Leader Efficacy and Work Engagement: Implications for School Leaders
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Type of Work123 pages
DepartmentHood College Education
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
School leaders play a significant role in cultivating the right conditions for teaching and learning. The current educational landscape requires 21st century leaders to continually adapt to changing federal, state, and local school district expectations and accountability measures in order to be effective. Simultaneously, the needs of staff and students present complexities that compound the responsibility of school leaders. Managing the various tasks on a daily basis while remaining focused on instruction requires fortitude. It is essential that school leaders possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to build strong organizational cultures that result in favorable outcomes for students. This quantitative study is grounded in Bandura’s social cognitive theory which focuses on efficacy and human agency including individual cognition, behavior, and context. In this study, leader cognition is defined as leader efficacy to perform a task and engage in the leadership environment. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between leader efficacy and work engagement. This study involves an analysis of secondary data from a national sample of 5,620 public-school principals who completed the National Teacher and Principal Survey Principal Questionnaire in 2015-2016. The chi-square test of independence was used to test the independent and dependent variables in the study. The results showed a relationship between leader efficacy and work engagement (phi = .106). Logistic regression determined that race was a significant predictor in determining work engagement (p = .039). The findings notably highlight low work engagement due to school leaders’ work conditions and stress. The implications for practice include enhancing work engagement through wellbeing activities such as mindfulness, reflection, and physical activity. Additional implications for district leaders include creating sustainable learning communities that promote networking, professional learning, mentorship, and leadership development. The study’s findings generated further implications for policy, leadership practice, and future research.
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