A comparative study of the leadership style of male and female principal in selected secondary schools in oredo local government area of edo state

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The purpose of this survey research is to explore the comparative study of the leadership style of male and female principal in selected secondary schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. The subjects of this study include 20 public schools, principal and 100 public school teachers. The questionnaire has two parallel forms one for the headmasters to rate themselves and another in which teachers can rate the headmasters. According to section (1) and (2) the principal rated themselves as the highest on the human resources frame. In addition to this, the majority of the headmasters consider themselves as being effective leaders and managers. As to teachers ratings of the headmaster were rate the highest on the human resources in section 1 and section 2. Moreover, the majority of the teachers thank that the headmasters that they work with, are effective managers and leaders.





Background of the study

Statement of the problem

Purpose of the study

Research questions


Significance of the study

Delimitation of the study

Limitation of the study

Definition of terms


Literature review


Research methodology

Population of the study

Sample and sampling technique

Research instrument

Validity and reliability

Method of administering the research instrument

Method of data analysis


Presentation and analysis of data


Summary, conclusion and recommendation

Summary of findings







The school head is the executive officer in charge of any post primary instruction, may be a secondary school, a high school technical school, or a combination of all, for this study. Therefore, the word school head principal, will be used. The ultimate task of any school is the achievement of defined goals. Therefore, the principal as the leader is involved in making management decision, formulating rules, maintaining and coordinating all activities to achieve their goals.

Itsueli (2000) pointed out that the main purpose of leadership in any organization is that of cooperating efforts of people towards the achievement of its goals. In which case, teaching and learning becomes the central aim while the success or failure is goals attained.    The degree of goals attainment therefore, depend on how well the school head is able to act those roles that have been made, in order words, the leadership style adopted.

Kenzevich (2003) identified three main leadership styles in schools namely, the democratic, autocratic and laissez-faire styles of leadership. He further went on to define each of them as follows, that an autocratic leader is one who determines his policies and assigns duties to members of his group without any consultation with them, his words are final and he feels that every member of the group should obey him exceptionally proud and feel very superior.

A democratic leader on the other hand is one who takes decisions and formulates his policies only after consulting members of his group. He interacts always with members of his group. The laissez-faire is one who grants complete freedom to members of his group or individuals to take decision without participation.

No organization can effectively function if such units are streamlined towards the attainment of the organizational goals. The degree of achievement of those attendance units as viewed in this study is a reflection of the quality of leadership within such a functional unit. The indices for measuring such a success in a attendance could include the standard of students performance in the school certificate examination, the general level of students discipline and the degree to which the school is crisis-free.         In essence, this study intends to examine the different leadership style adopted by male and female school heads; it is also designed to measure their success or failure in goal attainment.


In Nigeria today, post-primary administrative structure, regardless of their complexities of organization, exhibit some similarities which may be found in many of the relationships, duties and functions expected of a principal within the school.

In Oredo local government, as well as in other parts of Nigeria, the principal in any post-primary school is often seen and perceived by most people as the key person influencing the condition affecting the social relationship within the school. He occupies a unique position in the educational leader and people look up to him for leadership recognizing the fact that the quality of education in school is directly related to his knowledge and still as an education on stimulating people to optimum performance in achieving the institutional goals and objectives. The success or failure of a school depends upon the principal and his success depends on the style of leadership he adopts.

Many researchers have shown that the style of leadership offered school makes a lot of difference in attaining the goals of the institution and it is on the basis of this, that one leadership style is preferred to another.

Knickerbockers (2009) contend that a goal leader must understand the goals of his establishment and must constantly help to clarity them to his subordinates. He has to encourage individuals to contribute to the success of the organization and must be perceived by his followers as controlling needs. This, a leadership style or method must be developed, such that will lead to the most effective utilization of available resources.

Precisely the objectives of study are in four fold which are:-

To determine whether the leadership approach of a principal has any effect on the success of failure of a school.To determine the leadership styles peculiar to male and female principals.To also determine the leadership style that is suitable to the success of a schoolTo identity the different leadership style.


This study aims at establishing the relationship between the leadership and performance of subordinates and to show the relevance of the leadership style to the performance of pupils and students.

To present some things those principals can do to cultivate leadership ability that would be of immense help in the administration of schools under their care.

In the course of normal life, many problems of varying degrees often call for different   solutions and not just a solution to solving the problems.


Education must be led by educationalists, not by medical expertise. The following hypothesis serves as a guide to this study.

Is a school in which the principal adopt the democratic style of leadership likely to perform better generally than a school in which the principal adopts autocratic style? Is a school in which the principal exhibits the autocratic style of leadership likely to perform better than a school where the principal adopts the laissez-faire style?The male principals autocratic than their female counterpart?Do female principals exhibit more of a laissez-faire style of leadership than their male counterpart?Are female principals more democratic than their male counterpart?SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The study will help prospective administers, theorist, policy makers and practitioners in the administration of schools in Nigeria.

Also, the study would show the relationship between leadership behavior of different principals in Nigeria and those of their counterparts in developed countries like America, Britain and Canada. It is also hoped that the efficiency of those in the school system will be enhanced which will help to impose the performance of pupils alike. Thereby enabling they contribute their quota to the development of the society and making the society a better place for all.


This study includes ten secondary schools in Oredo local government; four of the ten schools are boys only. Four of them are girls only. Two are mixed out of the ten schools, two are privately owned.

Leadership styles are known to be numerous and vary from one person to another, but this study was confined to three methods namely: Democratic style of leadership, Autocratic style of leadership


For the purpose of this study, the terms stated below are operationally defined.

DE CRITIC PRINCIPAL: one who takes his decision after due consultation with other member of staff.PRINCIPAL: this is the executive head of a school.AUTOCRATIC PRINCIPAL: one who takes his decision without consulting any members of staff.LAISSEZ-FAIRE: one who depends on the member of staff to set their goals and the means of achieving them.STREAMLINED: Make or more efficient and effective by employing faster or simpler working method.CRISIS- FREE: A crucial or decisive point or situation, especially a difficult or unstable situation involving an impending change.ADMINISTRATIVE: Relating to the running of a business, organization e.t.cComplexities: The state or quality of being intricate or complicated.EDUCATIONALIST:  a person who has a special knowledge of the principals and methods of teaching.COUNTERPART: a person or thing that corresponds to or has the same functions as another person or thing in a different place or situation.

A comparative study of the leadership style of male and female principal in selected secondary schools in oredo local government area of edo state


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