Leadership Style and Morale

A theoretical framework is necessary to identify the important aspects of the research topic and their inter-relationships. According to John Maxwell (1998), leadership functions much like a lid. If the leader is effective, then the organization flourishes and the potentials of its members are greatly increased. If the leader, however, is ineffective, he functions as closed lid that severely limits the achievement of the organization as well as his followers. Drawing upon this idea of Maxwell, there are also a variety of leadership styles which a leader may employ.

Some are more adept than others while others consciously seek to apply such leadership styles in their particular settings. In relation to this, Eagly, Johannesen-Schmidt and Van Engen (2003) identified three styles of leadership. These three styles of leadership are: transformational, transactional, and laissez faire. Transformational leadership seeks to bring the organization to an improved level of performance; transactional is only concerned with finishing certain tasks; and laissez faire leaves most of the work to subordinates.

These styles of leadership will be applied in the principal’s leadership and attitude towards the PE teachers of the school. The style of leadership employed by the leader affects the morale of the followers. This study will identify the type of leadership of the Principal. A set of observable characteristics shall be arrived at in order to determine the principal’s leadership style. This study will investigate the effect of the principal’s leadership style and the morale of the physical education teachers in the school. As such, morale will also be defined. The impact of morale on PE teachers’ performance will also be investigated.

Scope and Delimitations of the Study This study will analyze the style of leadership that the Principal exhibits in relation to the physical education teachers of the school. The scope of the study therefore will only be on the interactions and relationships between the Principal and the PE teachers. The leadership style of the principal toward other teachers in the school will not be delved into by this study. This study will identify a list of observable behaviors and actions that point out to the style of leadership that the principal uses. These will be observed in real world setting in which the principal and PE teachers interact.

The nature of this relationship is expected to yield important insights into the leadership style as well as in the level of morale of the PE teachers. Special care will also be taken so that any other factors that affect the morale of the PE teachers apart from the effects of the principal’s leadership style will be identified. This way, extraneous effects shall be eliminated and the main variable only will be taken into account in the study. In addition to this, the context in which the relationship between principal and PE teachers is played out will also be taken into account.

The setting of the school, the dynamics of the school politics, personality issues, as well as gender and cultural issues shall be taken into account similar to the analysis of Dulewicz and Higgs (2005). This study, however, will no longer delve into the biography and personal life story of the principal as it is only interested in the playing out of the relationship of the principal and the PE teachers in the school. Hence, this study will be limited to studying the leadership styles of the principal and its impact on the morale of the PE teachers, although there will also be a peripheral analysis of the context of this relationship.

Significance of the Study Since the study is essentially an exploration of leadership, it will have an impact on the way that principals run the school, particularly in the area of Physical Education. It is a cycle. For one, the leadership style of the principal affects the morale of the PE teachers. The morale of the PE teachers, in turn affect the kind of teaching and training that they do with their students. The way that students behave during class and during school hours will also have an impact on the principal’s job.

By being able to understand the impact of their leadership styles, the principal can become more careful in the way that he deals with his teachers, especially with PE teachers. For PE teachers, on the other hand, when they become informed of the leadership style of their principal, they will have an idea of how to deal with such a style and along the way; they can help provide meaningful feedback to the principal regarding his leadership style. Morale for teachers is also important. Their work, because of its strenuousness and challenges, should be appreciated more. Such recognition and appreciation is largely in the hands of the principal.

When the nature of the relationship between principal and PE teachers shall have been carefully observed, then both parties can work together for the benefit of the whole school and help manage expectations. This study will also contribute to the body of leadership and its impact on the organization and the achievement of goals and objectives. Although there have been a great deal of literature written about leadership, this study focuses on the school setting and the leadership style of a person engaged in the education system. The findings will then contribute to the understanding of morale and the style of leadership practiced.