The Relationship Between Principals' Power Behaviors and the Organizational Climate of Secondary Schools in Tamilnadu, India
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Martin, Thomas A.
Though there are many factors that contribute to school climate, one of the most critical is the building principal. The principal's power behaviors create or enhance the climate of a school, and these behaviors may have either a positive or a negative impact on teachers and students. The purpose of this study was to examine conditions of conflict and consensus and their impact on the organizational climate of schools in Tamilnadu, India. In his study, Dr. Rodney Muth (1971) tested the notion that variant types of principals' power behaviors produce dissimilar results. The present study replicated Muth's study and also examined the impact of principals' power behaviors on the climate of schools in India. In addition, it sought to examine whether there was any significant difference among ten Catholic schools, ten non-Catholic private schools, and ten public schools with regard to open and closed climate. In the Indian context, a significant inverse correlation between coercion and influence was found. The strong positive correlation between authority and influence revealed that administrators' authority power behaviors are accepted by their subordinates, as are influence power behaviors. A significant positive correlation between coercion and conflict emerged. Similarly influence power associated positively with consensus. The replication hypothesis, "Authority is positively related to conflict to the degree that it is seen as coercive and is positively related to consensus to the degree that it is seen as influential," was confirmed. Further, principals' coercive power, as perceived by the Indian teachers, was more pervasive in the closed climate schools, as was principals' influence power behavior in open climate schools. No significant distinction between open and closed climate was apparent when data pertaining to the three school types--ten Catholic schools, ten non-Catholic private schools, and ten public schools--were compared.