Leadership, empowerment and intention to leave of educators in selected schools in the Sedibeng West District of the Gauteng Province
Stander, Anna Sophia
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The teaching context in South Africa is continuously transforming. Consequently, there are numerous challenges that the educator has to face. Schools are challenged in ways that are different from private sector companies. Lack of resources and funds, teacher turnover, dealing with discipline, lack of learner motivation and self-esteem, racism, violence, antisocial behaviour, shortage of skilled personnel and educator strikes are some of the challenges in the educational environment. The education profession needs to re-think and re-design its existing management processes in order to retain staff. It can be expected that educators will be negatively influenced by the above challenges and will therefore express intentions to leave the profession. The ability of any school to achieve excellence will depend on the quality, level of competence and energy of the educators. The school requires motivated educators and should attract, develop, care for, retain and inspire the best people on a continuous basis. The school principal should be competent and willing to empower educators. Leadership empowerment behaviour and psychological empowerment could lead to lower levels of teachers' intention to leave. The aim of this research was to investigate the extent to which leader empowerment behaviour and psychological empowerment predict educators' intentions to leave the teaching profession in the Sedibeng West District of the Gauteng Province. The research method consisted of a literature study that served as the foundation of the empirical research. A cross-sectional survey design was used to achieve the research objectives. Three standardized questionnaires were used in the empirical study, namely the Leader Empowering Behaviour Questionnaire, Measuring Empowerment Questionnaire and Intention to Leave Questionnaire. The statistical analysis was conducted with the aid of the SPSS program. The statistical methods applied in the study consisted of factor analyses (validity), descriptive statistics, Cronbach alpha coefficients (reliability), correlations and regression analyses. Significant correlations were found between Leader Empowering Behaviour, Psychological Empowerment and Intention to Leave. Leader Empowering Development and Leader Empowering Decision predicted a high percentage of the variance in Psychological Empowerment. Leader Empowering Development and Leader Empowering Decision predicted 18% of the variance in Psychological Empowerment (Attitude). Leader Empowering Behaviour predicted 11% of the variance in Intention to Leave. When Influence was entered into the equation, 19% of the total variance in Intention to leave was predicted. Based on the results, recommendations were made for schools and for future research. Leadership and empowerment of educators are important challenges that influence Intention to Leave and that could ultimately reduce turn-over rates of talented people. The empowerment and retention of staff are not only important challenges for schools, but for the growth and prosperity of the country. This research will hopefully contribute in assisting other researchers to develop strategies for improving leader empowerment behaviour and educators' meaning of work.
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