The leadership of principals in schools is considered as one of the important factors of improvement in the field of educational management. One of the features in increasing the effectiveness, adeptness and ultimate earning of results is due to the leadership styles of principals in schools. Thus, the principal’s leadership is a key component in guiding the teaching learning processes, which is necessary for preparing today’s student to become creative citizens and to survive effectively in the twenty-first century.
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Mazzarella and Smith (1989) define leadership style as the manner a leader leads which is reflected in some of the things head teachers/principals do which include: how they communicate leadership, exercise power and authority and the effects of which have on teachers’ and other staff members of schools. Based on the above facts leadership style may be considered as the way a leader influences his/her subordinates either by commanding or motivating them to achieve the target goals.
Owens (1991) define that leadership is determined by what the head teacher does to motivate his/her subordinates to put in their best to achieve the set school goals. He observes that some leaders set a higher value on task accomplishment while some, on maintaining good interpersonal relationship.
Hersey and Blanchard (1993) observed that a leader develop his/her style over a period of time from experience, education and training. They opined that leadership style is more of how the subordinates perceive their leaders’ behaviour than how the leader thinks he behaves because his/her subordinates will treat him/her based on how they perceive his/her behaviour in various situations. This signifies that teachers’ assessment of the principals’ leadership styles is most likely to be the principals’ styles of leading the school.
Thus, leadership is the ability to influence individuals or groups towards the achievement of goals. Leadership, as a process, shapes the goals of a group or organization, motivates behaviour of the followers towards the achievement of those goals, and helps define group or organizational culture. It is primarily a process of influence. It is a dynamic process that leads to bring a change in the behaviour of the followers and motivate them to shoulder the responsibility well and as such a leader is a person who can lead the group towards the common goal and make the followers to complete the task willingly and efficiently. It is observed from Lewin, K. and others (1939) studies that three different styles of leadership exist. These are:
In autocratic style, the leader takes decisions without consulting with others. He or she neither delegates authority nor permits subordinates to participate in policy making. In this style the decision would not as a result of input.
In democratic style, the leader involves the people in the decision making, although the process for the final decision may vary from the leader having the final say to them facilitating consensus in the group.
In laissez-faire style, the leader allows complete freedom to group decision without the leaders’ participation. The leader does not interfere with or participate in the course of events determined by the group.
The success of any organization /institution depends upon the type of leadership style adopted by the principal. The individual’s success also depends upon the way of handling the situation in which he/she lives in. Along with leadership styles emotional intelligence is equally important for a leader. In the present study, the leadership styles and emotional intelligence of the higher secondary schools principals in Barak Valley, Assam are to be studied with an objective to ascertain the relationship between leadership styles and emotional intelligence of the principals. Here, ‘leadership style’ means the style adopted by the principals to influence the subordinates working in the respective schools. ‘Emotional intelligence’ is the capacity to recognize one’s own feeling and feelings of others, for motivating himself and managing emotions in them and in their relationship. ‘Principals’ stand for those who are working as the head of the higher secondary schools in Barak Valley, Assam.
Therefore, the present study is mainly concerned with the leadership styles and emotional intelligence of principals in higher secondary schools set up.
New research in the 90’s confirmed that there is an emotional brain: a place called the limbic system where our emotions originate. It is separated from the rational brain (the neocortex) but the two are connected and developed together. This means that our power to reason and our feeling are intended to be used together. Because of the brain’s design, all information goes into our emotional center first and then to our thinking center. Emotions come before thought and behaviour. The scientist discovered that we need our emotion: our feelings fire up the motor in us that drives energy and creativity. If we block or ignore emotions in the work place, we stifle motivation.
As a result of these findings, it become important to understand what we are feeling, what others are feeling, how to manage our own feeling and how to manage relationships with others. This is the core of emotional intelligence: a term used to describe the complex ability to regulate our impulses, emphasize with others and be resilient in the face of difficulties. Therefore, emotional intelligence is a product of the amount of communication between rational and emotional centers of the brain.
The term emotional intelligence was introduced in 1990 by two Americans Dr. John Mayer and Dr. Peter Salovey in their attempt to develop a scientific measure for knowing the people’s ability in the areas of emotions. According to Mayer and Salovey (1995), emotional intelligence is the capacity to reason with emotion in four areas: to perceive emotion, to integrate it in thought, to understand it and to manage it.
Brief explanations of these factors are given below:
Perceiving emotions mean to perceive them perfectly. In many cases, it may involve understanding non-verbal signals such as body languages and facial expressions.
Reasoning with emotions
It means applying emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help priorities to pay attention and react to it, and respond emotionally to things that gain our attention.
The emotions, which are perceived, can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry emotion, the observer must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean.
The capacity to manage emotions efficiently is a vital part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions and responding properly to the emotions of others are all important aspects of emotional management.
Several review of related studies reflect that very few studies have been conducted in this field considering the leadership styles and emotional intelligence of higher secondary school principals, especially in India. Based on the above facts, the investigator is curious to study related to the above facts. Thus, the title of the present study is:
LEADERSHIP STYLES AND EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: A STUDY OF HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN BARAK VALLEY, ASSAM
Review of related studies
The investigator comes across a few related studies on Principal’s leadership styles and emotional intelligence in higher secondary schools/other institutions. Some of the related studies are:
Palmer, B., Walls, M., Burgess, Z. and Stough, C. (2001) conducted a study on emotional intelligence and effective leadership. The sample comprised of 43 students of Swinburne University Center for Innovation and Enterprise. The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between emotional intelligence and effective leadership. Emotional intelligence was assessed by a modified version of the Trait Meta Mood Scale of Salovey et al. (1995) in 43 participants employed in management roles. Leadership style was assessed with the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire developed by Avolio et al., (1995). The result showed that neither total transformational nor total transactional leadership ratings demonstrated significant correlations with either the emotional monitoring or emotional management scales.
Gardner, L. and Stough, C. (2002) of Organisational Psychology Research Unit, Swinburne University of Technology, USA investigated the relationship between leadership styles and emotional intelligence in senior level managers. Leadership styles were assessed using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ Form 5X) developed by Bass and Avolio (2000) and emotional intelligence was measured by using the SUEIT of Palmer and Stough (2001). The result showed that a strong positive relationship was found between transformational leadership and total emotional intelligence scores and a significant negative correlation was found between laissez-faire leadership and total emotional intelligence score.
Mandell, B. and Pherwani, S. (2003) examined the predictive relationship between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership style, the gender differences within each construct, and interaction effects between gender and emotional intelligence. The study established that emotional intelligence significantly predicts transformational leadership style. A significant difference was also found between the emotional intelligence scores of male and female managers. These results indicate that emotional intelligence can be used to identify leaders who demonstrate positive transformational leadership.
Cook, C.R. (2006) worked on a study of school principals in Montana to determine the effects of emotional intelligence on elementary principals’ leadership performance. This study measured the emotional intelligence of elementary principals in Montana using the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal: There Is More Than IQ (Bradberry and Greaves, 2003). Educational Leadership Improvement Tool (De Franco and Golden, 2003) was used for principals’ leadership performance. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to determine the relationship between emotional intelligence and elementary principals’ leadership performance. A factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine the influence of gender, age, and years of experience on emotional intelligence. The finding was that emotional intelligence has a strong effect on leadership. Gender, age, and years of experience had no significant effects on emotional intelligence. The results of this research indicated that emotional intelligence has a positive effect on principals’ leadership performance.
Rego, A., Sousa, F., Cunha, M.P., Correia, A. and Saur, I. (2007) studied the relationship between leaders’ emotional intelligence and creativity of their teams. They conducted the study collecting a sample of 138 top and middle managers from 66 organizations operating in the European Union. Emotional intelligence was assessed by a self-report scale consisting of six dimensions: understanding one’s motions, self-control against criticism, self encouragement (use of emotions), emotional self-control (regulation of emotions), empathy and emotional contagion, understanding other people’s emotions. The findings revealed that emotionally intelligent leaders behave in ways that stimulate the creativity of their teams.
Singh, S. (2007) examined the relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness. He investigated among 340 software professionals of a large company in India. Emotional intelligence was found to be positively and significantly related to organizational leadership for both genders. The result showed no significant differences between male and female software professionals in terms of emotional intelligence and overall leadership effectiveness. Further, it was found that the relationship management aspect of emotional intelligence was the most important predictor of leadership.
Zahed-Babelan, A. and Rajabi, S. (2009) worked on a study of relationship between emotional intelligence with leadership styles in the Heads of Departments at University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran. The purpose of the study was to determine simple and multiple relationships between leadership styles and emotional intelligence component in the Heads of Departments. The statistical population consisted of 118, the entire academic staff members and heads of the departments of the university. To collect data Emotional Intelligence Scale and Bass and Avolio Multifactor Leadership Style Questionnaire were used. For data analysis, Pierson correlation and multiple regression were used. The results indicated high satisfaction on the majority of the members about the performance and leadership style of the Heads of the Departments. Also, transformational style was found to be of high prevalence amongst the Heads of the Departments. In the study of the relationship between variables, it was found that a positive correlation exists between transformational leadership style and emotional intelligence and has negative correlation between transactional leadership style and emotional intelligence, but no significant relationship between laissez-faire leadership style and emotional intelligence was found. This study showed that emotional intelligence and its different dimensions have a high power in predicting leadership styles of the Heads of the Departments.
Adeyemi, T.O. (2010) worked on Principals’ leadership styles and teachers’ job performance in senior secondary schools in Ondo. This paper investigated principals’ leadership styles and teachers’ job performance in senior secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria. The study population comprised all the 281 secondary schools in the State. Out of this population, a sample of 240 senior secondary schools was taken and selected through the stratified random sampling technique. Out of 7460 teachers (including principals) in the schools, a sample of 2040 teachers was selected through the stratified random sampling technique. This sample was made up of 240 principals and 1800 teachers. Two instruments were used to collect data for the study. These were the principals’ leadership style questionnaire and the teachers’ job performance questionnaire. The data collected were analyzed using frequency counts, percentages, correlation matrix and the t-test. It was found that the democratic leadership style was the most commonly used leadership style among principals of senior secondary schools in the State. Teachers’ job performance was also found to be at a moderate level in the schools. Teachers’ job performance was found to be better in schools having principals using autocratic leadership style than in schools having principals using democratic or laissez-faire leadership styles. It was recommended that school principals should imbibe a mixture of autocratic and democratic styles of leadership in their school administration in order to enhance better job performance among teachers. The use of the laissez-faire leadership style should be discouraged among school principals, as it could not bring a better job performance among teachers.
Devi, R.S. (2011) conducted a research on Principals’ leadership styles and its effect on teachers’ effectiveness of secondary schools of Manipur State. The investigator collected the data from Imphal East and Imphal west. The sample consisted of 20 principals and 230 teachers. The author adopted a leadership style questionnaire for assessing the leadership styles of principals by ‘themselves’ and by their teachers. For assessing teacher-effectiveness the investigator has adopted a teacher effectiveness questionnaire. She reported that majority of the principals follow High Task-High Relationship Leadership styles. Amongst these principals, who follows HT/HR, only 20%of them are highly effective also. She also reported that 75% of the principal’s leadership styles are in consonance with the leadership styles of the principals assessed by their teachers.
Hebert, E.B. (2011) conducted investigation on ‘The correlation between transformational leadership and emotional intelligence on quantitative study of school principals’. The research was also included the investigation of the relationship between each construct and effectiveness as perceived by their teachers. The research sample was composed of 30 elementary, middle, and high school principals and five to seven teachers who worked with each principal from schools within the United States. Based on the results of the study, it was concluded that principals and future principals could better develop effective leadership skills by becoming more aware of their strengths and weakness in the area of emotional intelligence, along with improving their transformational leadership behaviors.
Mazumder, A.K. (2012) conducted study on leadership styles and emotional intelligence of degree college principals in Barak Valley, Assam. The sample comprised of 27 principals. The Personal Information Schedule, Leadership Style Questionnaire, Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire were used for data collection. The data were analyzed by using frequency and percentage. The major findings of the study are: 1. Out of 27 principals 18 principals follow the democratic leadership style, 6 principals follow laissez-faire leadership style and 3 principals follow autocratic leadership style. 2. Out of 27 principals 74.07% principals are of high level of leadership styles, 25.93% principals are of average level of and none of the principals belong to the low level of leadership styles. 3. The principals of the colleges residing in rural areas are more autocratic than urban principals. 4. No clear picture was found between principals’ age and their leadership styles. 5. The principals whose experience is up to 10 years follow the autocratic and laissez-faire leadership styles. The democratic leadership style is found in all the experience groups, however, principals’ experience more than 11 years carry out only the democratic leadership style. 6. The principals with democratic leadership style spend more time in their institution in comparison to the principals with laissez-faire and autocratic leadership styles. 7. Out of 27 principals 17 are under high level of emotional intelligence, 10 are under average level of emotional intelligence and none of the principals fall within the low level of emotional intelligence. 8. Out of 10 urban principals 6 are having high level of emotional intelligence and 4 are of average level of emotional intelligence. Out of 17 rural principals 11 are having high level of emotional intelligence and 6 are of average level of emotional intelligence. 9. There is no clear picture of relationship of principals’ age and emotional intelligence. 10. The principals whose experience is up to five years have high level of emotional intelligence than others. 11. The principals who are having high level of emotional intelligence spend the maximum hours (more than 6 hours) with their subordinates. 12. The principals with high level of emotional intelligence follow democratic leadership style.
Objectives of the study
The aim of the present study is to examine the leadership styles and emotional intelligence of higher secondary school principals (as self-assessed and assessed by the teachers) in Barak Valley and the objectives are:
To find out different leadership styles of principals of higher secondary schools in Barak Valley.
To find out the level of leadership styles of principals of different higher secondary schools in the study area.
To find out the leadership style of principals in relation to their Socio-Economic background viz., age, sex, education, rural or urban residence, religion, category, experience, parental education, parental occupation, media exposure and time devoted in school.
To find out the level of emotional intelligence of the principals of different higher secondary schools under study.
To find out the emotional intelligence of the principals in relation to their Socio-Economic background viz., age, sex, education, rural or urban residence, religion, category, experience, parental education, parental occupation, media exposure and time devoted in school.
To find out relationship between leadership styles and emotional intelligence of the principals in the study area.
This study attempts to find out the solution of the following research questions.
What type of leadership styles do the principals follow?
Does the level of leadership styles vary among the principals of different higher secondary schools in Barak Valley?
To what extent the leadership styles of the principals are related to their Socio-Economic background viz., age, sex, education, rural or urban residence, religion, category, experience, parental education, parental occupation, media exposure and time devoted in school?
What is the extent of emotional intelligence reflected by the principals of higher secondary schools?
What is the extent of emotional intelligence of the principals depends upon their Socio-Economic background, viz., age, sex, education, rural or urban residence, religion, category, experience, parental education, parental occupation, media exposure and time devoted in school?
6. Is there any relationship between leadership style of principals and their emotional intelligence?
Delimitation of the study
The present study will be conducted in Barak Valley i.e., Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi Districts of Assam. The study shall remain confined only to the higher secondary school principals of these three districts.
Operational definitions of the terms
Leadership is defined as the process of influencing the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement (Rauch and Behling, 1984). Leadership is a process of influence between a leader and those who are followers (Hollander, 1978).
In the present study, leadership styles mean the style adopted by the principals (head teachers) to influence the subordinates working in the respective schools.
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to recognize our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotion in us and in our relationships (Goleman 1998).
In the present study, Emotional intelligence means the capacity to recognize his (Principal) own feelings and those of others, for motivating himself and for managing emotion in them and in their relationships (subordinate teachers).
Principals are expected to serve as managers of increasingly multifaceted organizations which they are expected to develop relationships with teachers, parents, students and the community they need continuous training and professional development to accomplish these goals (Waters, Marzano and McNulty, 2003).
In the present study, principal stands for those who are working as the head of the higher secondary schools in Barak Valley.
Methodology and procedure
Locale of the study
India is a country comprised of 28 states and 7 union territories. The northeastern region of India comprised of eight states viz, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim, Assam and parts of North Bengal (districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Koch Bihar). Assam is one of the states of northeastern region covering the area of 78,438 Sq. Km., which is having 27 districts. The whole Assam is consisting of two vallies, Brahmaputra and Barak. These are named after two major rivers Brahmaputra and Barak. Brahmaputra valley is known as upper Assam and Barak Valley is known as lower Assam. The three districts namely, Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi are together known as Barak Valley.
Population and the sample
All the higher secondary school principals of Assam state will be the population of the present study and all the 57 higher secondary schools principals of Barak Valley will be the sample for the present study.
Tools to be used
Standardized tools for measuring two variables, viz., leadership styles and emotional intelligence will be used for collecting data.
As per requirement of the study, the investigator will use proportions, mean, standard deviation, correlation and ANOVA, etc.
Organization of the report
Chapter 1: Introduction
Statement of the problem
Operational definition of the terms
Delimitation of the study
Chapter 2: Review of related studies
Chapter 3: Methodology of the study
3.1 Design of the study
3.2 Locale of the study
3.3 Population and sample
Tools to be used
Procedure of data collection
3.6 Techniques to be used
Chapter 4: Results and interpretation
Chapter 5: Summary and conclusion
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