Leadership Styles and Effectiveness of Principals of Vocational Technical Institutions in Ghana
Christina Boateng

Effective leaders are needed to manage vocational technical educational institutions in Ghana as government plans to raise the skill level of its workforce. Leadership development programs need to be designed for the preparation and in-service training of vocational technical leaders. This study aims at assessing the leadership styles and effectiveness of principals of vocational technical institutions in Ghana in order to identify their strengths and leadership development needs. The principals were perceived to be effective in the overall performance of their leadership roles using a combination of transformational and transactional leadership styles in the execution of their duties. However, they were perceived to be more transactional than transformational in most cases. In terms of the specific leadership tasks, exerting influence outside the institutions was one task that they performed effectively. On the other hand, they were perceived not to be doing enough when it came to exercising their power and empowering others to act. It is therefore recommended that principals must capitalise on their influence outside of the institutions to build partnerships , mobilise ideas, resources and support for the programs and products of the polytechnics; thus, furthering the objective of vocational technical education in the country. Since transformational leadership style leads to more effective leadership performance, principals need to improve upon their ability to be more transformational in style. Ghana therefore needs leadership development programs that will provide the necessary learning experiences that can induce transformational leadership behaviour. Training and development programs for vocational technical institutional leaders should therefore focus on getting principals to show personalized interest in individual staff members and pay attention to their needs for growth and improvement.

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