Leadership in Educational Administration: Concepts, Theories and Perspectives
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 4 No. 1 (2003): Vol-4-Issue-1-January-2003
In an organization, the associated efforts of many individuals are necessary. To a considerable degree,
the actions of human beings in society are determined by their association with formal organizations.
Formal organizations have leaders and purposes. Achievement of objectives, which have been set,
depends upon the cooperative efforts of individuals. Many times organizations have failed when either
their leaders have been of low calibre, or there has been a lack of cooperative effort among members,
or the objectives have not been in conformity with what is essential and good for society.
The emphasis on principal as leader may have added a new dimension to the traditional distinction
between the dual roles of principal as educator and principal as administrator. Early American schools
had principal teachers who were elected, but the position has now evolved towards greater attention to
administrative matters (Boyer, 1983). A manager can be appointed. Leadership must be earned, even
after appointment to a managerial position. Leadership is not a position in an organisation, but an
active, influencing force. Leadership is not based on position or status, but on authority and prestige.
Leadership may come from personal enthusiasm, personal authority, credibility, knowledge, skill, or
charisma; it is derived from influence that the leader has on his followers (Darling, 1992). Accordingly,
the principal holds the highest position in the school. The tone of the school is mainly influenced by the
behaviour and personality of principal and it affects the attitude, climate, progress, co- operation, and
direction of efforts in the school. In fact, principal is the hub around which the educational activities
revolve. There is no denying the fact that school is essentially a co- operative enterprise, in which every
member big or small, high or low has a vital role to play.