Lucy Nyambura


Leadership involves authority and responsibility in terms of deciding the way of being held responsible for the success or failure of achieving the agreed objectives. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of principals leadership styles on academic performance of students in public secondary schools in Nyamira County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were be prevalent leadership styles used by principals and their effect on academic performance of students in public secondary schools; to find out the effect of principals democratic leadership style on academic performance of students in public secondary schools; to establish the effect of principals transactional leadership style on academic performance of students in public secondary schools and to assess the effect of principals transformational leadership style on academic performance of students in public secondary schools in Nyamira County. The study was guided by the contingency theory of leadership, the behavioral theory of leadership and the institutional theory. Mixed methodology was used during the study. The study used concurrent triangulation research design to obtain information regarding leadership styles and their effect on students performance. The study targeted all the 188 principals, 188 deputy principals and 188 senior teachers in Nyamira County. This is because they were more informed on the principals leadership styles and academic performance of students in public secondary schools. The sample size comprised of 30% principals, deputy principals and senior teachers which translated to 56 principals, 56 deputy principals and 56 senior teachers giving an accessible sample size of 168 respondents. Simple random sampling technique was used to obtain the respondents that participated in the study. The study employed questionnaires and interview schedules to collect data. Content validity and reliability of the tools was determined before data collection. A reliability coefficient of 0.852 was obtained. Quantitative data was analyzed by descriptive statistics and presented by use of frequency tables while inferential statistics was presented with correlation coefficient. The qualitative data was read and categorized into distinct themes as shown by the responses of the respondents and presented in narrative forms. Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that: principals should be sensitized to employ all the leadership styles with equal measure to for greater academic performance. The principals and all stakeholders should practice and employ the transactional and transformational styles of leadership to change the schools for maximum academic performance. There is need for principals to apply the leadership styles that lead to maximum academic achievement in secondary schools in Nyamira County.

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