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Headmasters Transformational Leadership and Teachers

Organisational Commitment in Primary School


Juninah Junainah Dullah, Ministry Of Education
Sabariah Sharif, Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Mohamad Nizam Nazarudin, Universiti Malaysia Sabah
M.S. Omar-Fauzee, Universiti Putra Malaysia

ABSTRACT
The study aimed to explore the level of headmasters transformational leadership/the level of
teachers/organizational commitment and the relationship between headmasters leadership style and the organisational
commitment of primary school teachers in Beaufort, Sabah, Malaysia. The model of transformational leadership
developed by Bass (1985) and the organisational commitment model which was developed by Meyer and Allen (1991)
served as the theoretical framework for the study. The transformational leadership classified into inspirational
motivation intellectual stimulation and individual consideration. The organisational commitment on the other hand
divided into affective commitment; continuance commitment and normative commitment. Data was obtained from 130
Beauforts, primary schools teachers. The research only dealt with Grade A schools. Two questionnaires were used as
the main instrument; Alimo-Metcalfes (2001) Transformational Leadership Questionnaire (TLQ) which consisted of 21
items and Meyer and Aliens (1997) Organisational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ)/ which consisted of 18 items.
Data was analysed with SPSS for windows version 15.0. An average positive relationship between headmasters
inspirational motivation and teachers organisational commitment was found. As perceived by the teachers/ the level of
headmasters transformational leadership in Beaufort, was high in most schools. The research also indicated that the
level of teachers organisational commitment was average. This research also suggested numbers of ways to improve
teachers organisational commitment.
Keywords: Transformational leaderships. Headmasters, leadership style, and organizational commitment
INTRODUCTION
School is the most important organisation in Malaysian educational system. One of the elements to a school's
success is an experienced leader (whether principal or headmaster), who has a positive attitude and is able to create a
school environment that encourages cooperation and communication among staff members, between staff and
administration, and between staff members and the pupils. A solid leadership is the most essential key to school success.
This suggests that there is a need to identify the quality of the personnel responsible in the organisation and how this
kind of leadership able to evoke commitments of the teachers in order to bring the school into success. School needs to
improve from time to time and this process of change needs to be lead by a qualified leader who is talented, determined,
knowledgeable and capable. The most appropriate starting point is to search and train that capable, talented principal
who then lead the staff and students in the development of common expectations. We must understand the importance
of shared, distributive leadership that focuses the school on a vision of excellence and the effort they must invest to
achieve excellence.
With the recent education reform and restructuring, for example Education Development Master Plan (PIPP 2006
- 2010) with its six core agendas, more emphasis would have to be placed on commitment of the teaching workforce.
New educational strategies and approaches were developed due to the increasing external pressures on the work
environment and thus a pool of highly qualified and committed teaching workforce is needed in the field of education
(Chua Lee Chuan, 2005). Headmaster often encounters the need to transform the school from low performance to
acceptable performance or from acceptable performance to high performance. At other times, a headmaster is expected
to move firm from crisis mode to high ground. To accomplish these purposes, the transformational leader attempts to

have a strong teacher's commitment towards the school.


The increasing range and complexity of leadership responsibilities in schools means that it is no longer possible
for the principal to be the sole leader (Bush & Middlewood, 2005). Wood, Bennett, Harvey and Wise (2004) in Bush &
Middlewood, (2005), mentioned that deputy and assistant heads, and middle - level leaders such as heads of department
or subject leaders were increasingly important for effective management in schools. This emphasis requires specific and
sustained attention to leadership development as a central part of wider teacher's development agenda. Ofsted (2003) in
Bush and Middlewood (2005) graded school leadership into 'very good', 'satisfactory' and 'poor'. 'Very good' leadership
is dedicated to ensure the highest possible standards and achievements in all areas of the school's work. It is reflective,
self - critical and innovative and expresses a clear vision of the school in the future so that the followers know what they
are expected to do.
Clear strategic thinking and planning for improvement is the result from this. 'Satisfactory' leadership is firm,
competent and committed and there are clear lines of responsibility. The teachers reflect the school's aims and policies
in their work; they understand the school's goals and their role in achieving them. The school monitors their
performance and tackles weaknesses. Meanwhile, 'poor' leadership is muddled, besieged or incompetent. The school
lacks a sense of direction. Senior teachers are preoccupied with daily tasks and incidents and find it difficult to prioritise
the most important issues and focus their efforts accordingly. On the other hand, school has to rely on teacher's high
commitment in order to cope with imperative changes. Therefore special interest is taken in the significance of
transformational leadership for encouraging and maintaining commitment. It stands to reason that leadership is a
universal concept though distinctly anchored in its cultural background.
It was inspiring how 2004 excellent principal (JUSA C) Mary Yap Kain Ching transformed a wrecked school into
a tremendous school. How did she motivate the whole school ranging from the teachers to the students to follow her
vision? Why was the whole school so committed to change themselves from an ordinary school into the first 30 schools
nationally entitled for cluster schools? Undoubtedly, this is what was believed by Ishak Sin (2003) as the character of
transformational leader. The effectiveness of the leader transcended the expectation, included charismatic characteristic,
able to evoke the inspiration, stimulate the intellectual and individually tolerate others. According to Bolman and Deal
(1997), the challenges of modern organisation required the objective perspectives of managers as well as the brilliant
flashes of vision and commitment that wise leadership produce. Leaders who practice transformational leadership
inspire their subordinates to identify their interest and look into focused and centralized aim
Transformational leaders focus their effort to long term goals, put values and stresses on development, inspire the
subordinate to follow their vision and achieve it. The central concept for transformational leadership is change and the
role of leadership in envisioning and implementing the transformation of organisation performance. With
transformational leadership, the subordinates feel trust, admiration, loyalty and respect toward the leader and they are
motivated to do more than they are originally expected to do Due to the importance of leadership in bringing success to
the school, many theories on leadership have emerged and are practiced around the world. Although many local
researches have been conducted relating to the headmaster or principal's leadership, there are limited findings on the
relationship of headmaster's transformational leadership and teacher's organisational commitment. For leadership, the
most common issues are instructional leadership and teacher's perception (Fauzi Ismail, 2004; Munah Nasri, 2005),
leadership and teacher's job satisfaction (Harith Hj Ideris, 2004; Norafidah Noralidin, 2004; Sivasanggar Subramaniam,
2006, Klaas, & Peter, 2006) women's leadership and teacher's job motivation (Elizabeth Mak, 2006, Wei-Kong, 2005)
and principal leadership and school's effectiveness (Mohd Noh Ismail, 2004).
The latest trend in defining leadership is the theories of transformational leadership. Although this development
has been discussed since 1970s in the Western countries, there is not much research done on this topic in Malaysia
(Ishak Sin, 2003). In Malaysia, the theories of leadership styles such as the transactional leadership, transformational
leadership and instructional leadership still need to be discussed further. The lack of findings which compare these
types of leadership make it difficult for leaders in school (especially the headmaster and the principal) to choose the
type of leadership to be practiced. Almost all educational reform reports have come to the conclusion that the nation
cannot attain excellence in education without effective school leadership (English, 2005). Bush and Middlewood (2005)
acknowledged people as the most important resource in the organisation. They provide the knowledge, skill and energy

which are essential to success. What differentiates effective and less effective organisations are the quality and the
commitment of the people employed there. In countries where even basic resources are barely adequate, the
opportunities for an effective education may depend even more upon the attitude and commitment of people in them.
There are also a number of researches conducted on commitment. However, local published studies on this issue are
very rare (Chua Lee Chuan, 2005).
There are numbers of leadership theories or styles that shape schools. Between 1980 and 1990s, instructional
leadership was an idea that framed the school's institution. However, there was an initiative to restructure the school in
order to prepare it to face future challenges. Instructional leadership was seen as out dated (Ishak Sin, 2003). In order to
gain teachers' support, commitment, job satisfaction and to ensure pupils' achievement most headmasters do not know
which approach or style will suited their school. In some schools, headmasters only manage the school but do not lead
the people, manage resources or give input to the organisation. Organisational commitment is an important research
topic of human resource management, having both practical and theoretical implications. Lack of commitment causes
withdrawal behaviours. As suggested by Hanish and Hulin (1990) in Landy and Conte (2004), there are two types of
withdrawal behaviours; work withdrawal (includes lateness and absenteeism and represents an attempt by the individual
to withdraw from work but still maintain ties to the organisation and work role) and job withdrawal (includes intentions
to quit or retire and represents an individual's willingness to break ties to the organisation and work role). For that, lack
of commitment is believed to cause absenteeism, turn over and de-motivation to perform work well.
Thurlow (2003) in Bush and Middlewood (2005) noted that the organisational performance of schools in respect
of their prime functions (teaching and learning) generally needs substantial improvement. Thus the key resource for
improvement is the people who work in them. The improvement and the people's contributions in it need to be managed
properly. For that, through this research, the effective leadership type will be identified in relation to ensure the
commitment and contributions of the people in it. There are several reasons for conducting this study. It will help the
schools involved in this research to practise suitable leadership style in order to get teacher's commitment. A good
leadership style will ensure teachers are committed and responsible in their work. Also, through this research, the
researcher tries to suggest a number of approaches for headmasters that will increase their ability to act effectively. This
is in line with the New Management Theory (Sergiovanni, 1995), where there is a principle called Principle of Ability Authority, which promotes authority based on ability.
Information gain from this research will give a picture about headmasters' role in carrying out their job as a leader,
especially in order to practice few transformational leadership behaviours which are appropriate to the school and able
to evoke teacher's affective commitment. This research will also become guideline for the headmasters in the schools.
Headmasters' weaknesses in leadership practice will also be identified and this enables them to improve their practice.
Leaders could benefit from understanding the predictors of committed manpower because they can initiate the
interventions when the problems occur. Through this research as well, it could be a general reference, additional
knowledge or to some extent become a reference for the administrator. Numerous past studies on commitment proved
that low commitment was associated with increased absenteeism, increased intention to quit and poor job performance.
Purpose of the Study
Based on the research problem mentioned above, there are few questions that need to be answered while carrying
this research. They are listed below;
1. What is the level of headmaster's transformational leadership from the teacher's perspective?
2. What is the level of teacher's organisational commitment?
3. Is there significant relationship between headmaster's transformational leadership and teacher's organisational
commitment?
METHOD
Population and Sampling Procedure
The researcher selected the sample through cluster sampling. It was more convenient as the population is very

large and spread out over a wide geographic area. In addition to this, cluster sampling usually involves less time and
expense and generally more convenient than other techniques (Gay, Mills & Airasian, 20060. Primary schools in
Beaufort, Sabah are divided into two major categories, grade A and grade B. The data obtained from the District
Combined Education Office that shows that there are 742 teachers from 33 primary schools in the Beaufort, Sabah
district. For the purpose of selecting the sample, the researcher selected teachers from Grade A schools. According to
Gay et al. (2006), if the population ranged from 550 to 600, the sample should be around 140 to 144 respondents.
Research Instrument
The headmaster's transformational leadership and teacher's organizational commitment were tested through two
types of questionnaires; the Transformational Leadership Questionnaire (TLQ) and the Organisational Commitment
Questionnaire (OCQ). The questionnaire tested the practice of transformational leadership by the headmaster and the
organisational commitment of the teachers. Nine demographic variables are also tested in the questionnaire. For every
item in the questionnaire, the respondents have to rate their answers based on 4 point Likert Scale, ranging from 4
(strongly agree) to 1 (strongly disagree). The instrument in this research is divided into three parts (Part A, B and C).
Part A consists of ten items. The demographic variable of the respondent will be asked. In the second part (Part B), the
researcher used TLQ. OCQ will be answered by the respondents in Part C.
Data Analysis
The data gained from this research was analyzed with a device called Statistical Package for the Social Science
(SPSS) Version 15.0. Descriptive analysis was used to interpret the demographic variables. The researcher used
frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation. In addition to this, the researcher also used inferential analysis to
identify the relationship between the variables.
Pilot Study
Grade A school was selected for the pilot study. 32 questionnaires were distributed and 31 of it returned to the
researcher. The researcher consulted the administrator of the school first and briefly explained the objectives of the
research. The result indicated that, the Transformational Leadership Questionnaire shows high cronbach alpha's score
with 0.920. Meanwhile the Organisational Commitment Questionnaire only scored 0.755.
RESULT
Demography Characteristics of the Respondent
The researcher had distributed 220 questionnaires to all schools, however only 130 were returned to the
researcher. For that the analysis only focused on 130 respondents.
Table 1: Demographic characteristic of the respondents
Demographic characteristics
Frequency
Gender
Man
60
Women
70
Age
20 - 29
34
30- 39
63
40-49
29
>50
4
Category
DGA 29
53
DGA 32
54
DGA 41
23
Teaching experiences
< 3 years
20
3-7 years
29
8-11 years
23
12 years
58
Period in current school
< 1 yrs
8

Percent
46.2
53.8
26.2
48.5
22.3
03.1
40.8
41.5
17.7
15.4
22.3
17.7
44.6
06.2

1 - 5 yrs
6 - 10 yrs
11 > yrs

69
27
26

53.1
20.8
20.0

Period of knowing the


headmaster

< 1 yrs

24

18.5

Headmaster's Gender

1 - 5 yrs
6 - 10 yrs
11 > yrs
Male
Female
40 - 49
50 >

63
22
21
89
41
70
60

48.5
16.9
16.2
68.5
31.5
53.8
46.2

Headmaster's age

RESEARCH FINDINGS
The finding of this research is divided into two parts. Part one deals with the levels of headmaster
transformational leadership as well as the teacher's organisational commitment from teacher's perspective, while part
two deals with the hypothesis testing.
Levels of headmaster's transformational leadership and teacher's organisational commitment
The result suggests that 14 out of 17 schools scores more than 3.00 for headmaster's inspirational motivation and
headmaster's individual consideration. For the intellectual stimulation, although most teachers agree on this character,
teachers from five out of 17 schools rate their headmaster's intellectual stimulation below 3.00. For inspirational
motivation, four schools showed scores above 3.50. The overall mean for inspirational motivation is 3.163. The highest
score is School N (x = 3.79) and the lowest is School D (x = 2.51). For headmaster's intellectual stimulation of the
headmaster, headmaster from School M scores the highest result (x = 3.79) while School D again scored the lowest (x =
2.63). The third transformational leadership analyzed in this research is individual consideration where School N
showed the maximum score (x = 4.00). In short, the mean for transformational leadership of headmaster is 3.154.
Apart from this, organisational commitment of the teachers in Beaufort, Sabah is below 3.00 (x = 2.815). School J
scored the highest for affective commitment, (X = 3.20) while School L (x = 3.00) for continuance commitment and
School N (x =3.08) for normative commitment. However three different schools gave low scores for the three items
respectively, they are School D for affective commitment (x = 2.70), School M for continuance commitment (x = 2.33)
and School D for normative commitment (x = 2.31). The results suggest that 14 out of 17 schools scored more than 3.00
for affective communication. The continuance commitment and normative commitment on the other hand proves most
schools scored below 3.00. 16 schools scored below 3.00 for continuance commitment and normative commitment.

No

School

01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

School A
School B
School C
School D
School E
School F
School G
School H
School I
School J
School K
School L
School M
School N
School 0
School P
School Q

N
5
5
8
15
4
14
5
10
14
10
16
3
2
2
2.
10
5

Table 2: Items mean based on schools


Transformational Leadership
Organisational Commitment
IM
IS
IC
Total
AC
CC
NC
Total
3.00
3.20
3.23
3.14
3.07
2.67
2.77
2.83
3.23
3.29
3.34
3.29
3.13
2.70
2.63
2.82
3.39
3.23
3.39
3.34
3.10
2.88
2.88
2.95
2.51
2.63
2.67
2.60
2.70
2.56
2.31
2.52
2.96
2.79
2.86
2.87
3.04
2.46
2.63
2.71
3.17
3.13
3.19
3.17
3.09
2.88
2.69
2.89
3.17
3.23
3.17
3.19
2.97
2.70
2.73
2.80
3.06
2.99
3.11
3.05
3.07
2.62
2.80
2.83
3.03
2.91
2.81
2.91
2.96
2.49
2.51
2.65
3.21
3.19
3.41
3.27
3.20
2.63
2.87
2.90
3.59
3.30
3.62
3.50
3.15
2.70
2.91
2.92
3.48
3.14
3.57
3.40
3.06
3.00
2.89
2.98
3.71
3.79
3.64
3.71
3.25
2.33
2.92
2.83
3.79
3.43
4.00
3.74
3.17
2.67
3.08
2.97
2.64
2.86
3.14
2.88
3.08
2.75
2.58
2.81
3.20
3.16
3.31
3.22
3.08
2.85
2.83
2.92
3.54
3.31
3.46
3.38
3.10
2.67
2.93
2.92

130
1M - Inspirational Motivation
IS - Intellectual Stimulation
IC - Individual Consideration

3.16 3.09

3.21

3.04
2.68
2.72
3.15
AC - Affective Commitment
CC - Continuance Commitment
NC - Normative Commitment

2.82

a. Headmaster's Inspirational Motivation

Item No
TLQ 1
TLQ 2
TLQ 3
TLQ 4
TLQ 5
TLQ 6
TLQ 7

Table 3: Headmaster's Inspirational Motivation


Questions
Creates a clear vision of the future
Inspires confidence in the value of his or her argument
Achieves their vision
Sets an enviable example for others to follow
Demonstrates high personal standards
Motivates their team
Inspires people to follow their vision
Inspirational Motivation

Mean
3.33
3.15
2.93
3.18
3.20
3.21
3.11
3.16

The result suggest that item TLQ 1 has the highest mean (x = 3.33), while TLQ 3 shows the lowest mean (X
=2.93). From the table, in general it is suggested that the inspirational motivation shows mean above 3.00 (x = 3.16).
TLQ 1 become the highest mean may be due to the current practice in the educational field which need all the schools
to design and implement their own vision and mission. However, TLQ 3 becomes the lowest mean because may be
some of the schools are still working on the vision and mission and not yet achieve it.
b. Headmaster's Intellectual Stimulation
The result suggested that headmaster do encouraged the teachers to work on their best potential and encourage
them to challenge the status quo. The scores clearly suggest that the mean ranged between 2.98 (lowest) and 3.18
(highest). Item TLQ 12 with the question 'The headmaster in this school encourages others to re-think their idea' gained
the highest mean (x = 3.18). Meanwhile, item number 9 which mentioned about the likelihood of the headmaster
encouraging the teacher to challenge the status quo resulted in the lowest mean (x = 2.98).

Item No
TLQ 8
TLQ 9
TLQ 10
TLQ 11
TLQ 12
TLQ 13
TLQ 14

Table 4: Headmaster's Intellectual Stimulation


Questions
Ask question to test others thinking
Encourages other to challenge the status quo
Provides tasks that are stretching but achievable
Shows the ability to sell the benefit of new ideas
Encourages others to re-think their ideas
Quickly gains insight into problems
Encourages others to work to their best potential
Intellectual Stimulation

Mean
3.00
2.98
3.07
3.03
3.18
3.03
3.35
3.09

TLQ - Transformational Leadership Questionnaire

c. Headmaster's Individual Consideration


The result indicates that item TLQ 17 (the headmaster builds co-operative relationship with immediate colleagues)
has the highest mean ( x = 3.36), while the lowest mean is item TLQ 21 ( x = 3.03), which asked the question 'the
headmaster tunes in to unspoken thoughts and feeling'. Individual consideration, the third character analysed in this
research scored more than 3.00 ( x = 3.21). Most of the teachers agreed that headmaster build co-operative relationship
with colleagues.

Item No
TLQ 15
TLQ 16

Table 5: Headmaster's Individual Consideration


Questions
Treats people as unique individuals
Tries to understand the other person's view point

Mean
3.22
3.23

TLQ 17
TLQ 18
TLQ 19
TLQ 20
TLQ 21

Builds co-operative relationship with immediate colleagues


Listen to others
Recognizes the different capabilities of individuals
Changes their style and approach according to who the are dealing with
Tunes in to unspoken thoughts and feeling
Individual Consideration

3.36
3.22
3.20
3.18
3.03
3.21

TLQ - Transformational Leadership Questionnaire

d. Teacher's Affective Commitment


For affective commitment of the teacher, OCQ 6 has the lowest mean ( x = 2.92). Meanwhile, OCQ 2 has the
highest mean ( x = 3.13). From the table, it is suggested that affective commitment of teacher in general has high mean
( x = 3.04).

Item No
OCQ 1
OCQ 2
OCQ 3
OCQ 4
OCQ 5
OCQ 6

Table 6: Teacher's Affective Commitment


Questions
I would be very happy to spend the rest of my career with this department.
I really feel as if this department's problems are my own
I do not feel a strong sense of "belonging" to my department.
I do not feel emotionally attached to this department
I do not feel like "part of the family" at my department
This department has a great deal of personal meaning for me
Affective Commitment

Mean
3.04
3.13
3.08
3.03
3.06
2.92
3.04

OCQ Organisational Commitment

e. Teacher's Normative Commitment

Item No
OCQ 7
OCQ 8
OCQ 9
OCQ 10
OCQ 11
OCQ 12

Table 7: Teacher's Normative Commitment


Questions
I do not feel any obligation to remain with my current employer.
Even if it were to my advantage, I do not feel it would be right
to leave my organisation now.
I would feel guilty if I left my organisation now.
This organisation deserves my loyalty
I would not leave my organisation right now because I have a
sense of obligation to the people in it
I owe a great deal to my organisation
Normative Commitment

Mean
3.07
3.10
3.15
3.02
3.64
2.62
2.72

OCQ - Organisationa/ Commitment Questionnaire

The result suggests that teacher rated unfavorably item OCQ 12. It was the lowest score as compared to the others.
The question was about the sense of obligation on people in the school and from the analysis it was proven that
teacher's intention in leaving the organisation has nothing to do with their obligation to the people in the school. The
overall score was low, that is 2.72.
f. Teacher's Continuance Commitment
The result suggest that item OCQ 13 has the highest mean (x = 3.16), while OCQ 15 has the lowest mean (x =
2.82). It is suggested that the mean of continuance commitment of the teachers is low (x = 2.68). Most of the teachers
feel it was hard for them to leave the school, for that, they stayed in it due to necessity and desire.

Item No
OCQ 13

Table 8: Teacher's Continuance Commitment


Questions
It would be very hard for me to leave my department right now,
even if I wanted to.

Mean
3.16

OCQ 14
OCQ 15
OCQ 16
OCQ 17
OCQ 18

One of the few negative consequences of leaving this department


would be the scarcity of available alternatives.
Right now, staying with my department is a matter of necessity
as much as desire.
I feel that I have too few options to consider leaving this
department.
If I had not already put so much of myself into this department, I
might consider working elsewhere.
Too much of my life would be disrupted if I decided to leave m
department now.
Continuance Commitment

3.11
2.82
3.02
3.01
3.00
2.68

OCQ - Organisationa/ Commitment Questionnaire

Table 9: Relationship of headmaster's transformational leadership and


teachers organizational commitment components
Headmasters
Transformational
Leadership

r = 0.789

Teachers
Organisational
Commitment

r = 0.695

Affective
Commitment

r = 0.767

Normative
Commitment

r = 0.353

Continuance
Commitment

DISCUSSION
Levels of Headmaster's Transformational Leadership
The item's mean clearly shows that teachers rated their headmaster as highly practicing transformational
leadership and they also rated themselves as committed to their own school although their score is only average All the
items which were tested scored more than 3.0. They were the inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and
individual consideration. This shows that the headmaster practice transformational leadership and teachers were more
committed to them because of the personal attachment or feelings towards the school. It includes the happy state to
work in the school, emotional attachment to the school and a sense of belonging to the school.
The result of the study also shows that most teachers perceived the transformational leadership characters
(inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and the individual consideration) being used by the headmaster. This
shows that most headmasters are ready to transform and upgrade their school. They are ready to set high possible
standards and achievements in all areas of the school's work. Headmaster with clear vision of the school will lead the
teachers to perform up to what they are expected. Clear strategic thinking and planning for improvement is also shown
by the headmaster. As responding to the criticism on transformational leadership by Bass and Avolio (1993), who
addressed the issue of tendency of transformational leadership to become elitist and antidemocratic, this research is
totally not agree with the statement. The high level of headmaster's transformational leadership and average teacher's
organisational commitment level shows that most of the teacher feels wanted to stay in the school.
Levels of Teacher's Organisational Commitment
It was clear that from three items tested for the organisational commitment of the teachers, only one scored above
3.0. Most of the teachers scored below 3.0 for both continuance commitment and normative commitment. The lowest
score may be because the teacher feels the action of staying or leaving the school is not only because of the sense of

obligation to the people in the school but more to other obligations as well. This finding suggests that whenever teacher
feels less committed to the school, they are much likely to leave the organisation. This is supported by Yousef (2000)
and Jermier and Berkes (1979). As to the level of teacher's organisational commitment, Meyer and Allen (1991) agreed
that higher level of affective commitment is better for the organisation as compared to normative commitment and
continuance commitment. This is because the teacher works in the school due to their own feeling and sense of
belonging and is not due to the obligation or alternatives and consequences related to it.
Relationship between Headmaster's Transformational Leadership and Teacher's Organisational Commitment
This research result is in line with what gained by few researchers (Stum, 1999; Walumbawa et al. 2005; Judge &
Bono, 2000; John, & Peter, 2006, and Avolio et al, 2004; Bass, 1990) who found out that efforts made by subordinates
under transformational leader is high and more committed to work. The researcher finds out that the transformational
leadership has positive and average correlation with affective commitment and normative commitment. Only
continuance commitment scored weak correlation. This contradicts with the findings of some researchers, who found
weak positive relationships between transformational leadership behaviours and affective commitment, normative
commitment, as well as, continuance commitment. In a study undertaken by Kent and Chelladurai (2001), it was found
that individualised consideration has a positive correlation with both affective commitment and normative commitment.
They also found positive correlations between intellectual stimulation and both affective commitment and normative
commitment. Joffres and Haughey (2001) addressed the same issue. According to them, teacher commitment and
transformational leadership exhibited weak result. Based on this finding, it is logical to assume that headmaster's
leadership behaviours will have a significant relationship with the development of teacher's organisational commitment.
Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that transformational leaders are more challenging and demanding in terms of
their expectations to their followers.
Relationship between Headmaster's Transformational Leadership and Teachers Organisational Commitment
Components
The result reveals that the correlation between the headmaster's transformational leadership and teacher's affective
commitment is average. The headmaster, who inspires' his or her follower's motivations, intellectually stimulates them
and considerate them individually is somewhat positively related to teacher's personal attachment or feeling towards the
school. They most likely are happy to work in the school and have a sense of belonging to the school. Some researches
found the same result although the correlation gained was relatively lower than what proven by this study (Nyengane,
2007; Ekeland, 2005; Brown, 2003). Most of the researcher agreed that leadership behaviours which involved building
trust, inspiring a shared vision, encouraging creativity, emphasizing development and recognizing accomplishments is
positively related to how employee feel about wanting to stay to the current organisation they are working with.
The researcher finds out the correlation between the headmaster's transformational leadership and teacher's
normative commitment is strong. The normative commitment of the teacher, which is the sense of obligation to stay in
the current school, has a significant correlation with the transformational leadership of the headmaster. Brown (2003)
by contrast, in her research found different score between the affective commitment and the normative commitment,
with the first scored higher than the second. However, in this research, it was not. The correlation scored is higher for
normative commitment and a little bit lower for affective commitment. The difference between the scores may be due to
the research setting, whereas this research was conducted locally as compared to Brown's, which organised outside this
country. The culture of this country maybe shapes the organisational commitment of the teacher especially the affective
commitment. As compared to this research, a number of researches found low correlation between transformational
leadership and normative commitment (Kent & Chelladurai, 2001; Brown, 2003; Nyengane, 2007). However, when we
refer back to the answers made by the teachers, most of them agreed that they feel obligated to remain in the school and
feel obligated to the people in it (the score's mean was high). This shows that the teachers feel responsible to the pupils.
For that, the teachers have a good morality
Finally, this study points out that teacher's continuance commitment is correlated weakly with the headmaster's
transformational commitment. The continuance commitment mostly deal with the question of the teacher's intention

whether to stay or to leave the school based on the effort made to the school and the possible consequences and
alternatives receive outside the school. This finding is in line with Meyer and Allen's (1991), who believed that teachers
who have a strong continuance commitment stay with the organisation because they do not want to lose the amount of
time, money or effort invested or because they think they have no employment alternatives. Research evidence also
provided the picture of a consistent and strong association between organisational tenure and intentions to turnover, this
mean the longer someone works there the less likely he or she are to leave (Labatmediene et al., 2007; Mathieu & Zajac,
1990; Angle & Perry, 1981; Wei-Kong, 2005).
Again, Brown (2003) concluded different result as compared with this finding. In her study, she was unable to
find any statistically significant correlation among any of the transformational leadership behaviours and continuance
commitment. The leadership behaviours may not related to how employees feel about having to stay in the current
organisation. Rather, continuance commitment is more likely related to transferability of skills and alternative
employment opportunities. As to the research instrument, the questionnaire used should be simplified. The OCQ
questionnaire may be suitable in Western countries (where it was originated) but not in rural areas. The teachers tend to
have difficulties in understanding the meaning of the questions and become de-motivated in reading lengthy- questions.
This might result in the mean for organisational commitment scoring below 3.00.
CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the present study makes a contribution to our understanding about the conditions under which the
transformational leadership of the headmaster may be more effective in arousing teacher's organisational commitment.
The main objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between headmaster transformational leadership and
teacher's organisational commitment in Beaufort, Sabah primary school. This study found that the transformational
leadership behaviours were positively related with teacher's organisational commitment. This means that leadership
behaviours which involve headmaster's inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individual consideration do
explain how teacher feels about wanting to, needing to, or feeling obligated to, stay with the organisation. The more the
headmaster displays these behaviours, the more teachers may want to, need to, or feel obligated to stay in the school.
Overall findings from this study suggest that transformational leadership, do play important roles in determining
levels of affective commitment, continuance commitment and normative commitment of the teachers in that particular
school. For that, headmaster really needs to pay attention on their leadership styles and behaviour in order to make the
teachers more committed to the school. This research as well suggests few steps in order to improve the commitment of
the teachers.
Headmaster should do everything he or she can to give information and experience to teachers in order to
accomplish certain task or jobs, especially for those who are new in this field. This could improve their early job
experience. Headmaster also should provide opportunities for committing acts and the school must show high level of
commitment to the teachers in return. There also needs for training programme, which designed to improve and to
increase headmaster's transformational leadership. This might be an effective strategy to boost teacher's commitment
towards the school. In future, the researcher recommends a replication, field experiment and improvement in the usage
of the instrument.
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