Leadership is an important factor in managing change in organizations (Sarros & Santora, 2001). Leadership is one of the most vital success factors in organization (Murphy & Ensher, 2008). At any time in history of any community, there has always been a great leader and leadership has always been practiced (Leech & Fulton, 2008). For all successful organizations, there has been an effective leader who is able to mobilize all the resources in the organization to achieve its goals (Malusu, 2003). Schools, like other organizations, require effective leadership to achieve their goals (Barnet, McCormick & Conners, 2001). In an educational system, a principal as the coordinator of all educational and training activities provides opportunities for performance improvement of teachers, and increased learning among students (Limsila & Ogunlana, 2008). Educational tasks are becoming more difficult and demanding, expectations from the public are getting higher, input quality of students and teachers is more diverse, and school accountability is getting heavier than before. These call for effective leadership at all levels of school administration (Nderitu, 2012).
Studies done in Europe have shown that the school principal is the most important factor in the success of a school. For instance studies by Fullan (2007); Kelley and Peterson (2007); Tschannen-Moran (2004), Leithwood and Mascall (2008) confirm that leadership has a significant effect on the quality of school organization and on pupils’ learning. Thus for a school to function effectively, it is important that principals portray practices that make them successful. When a school is not performing well, the blame usually rests on the principal as the le...
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...uable insights into the daily school practices. US Senate 1972 committee report, recognized the principal as the single most important and influential individual in the school. They observed that it is his leadership that sets the tone of the school, the climate for learning, the level of professionalism and morale of teachers, and the degree of concern for what students may or may not become (Leithwood & Riehi, 2003). Thus if a school is vibrant, innovative, child-centered, if it has a reputation for excellence in teaching; if student are performing to the best of their ability, the fingers point to the principals leadership as the key to this success (Sergiovanni, 2000). As Leithwood and Riehi (2003) notes, scratch the surface of an excellent school and you are likely to find an excellent principal peer into a falling school and you will find weak leadership.
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