Are we legitimate yet? A closer look at the casual relationship mechanisms among principal leadership, teacher self-efficacy and collective efficacy

Türker Kurt, Ibrahim Duyar, Temel Çalik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Failure to identify any significant relationships between principal leadership and student achievement has proved concerns about the assumed value and legitimacy of principal leadership. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the current literature by empirically testing the relationships between the principal leadership and the teacher self-efficacy, a construct which has a proven impact on student achievement. The role of collective efficacy on the relationship between transformational leadership of principals and self-efficacy of teachers was a special focus for the study. Design/methodology/approach: A causal comparative research design was employed to study the direct, indirect, and mediating relationships among principal leadership, teacher self-efficacy, and collective efficacy in schools. The participants included a cluster-random sample of 813 primary school teachers. Data gathering instruments composed of a combination of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, the Collective Teacher Efficacy Scale and the Teacher's Sense of Efficacy Scale. A structural equation modelling with path analysis was employed to test the research models and hypotheses. Findings: Findings of the study demonstrated that collective efficacy and transformation leadership jointly shape teachers' self-efficacy. There was a significant relationship between principals' transformational leadership and teachers' self-efficacy beliefs. This relationship was mediated and magnified by collective efficacy in schools. Research limitations/implications: The study has the common limitations of the self-reported perceptions of participants. Originality/value: The study enlightened the little-known causal relationship mechanisms through which transformational leadership practices of principals and collective efficacy of schools affect the self-efficacy beliefs of teachers. The findings are in line with the socio-cognitive theory which assumes the presence of reciprocal relationships among leadership, organization, and person domains in shaping organizational behaviors of teachers. The study also parallels with the emerging literature about the mediating effects of collective efficacy on the relationship between principal transformational leadership and teacher self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-86
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Management Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Primary schools
  • Principals
  • Teachers
  • Transformational leadership
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Are we legitimate yet? A closer look at the casual relationship mechanisms among principal leadership, teacher self-efficacy and collective efficacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this