This study of four suburban schools, two high schools, and two elementary schools, investigated how the leadership behaviors of the principal can affect the morale of the teaching staff. Questions answered included the role of participatory management and its relationship with the level of morale, differences between elementary and secondary teachers in their preference for certain leadership behaviors, differences in principal’s perceptions of his/her leadership behaviors and the perceptions of teachers, differences in principal’s perceptions of the level of morale of the staff and the perceptions of teachers, and identification of behaviors of the principal that contribute to job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction of the teaching staff.
^ The methodology used was survey, interview and observation. data was collected through the academic year, 1987-1988. Data sources included recorded observation by the researcher, interviews of principals and teachers, and questionnaires completed by principals and teachers.^ Significant findings of the study include: (1) The school whose teachers perceived themselves to have the highest morale was the school whose teachers also perceived themselves to have more participation in the organization of the school. (2) The only difference between secondary and elementary teachers in their preference for certain leadership behaviors was that secondary teachers preferred more control over the review of overall policies.
(3) In all schools the principal perceived the character of the relationship between principal and teachers as more participative than what teachers perceived. (4) In all schools the principal perceived the level of morale higher than what teachers perceived. (5) Characteristics and behaviors of the principal that teachers stated made their jobs more satisfying were support for teachers’ concerns, positive feedback and encouragement, concern for the school’s success, visibility, dedication toward the achievement of success of the school, involving teachers in decision-making, good communication, consistency, pleasantness, honesty, consideration, and strength of character. (6) Characteristics and behaviors of the principal that teachers stated made their jobs dissatisfying included a lack of visibility, a lack of teacher involvement in decision-making, being too directive, being unsupportive of teachers’ concerns, not listening to teachers’ input, making snap judgments, being inconsistent in judgement, and a lack of communication and enthusiasm.