Transformational leadership style motivates high school teachers

Transformational leadership style motivates high school teachers

New research reveals transformational leadership style in education has a positive impact on teachers’ performance and job satisfaction.

Transformational vs transactional leadership style in public high school

RMIT’s School of Business and Management lecturer and researcher Dr Greeni Maheshwari found that a transformational leadership style has a positive effect on teachers’ performance and satisfaction in Vietnamese public schools, while a transactional style negatively impacted the satisfaction of teachers. Teachers were especially dissatisfied with unclear policies and procedures.

“Teachers in public high schools perceived their job positively under a transformational leadership style as opposed to a transactional leadership style which caused a negative impact on teachers,” Dr Maheshwari said.

news-transformational-leadership-style-motivates-high-school-teachers RMIT’s School of Business and Management lecturer and researcher Dr Greeni Maheshwari shared the transformational leadership style in education, which she found has a positive impact on teachers’ performance and job satisfaction.

Dr Maheshwari highlighted four below behavioural factors of transformational leadership, which suggested why teachers are more satisfied under a transformational leader.

“Inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, individualised consideration and idealised influence are the four behaviour dimensions of a transformational leader. The goal of a leader is to identify the strengths of each individual and, based on these, the leaders work towards the development of the staff,” she said.

In contrast, transactional leadership style relates to granting awards for accomplishing goals, micromanaging staff, and displaying a passive management style. The leader practicing this style avoids making decisions till it becomes necessary. These characteristics fail to create a supportive working environment.

School leadership styles affect teachers’ job satisfaction and performance

The school leaders who follow this transformational leadership style encourage teachers to share their viewpoints and involve them in decision-making.

“Teachers feel more confident and empowered when involved in the decision-making process, as this shows trust and respect from school leaders. This further helps in building a collaborative and professional environment,” she said.

"The transformational leadership style of a school leader can bring a positive impact on the teachers’ job satisfaction and their performance,” she added. “Teachers are found to be highly motivated and committed toward the organisation under school leaders following the transformational leadership style.”

In contrast, the teachers said that transactional leadership styles negatively impacted their satisfaction, especially with the unclear policies and procedures.

“Unclear policies and procedures negatively impacted the teachers’ performance and their job perception,” she added. “The job satisfaction of teachers depends on school culture and how flexible the policies and procedures are implemented and communicated at work.”

“Most of the teachers surveyed mentioned that they were not informed about the changes in the policies in advance and were not clear on the expectations from the leaders,” she explained.

Dr Maheshwari’s research “Influence of Teacher-Perceived Transformational and Transactional School Leadership on Teachers’ Job Satisfaction and Performance: A Case of Vietnam” was published in Leadership and Policy in Schools. The research was conducted in public high schools in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The findings of this study would be useful for the school leaders in Vietnam to improve the school environment and adopt encouraging leadership practices to enhance teachers’ job satisfaction and their performance. 

Story: Thuy Le

  • Events
  • Research
  • Career development
  • Human Resource

Related news