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International Journal of Educational Science and Research (IJESR) ISSN 2249-6947 Vol.2, Issue 2 Sep 2012 43-55 Š TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.,

THE DEGREE OF TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE PRACTICE AMONG SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AS PERCEIVED BY THEM & THEIR TEACHERS IN JORDAN AIEMAN AHMAD AL-OMARI Associate Professor, Higher Education Administration, The Hashemite University Faculty of Educational Sciences Department of Educational Foundations and Administration, Jordan.

ABSTRACT This paper investigated the degree of transformational change practice among school principals as perceived by them and their teachers in Jordan. The study results revealed that the school principals perceived themselves practicing transformational change in high levels, while teachers perceived there principals practicing transformational change in moderate levels. No significant differences were found related to participants' gender, academic qualifications, and experience.

KEY WORDS: Transformational change; school principals; teachers; Jordan. INTRODUCTION The roles of individuals, as leaders and subordinators are very vital to enhance the organizational effectiveness and performance, and to understand their roles, it is necessary to frame the concept of organizational change. Wu & He (2009), in their research point out that public sector administrator not only need to acquire knowledge about the field, but also need to develop professional skills that will enable them to carry out their tasks more effectively, their analysis shows that “insufficient attention has been paid to this area. To begin with, the educational system is becoming more complex. Expectations have risen and the number of players has expanded increasing the scale and complexity of school management tasks, and adding exponentially to the complexities and ambiguities of principaling to the point where some principals are in danger of sinking under pressure (Bolam, McMahon, Pocklington, & Weindling, 1992; Earley, Baker, & Weindling, 1990). The traditional roles of school principals and other educators are changing and will continue to be shaped, redefined and renegotiated as restructuring occurs (Bredeson, 1991). Organizational change will be more difficult to bring about if leaders of change initiatives do not consider the consequences for all parts of the organization, and group impact (Burke, 2008). Organizational change is broad and can neither be caused nor managed solely by an individual (Collins, 2001; Kotter, 1996; Senge, 1990). Although a leader is not the sole agent of change, he or she is a key player in the process. Leaders frame a situation, providing a basis for followers to respond (Levin, 1998).


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Leaders’ attitudes toward change and suggestions for how to approach a desired change will influence how their followers make sense of the change (Eddy, 2003). Eddy (2006) noted that leaders often engage in “sense making” for their followers when presenting a change initiative that is a leader’s opinions and interpretations can influence followers’ assumptions and beliefs. No widely shared definition of organizational change exists (Burnes, 1996; Kezar, 2001; Van de Ven & Poole, 1995). Burke (2008) described change as an organization’s attempt (possibly a forced reaction) to survive the external forces of its environment. Wheatley (2006) characterized organizational change as accommodating or evolving with the environment. Faces of change vary (planned – unplanned, large limited, fast, slow, basic, secondary, quantities, quality and others). Currently, time has great pressure on existed organizations, which require applying change within concurrent stages, whereas organizations could be established, and tasks could be re–engineered, market laws could be reformulated, nature of main organization has changed and the new status is inevitably different from the old one with regard to the organizations change, therefore, becomes primary – procedural or strategically transformational , so it becomes more comprehensive, deeper and important (French, Bell, & Zawacki, 2000; Comfort,1994). Transformational Change is a recent development concept in the field of change management that captured attentions of leadership scholars (Bryman, 1992). Transformational Change, according to Bass (1985), is defined as a process in which a leader tried to increase his or followers an awareness of what was right and important and to motivate followers to perform. Transformational change is defined as “change affecting institutional cultures, [as] deep and pervasive, [as] intentional, and [as] occurring over time” (Kezar, 2001, p. 27). This type of change alters “organizational structures and processes, leads to reorganized priorities, affects organizational assumptions and ideologies, and is a collective, institution-wide undertaking” (Kezar, 2001, p. 53). Ackerman (1997) identifies three types of change occurring in organizations which are: developmental,

transitional

and

transformational.

Change

management

effectively

supports

developmental and transitional change, but it is a woefully insufficient for Transformational Change. First; Developmental Change: Improves what the organization is currently doing, rather than creating something new. Improving existing skills, processes, methods, performance standards or conditions are all developmental changes. Developmental change occurs when an organization makes an improvement to their current business. If an organization decided to improve their processes, methods or performance standards this would be considered developmental change. Organizations are continually processing developmental change to some degree in order to stay competitive. This type of change should cause little stress to current employees as long as the rationale for the new process is clearly conveyed and the employees are educated on the new techniques (Tucker, 2007). Second; Transitional Change: Replaces what already exists with something completely new. The organization must dismantle and emotionally let go of the old way of operating while the new state


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put into place. The transitional phase can be project – managed and effectively supported with traditional change management tools. Examples include reorganizations, simple mergers or acquisition, creation of new products or services that replace old ones, and IT implementations that do not require a significant shift in culture or behavior (Ackerman, 1997). Transitional change is more intrusive than developmental change as it replaces existing processes or procedures with something that is completely new to the organization. The period when the old process is being dismantled and the new process is being implemented is called the transitional phase. A corporate reorganization, merger, acquisition, creating new products or services, and implementing new technology are examples of transitional change. Transitional change may not require a significant shift in culture or behavior but it is more challenging to implement than developmental change. The future of the organization is unknown when the transformation begins which can add a level or discomfort to employees (Ackerman, 1997). The outcome of transitional change is unknown so employees may feel that their job is unstable and their own personal insecurities may increase. Education on the new procedures should be commenced at each stage of the new process. This will allow employees to feel that they are actively involved and engaged in the change. As an employee’s level of engagement in the new procedure increases, their resistance to change may decrease. Management should be cognizant of the impact and stress these changes will have on their employees. The organization should continue to inform the employees of their status offer support in helping them deal with the personal adjustments they will be forced to make (Tucker, 2007). Third; Transformational Change: It is necessarily radical requiring a change in the underlying assumptions held by those involved. The outcomes of Transformational Change will be an organization that is significantly in terms of structure, process, culture and strategy from its pre-metamorphic state. If the transformation is successful, the emergent organization need to exhibit continuous leaning, adaptation and improvement (Lles & Sutherland, 2001). Transformational change occurs after the transition period. Transformational change may involve both developmental and transitional change. It is common for transitional and transformation change to occur in tandem. When organizations are faced with the emergence of radically different technologies, significant changes in supply and demand, unexpected competition, lack of revenue or other major shifts in how they do business, developmental or transitional change may not offer the organization the solution they need to stay competitive. Instead of methodically implementing new processes, the organization may be forces to drastically transform themselves (Tucker, 2007). Transformational change is associated with particular activities directed toward implementation of new processes inclusive of strategies, tasks, leadership, and cultural markers of progress. Activities reference various strategies, tasks, leadership, and cultural changes as objectives and/or issues needing to be addressed. For example, include changes in curriculum in pedagogies, student learning and assessment practices, policies, budgets, new structures and new decision-making structures. Examples of


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cultural markers of progress include changes in the patterns of interactions between individuals or groups, changes in the school self-image, changes in the types of conversations, and in new attitudes and beliefs. The literature on change in education does not focus on transformation as a specific type of change. Eckel and Kezar (2003) found getting “people to think differently” is more important than anything else. Leaders at the transforming schools explore the meanings of proposed changes for school work and pedagogies, and create a personal reality by continually negotiating meaning and trying to reach consistent new understanding within the shifting school work environment. This process of “getting people to adopt new mind-sets is a cognitive and intellectual process spurred by a set of activities that can be intentionally designed to leave behind old ideas, assumptions, and mental models”. French, Bell, & Zawacki (2000) looked at justifications behind Transformational Change as a prerequisite to ensure smooth development of organizations through positive response to change as a mixture of complex educational strategy, which, includes change of, believes, attitudes, organization structure, and enabling them to cope with new techniques, markets, challenges, and fast change rate. This require continuous efforts in applying science of behavior to contribute in creating harmony between organization structure, strategic operations, individuals and culture, developing organizational solutions toward creativity, and developing capability in the organization for renewing . Ingram (1997) investigated 44 teachers in public K-12 schools in USA and found that principals who perceived to exhibit highly transformational behavior have a greater positive impact on teachers’ motivation to exert extra effort than principals who perceived to exhibit highly transactional leadership. Medley & Larochelle (1995) reached similar results and found that the head nurses who exhibited transformational behavior were more likely to have higher staff nurses’ satisfaction than the head nurses who displayed only transactional leadership behavior. Parry & Sarros (1996 ) in Australia found the transformational leadership had a greater positive impact on follower’s satisfaction and leader’s effectiveness than transactional leadership in effectiveness and in satisfaction). Densten (1999) reported the transactional leadership of management by – exception was the most frequently observed behavior of the sample’s leaders, and caused the most satisfaction among (480) senior officers in Australian police force, possibly as a consequence of the unique procedures and primary concerns of this kind of workforce . Transformational Change is far more challenging for two crucial reasons: First, the future state is unknown when the transformation begins and is determined through trial – and – error as new information gathered. This makes it impossible to manage transformation with predetermined, time – bound and linear project plans. An overarching change strategy can be created, but the actual change process must emerge as the pace goes on. This means that managers and workers must operate in the unknown – that scary, unpredictable place where stress skyrockets in addition, emotions run high. Second, the future state is so radically different from the current state, so people and culture must change


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47

to successfully implement it. New mindsets and behaviors are required. In fact, leaders and workers often must shift their worldview just to invent the required new future, yet alone effectively operate it. An extensive review of the education literature in both, Arab and Jordanian environments revealed that field studies on Transformational Change are rare, no single study reported in the literature of Transformational Change among school principals in Jordan. This matter urged the researcher to conduct the present study to narrow the gap appeared in the previous studies through a survey on educational sector in Jordan.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Despite the many calls for reform and transformation in school principals' education, education change literature does not fully address the processes needed to implement transformational change (Kezar, 2001; Eckel & Kezar, 2003). According to Eckel and Kezar (2003), transformational change is unfamiliar territory for most education leaders, uncommon for most institutions, and little discussed in the literature. Therefore, this study investigates the degree of transformational change practice among school principals as perceived by them and their teachers in Jordan. The study problems can be summarized in the following questions: 1-

What is the degree of transformational change practice among school principals as perceived by them and their teachers in Jordan?

2-

Are there any statistically significant difference in transformational change practice among school principals according to participants' gender, academic qualifications, and experience?

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY The study attempts to develop a systematic approach to evaluate the degree of transformational change practice among school principals as perceived by them and their teachers in Jordan, which will assist in narrowing the gap that exists in the literature and empirical studies in Jordan and region. Furthermore, as resources in this respect are limited such a study can be a good resource for Jordanian and Arab researchers. In addition, this study contributes to the field in the sense that it reinforces some of the results obtained in similar surveys carried out in other places, and studies the dimensions that may be unique to this sector.

OPERATIONAL DEFINITION This study adopts a definition for the concept of Transformational Change. Transformational Change: Is the radical shift from one state of being to another, and requires a shift in culture, behavior, and mindset to implement successfully and sustain over time (Anderson & AckermanAnderson, 2001).


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METHODOLOGY Research Design This study is a survey research with an analytical background. It aims at examining the degree of transformational change practice among school principals as perceived by them and their teachers in Jordan. Population and Sample of Study The population of study consists of all school principals and teachers who are working in Zarqa education districts for the academic year 2010/ 2011with total number of (5937) teachers (Female=3483; Male=2454) and (169) school principals (Female=71; Male=98). A stratified proportional random sample was selected for the purpose of this study representing (610) teachers (Female=360, male=250), and (69) school principals (female=27, male=42).

Instrumentation In order to measure the transformational change practiced among school principals, the Transformational Change Practice (TCP) was developed. The instrument consists of two sections; the first was asking about participants demographic and background information, and the second includes is utilized to measure the four dimensions of Transformational Change (leader change, culture change, task change, and the strategy change). Responses were recorded on a five degrees likert- scale: Strongly Agree = 5, Agree = 4, Undecided = 3, Disagree = 2, and Strongly Disagree = 1. Instrument Validity For the purpose of examining the validity of the instrument (face validity evidence) it was presented to six experts in educational administration, research and evaluation and educational measurement. They were asked to check whether the statements in the instrument are clear and linked appropriately with the problem of study. Based on the experts' comments, some revisions regarding to the language were done to the instrument. Instrument Reliability Regarding the reliability of the instrument an internal consistency procedure (to estimate the consistency across the items) was used. A pilot study of 25 participants had been conducted. Those participants did not participate in the final study. The instructions were clear and all of the items of instrument functioning in appropriate manner. The values of alpha (the internal consistency coefficient) for dimensions of instrument were as follows: Leader change (.85), culture change (.87), task change (.91), and strategy change (85). The previous values can be considered reasonably satisfactory to achieve the objectives of the current study.


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Data Analysis The data were analyzed using the software SPSS package for educational studies. Statistical treatments involved frequencies; means, standard deviation were employed to answer the first question. MANOVA and One way ANOVA techniques was employed to answer the second question in order to examine whether there are statistically significant differences in means between demographic variables. In order to understand the results of the current study, it was important to set specific cut points to interpret the participants total scores related to their transformational change practice. Regarding the cut points, it should be noted that the researcher used the response scale of each item that ranged from 1 to 5 to determine these cut points according to the following manner: 1-2.33 = low, from 2.34 to 3.67 = moderate, and 3.68-5.00 = high levels.

RESULTS OF STUDY Question 1:

What is the degree of transformational change practice among school principals

as perceived by them and their teachers in Jordan? Question one address the degree of transformational change practice among school principals as perceived by them and their teachers in Jordan. t-test, Means and standard deviations were used to answer this question. Table (1) shows the Transformational Change practices in high level with Mean=3.85 as perceived by school principals. The levels of the dependent dimensions as perceived by school principals indicate that: (Leadership, Task) occupy of the high level Mean perceptively (4.11, 4.01), while the (Strategy, and Culture) Occupy of the moderate level Mean perspective (3.60, 3.65). Teachers perceived that Transformational Change practices in moderate level with Mean=3.43, the levels of the Transformational Change dimensions as perceived by teachers indicate that in moderate level; leadership change with mean=3.55, strategy change with mean=3.14, and culture change with mean= 3.44, while the task change occupy of the high level mean (3.70), school principals perceived themselves more practices transformational change than as teachers perceived. Regarding the significant differences between participants job position (school principal and teacher), a t-test was run on each of the four dimensions and total, table 1 reports that there were no significant differences at the (p< .05) level in all dimensions of transformational change practice. The results show significant differences between school principals (M = 4.11 ± .705) and teachers (M = 3.55 ± .888), t (677) = 5.020, p = .000 on the leadership change practice. There are significant differences between school principals (M = 4.01 ± .733) and teachers (M = 3.70 ± .804), t (677) = 3.329, p = .001 on the task change practice. There are significant differences between school principals (M = 3.60 ± .815) and teachers (M = 3.14 ± 1.02), t (677) = 3.625, p = .000 on the strategy change practice. There are significant differences between school principals (M = 3.65 ± .736) and teachers (M = 3.33 ± .857), t (677) = 2.982, p = .003 on the culture change practice. Thus, the principals had significantly higher scores for perceived leadership, task, strategy, and culture change than the teachers' perceived.


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Table (1) t-test, Means and SD of dimensions of transformational change practices among school principals as perceived by them and their teachers in Jordan Job N tdf Sig. Dimensions Mean SD Position value Principal 69 4.11 .705 5.020 677 .000* Leadership change Teacher 610 3.55 .888 Principal 69 4.01 .733 3.329 677 .001* Task change Teacher 610 3.70 .804 Principal 69 3.60 .815 3.625 677 .000* Strategy change Teacher 610 3.14 1.02 Principal 69 3.65 .736 2.982 677 .003* Culture change Teacher 610 3.33 .857 Principal 69 3.85 .674 4.270 677 .000* Transformational Change (Total) Teacher 610 3.43 .791 * Significant at p< .05 Research Question Two: Are there any significant statistical differences in transformational change practice among schools principals related to the participants gender, academic qualification, and experience? A three-Way MANOVA was used to test the differences in transformational change practice among schools principals related to the participants gender, academic qualifications, and experience. Table 2 reports MANOVA results that revealed no significant differences on the transformational change practice related to participants gender, academic qualifications, and experience. Table (2) Four-Way Multivariate Tests the differences among school principals as perceived by them and their teachers related to their gender, job position, age, and experience. Effect Intercept Gender

Wilks' Lambda Value .136 .991

F 820.018 1.222

.972 .979

1.222 .923

Academic qualifications experience

Hypothesis df Error df Sig. 5.00 645.0 .000 5.00 645.0 .297 15.00 15.00

1780.962 .247 1780.962 .537

DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS This study examined the degree of transformational change practice among school principals as perceived by them and their teachers in Jordan. The results of descriptive statistics showed that school principals of the sample surveyed were perceived their practice of transformational change than as teachers perceived. Gender, academic qualifications and experience had no significant differences on transformational change practice. In summary, this study revealed that Jordanian school principals, who work in the Zarqa education directorates, display Transformational Change practices with high levels, while their teachers perceived them with moderate level of practices.


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Despite diverse definitions and different understanding, transformational change can be understood as cognitive, functional and social abilities and skills, including all individual resources one can use for performing diverse tasks in various areas, gaining required knowledge and achieving good results. Every dimension of transformational change is based on a combination of mutually linked cognitive and practical skills, knowledge, motivation, orientation values, beliefs, emotions, and other social behavioral components. Transformational change among schools fails when there is a lack of leadership with profound knowledge, vision, courage, clear tasks, culture, and strategy. Transformational change demands all of these elements. It demands energy and a deep commitment to learning and significant change. The leadership change will be motivated by profound dissatisfaction with the current state and/or the vision of the future state should the current approach to management and leadership remains. If you are comfortable and perceive no threats then there will be little intrinsic motivation to do things differently. The dissatisfaction has to be substantial. Because not everyone will accept change, the school leaders need to prepare teachers and other workers in school for the journey. Principals as leaders need to acknowledge the fears that transforming the school will create. Workers fear losing their jobs, making mistakes, speaking up. There will also be strong resistance to change. Transformation invites criticism. When the the school as an organization needs to do things differently, it is often implied that it is because you have been doing things wrong! At the beginning of the transformational change process, that vision of leaders can include an exciting sense of the “better way”. It can also include a terrifying view of what can happen if things remain unaltered. Once on the transformation path, it is an ever-evolving flood of opportunities. The vision must be collaborative because one person will not be able to articulate everything, as Levin (1998), Collins (2001), Kotter (1996), and Senge (1990) clarifies that a leader is not the sole agent of change, he or she is a key player in the process, leaders frame a situation, providing a basis for followers to respond, in addition to that organizational change is broad and can neither be caused nor managed solely by an individual. The journey will be difficult, and the organizational change will be more difficult to bring about if leaders of change initiatives do not consider the consequences for all parts of the organization, and group impact (Burke, 2008). Also, fears will abound: the fear of change, of loss, of the unknown, of making mistakes, of failure, of “not getting it,” etc. On the other hand, as others awaken and join the transformation process, barriers and “silos’ will break down, collaboration and synergy will be incredible; the creativity and innovation will be staggering.

QUESTIONNAIRE OF STUDY

Part One: General Information 1- Gender: 2- Job Position: 3- Educational level: 4-Work Experience: more years.

( ) Male ( ) Female. ( ) School Principal ( ) Teacher. ( ) Ph.D. ( ) Master ( ) Diploma, ( ) Bachelor Degree, ( ) less 5 years ( ) 5-less 10 years ( ) 10- less15 years ( ) 15 and


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Aieman Ahmad Al-Omari

Part Two Item

Strongl y Agree

Leadership Change Discuss the status of the direction of our school at our monthly meetings The new principal's vision or "mental picture" of the school will energize the members. Share the vision/ mission with the teachers who we serve within the community. Leadership Team is committed to the success of the school tasks Leadership team has the right people involved to make this change happen Teachers in school be committed to the success of the school tasks Teachers in school help principal to understand how he/ she can support and adapt to changes needed to implement tasks Principal get the guiding coalition to work together effectively as a team. Culture Change Teachers at school are willing to address any conflicts they may have about the planned changes in amicable fashion. Ensure that the right teachers are chosen for leadership and management roles to anchor the change in the school. Principal feel confident working with and/ or supervising teachers from other cultures Model and example the new behaviors sought for culture change Change systems or structures that get in the way of delivering the change vision Task Change Create a website and improve our computer skills The task is attainable within the outlined timeframe. When principal face a problem, he/ she look at it from possible angles before he/ she attempt to solve it. Principal provide teachers with facts, figures and evidence to persuade them of the need for change. The messages we have heard on school make us feel that we will be comfortable about what the tasks will mean to us. Principal recruit, promote and develop the right people to implement the change.

Agree

Neutr al

Disagr ee

Strongl y Disagre e


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Strategy Change A 3-5 year strategic plan is in place. The strategic plan reviewed yearly and modified as needed to reflect trends in the current and future needs of the clients we serve. We have a realistic short-term and long-term fund development program in place construct effective strategies to deliver the vision I use projects, themes and new initiatives to keep up the urgency and build the momentum for change.

CONCLUSIONS Transformation is not required of the entire organization instantaneously and simultaneously. Individual psychological resistance to transformational change will be present. However, because the organization is a system, eventually transformational change will have to be integrated throughout. The feedback and reflection loop is critical, and it represents that transformation is a progressive and iterative process. As a conclusion, we must transform, not merely change or improve if we are to create a viable future. It will take leadership with profound knowledge and courage to have the stamina and commitment that transformation requires. Transformational change among schools is not easy, but it is critical to the health of our schools and educational systems. Transformational change is not for the other person to do, but for every individual in schools and educational system to take personal responsibility to help create new futures, to ask questions, to take risks, and to make a difference among our schools. The researcher presented the following recommendations based on the conclusions of the study: In general, literature on transformational change is very rare, either in local Jordanian or Arab educational systems; researcher is recommended to conduct further investigations regarding the notion of transformational change among schools principals.

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