Educational Research Applications (ISSN: 2575-7032)

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The Impact of Acceptance of Leader criteria on Instructional Leadership

Sabah Hejres1*, Ashley Braganza2, Tillal Eldabi3

1PhD Scholar in Management, Brunel University, UK

2Professor of Organizational Transformation Brunel Business School, UK

3Senior Lecturer, Brunel Business School, UK

*Corresponding author:  Sabah Hejres, PhD Scholar in Management, Brunel University, UK.  Tel: +441895 274000; Email:

Received Date: 11 November, 2017; Accepted Date: 01 December, 2017; Published Date: 09 December, 2017

1.       Abstract 

There are different criteria that may affect active leadership concepts that enhance the role of a principal as an instructional leader. However, many principals lack such criteria where a strong principal can be considered as an instructional leader. To become instructional leaders, principals must functional role directed toward teacher's productive collaboration relationship. Furthermore, a school principal as a leader should play an important role in enhancing teachers’ satisfaction. This study aims to investigate the impact of acceptance of leader on instructional leadership. In doing so, the paper presents a conceptual model linking the acceptance of leader on instructional leadership. The study reports the findings from mix methods a survey of 536 participants including teachers, principals and senior chiefs at various levels of primary, elementary and secondary schools across Kingdom of Bahrain. And focus group method includes six senior chiefs. The analysis of the results shows positive relationship between acceptance of leader and instructional leaders. More specifically, acceptance of leaders is influenced by the referent power. The findings show that there is a significant difference between principals’, teachers’, and senior chiefs’ perceptions on the effectiveness of acceptance of leader on instructional leadership. 

2.       Keywords: Acceptance of leader; Instructional leadership; Referent power

1.       Introduction

The high demand to increase school results requires principals to be instructional orientated. Many scholars debate the work of principals as instructional leaders. According to Waters & McNulty (2005) [1], the most popular theme adopted for the last 20 years in the educational leadership field is instructional leadership. Since the early reform movement in the 1980s, the instructional leadership has been the level or goal that principals were expected to achieve [2]. School principals play a major role as instructional leaders in improving teachers' performance. For example, in America, the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA, 2015) [3] developed a set of standards for school leaders. One of these sets is the leader in promoting an inclusive, caring, and supportive school community that promotes the academic success and well-being of each student and form them into an effective education. The principal plays a major role in teachers' performance. 

Mead (2011) [4] argues that policymakers and educators recognise the importance of principals in creating effective schools and improving student achievement. Likewise, Smylie (2010) [5] argues that principals alone account for 25 percent of a school's total impact on student learning, while both teachers and principals’ quality accounts for nearly 60 percent of the school’s impact. Marks & Printy (2003) [2] report that instructional leadership is about dynamic collaboration between principals and teachers on assessment and curricular, and instructional matters to further improve teaching and learning. 

The researcher focuses on dynamic collaborations between principals and teachers to highlight the role of the principal as an instructional leader. There is an improvement in the effectiveness of teachers and principal’s collaboration, and both are responsible and accountable for taking decisions that influence the school's result. 

Some theories relate dynamic collaboration between leaders and followers in presenting positive results. For example, [6] postulates a dynamic relationship between leaders and followers in presenting positive results. For example, [6] postulates a dynamic relationship between leaders, followers and situations. The theory focusses on follower’s job satisfaction when related to leader. Markow et al., (2013) [7] conducted a study between 1984 and 2012 with 1000 American teachers, the study highlighted a decline in teachers’ satisfaction by 23% since 2008. Over the following years, it has dropped from 62% to 39% in the “very satisfied” category, and dropping another 5% in the last year of the study. Path Goal leadership by [8] connect between acceptance of leader and follower job satisfaction and job performance. 

This study aims to investigate the impact of acceptance of leader driven from Path Goal theory on instructional leadership and what may contribute to theoretical concept. 

2.       Review of Literature 

Schools have experienced an increase in responsibilities in a result-orientated era. Research on instructional leadership has experienced a marked growth over the last three decades. The quality of principals is seen as a crucial factor for their success, while the quality of teachers is assumed to determine the educational quality of our future generations [9]. A study by [10] shows that principals, who did not engage in monitoring and provide feedback on teaching, had an adverse effect on teachers’ satisfaction and classroom performance. Likewise, [11] avers that sharing responsibilities with principals requires focusing on activating relationships between principals and teachers to promote the role of principals as instructional leaders. 

4.1.  Instructional leadership and Fiedler theory 

Leadership influences the relations between leaders and followers who tend to undergo real changes that reflect their common purposes [11]. Fiedler (1967) [6] confirms the theory that leadership is based on three dimensions and that leadership is a complex phenomenon involving leaders, followers and situations. See Figure 1.

The dynamic context of this study is shown in translating the relationship in [6] model. First, the leaders. According to Fiedler, the underlying basis for classifying a leadership situation is the degree to which it provides leaders with control and influence [6]. MacFarlane (2009) [12], argues leaders have much control and influence in the situation because they are reasonably certain of the support of their subordinates and willingness to follow their instructions. They can hold those who fail to follow instructions accountable. They have a set of specifications or blueprints which tell them exactly how to advance and what the final product should look like. Instructional leadership influences the quality of school outcomes through the alignment of school structures with their mission. The principal as instructional leader supervises classroom teaching and learning, teacher effectiveness, and student achievement [13,14]. 

Second, the followers: A relationship with followers motivates the leader, mostly by their positive correlation with others and tends to accomplish the task through good interpersonal relations with the group in situations in which the follower engages in the performance of the task [6]. The prevalent logic calls for an instructional leader to set up relationships with teachers, focus on and guide teachers to improve the teaching and learning process [15]. 

Third, the situation. According to Fiedler’s model, situation dimension concerns task structure. Task structure is the degree to which the task spells out goals, procedures, and structure. Task Structure is the degree to which the task spells out goals, procedures, and specific guidelines [6]. Task structure is the idea that provides people with accurate information about both desired outcomes and strategies to use for attaining that result. Importantly, both aspects of task structure reduce ambiguity [12].

Instructional leadership; according to instructional leader principals, values the dialogue that consists of five primary talking strategies including suggesting, giving feedback, modelling, using inquiry and soliciting advice and opinions, and giving praise. Principals use six strategies to promote teachers' professional growth. These are emphasising the study of teaching and learning, supporting collaborative efforts and developing coaching relationships among educators, encourage and support programmes redesign, applying the principles of adult learning, growth and development of staff development phases, and implementing research activities to inform instructional decision making [16]. In recent years, restructuring school leaders to empower teachers and to implement shared school-based decision making has resulted in a step away from bureaucratic control and toward professionalization of teaching [17]. See Figure 2

It is worth mentioning that Path Goal Leadership Theory is becoming the relationship between the three elements; leader, followers and situation. Path-Goal Leadership Theory is a situational theory that was developed in describing leader’s dependency as the satisfaction, motivation and performance of his followers [18]. According to [19] Path-Goal Leadership Theory consists of acceptance of leaders as followers’ outcomes. Knight et al. (2011) [19] report the behaviour of the leader is acceptable to subordinates when viewed as a source of satisfaction, and a catalyst for them when the need for satisfaction depends on performance. 

Therefore, the researcher has not found a literary works that link the concept of instructional leadership approach with the acceptance of leader of the Path-Goal Leadership theory. More specifically, path Goal theory address few description and criteria of the concept of acceptance. The study aims to find what are criteria that may impact the instructional leadership when related to acceptance of leader. 

4.2.  Teachers job satisfaction and acceptance of leader 

The term “leader’s acceptance” refers to the state where subordinates comply with and accept a leader’s directives and orders. It can also refer to subordinates being at high - level of comfort and satisfaction are pleased to be working with such a leader [20]. It is safe to state if the acceptance is related to a leader, it would be associated with an effective leader [21]. 

This study assumes that acceptance of leader centred on the teacher’s outcomes such as job satisfaction. Job satisfaction receives considerable attention in different areas of literary studies [22]. According to Judge et al., (2001) [23], there is a relationship between job performance and job satisfaction. Job satisfaction impacts the teaching profession in matters of attitudes, performance, achievement, and commitment [24]. Teachers, as subordinates, report greater satisfaction in schools when principals share information with them, delegates authority, and keeps open channels of communication with the teachers. On the other hand, a low-level of teachers’ involvement in decision-making is associated with a low-level of work. The ways that principals manage their schools and their relationships with teachers influences teacher’s job satisfaction [25]. 

Furthermore, the annual MetLife Teacher Survey (2009) [26] reported a slightly lower overall job dissatisfaction rate equal to 18%. In a recent study of teachers living and working in southern Arizona, only 48% of teachers surveyed reported satisfaction in their jobs [27]. Moreover, a study by [28] shows that one of the instructional leadership tasks is to support teachers. Teachers experience a sense of efficacy in their professional work, with higher levels of job satisfaction. Teachers educational pursuit is dependent on the situational environment and satisfaction of their work with the school leader. Mahri and Ramdh (2010) [29] argue performance of teachers rises if driven by an increased competence and motivation, and job satisfaction stems from the principal’s leadership support. The study portrays the principal’s support to balance the task of leadership and positioning of the relationship. Hall et al., (1992) [30] reveals that teachers who were planning to leave the profession often had less job satisfaction and more negative attitudes towards teaching as a career and school principal (p.225). 

Some studies [31,32] on how principals address the needs of their teachers, suggest that it could impact teachers’ satisfaction and their commitment to the organisation. Whereas inadequate support from school principals is a primary complaint by teaching for leaving the teaching profession. Situmorang (2014) [33] suggests that job satisfaction can be determined by knowledge of educational management and of educational administration which is the prime need to raise the awareness of educational leadership. 

4.3.  Instructional leadership and acceptance of leader 

Some studies have adopted acceptance of leader impact on the relation with followers. According to [20] suggests there is a significant relationship between subordinate acceptance of leader, leadership behaviour and situational factors. Leadership behaviours affect subordinates’ acceptance of leaders and can be used as a predictor for a leader’s acceptance. Likewise, [34] suggest that giving direction by leaders had a positive impact on the acceptance of leaders by subordinates. 

The study aims to test the relation of instructional leadership and teacher acceptance of leader considering that there is a criteria effect this relation. Phase 1 shows the model before testing the hypothesis. See Figure 3

There are assumptions that there is criteria effect acceptance of leader to enhance the relation between instructional leader and teachers. The following hypothesis set to measure the assumption: - H1 There is impact of instructional leadership on teachers’ acceptance of leader. 

5.       The Methodology 

The tools used in this study were first designed to determine whether significant relationships exist between instructional leadership and teacher’s acceptance of leader. The survey has been used to collect the data from principals, teachers and senior chiefs in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The survey provides a useful mechanism for collecting large amounts of data efficiently from a sizeable population which allows more control over the research process [35]. The survey depends on data collection to answer the research questions or support the research arguments [36]. Therefore, the quantitative method was most suitable to develop the survey because data is collected from various organisation. The questionnaire survey is the main tool that contributes to collecting data and drawing conclusions in this study. The questionnaires were distributed to the participant by mail. 

The researcher used the Normality test to compare the shape of the study sample distribution to the shape of a normal curve. Razali & Wah (2011) [37] highlighted that Shapiro-Wilk test has the best power for significance. The formula for the W value is:



The population and the sample of the schools include eight senior chiefs,123 principals and 405 teachers See Appendix A.

5.1.  Advance analysis 

Description analysis is a descriptive statistic used to identify which criteria of instructional leadership impact on acceptance of leader functions were frequently demonstrated. According to Grant, Reis, & Thompson (2016) [38] description analysis provide a comprehensive data summary, and insight on internal validity, which improves interpretation of results. Each factor represents the variables of the study; each variable is a set of criteria presented in Chapter 3 and appear in the form of questions formulated in the questionnaire. The following numeric values were assigned to responses for survey questions: (AS) =5; agree (A) = 4; Neutral (N) =3; disagree (DA) =2; strongly disagree (SDA) =1.

Computation were made by using the Statistical Package for the Social Science SPSS Software package analysis of Chi- Square, in order to test at 0.05 level of significant in the hypothesis test. The study conducted independent Z test that indicate a significant difference (P.0.05). 

The information in the Table 1 represents the effectiveness of Instructional Leadership (IL) on the Acceptance of Leader (AL). The Table 1 includes 4 questions. The average of the total percentage results was 78.4% indicating 3.01 of total mean. Results majority was of (Strongly Agree), (Agree) and (Disagree) respectively. This reflects the respondent’s view extent of the importance and demand regarding efficient activation of instructional leadership on acceptance of leader in school leadership in the Kingdom of Bahrain. 

The highest result was 44.2% relating to the question 3 (Teachers accept working with principals when they accept the principal’s leadership and methods). The lowest result was 34.7% relating to the question 1. Overall most of the results reflect an effective impact of Instructional Leadership (IL) on the Acceptance of Leader (AL) when utilising the four leadership styles effectively. Total SD result 1.175 is low and indicates that the data points tend to be close to the total mean 3.92.

5.2.  Testing the hypothesis 

Based on the research hypotheses where formulated and subjected to statistical analysis at 0.05 level of confidence for acceptance or rejects. 

5.2.1.         The result of simple regression to test the impact of instructional leadership on teachers acceptance of leader 

The following formula  shows the effective relationships between variables based on the Simple Linear Regression formula used to assess the impact of instructional leadership on teachers Acceptance of Leader. 

The slope of is defined as antecedents of Acceptance of leader before testing the effectiveness of IL as shown in previous studies. Using SPSS to analyse this, Table 3 shows the effect of instructional leadership (IL) , the ratio error presents the relationship between acceptance of leader and IL. 

The results in Table 3 support the research assumption of the existence of relationships between instructional leadership and acceptance of leader. The information presents a simple regression analysis conducted to evaluate the attributes of instructional leadership on acceptance of leader. The correlation coefficient demonstrates the strength of a linear relationship of each leadership style on instructional and acceptance of leader. R square or coefficient of determination shows the percentage variation in acceptance of leader strength of a linear relationship of each leadership style on instructional and acceptance of leader. R square or coefficient of determination shows the percentage variation in acceptance of leader which is explained by the relationship between instructional leadership and acceptance of leader. See Appendix C.

There is a positive impact of instructional leadership on acceptance of leader. According to Table 3, there is a significant impact result (0.000). Therefore, the relation of P<0.05 results leads to acceptance the hypothesis. 

5.2.2.         Result of the criteria affect on the relation between instructional leadership and acceptance of leader 

To gain enriched information of the factors affect on the relation between instructional leadership and acceptance of leader the research used qualitative methods. The researcher place a theoretical question; 

What is the criteria that affect the relation between instructional leadership and acceptance of leader?

According to [39], the qualitative approach explains phenomena through verbal descriptions rather than testing hypotheses with numerical values. The qualitative research is an interpretive and naturalistic approach. Hoberg (1999) [40] states that qualitative research is useful when researchers want to gain a deeper understanding of human phenomena, as well as to investigate the meaning of events that people experience (p.51). 

Therefore, the researcher was determined to interview senior chiefs via focus groups to deeply investigate the difference behind the participant's points of view. The researcher would ask them to assess their perception due to their higher rank than the other participants. Senior chiefs are considered vital members of the education staff they support principals in areas of school leadership, in personal, social and career development. They also engage in improving decision making and evaluation in schools. Senior chiefs effectively consult and communicate to promote wellness, remove barriers, and implement interventions to meet the needs of the school community. The researcher conducted a focus group with six senior chiefs. Table 4 below summaries the focus group interview. 

Acceptance of leader based on subordinates comply with directives and orders of their leader and is always ready to accept the decisions made by the leader. The criteria are based on the educational process is improved when teachers accept a principal’s support level, teachers accept working with a principal when they accept the principal’s leadership and characteristics. 

The features of leader acceptance converge with the Referent Power. The acceptance of leaders depends on school principal personality, trustworthiness and respect this behaviour lead to power known as referent power. French and Raven (1959) [41] describe Referent Power as a person's perceived attractiveness, worthiness and right to others' respect. Referent power is a person’s ability to influence others’ behaviour because they like, admire, and respect the individual; they like to be close to [42]. 

Leaders central in the advice network have referent power that confers acceptance and approval [43]. Based on the criteria that effects the relationship between Instructional leadership and Acceptance of leaders, there are characteristics of the referent power consist of perceptions toward leader by followers these are respect, attractiveness, trustworthiness,

6.       Conclusion

The study presents the theoretical or academic contributions. The primary aim of this study is to address the problem regarding the lack of specific factors in the context of instructional leadership regarding the collaboration relationship between principal and teachers. Acceptance leader based on subordinates comply with directives and orders of their leader and is always ready to accept the decisions made by the leader. The criteria are based on the educational process is improved when teachers accept a principal’s support level, teachers accept working with a principal when they accept the principal’s leadership and characteristics.

The result finds a positive and direct correlation relation between acceptance of leader and instructional leader. The result shows a statistically significant relationship that leads to accept the hypothesis. There are significant differences when related to acceptance of leader between the opinions of the participants (Teacher, principals, senior chiefs).

According to the acceptance of leader driven by Path Goal Theory, the senior chiefs found that Referent Power is associated with the acceptance of leader. The study result shows that acceptance of leader is based criteria of trust, admiration, respect and the power of character. Teachers maintain their relationship with their principal's ability to influence others’ behaviour because they admire and respect the individual they like to be close to. The focus group confirms that Referent Power confers acceptance and approval leader.

Figure 1: The three dimensions of leadership by Fiedler’s leadership theory (1967) [6].

Figure 2:  The three dimensions of instructional leadership fitting to Fiedler Leadership theory by the author.

Figure 3: The Relationship between instructional leadership and teachers’ acceptance of leader.

Appendix A

Figure 4: The positive and direct relationship between instructional leadership acceptance of leader.

Figure 5: The impact of referent power concept on the relationship between instructional leadership and acceptance of leaders.


Criteria of leadership style

influence the relationship

between instructional leader and





















Teachers are willing to accept the principal’s directive orders.








































Teachers accept working with principals when they accept the principal’s leadership and characteristics.




















Principals are accepted when teachers do not want to get rid of him or her.




















Total: Mean and Percentage











Table 1: Criteria impact instructional leader on acceptance of leader.



Variables participants



Senior chiefs



Mean percentages of Accepting Leader













Table 2: The average of participant's view and perceptions regarding the acceptance of leader.








Asymp. Sig.


a. Kruskal Wallis Test

b. Grouping Variable: Job


Appendix B




Model Summary 




R Square

Adjusted Square



Instructional leadership impact on acceptance of leader







Table 3:   Simple regression analysis for instructional leadership as predictor of acceptance of leader.



Mode I


R Square

Adjusted R

Std. Error of






a. Predictors: (Constant), IL


Model Summary




Sum of Squares


Mean Square





















a. Dependent Variable: AL

b. Predictors: (Constant), IL





Acceptance of leader



Justice is the magic word for satisfaction if there is justice in rewarding teachers, the acceptance of leader will increase.



Acceptance of a leader requires teacher’s satisfaction yet in some cases; high job performance does not necessarily mean an acceptance of a leader.



Acceptance of the leaders may be related to personal relationships or related to referent power and the conviction of the personality of the principal.



Acceptance of leaders will increase if school principals are committed to the trustworthy.



Teachers admire and respect their principals that’s what make principal acceptance.



The acceptance of leader increases when principals take into consideration, the teachers shared visions and opinions. Also, teachers accept their leader when there are trust, admiration and respect.


Table 4: Summary focus group interview.



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