Headteachers' leadership styles and their effects on teachers' morale in selected primary schools of Zambezi district in the North-Western province of Zambia

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Andende, Nelly
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University of Zambia
The aim of the study was to explore the effects of head teacher’s leadership styles on teachers’ morale in selected primary schools of Zambezi District of the North-Western Province in Zambia. Despite measures taken to capacity build head teachers in leadership and management, teachers have cried foul at the delivery of leadership styles by their head teachers. The question stands as to what effects the head teachers’ leadership styles have on their teachers’ morale in primary schools. A descriptive case study design along with qualitative methodology was used to collect and analyse data. The Human Relation Theory and Hertzberg’s Two Factor Theory were used in collecting data from the field by exploring how head teachers implemented their leadership styles in order to enhance and improve the motivation of teachers in the selected primary schools. In-depth interviews and Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) were the primary data collection methods used. While secondary data collection involved perusing relevant literature from the journal articles, internet and books. Purposive sampling for teachers, senior teachers, deputy head teachers and Standards Officers were used to select the participants for the study. A list for long serving teachers were provided and only those who had served for five years and above were considered to participate in the study making a total number of 40 teachers. Two (2) Standards Officers from DEBs office and five (5) Deputy Head teachers were equally purposively selected including three (3) senior teachers from each of the five making a total of (15) selected schools in Zambezi District. The study revealed that there was a relationship between head teachers’ leadership styles and teachers’ morale and performance in primary schools. The head teachers were found to use any of the three leadership styles to manage the schools. The leadership styles used included democratic, autocratic and laissez-faire. Democratic leadership styles dominated most of the schools although some schools were dominated by the autocratic leadership style. The study further revealed that schools which were dominated by the democratic leadership style, teachers’ morale and performance was better than those dominated by autocratic. The study found that for the head teacher to be said effective he or she had a combination of democratic and autocratic leadership styles. Teachers were able to effectively perform given a good leadership style. The study recommended that head teachers’ leadership styles needed to be improved through holding workshops to capacity build them to increase their morale and performance in primary schools. It further recommended the combination of at least two leadership styles in order to have effective head teachers.
School principals--Zambia , Educational leadership--Zambia , Elementary school administration--Zambia