An Investigation into Employee Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Headteacher Leadership Styles in Aberdeenshire Primary Schools.
The purpose of this study is to establish the extent to which headteacher leadership styles impact the motivation levels of primary teachers in Aberdeenshire. This study will determine the key leadership styles adopted by headteachers and explore employee perceptions of headteacher leadership styles. It will also evaluate whether headteacher leadership styles have an effect on the motivation levels of primary school teachers in Aberdeenshire. A considerable amount of literature has been published on the different leadership styles that exist (Lewin et al. 1939; Charry 2012 cited in Amanchukwu et al. 2015, p.7; Monga 2015). However, it is evident that a small number of leadership styles, namely autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire, are more commonly used, due to their suitability, in an educational context (Adeyemi 2006, cited in Adeyemi and Adu 2013 p. 70; Machumu and Kaitila 2014; Ndaipa 2016). The Department for Education (2017) identified that leadership styles can have compounding impacts on employee morale and performance levels. As such, it is apparent that if teachers are demotivated, as a consequence of the headteacher’s leadership style, the quality of education they provide could suffer as a result. A quantitative methodology was adopted for this study, to build on the work of Adeyemi and Adu (2013), Machumu and Kaitila (2014), and Boampong et al. (2016), by focusing on a specific Scottish local authority. For this study, online questionnaires were distributed to primary school teachers in Aberdeenshire through the use of snowball sampling. A response rate of 55 respondents was achieved, consisting of 1 male and 54 female primary school teachers. The key findings of this study revealed that a democratic leadership style is deemed the most appropriate and, equally, most effective for an educational context in terms of gaining teachers’ contribution to decision making. Furthermore, a democratic leadership style was also found to increase the levels of motivation and job satisfaction of primary school teachers in Aberdeenshire, supporting the findings of Boampong et al. (2016) and Aunga and Masare (2017).