task completion; the leader must assign responsibilities to individuals or groups and he stays involved in monitoring progress. The study recommends that a leader must be able to select the right style for each occasion and must consider subordinates and task at hand. It was recommended that head teachers should be provided with in-service courses on leadership which is directly influencing teachers’ job commitment. The study also recommended that the Ministry of Education (MOE) should reconsider how much teachers’ are paid, listen to their complains and look for ways of motivating teachers. The researcher recommends that Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should emphasize on target setting on both co-curricular and extra-curricular programmes as a mandatory practice for all teachers.