Education And Language

The Impact Of Leadership Styles On Teaching And Learning Outcomes: A Case Study Of Selected Senior High Schools In The Nkronza Districts Of Brong Ahafo Region In Ghana

Raymond Suoseg Aruzie, Augustine Adjei, Daniel Adjei Mensah, Irene Nkansah, Akua Agyekum Anorkyewaa,
Article Date Published : 7 December 2018 | Page No.: EL-2018-797-825 | Google Scholar


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The issue of leadership styles used by school heads and the academic performance of students has recently attracted the attention of the general public and people are exerting energies into research to find its courses and effects. Nkoranza-North district is selected as a result of the fact that the researcher works there and the districts also have two senior high schools for the study. Primarily, the study was to find out the courses and impact of leadership styles on teaching and learning outcomes in the Nkoranza-North district. The study covered a sample size of sixty (60) people comprises of Headmasters, selected teachers and selected students of the two. The researcher employed the descriptive method, while interview schedule and questionnaire were used togather the information. Frequencyand percentage were used to analyse the data. The study also looks at the various leadership styles employed by leaders some of which are Autocratic, Democratic and Laissez-faire. The findings of the study are discussed, conclusion draw and recommendations made.

Keywords: Leader, Management, Administration and Styles

Background to the Study

All current school reform efforts aim to improve teaching and learning. But there are huge differences in the way these reform efforts are carried out. Some reforms, for example, attempt to improve all schools in a district, region or country at the same time. Other reforms attempt to influence the overall approach to teaching and learning within a school, but do so one school at a time. Still others focused on innovative curricula in any areas including science and mathematics (Harris, 2004)

As different as these approaches to school reform are, however, these reforms all depend for their success on the motivations and capacities of local leadership. The chance of any reform improving student learning is remote unless district and school leaders agree with its purposes and appreciate what is required to make it works. Local leaders must also, for example, be able to help their colleagues understand how the externally-initiated reform might be integrated into local improvement efforts, provide the necessary supports for those whose practices must change and must win the cooperation and support of parents and others in the local community. So, "effective" or "successful" leadership is critical to school reform (Guskey, 2007)

As a key to the successful implementation of large-scale reforms in education, leadership effects are usually largest where and when they are needed most. While the evidence shows small but significant effects of leadership actions on student learning across the spectrum of schools, research also shows that demonstrated effects of successful leadership are considerably greater in schools that are in more difficult circumstances. Indeed, there are virtually no documented instances of troubled schools being turned around without intervention by a ‘powerful' leader. Many other factors may contribute to such turnarounds, but leadership is the catalyst.There is no doubt that leadership forms an important component in school administration. According to Bass (1990), leadership is often regarded as the single most important factor in the success or failure of institutions. The effect of leadership on a school frequently emerges as a key component in achieving significant school reform (Kouze & Posner 2003).

Today, leadership has become a well-organized institution with numerous dos and don'ts. In the school setting, the administrator is in the person of the headmaster/mistress who directs the day to day activities of the school. He/she, in other words, provides the needed leadership influence.

Objectives of the study

The study sought to:

  • Identify the types of leadership styles adopted by the various School head masters;

  • Identify the factors that influence the use of these styles;

  • Look at how the leadership styles of the head masters are perceived by themselves and their teachers; and

  • Find out the impact of leadership styles on teaching and learning in the school.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to explore the leadership styles used by the Senior Secondary school headmasters in the Nkoranza North District and how these leadership styles affect teaching and learning in their schools.

Significance of the study

  • This study contributes to the formulation of policy directives for addressing the underlying issues related to the duties of the Head masters of Senior High Schools. It also sought to find out the knowledge and understanding of leadership styles of both students and teachers. The study also sought to identify some problems head masters face as they administer their school.

  • The study presents a clear picture of the leadership styles employed by the headmasters of the schools. This understanding will help them explore leadership styles effective management of their schools. Also, the findings help the headmasters and other readers to understand the factors that influence the headmasters to use the identified leadership styles. The study also draws the headmasters' attention to how their leadership styles are perceived by others and affect teaching and learning in their schools so that the necessary changes could be effected when necessary.

Leadership, Management and Administration

The term leadership may have as numerous definitions as there are users of the term or as there are researchers engaged in its study. Mankoe, (2002) agrees with this assertion when he says that "leadership is defined differently by different writers because of the varying perspectives from which they view the concept". According to Mankoe, (P.171) (2002) leadership "is required whenever two or more people with a common objective converge to engage in activities of some sort towards achieving that common objective"

To Burns, (1978), leadership is "the reciprocal process of mobilizing by persons with certain motives and values, various economic, political, and other resources in a context of competition and conflict, in order to realize goals independently or mutually held by both leaders and followers" (p. 425). Musaazi, (1982) cited by Mankoe 2002, however believe that leadership is simply the ability to influence individuals to work towards attaining organizational objectives.

Dumas, Bordeaux, Krache, Sholseth and Arnold (1979) define leadership as "the force by which an individual exerts an influence in releasing, channeling, and controlling the thoughts, energies, and emotions of others. This force may be direct or indirect, constructive or destructive". In some ways, leadership is a craft that must be administered to achieve the mission of the organization. (Berkley, 2004)

Again, Gardner says of the leader: "He must be an educator, bridging the gap between the vision and the familiar. But he must also be willing to walk alone to enable his society to follow the path he has selected" (p204). All the definitions above throw more light on the term ‘leadership'. From the above, one can say that though most people believe that leadership is simply being the first, biggest or most powerful, leadership has to do with the behaviour of the leader. A leader is interpreted as someone who sets direction in an effort and influences people to follow that direction. It can be said that leadership is inevitable because wherever human beings are, there is bound to be a leader. Apart from the inevitability of leadership we can also say that, leadership is a universal phenomenon because, leadership exists in all parts of the world.

Again, it could also be said that, what happens to a given society, depends on the kind of leadership it has. This is because some societies have made it because of the kind of leadership that they have had and other have been destroyed because of the kind of leadership they have had. In addition, leaders are given powers that enable them to perform their duties to society. This is because a leader is either appointed or elected. We also have formal and informal leaders. The researcher may at this point agree with Aristotle who is believed to have said that "from the hour of birth, some are marked out for subjections, others for rule". This is because some make very good leaders whilst others do not.

In this study of the "impact of leadership styles on teaching and learning outcomes in selected Senior High Schools", it becomes apparent to delve into leadership styles. According to Musaazi, (1982) under the types of leadership he talks about; Autocratic leadership style, Democratic leadership style and Laissez-faire leadership styleOn the other hand, Mankoe, (2002) on a general observation of leadership reveals three identifiable styles as; Democratic leadership style, Autocratic leadership style and Laissez-faire leadership style. Other types of leadership are Charismatic, Transactional, and Transformational leadership styles.

However, Afful-Broni, (2004) in his discussion on leadership styles talks of the Autocratic, Democratic, Laissez-faire, Pseudo-democratic, Nomothetic, Ideographic, Transactional, and Benevolent-autocratic leadership styles. For the purpose of this study, the focus will go beyond the three major types of leadership styles, which are common to most writers and researchers of leadership. These are the Autocratic, Democratic and Laissez-faire. However, other minor leadership styles would be discussed.

The legislation on No Child is Left Behind by 2020 signed into law in January 2002 in the USA is one of the most prominent and visible action taken by any government towards achieving this goal. In the meantime, many scholars have acknowledged that the role of school leadership is the most significant in enhancing school performance and student achievements (Hallinger and Heck, 1998; Walker and Stott, 2000; Fisher and Frey, 2002; Mulford, 2003; Cotton, 2003; Dinham, 2004; Kearney, 2005; Janerrette and Sherretz, 2007; Gentilucci and Muto, 2007, Gamage, 2009a). It has been found that effective leaders develop school climates and cultures that help motivate both the students and teachers leading to the creation of better teaching and learning environments which are more conducive to higher levels of students' achievements. Besides, in most school systems, school head is required by the systemic authorities to improve student learning and is held accountable for it by building commitments in developing a shared vision for motivating and energizing the teachers and students (Gamage, 1993, 1996b, 2006b; Ross and Gray, 2006; Mulford, 2003). In this research, the researcher proposes to explore the literature to examine whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain this claim.It has been reported that the leadership behaviour of a Head teacher/master and his/her role as an instructional leader has a significant impact on creating more effective schools leading to higher levels of student achievements (Quinn, 2002; Cotton, 2003; Gold, et al., 2003; Gamage, 2006b; Gentilucci & Muto, 2007). Cotton (2003) has asserted that the following types of behaviours by a Head teacher/master have a significant impact on student achievements:

  • The establishment of a clear focus on student learning by having a vision, clear learning goals, and high expectations for learning for all students

  • Interactions and cordial relationships with relevant stakeholders with communication and interaction, emotional and interpersonal support, visibility and accessibility, and parent/community participation;

  • Developing a school culture conducive to teaching and learning through shared leadership and decision-making, collaboration, risk taking leading to continuous improvements;

  • Providing instructional leadership through discussions of instructional issues, observing classroom teaching and giving feedback, supporting teacher autonomy and protecting instructional time; and

  • Being accountable for affecting and supporting continuous improvements through monitoring progress and using student progress data for program improvements (Adapted from Cotton, 2003: 2-3)

Moreover, extensive studies demonstrate that particular leadership styles of school leaders could have positive impacts on teaching and learning environments and processes leading to improvements in student performance and academic achievements (Leithwood &Riehl, 2003; Day, 2004; Harris, 2004; Hale & Rollins, 2006; Gurr, Drysdale & Mulford, 2006; Robertson & Miller, 2007; Guskey, 2007; Gentilucci & Muto, 2007). Thus, it is clear that the school leadership provided and/or shared by a school administrator is one of the key factors in enhancing school performances and student achievements. The school leaders, in this context are "those persons, occupying various roles in the school, who work with others to provide direction and exert influence on persons and things in order to achieve the school goals" (Leithwood and Riehl, 2003: 9). This definition implies the importance of Head teacher's role, in collaboration with other stakeholders, in improving student performances and achievements.

In the past several decades, management experts have undergone a revolution in how they define leadership and what their attitudes are toward it. They have gone from a very classical autocratic approach to a very creative, participative approach. Somewhere along the line, it was determined that not everything old was bad and not everything new was good. Rather, different styles were needed for different situations and each leader needed to know when to exhibit a particular approach. In 1939, a group of researchers led by psychologist (1939) set out to identify different styles of leadership. While further research has identified more specific types of leadership, this early study was very influential and established three major leadership styles which are; autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire leadership styles.

Many leadership styles have been identified in educational leadership and management literature. The main ones are the autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire. Other the leadership styles employed by headmasters may include the bureaucratic leadership style, charismatic leadership, pseudo-democratic leadership style, nomothetic leadership style,ideographic leadership style, transformational leadership style, transactional leadership style and the benevolent-autocratic leadership style. Each of these styles is discussed below.

Autocratic/Authoritarian leader

Authoritarian leaders, also known as provide clear expectations for what needs to be done, when it should be done, and how it should be done. There is also a clear division between the leader and the followers. Authoritarian leaders make decisions independently with little or no input from the rest of the group. For example, if a principal within a school makes a decision for the school without talking to the teachers or getting teacher input, the decision is autocratic. Since the style does not obtain input from the teachers, in secondary schools it is usually not appropriate unless fast action is needed and teacher input is not possible.

This is often considered the classical approach. It is one in which the manager retains as much power and decision-making authority as possible. The manager does not consult employees, nor are they allowed to give any input. Authoritarian leadership is best applied to situations where there is little time for group decision-making or where the leader is the most knowledgeable member of the group. Researchers found that decision-making is less creative under authoritarian leadership. Lewin also found that it is more difficult to move from an authoritarian style to a democratic style than vice versa. Abuse of this style is usually viewed as controlling, bossy, and dictatorial.

Studies point out that autocratic leader:

  • Rely on threats and punishment to influence employees

  • Do not trust employees

  • Do not allow for employee input

According to Musaazi, (1982) "in this type of leadership style the leaders determine policies alone and assign tasks to subordinates without consulting with them". They have to carry out his directives without questioning. Any grumbling about the leader's action or order is met with force.

Autocratic leadership does not allow any group-inspired decisions. The leader decrees what shall be done and those being led have no choice but to accept it. The leader is always aloof from the groups. This kind of leadership is commonly called coercive leadership or dictatorship. It is a leadership imposed on the organization. According to Afful-Broni, (2004), "autocratic leadership style is a domineering style of administration where the leader alone dreams, determines and sets out the policies and also assigns tasks to members without previous consultation with them. Tasks and methods are imposed on members. There is very little real communication, if any between the leader and the entire group. The leader issues directives without consideration of any other expert's input first. Once the directives are given, they must be carried out without question, lest there be serious warnings, or possibly dismissal." Yet, autocratic leadership is not all bad. Sometimes, it is the most effective style to use. These situations can include:

New, untrained employees who do not know which tasks to perform or which procedures to follow, Effective supervision can be provided only through detailed orders and instructions, Employees do not respond to any other leadership style, It enables close supervision and better control for the leader, There are high-volume production needs on a daily basis, There is limited time in which to make a decision, A manager's power is challenged by an employee, The area was poorly managed, Work needs to be coordinated with another department or organization

The autocratic leadership style should not be used when: Employees become tense, fearful, or resentful, Employees expect to have their opinions heard, Employees begin depending on their manager to make all their decisions, There is low employee morale, high turnover and absenteeism and work stoppage, The varied talents among the staff are hardly seen, since staff do not get the opportunity to practice their skills, There is very little information flow, and rumors are common, negatively affecting work input, Personal and skill development on the part of the staff is very rare, The leader is always is often overworked, ends up with burnout, There is little initiative on the part of the workers

Democratic leaders offer guidance to group members, but they also participate in the group and allow input from other group members. Lewin, (2005) found that participative leadership, also known as , is generally the most effective leadership style. Participative leaders encourage group members to participate, but retain the final say over the decision-making process. Group members feel engaged in the process and are more motivated and creative. The democratic manager keeps his or her employees informed about everything that affects their work and shares decision making and problem solving responsibilities. This style requires the leader to be a coach who has the final say, but gathers information from staff members before making a decision. Democratic leadership can produce high quality and high quantity work for long periods of time. Many employees like the trust they receive and respond with cooperation, team spirit, and high morale. Democratic leadership is the type of leadership where decisions are made as a group. Leaders who use a democratic style obtain the input of others before making a decision. In secondary schools, the style is appropriate when teachers are able to agree or when a small group of teachers are needed for the decision. In practice, democratic styles are not always practical because too many ideas can cloud the decision and make it hard for the group to make a decision.

Typically, the democratic leader:

  • Develops plans to help employees evaluate their own performance

  • Allows employees to establish goals

  • Encourages employees to grow on the job and be promoted

  • Recognizes and encourages achievement.

Like the other styles, the democratic style is not always appropriate. It is most successful when used with highly skilled or experienced employees or when implementing operational changes or resolving individual or group problems.

The democratic leadership style is most effective when:

The leader wants to keep employees informed about matters that affect them, the leader wants employees to share in decision-making and problem-solving duties, and the leader wants to provide opportunities for employees to develop a high sense of personal growth and job satisfaction. There is a large or complex problem that requires lots of input to solve. Changes must be made or problems solved that affect employees or groups of employees. You want to encourage team building and participation.

Democratic leadership should not be used when;

There is not enough time to get everyone's input. It's easier and more cost-effective for the manager to make the decision. The business can't afford mistakes. The manager feels threatened by this type of leadership. Employee safety is a critical concern


Delegative leaders offer little or no guidance to group members and leave decision-making up to group members. While this style can be effective in situations where group members are highly qualified in an area of expertise, it often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation. Generally, this style of leadership is only used for delegation purposes to have a smoothly running school. The principal in a school might use this method when he is unable to perform a task or solve a problem due to having too many tasks to keep up with. Research had shown that children under delegative leadership, also known as laissez-faire leadership are the least productive of all three groups. Children in this group, made more demands on the leader, shown little cooperation and are unable to work independently.

Afful-Broni, (2004), this terminology is borrowed from the French and literally means "let them do what they wish". This is the style in which anything goes, so to speak. There are no hard and fast rules. The leader grants complete freedom or autonomy to the staff and members of the organization. Some have said that this style of leadership is witnessed in situations where the wrong person is put in charge, knowing that people put him in that position as a favour, he in turn refuses to take actions, lest he offered the stakeholders. Others also believe that the one who leads in this manner feels too overwhelmed by the position he has, and so believing that it is risky to act, ends up producing more risky effects by his inactions. The leader allows individual decisions without participation. In this style, since there are hardly any clear goals, vision or policies, the leader believes that his major role is simply to supply the needed materials to the staff and only acts when asked or forced by circumstance.

Obviously, there is a lot of indecision, vacillation, and even sometimes indifference on the part of the leader or his staff. There is very little accountability and supervision. In this style, the leader does not seem to have any authority, as he has not simply delegated them, but granted them to all who have roles to play. It could even be said that laissez-faire is the kind of leadership that has no specific leader. The leader in this style is not specific about the goals he expects of the workers; work is assigned in a vague manner, with the individual workers using their own preferred techniques to arrive at the final product. Naturally, there is a lot of anarchy, conflict and chaos in the organization.

One major advantage of this style is described below:

In situations where the subordinates are seasoned experts in their individual fields, this system of leadership is rather more appropriate. An example is in a well-established institution, where it would not be expected that the recta/vice chancellor would make daily rounds, checking on attendance of lecturers of their quality of teaching. Such a comment must be made with qualifications, for, we know that even at the university level where there is believed to be a comparatively larger and higher amount of expertise, the recta/vice chancellor supervises work through his deans, directors and heads of departments, and may himself pop in as and when he so desires or is able.Obviously, this style has a good number of disadvantages, as have been hinted in the attempt to describe it. In summary, here are a few specifics;

If allowed over a long period, this style may lead to pandemonium, especially in situations where the subordinates may not be that experienced. The output of the organization may suffer tremendously, and the leader may even have difficulty responding to correct them, as it was he who failed to take full leadership responsibilities in the first place. The lack of full participation or application of the leader's supervisory skills can lead to a poor state for the leader and the organization in consequence. There is the possibility of junior staff assuming illegal leadership roles as a result of the laissez-faire attitude of the leader. The leader would lose respect among all, including those he may have tried to please through his consistent inaction. Generally, the above three are main leadership styles; however, there are others, smaller, usually not well-known or talked about in the literature. I will briefly present them in this section. These are: Bureaucratic, Charismatic, pseudo-democratic, Nomothetic, Ideological, Transactional, Instructional and Benevolent-Autocratic Leadership styles

Bureaucratic Leadership Style

Bureaucratic leadership is where the manager manages "by the book¨ everything must be done according to procedure or policy. If it isn't covered by the book, the manager refers to the next level above him or her. This manager is really more of a police officer than a leader. He or she enforces the rules. This leader follows all the rules and formalities of the organization. He does not believe in new ideas. He wants his subordinates to follow all his orders. This leadership style results in red tapism and unwanted paper work.

This style can be effective when: Employees are performing routine tasks over and over. Employees need to understand certain standards or procedures. Employees are working with dangerous or delicate equipment that requires a definite set of procedures to operate. Safety or security training is being conducted. Employees are performing tasks that require handling cash. This style is ineffective when: Work habits forms that are hard to break, especially if they are no longer useful. Employees lose their interest in their jobs and in their fellow workers. Employees do only what is expected of them and no more.

Charismatic Leadership

By far the most successful trait-driven leadership style is charismatic. Charismatic leaders have a vision, as well as a personality that motivates followers to execute that vision. As a result, this leadership type has traditionally been one of the most valued. Charismatic leadership provides fertile ground for creativity and innovation, and is often highly motivational. With charismatic leaders at the helm, the organization's members simply want to follow. It sounds like a best case scenario. There is however, one significant problem that potentially undercuts the value of charismatic leaders: they can leave. Once gone, an organization can appear rudderless and without direction. The floundering can last for years, because charismatic leaders rarely develop replacements. Their leadership is based upon strength of personality. As a result, charismatic leadership usually eliminates other competing, strong personalities. The result of weeding out the competition is a legion of happy followers, but few future leaders. Michael & Germano, (2007). Charismatic Leadership is one of the . In this kind of leadership, the leader uses charm to get the admiration of their followers. They show concern for their people and they look after their people's needs. They create a comfortable and friendly atmosphere for their followers by listening to them and making them feel that they have a voice in the decision making. Famous examples of charismatic leaders are Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, Mother Teresa and Adolph Hitler.

Pseudo-democratic leadership style

The pseudo-democratic style of leadership according to Afful-Broni, (2004), "the leader appoints a committee of advisors who help him/her in the deliberations and in arriving at more beneficial decisions believing that two heads are better than one. In this case, the committee's role is advisory or consultative and not binding on the leader".

Nomothetic leadership style

The Nomothetic style of leadership is seen by Musaazi, (1982) as "one who stresses the requirement of the institution. He also emphasis that the behaviour of the individual members of the institution must reflect what is expected of the institution. This leader has practically no regard for individual personality and individual needs"

The ideographic style of leadership according to Musaazi, (1982), "the ideographic leader is most concerned with his own personal needs and those of his followers. The organizational demands on the individual are minimized or considered of less importance".

Transactional leadership style

Afful-Broni, (2004) is of the view that "it is a midway or a compromise between the Ideographic and Nomothetic leadership styles. Here, the leader wants the individuals to work hard to achieve the organizational goals on order to obtain individual satisfaction" (P.56). S Ross and Gray (2006) conducted a study on how transformational leadership behaviours contribute to increased student achievements by building teachers' professional commitment and beliefs on their collective capacity through raising the values of members, motivating them to go beyond self-interest to embrace organizational goals. They assert that transformational leadership influences teachers' professional commitment to school's vision, professional community, school norms of collegiality, collaboration, joint work and also a commitment to community partnerships. Teachers who are more committed to organizational values and its members are more likely to adopt instructional practices encouraged by the organization, assist colleagues, and work harder to achieve organizational goals, contributing to higher levels of student achievements if the school goals are focused on academic achievements. In this study, Ross and Gray (2006) involved all elementary teachers in two Ontario districts in Canada with a total of 3042 teachers from 205 schools. Data obtained from a Liket 1-6 scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree; found that teachers' beliefs in their capacity and their professional commitment mediated the impact of School Teachers on student achievements. Thus, the results suggest that the Heads who adopt transformational leadership style have a positive impact on teacher beliefs in collective capacity and commitment to organizational values. The impact of Transactional leadership style is the extent to which the managers discuss matters with their subordinates or others before they decide what to do to achieve unit objectives. Here, although the managers support, the resulting decision is theirs alone and they shoulder the responsibility for them.

Instructional leadership style

Harchar and Hyle (1996) investigated instructional leadership strategies and their relationship with achieving high standards by students in Midwestern, USA. For this purpose, grounded theory with a choice of open-ended interviews was employed. The study involved new school administrators, veteran administrators with experience of five years or more, and administrators who had taken up central office positions. These administrators have promoted and demonstrated close and friendly relationships with teachers and students; sharing a keen interest in student achievements; and actively participating in professional organizations. Harchar and Hyle (1996: 26) have concluded that excellent instructional leaders are very important and they are a vital part of effective schools in bringing schools up to high standards of student achievement as expected and demanded by most educators and communities. Accordingly, instructional leaders need to lead the teachers, students, and the community for creating excellent schools by collaboratively establishing visions, developing trust, earning respect for all in school communities. The impact one may derive from instructional leadership style is the extent to which a manager attains desired objectives by telling subordinates or others what to do and how to do it. This therefore, suggests that, managers' education level is a significant predictor of the use of instructional leadership style.


Transformational leaders seek to change those they lead. In doing so, they can represent sustainable, self-replicating leadership. Not content to simply use force of personality (charismatic) or bargaining (transactional) to persuade followers, transformational leaders use knowledge, expertise and vision to change those around them in a way that makes them followers with deeply embedded buy-in that remains even when the leader that created it is no longer on the scene. Transformational leaders represent the most valuable form of leadership since followers are given the chance to change, transform and, in the process, develop themselves as contributors. Organizationally this achieves the best leadership outcome since transformational leaders develop people. Transformational leadership is strongly desired since it has no artificial constraints in terms of buy-in and instead is focused on getting followers on board based upon their own evolving thought process and changing responses to leadership challenges. It is particularly suited for fast-paced, change-laden environments that demand creative problem solving and customer commitment. On the impact, Transformational leadership style, shares a consensual decision-making process with their subordinates or others to achieve their objectives. In this scenario, the resulting decision is a joint one between the managers/head masters and subordinates.

The benevolent-autocratic style of leadership viewed by Afful-Broni, (2004) "Limited room is given to members to participate in the leadership of the organization. Just like the Pseudo-democratic style, the leader occasionally forms a committee to look into things but the reports submitted are generally neither respected nor consulted". From the styles discussed, the researcher is of the opinion that, there are a number of different approaches or styles to leadership. The styles that individuals used will be based on a combination of their beliefs, values and preferences as well as the organizational culture and norms which will encourage some styles and discourage others. At this point, the obvious question would be; what leadership style should the educational administrator employ to have the best teaching and learning outcomes? For the best results, the headmaster will have to combine a number of the styles of leadership because no one leadership style is the best. Mankoe, (2002), for example, tells us that "there is no one ‘best' style of leadership, its depends on three important factors;

  • The situation.

  • The type of followers.

  • The type of leader"

Afful-Broni, (2004), is also of the view that different circumstances call for different styles of leadership and one should refrain from judging one style as best or worse. In addition, the researcher views are consistent with the perspective quoted about leadership above. Therefore, he thinks that no one leadership style is the best instead, each situation or circumstance in each community or organization at a given time will dictate the kind of leadership style to be adopted. The researcher views are clearly backed by the situations we see in our daily lives.

Concluding, the definitions and viewpoints given above significantly demonstrate that no single leadership style can be used for the best teaching and learning outcomes. Only a relevant combination of styles can do. This study, therefore, sought to further explore leadership as applied in some Senior High Schools in Nkoranza districts.

Factors influencing the use of the various leadership styles

Typically, there are two types of identifiable influences to Leadership theory and style. These could be inside and outside influences or direct and indirect. No two leaders perform in exactly the same way, as each leader tends to develop his/her individuals' style. A number of factors may influence the style a leader uses. Some of the factors may develop naturally, while others are a product of the leader's environment. Some leaders may even need to adjust their leadership style to adapt to a changing culture. According to Chris, (1999), leadership styles can be influenced by the following;

Personality Traits

A leadership style may become an extension of a leader's personality. If an individual is outgoing and assertive, he may prefer to communicate directly with subordinates through face-to-face interaction or confrontation, either on a group or individual basis. If he is more reserved, he might choose to lead by example or rely on written communication. Rather than addressing a group as a whole, the reserved leader is probably more comfortable meeting with subordinates on a one-on-one basis to provide individual direction.

The level to which a leader wishes to maintain control also influences leadership style. Some leaders want to be involved in all aspects of day-to-day operations and decision-making processes, which require the need for micromanaging. Others may be more trusting of their subordinates or may not want the heavy burden of making all decisions, so they tend to take a more hands-off approach by delegating responsibility. Leaders who choose to delegate may need to create an additional layer of management.

Organizational Structure

An organization's structure and operating methods may dictate the type of leadership style that managers must adopt. Some organizations place heavy emphasis on encouraging contributions or ideas from their members, requiring an open style of leadership where members have a large say in determining their own roles and functions. Other organizations operate with more of a "my way or the highway" mentality, where leaders dictate direction and deviation or innovation is frowned upon.


A leader's level of experience, both as a leader and with a particular organization can have an impact on his style. Someone who is new to a leadership role may be more inclined to lead "by the book" to avoid potential mistakes, while a more experienced leader will often feel more confident in following his own interpretation of rules and regulations. A leader who has been part of an organization for many years will likely have a better understanding of the organization's nuances than a new member, so she may be more comfortable when making decisions.

The work of Mayo and particularly his idea of the Rabble Hypothesis may have paved the way for the development of the now classic theory X - theory Y by Douglas McGregor,(1954) the traditional organization - with its centralized decision making, hierarchical pyramid, and external control of work - is based on certain assumptions about human nature and human motivation. These assumptions, which McGregor called Theory X, are very similar to the view of people defined by Mayo in the Rabble Hypothesis. Theory X assumes that most people prefer to be directed, are not interested in assuming responsibility, and want safety above all. Accompanying this philosophy is the belief that money, fringe benefits, and the threat of punishment motivate people.

Managers who accept Theory X assumptions attempt to structure, control, and closely supervise their employees. These managers feel that external control is clearly appropriate for dealing with unreliable and irresponsible people. After describing Theory X, McGregor questioned whether this view of human nature is correct and if management practices based on it are appropriate in many situations today: Are not people in a democratic society, with its increasing level of education and standard of living, capable of more responsible behaviour? Drawing heavily on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, McGregor concluded that Theory X assumptions about human nature, when universally applied, are often inaccurate and that management approaches that develop from these assumptions may fail to motivate many individuals to work toward organizational goals. Management by direction and control may not succeed, according to McGregor, because it is a questionable method for motivating people whose physiological and safety needs are reasonably satisfied and whose social, esteem, and self-actualization needs are becoming predominant. Management is interested in work, and work, according to McGregor, is as natural and can be as satisfying for people as play. After all, both work and play are physical and mental activities; consequently, there is no inherent difference between work and play. In reality, however, particularly under Theory X Management, a distinct difference in need satisfaction is discernible. Whereas play is internally controlled by the individuals (they decide what they want to do), work is externally controlled by others (people have no control over their jobs). Thus management and its assumptions about the nature of people have built in a difference between work and play that seems unnatural. As a result, people stifled at work and look for excuses to spend more and more time away from the job in order to satisfy their esteem and self-actualization needs (provided they have enough money to satisfy their physiological and safety needs). Because of their conditioning to Theory X management, most employees consider work a necessary evil rather than a source of personal challenge and satisfaction.

In contrast, Theory Y organizations have cohesive work teams whose goals parallel organizational goals. In such organizations, there is high productivity, and people come to work gladly because work is inherently satisfying. McGregor felt that management needed practices based on a more accurate understanding of human nature and motivation. Because of his feeling McGregor developed an alternative theory of human behaviour called theory. This theory assumes that people are not, by nature, lazy and unreliable. It suggests that people can be basically self-directed and creative at work, if properly motivated. Therefore, it should be an essential task of management to unleash this potential in individuals. Properly motivated people can achieve their own goals best by directing their own efforts toward accomplishing organizational goals.

The impressions that one might get from this discussion of Theory X and Theory Y is that managers who accept Theory X assumptions about human nature usually direct, control, and closely supervise people, whereas Theory X managers are supportive and facilitating. We want to warn against drawing this conclusion, because it lead to the trap of thinking that Theory X is "bad" and Theory Y is "good" and that everyone is independent and self-motivated rather than, as McGregor implies, that most people have the potential to be independent and self-motivated. This assumption of the potential self-motivation of people necessitates recognition of the difference between attitude and behavior.

Theory X and Theory Y are attitudes, or predispositions, toward people. Thus, although the "best" assumptions for a manager to have may be Theory Y, it may not be appropriate to behave consistently with those assumptions all the time. Managers may have Theory Y assumptions about human nature, but they may find it necessary to behave in a very directive, controlling manner (as if they had Theory X assumptions) with some people in the short run to help them "grow up" in a developmental sense, until they are truly Theory Y-acting people.

Assumptions about human nature that underlie McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y

Perceptions of Headmasters leadership styles

Autocratic leaders are perceived as being rigid, wicked, inhuman, very principled and selfish in their leadership. They do not consider the feelings and emotions of their subordinates. What is paramount to them is that, work must be done no matter the circumstance of the workers. These kinds of leaderships do well in new establishments but workers turn to relax during their leaders' absence.

Democratic leaders are seen as people who are flexible, free to interact with, and are open - minded. Some people may even perceive democratic leaders as weak. This group of leaders gives room for others/subordinates to contribute to promote the work. On the other hand, too much democracy may be perceived as weakness by subordinates.

Laissez - faire leadership style is perceived by people as a loose, orderless, and no command type of leadership where workers choose to do what they like. This style is appropriate for experts in their various fields but wrongly apply in any other setting, it will produce no results.

Bureaucratic leadership leaders are seen those who follow everything according what are written in the book (what the rule says), they follow laid down procedures. These kinds of leaders do not want to do anything contrary to the rule even if it is rule logically. They do not use logic but rules governing the work. Workers find it difficult to understand their leader where he/she failed to burn the rule to promote work because situations and circumstances may change and therefore, the need to also change some of the rules to reflect the situation.

Charismatic leadership is seen as a handsome, eloquent crown mover and someone admired by all. This is one of the leaders that move subordinates to do work without coercing. This type of leader is loved and admired by his/her subordinates and the love they have their leaders, they ready to do anything to please him/her and to be by such a leader.

Pseudo-democratic leader is known as a leader that forms committees, advisor, and boards that help him/her to carrying the task of leadership. Some subordinates perceived their leader to ineffective without the committees and advisors. They see every decision by the leader to coming the committee or advisors. Sometimes, it turn to delay work when some committee members are not present for a decision to taken.

Impact of Leadership Styles on Teaching and Learning

Leaders can exhibit an array of different styles, and each can have a number of positive and negative effects on followers and the organization as a whole. Though the approach to leadership can play a significant role in a leader's effectiveness, successful leaders often exhibit qualities from several different styles. Leadership style impacts the organization by affecting employee morale, productivity, decision-making speed, and metrics. Successful leaders carefully analyze problems, assess the skill level of subordinates, consider alternatives, and make an informed choice. By choosing the most appropriate leadership style for the situation, an effective leader provides a lasting impact (Caldwell, 2004).

Each leadership style demonstrates a number of strengths when applied in an organizational setting. The autocratic leader creates new high-level objectives and strategies and, according to Changing Minds, works well in a company that needs a new direction. This style can also have a significant positive impact on both morale and the organizational climate. Democratic leaders help create a sense of teamwork and belonging among followers, and Laissez-faire leaders drive work in an organization by empowering followers to maximize their own skills (Dinham, 2004).When deciding what style best suits you, a bit of self-reflection is needed. Look back on times when you've been on the managed end of the employee-manager relationship and ask yourself which bosses made good managers and which did not. Then, think about the personal traits and behaviors displayed by those bosses you found effective, and beyond that, motivational. A leader who demonstrates a high level of integrity will have the trust of those he manages. Setting clear goals and communicating your vision will help employees get on board and feel like members of a team, while empowering employees to make decisions and encouraging initiative will result in innovation.

Research Design

Research design has been defined by different social scientists in different terms. All these definitions emphasize systematic collection of information for interpretation with economy in procedure.Research design therefore, refers to all the procedures selected by a researcher for studying a particular set of questions or hypothesis. According to Gupta, (1993), research design is a plan according to which observations are made and data assembled it provides the empirical and logical basis for drawing conclusions and gaining knowledge.This was a case study underpinned by the interpretive paradigm. Case study refers to the collection and presentation of detailed information about a particular participant or small group, frequently including the accounts of subjects themselves. As a form of qualitative descriptive research, case study looks intensely at an individual or small participant pool, drawing conclusions only about that participant or group in that specific content. Researchers do not focus on the discovery of a universal, generalizable truth, nor do they typically look for cause - effect relationships, instead, emphasis is placed on exploration and description (Yin, 1994).

A case approach, a type of qualitative research was suitable for this study because it allowed for the gathering of data in real context, and took into account the political and ideological context within which the research is situated (Cohen & Mansion, 1994) cited in Maria, (2007) Also, it enabled the purpose of the study, which is to explore the impact of leadership styles of headmasters of Senior High Schools in the Nkoranza-North District on teaching and learning in their schools. Moreover, the approach allowed the researcher to use multiple instruments to gather data for triangulation and hence, validation of findings (Cohen & Manion, 1994).

Case Selection and Access Issues

The problem under study was a typical one implying that it could be conducted in any of the districts in the region. However, Nkoranza-North Schools were selected for some reasons. Among some of the reasons were easy access to participants, manageability and easy access to information due to the location due to the location of the researcher.

The study area

The study was conducted in the Nkoranza - North District. The area was chosen for study because the area has two Senior High Schools and most so, the researcher works there. Most importantly, the WAEC results from these two schools are always not the best in the past years. One other thing observed was that, these schools are located in a deprived area with all the teachers staying in Nkoranza main town and hardly find time to supervise the students. The students are left to their own fate after the working hours to care for themselves. Not even the headmasters are provided with accommodations within the school environs to oversee these students.

Alonge, (2010), sees population as "the universe that contains all the subjects or parameters of interest" (p.23). The population of this particular study comprised of headmasters, teachers and students of two Senior High Schools in the Nkoranza North District in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Sample Size and Sampling Procedure

The sample size of this study was 90, which comprised of two (2) headmasters of the two schools involved in the study, 48 teachers and 40 students. This sample was used because the study was a qualitative research. Kusi (201 2) points out those qualitative studies require small relatively small sample sizes - data collection becomes superficial when large sample size is used in this kind of study. The headmasters were purposively selected for the study. The researcher purposely chooses subjects who in his/her opinion are thought to be relevant to the research topic. In this case the judgment of the investigator is more important than obtaining a probability sample. Purposive sampling is often use when a researcher wants a sample of experts as in the case a need assessment using the key informant approach (Amedahe, 2002 p57). The schools have similar characteristics and the numbers of participants (teachers and students) selected from each school are same using simple random sampling method. Simple random sampling is the most basic of the probability design. This type of sampling gives all units of the target an equal chance of being selected. The simple random sample is appropriate when a population of study is similar in characteristic over interest. Specifically, the lottery method and the random number method were used. The random number method: This is similar to the lotteries method, except that the container and strips are replaced by already generated tables of random numbers. Choosing the sample by random sample method involves the following tests; (1) A sampling frame was identified as in the lotteries method. (2) Appropriate tables of random numbers were selected. (3) Numbers were picked from the table randomly and registered, a name in the sampling frame corresponding to the numbers constitute a sample.


The main instruments used for the collection of data for this study were a structured questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. Structure questionnaire were both closed-ended questions and opened-ended questions given to respondents to strictly follow and provide answer to the items. Since this was a case study, the questionnaire gathered simple numerical data to validate the findings. A semi-structure interview is a technique of research used in the social science with a fairly open framework which allow for focused, conversational, two-way communication that is to give and receive information. The instrument was flexible, allowing new questions to be brought up during the interview as a result of what the interviewee says. The interviewer in a semi-structured interview generally has a framework of themes to be explored (Lindlof & Taylor, 2002)

Powney and Watts (1987), semi-structured interview helps to build positive rapport between the interviewer and interviewee because it is a simple, efficient and practical way of getting data about things that cannot be easily observed such as feelings and emotions. Semi-structured interviews also ensure high validity in the sense that interviewees are able to talk about issues in detail and the meaning behind an action may be revealed as the interviewee is able to speak for themselves with little direction from interviewer. When using this method, complex questions and issues can be discussed or clarified because the interviewer can probe into areas suggested by the respondents answers, picking-up information that had either not occurred to the interviewer or which the interviewer had no prior knowledge.

Semi-structure interviews also helps to reduce pre-judgment a problem of researcher predetermining what would or would not be discussed in the interview. With few "pre-set questions" involved, the interviewer would not "pre-judge" what is and is not important and easy to record interviews (video /audio tapes). Some weaknesses of this technique may include lessen reliability, open-ended questions are difficult to analyze and compare answers, the research cannot guarantee honesty of participants and to add the above, cause and effect cannot be inferred (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992).

Designing and Piloting the Instruments

Two set of questionnaire were designed separated by the researcher for headmasters and teachers of the two schools. Each of the questionnaires was in two sections. The first section (A) gathered personal data of the respondents. The second section (B) elicited responses on the various leadership styles used by the two headmasters and their impact on teaching and learning outcome.To ensure clarity of the instrument, it was pre-test with some Senior High School headmasters, teachers and students within the Nkoranza South municipality who were not part of the study but had similar characteristics as those in the setting of the study. One headmaster, eight teachers took part in the pilot study which was conducted three weeks before the actual administration.

Data Collection Procedure

Some days before the administration of the questionnaires in each school, permissions were sought from the headmasters and a day fixed to meet all teachers. A week later, respondents were briefed on the purpose of the study and the nature of the questionnaires. Also, the researcher assured the participants of the confidentiality of data provided and the protection of their anonymity. The researcher administered the questionnaires himself and respondents pleaded to return answered questionnaires in a week times. This created a room for participants to carefully study the questions and answer them accordingly. All the respondents honored their words by returning their questionnaires. The interview involved a face to face interaction with all the same participants in the pilot study. The interview guides were both closed-ended and opened-ended questions which allow room for the researcher to probe further into unclear answers.

Data Analysis

The structured questionnaire gathered mostly numerical data. Before the analysis, the data was first presented in simple frequency tables. Then they were then described systematically to enhance an understanding. The interview schedule gathered verbal data, which was analyzed thematically and manually. The analysis of the qualitative data followed a process. Firstly, the researcher read and listened to each information repeatedly and transcribed the data. Delmont (1994) suggests that the researcher read and re-read participants questionnaire, scripts, field notes, diaries and listen to recorded interview to draw out both recurrent and patterns and instances that run contrary to those patterns. Then through repeated reading, the researcher immerses himself in the data.

In the next stage, the researcher identified themes or categories in the data. Burns, (2006) suggested that in order to generate findings that transform raw data into new knowledge, the researcher must be able to engage in the analysis of the data collection, and this is through identification of themes. The researcher then coded the data according to the identified themes which was the process of classifying and categorizing data into, themes, issues, topics, or concepts. In the last stage of the analysis, the researcher described each theme to form a framework and also quotations from the data were used to support arguments/presentation.

Validation of the findings

The findings of the study were validated through the concept of triangulation. Triangulation refers to ‘the practice of employing several tools (instruments) within the same research design' (Sarantakos, 2006). It entails cross-checking information and conclusions through the use of multiple procedures of sources. When the different procedures or sources are in agreement you have corroboration Johnson (1990) as cited in (Patton, 1997).Triangulation is a powerful technique that facilitates validation of data through cross-verification from more than two sources. It also refers to "the application and combination of several research methodologies in the study of the same phenomenon" (Bogdan & Biklen, 2006). Data triangulation entails gathering data through several sampling strategies, so that slices of data at different times and social situations, as well as on a variety of people, are gathered (Denzin, 2006). This involves ‘the combination of data drawn semi-structured questionnaire and interview and results compared.

Respondent triangulation involves "the use of the same instrument to collect data from different participants" (Bogdan & Biklen, 2006, p. 106). Responses from the various respondents; the headmasters, teachers and students were compared to identify similar reoccurring theme to help in drawing conclusions. This was achieved since the researcher employed maximal variation sampling strategy to select participants of the study.

The questionnaire gathered data on the background of the respondent, headmasters and teachers which is presented in Table 1 below.

2 0 2
41 7 48

Categories of the Respondents

Source: filed study,2018

Table 1 presents the data of participants in the study, two (2) were headmasters (both males), forty eight (48) were teachers from the two Senior High Schools. The first question in section ‘A' which is about sex or gender of respondents have both headmasters as males forty one (41) of the teachers who responded to the questions were also males, whiles seven being females.

0 0 37
0 9 3
0 36 0
2 3 0

Age Distribution of the Respondents

Source: field study, 2018

The ages of the respondents were also looked at and the researcher observed from the information (data collected) that, the two headmasters ages ranged between fifty one to sixty years, most of the teachers ages ranged between thirty one to fifty years old and only three teachers were above fifty one years.

Table 3: Academic and Professional Qualifications of the Headmasters and the Teachers

st 0
nd 2

Source: Field study, 2018

Table 3 presents the data on the academic and professional qualifications of the respondent teachers and the headmasters. The table shows that none of the teachers and the headmasters held a diploma qualification, forty-eight (48) of then held first degree qualification, while two (2) who were all headmasters were second degree holders.

Autocratic 1 21 22 44
Democratic 2 40 42 84
Laissez-faire 2 34 36 72
Nomothetic 1 27 28 56
Idiographic 0 11 11 22
Transactional 0 7 7 14
Transformational 1 18 19 38
Charismatic 1 26 27 54
Bureaucratic 0 12 12 24

Responses of Leadership Styles used by Headmasters of Senior High Schools in Nkoranza-North

Source: Field study, 2018

The data in Table 4 shows that shows that many types of styles were used by the headmasters. Democratic leadership style recorded the highest of Eighty four percent (84%). Another most common used by the headmasters is laissez - faire with Seventy two percent (72%). For nomothetic style of leadership recorded the third position with Fifty six percent (56%). The others are equally not left out; they are also used but not frequently.

1 16 17
1 12 13
0 14 14
0 6 6

Factors that influence autocratic leadership styles usage by SHS Headmasters

Source: Field study, 2018

1) headmaster. Sixteen (16) teachers are also of the view that personality traits contributed to the use of some leadership styles. The level of control as a factor for the use of autocratic leadership style by headmasters recorded one (1) headmaster responding positively to it as well as twelve (12) teachers who saw it as reason for employing autocratic leadership style. Among the reasons for the use of autocratic leadership style is organizational structure. Both headmasters were quiet on that; fourteen (14) teachers thought organizational structurecoerced them to use autocratic leadership style. The last reasons considered for the use of the autocratic leadership style by headmasters as seen by some teachers were six (6). Table 5 outlined four factors that influenced the headmaster's use of autocratic leadership styles by the two headmasters of the Senior High Schools. First among the factors influenced headmasters leadership styles are personality traits towards subordinates which recorded one (

According to Musaazi, (1982) in this type of leadership style the leaders determine policies alone and assign tasks to subordinates without consulting with them. They have to carry out the leaders directives without questioning.Autocratic leadership was one of the styles that respondents (teachers and students) said headmasters used, but not very often. Some teachers stated that head masters used the style to take instant decision while others said, they used the style to ensure that law and order prevailed at the school:


A student also said;


The bases for the use of this style as acclaimed by some teachers interviewed were the headmasters desire to curtail lengthy discussions and take instant measures towards solving problems; to make sure that work is done within stipulated time, and to ensure that sanity prevails and rules obeyed.

One headmaster also remarked that, "autocratic style is adopted when an issue comes with emergency and there is no time for deliberations. Some teachers were however quick to say that, the style if used frequently does not promote success in the school because when the leader is absent nobody works.

2 32 34
0 10 10
0 2 2
0 4 4

Factors that influence headmasters use of the democratic styles masters

Source: Field study, 2018

34) respondents out of the ninety supported personality traits of headmasters towards workers. Ten (10) respondents recorded headmasters' level of controlas a result of the use of democratic leadership style. Table 6 above indicates factors that influence the use of democratic leadership style by headmasters of SHSs. Thirty four (

Organizational structure released two (2) respondents while, Four (4) teachers see experience as a factor that contributed to leaders using democratic styles. Lewin, (2005) found that participative leadership, also known as democratic leadership, is generally the most effective leadership style. Participative leaders encourage group members to participate, but retain the final say over the decision-making process. Group members feel engaged in the process and are more motivated and creative. One of the leadership styles mentioned by most the interviewees as used by the head masters was democratic leadership style. The headmasters believed that they involved their teachers and students in decision making.

One head master made the following comments to support his view;


Another headmaster also said;


A teacher confirmed this by saying;


It was evident from the interview and the questionnaire data that both headmasters used democratic leadership style in their schools.

0 22 22
0 14 14
2 4 6
0 8 8

Responses on the Factors that Influenced the Headmasters' Use of Laissez-faire Leadership Styles

Source: Field study, 2018

The factors that influenced headmasters to the use of laissez-faire leadership style by SHS headmasters as seen by the respondents are recorded in table 7 above. Twenty two (22) respondents supported the use of the style based on headmasters' personality traits towards workers. Level of control of headmasters recorded fourteen (14) respondents while six (6) people attributed the use of laissez-faire style by SHS headmasters to organizational structure. Experienceof headmasters recorded eight (8) people who supported the use of laissez-faire leadership style.Laissez-faire leadership style was seen by most teachers as a style that breeds laziness among teachers or any group of workers where it is practiced. The teachers inferred to it as . Students that were interviewed also shared the view that this style, if practiced anywhere will either give low results or no results at all. This was backed by the saying that

The headmasters of the two schools where the study was conducted supported the view by saying the laissez-faire leadership style is adopted when the teachers/workers are expert in their various areas of dealings, when they understood their schedules and were committed to do just that.

The basis for the use of this style was attributed to the fact that no situation is permanent and that sometimes, people should be allowed to operate as they want without coercing them. Due to the flexibility and dynamic nature of man, one has to be allowed to operate freely to satisfy him/herself. Notwithstanding the negativity that both teachers and students associated the leadership style with, it helps leaders to know the attitudes of subordinates and to identify those subordinates who need control or supervision. Two teachers seconded to this assertion. One of them commented:


Though teachers and students are left to do what they like as they speculate, the headmasters also have their reasons why they adopted the style; one of the reasons being that, teachers or workers understood their schedules and are committed to do just that

1 29 30
0 18 18
1 0 1
0 1 1

Responses on the Factors that influenced the headmasters use of transformational leadership styles

Source: Field study, 2018

The table 8, above confirms the views of respondents about the use of transformational leadership style by head masters of SHSs. Thirty (30) respondents attributed the use of this style of leadership on personality traits towards subordinates and Eighteen (18) people saw level of control of activities by head masters as a reasons for the use of transformational style of leadership. One (1) respondent saw organizational structure as the reason for the use of transformational style of leadership and one respondent attributed the style to headmasters' experience.Extensive studies demonstrate that particular leadership styles of school leaders could have positive impacts on teaching and learning environments and processes leading to improvements in student performance and academic achievements (Leithwood & Riehl, 2003; Day, 2004; Harris, 2004; Hale & Rollins, 2006; Gurr, Drysdale & Mulford, 2006; Robertson & Miller, 2007; Guskey, 2007; Gentilucci & Muto, 2007). Thus, it is clear that the school leadership provided and/or shared by a school administrator is one of the key factors in enhancing school performances and student achievements. The school leaders, in this context are "those persons, occupying various roles in the school, who work with others to provide direction and exert influence on persons and things in order to achieve the school goals" (Leithwood & Riehl, 2003: 9).

Transformational leaders represent the most valuable form of leadership since followers are given the chance to change, transform and, in the process, develop themselves as contributors. Transformational leaders employ knowledge, expertise and vision to change those around them in a way that makes them followers with deeply embedded buy-in that, remains even when the leader that created it is no longer on the scene. Some teachers stated that, their head master was a transformational leader, One head master also explained that . The students upon further explanation by the researcher, simply, agreed with what the teachers said about the past head master and referred to their present head master not as transformational leader.

A student gave his view of the headmasters' role as;


The basis for the use of this style of leadership could be attributed to the expertise, knowledge and the desire to change the subordinates around the leader for a better future ahead of them. It could also be due to the vision of the organization or school and the leaders' ambition to move along the vision. Charismatic leaders have a vision, as well as a personality that motivates followers to execute that vision. As a result, this leadership type has traditionally been one of the most valued. Charismatic leadership provides fertile ground for creativity and innovation, and is often highly motivational. With charismatic leaders at the helm of affairs, the organization's members simply want to follow. It sounds like a best case scenario. Some students see their head master as a charismatic leader, a . The teachers also saw the charismatic leader as one that is amiable, admirable and affable in his dealing with others. This is confirmed by what a teacher said;


A student also understood this leader to be;


Charismatic leadership style woos followers to perform task without having to think of the difficulties as their mind is focused on the leader and their likeness for him/her. The leader takes advantage of his/her stature and appearance to lure subordinates to do what they would not naturally have done. There is however, one significant problem that potentially undercuts the value of charismatic leaders: they can leave. Once gone, an organization can appear rudderless and without direction.

Based on the data gathered from the questionnaire and the responses from the interview, the researcher observed that heads see leadership/headship at the Senior High School level to be difficult and demanding. One of the heads stated that, ‘the bodies responsible for the day to day affairs of the school like the Board of government, Regional and District Directors and Old students union fail to play their roles yet criticized everything that happen. The heads expressed their perceptions about some of the styles used. Such as, Laissez-faire style is a sign of looseness and ineffectiveness, Bureaucratic style is a sign of rigidity and bookish and charismatic style is a trait-driven leader and has a vision.

Teachers perception of leadership styles

The data collected from teachers on their perception of leadership/headship was quite interesting. Most of the teachers are of the view that the headship is a difficult task as heads are supposed to oversee every activity in the school and have enough information on all development that goes on within the school. Heads are expected to answer to the board of government of the school, the District and Regional Directors as well as other Societies that come to the aid of the school.

Teachers also perceived styles employed by some headmasters like, autocratic to be wicked and selfish. This was because some heads who used this style do not involve his/her teachers in decision making and most often they see the teachers as their children. Bureaucratic style was perceived as a sign of rigidity and bookish. Charismatic style is a trait-driven leader and has a vision. Charismatic style is a trait-driven leader and has a vision.

When students were interviewed about their perception of the headmaster's leadership style, majority said their headmaster's style of leadership is good. A student cited being part of a meeting with the headmaster and they took decision together as a class representative. One student also saidthat,

Table 9: Perceptions of the respondents of the headmasters' leadership styles


Table 9 present data on the perceptions of the respondents about the leadership styles used by the headmasters. The table also shows that 14 teachers agreed with the statement. However, the table points out that all the 2 headmasters and 34 teachers disagreed that autocratic style of leadership was perceived as being wicked and selfish. Charismatic leadership style recorded both heads agreeing that leaders are trait-driven and have visions with forty six (46) teachers also supported the argument while 4 teachers disagreed with charismatic leaders being trait-driven and have vision. The data in Table 9 above shows that the 2 headmasters and 45 teachers disagreed that the democratic style of leadership was seen as a sign of flexibility and weakness on the part of the headmasters.

Further, one headmaster agreed that laissez-faire style was a sign of looseness and ineffectiveness on the part of themselves while the other headmaster disagreed with the statement. Surprisingly, 22 teachers applauded the accession that laissez-faire style was a sign of looseness and ineffectiveness, while 26 disagreed with the statement. The last style of leadership from the table considered was the bureaucratic style which recorded one headmaster agreeing that the style is rigid and bookish while the other one disagreed with the statement. A total number of 31 teachers agreed that bureaucratic style is rigid and bookish while only 17 teachers disagreed.

Frequency Percent (%) Frequency Percent (%)
39 78.0 11 22.0
45 90.0 5 10.0
15 30.0 35 70.0
29 58.0 21 42.0
43 86.0 7 14.0
23 46.0 27 54.0
30 60.0 20 40.0

Impact of the Headmasters’ Leadership Styles on Teaching and Learning

Source: Field study, 2018

Table 10 indicates the impact of the various leadership styles used by headmasters of the Senior High Schools on teaching and learning. It points out that thirty-nine 39(78%) noted that autocratic leadership style curtails lengthy discussion, while eleven 11 (22%) disagreed with the statement. The table also shows that forty-five 45 (90%) of the respondents believed the democratic leadership style promoted teamwork and respect among staff, while five 5 (10%) disagreed with the statement. It is also clear in the table that fifteen 15 (30%) of the respondents noted that the laissez-faire style led to laxity and laziness among staff, while thirty five 35 (70%) disagreed with the statement.

Bureaucratic style which was seen as bookish by Germano, (2004) recorded twenty nine 29 (58%) respondents who saw the style as strickly bookish yet, yield good results while twenty one 21(42%) respondents disagreed with the statement. Charismatic leadership style which is admired and do not forced people to work yet yield results recorded forty three 43 (86%) of respondents who felt that the leader do not coerced people yet they work for the love of the leader while seven 7 (14%) disagreed with the statement. Transactional leadership styles ensures that the individual work hard to achieve the organizational goals in order to obtain individual satisfaction, twenty three 23 (46%) of respondents agreed with the statement while twenty seven 27 (54%) disagreed with the statement. Thirty 30 (60%) respondents agreed that, instructional leadership style, tells subordinates or others what to do and how to do it while twenty 20 (40%) also disagreed.

There is no doubt that leadership forms an important component in school administration. According to Bass (1990), leadership is often regarded as the single most important factor in the success or failure of institutions. The effect of leadership on a school frequently emerges as a key component in achieving significant school reform (Kouze & Posner 2003).

Analysis and discussion of findings

In this section, the questionnaire and interview data are discussed under the relevant research questions. Research Question 1:

From the interview and the questionnaire data, it is clear that headmasters in the senior high schools used different styles of leadership depending on the situation. Among some of the styles used were the autocratic style, democratic style and laissez-faire style.

Data from both interview and the questionnaire shows that autocratic style was used where there was the need for an urgent solution or response to an issue and the head master had no time to consult subordinates. The data further explained that autocratic style was used at times, to curtail lengthy discussions. The democratic style, according to the interview data, was used when the headmasters needed every member's view to take a decision. The style made all teachers and students part of the decision taken in the school'. Lewin, (2005) found that participative leadership, also known as democratic leadership, encourages group members to participate in decision-making process. The perceptions of subordinates are that the leader was flexible and therefore, weak. On the use of laissez-faire style of leadership by headmasters, the data pointed out that this style does not produce good results and therefore, most headmasters hardly use it. Literature points of this style grants complete freedom or autonomy to the staff and members of the organization with regard to performance of some duties. It was obvious that every headmaster blended different styles of leadership to help him/her run his/her school. A headmaster interviewed confirmed this when he said, no specific style is good for all situations; the situation call for what style to adopt. This is also affirmed by what Afful-Broni, (2004), who argued that different circumstances call for different styles of leadership and one should refrain from judging one style as best or worse. In addition, the researcher views are consistent with the perspectives quoted about the leadership above. Therefore, he thinks that no one leadership style was the best instead, each situation or circumstance in each community or organization at a given time dictates the kind of leadership style to be adopted. Research Question 2:

Both the questionnaire and interview data highlighted some factors that accounted for the use of some styles by the headmasters. Among them were personality traits of the headmasters, the level of control of the staff by the headmaster, the organizational structure that existed and the experience of the headmasters. The questionnaire and the interview data indicated that some leadership styles can be traced to the individual personality trait. Chris, (1999 p.104), a leadership style may become an extension of a leader's personality. If an individual is outgoing and assertive, he may prefer to communicate directly with subordinates through face-to-face interaction or confrontation, either on a group or individual basis. This is practical in the democratic style of leadership.

The level to which a leader wishes to maintain control also influences leadership style. Some leaders want to be involved in all aspects of day-to-day operations and decision-making processes, which require the need for micromanaging and this, can be associated with autocratic style of leadership. Chris, (1999 p.105) is of the view that an organization's structure and operating methods may dictate the type of leadership style that managers must adopt. Some organizations place heavy emphasis on encouraging contributions or ideas from their members. A critical look at this statement shows that the individual leader in this setting is practicing bureaucratic leadership style. A leader's level of experience, both as a leader and with a particular organization can have an impact on his style. Mostly, laissez-faire leaders tend to relaxed and feel that workers know what to do. As experts, they tend to forget that supervision is very important in the promotion of every job. Research Question 3:

Autocratic style was perceived as wickedness and selfish on the part of the headmasters, while the democratic style of leadership was perceived as flexibility and weaknesses on the part of the headmasters. It also emerged from the study that bureaucratic style of leadership was employed by some headmasters and the data pointed to the fact that leaders who adopted the bureaucratic style are rigid and bookish. These kinds of leaders want work to be done according to the laid down rules and regulations not considering situation variations.Laissez-faire style of leadership was also looked at and it came to light from the data that more respondents disagreed with the accession that the style was loose and ineffective rather they saw the style to be one of the best if properly used.Another leadership style, which respondents addressed, was charismatic leadership. From the data, some respondents argued that charismatic leaders are trait-driven leaders. These kinds of leaders were also seen to have vision, and motivate followers to execute that vision. Bureaucratic style is a sign of rigidity and bookish and charismatic style is a trait-driven leader and has a vision. Research Question 4:

It also came out from the data that the leadership styles employed by the headmasters had diverse impact on their staff and teaching and learning.

  • Democratic style promoted teamwork and respect among staff.

  • Strengthened the commitment of teachers to their task of teaching and learning

  • Democratic style also gave room for staff development.

  • Autocratic style promotes promptness to work and also remove delays in decision-making.

  • Under autocratic style, leaders are seen as order givers.

  • Laissez-faire style of leadership, gave room for individuals to operate within their own powers.

The various leadership styles adopted by the heads produced varied impact on the teaching and learning that cannot be achieved by a single style. It is therefore, a right call for heads to blend these styles or change styles to meet the desired outcome.

Summary Of Findings, Conclusions And Suggestion For Further Studies

This part deals with the summary of the main findings, conclusions and recommendation for further study. The purpose of the study was to find out the various types of leadership styles used by headmasters of the Senior High Schools in the Nkoranza -North district of the Brong Ahafo Region. The study also sought to find out factors that influence the use of the various leadership styles. Again, the researcher south to find out the perceptions of headmasters, teachers and students about leadership styles and finally, the impact of leadership styles on teaching and learning outcomes. Four objective were set in this study and these were to; identify the types of leadership styles adopted by the various School headmasters; identify the factors that influence the use of these styles; look at how the leadership styles of the headmasters are perceived by themselves and their teachers; and find out the impact of leadership styles on teaching and learning in the school. To achieve these four objectives, research questions were formulated and they were:

  • What types of leadership styles do the headmasters of the selected Senior High Schools in the Nkoranza-North district use?

  • What factors influence the use of these types of leadership styles by the headmasters?

  • How are the leadership styles of the headmasters perceived by themselves and their teachers?

  • What is the impact of the headmasters' leadership styles on teaching and learning in their schools?

A case approach, a type of qualitative research was adopted for study. Also literature was reviewed around the various types of leaderships, factors that influence the use of the type of leadership styles, and their impact on teaching and learning outcomes. The findings were presented in the next section.

Findings of the study

  • Different types of leadership styles were being used by some headmasters of Senior High Schools. Some of which are; autocratic style, democratic style, laissez-faire style, charismatic style, bureaucratic style, transformational style, transactional style, pseudo - democratic style, ideographic style and benevolent-autocratic leadership style.

  • It was revealed that some factors led to the use of some of the leadership styles by heads and some of these factors are; personality trait, level of control, organizational structure and the level of experience.

  • Some heads and teachers also perceived the use of some of the styles as loose and ineffective

  • Autocratic style is perceived as a sign of wickedness and selfish.

  • Democratic style is a sign of flexibility and weakness.

  • Bureaucratic style is a sign of rigidity and bookish

  • Charismatic style is a trait-driven leader and have a vision

  • The democratic leadership styles promoted teamwork, respect among staff, and strengthened the commitment of teachers to their task. The autocratic styles shortened lengthy discussions, while the laissez-faire style of leadership breeds laziness and laxity. It also emerged that bureaucratic style is strickly ‘book method’ and yields good results, while the charismatic leadership style is admired, but does not force people to work get results.


  • When the headmasters employ democratic leadership style, both the teachers and the students participate in decision-making in the organization.

  • The leadership styles employed by the headmasters were influenced by a variety of factors including their personality trait, level of control, and their level of experience in management.

  • The headmasters blend the various leadership styles depending on the situation on the ground and the issues at stake for best results in teaching and learning outcomes in the schools.

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations could be made:

  • The heads of the second cycle schools in the setting of the study should make use of combination of leadership styles. The application of a particular style should depend on the situation and the issue at stake.

  • The relevant courses should be organized for headmasters by Ghana Education Service periodically to expose them to the impact leadership styles on teaching and learning in the schools.

  • Headmasters in the Senior High Schools should endeavor to identify what drives their schools towards success and adopt principles in that direction (eg know teachers interest area about the heads)

  • Organized regular in-service for staff development and encourage staff participation in school activities and decision making.

It is the wish of the researcher that further studies be conducted to cover both the Nkoranza - South municipality and Nkoranza - North to get a better understanding of how the various leadership styles are used and their impact on teaching and learning in the two areas.


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International Journal of Scientific Research and Management, 2018.
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Article Details

Issue: Vol 6 No 12 (2018)
Page No.: EL-2018-797-825
Section: Education And Language

How to Cite

Aruzie, R., Adjei, A., Adjei Mensah, D., Nkansah, I., & Anorkyewaa, A. A. (2018). The Impact Of Leadership Styles On Teaching And Learning Outcomes: A Case Study Of Selected Senior High Schools In The Nkronza Districts Of Brong Ahafo Region In Ghana. International Journal of Scientific Research and Management, 6(12), EL-2018.

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