Background to the Study

The term ‘administration; is often used to mean ‘to execute; or ‘to enforce. However, the job of an administrator involves more than mere execution of plans and decisions made elsewhere. Accordingly, Onyene (2005) noted that where administrative function is reduced to execution, critical details are ignored. According to her, administration is a process of achieving organizational goals through frantic efforts directed towards putting to optimal use every available resource such as human, money, material and entrepreneurial skills. Perhaps it is in this operationally intricate sense that a school of thought reasoned that administration is more complex than management. This is because day-to-day school administration entails critical procedures through which one in a position of authority such as the head teacher or principal discharges his/her responsibilities using the combined efforts of other people. Administration uses organized method to ensure the achievement of the aims and objectives of the school or any organization. Thus, the school administrator such as the principal combines his or her conceptual, technical, and human skills in “performing a garmot of management functions like planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling, instructing, communicating, supervising, etc (Onyene 2000). Besides, in a private school situation, Onyene (2005) noted that administration is most tasking because it has to sometimes commence with fundamental issues in structural designing, asking and answering essential questions on enrolment and patronage such as customer relations, customer values and satisfaction, learning and curriculum repackaging and many more. This workload explains why effective school administration is often at crisis level.This is because investors in schools in a bid to break even in terms of cost-benefit employ unqualified persons to head their schools. Thus, the head teacher or principal may not possess those administrative skills which he or she can strategically use for achieving corporate excellence. In actual sense for a private school to attain organizational effectiveness, proper definition of tangible and non-tangible goals is expected. In order words, private school organizations must pursue in a very personal astute manner consciously defined goals and or purposes using the helm of affairs. Once these goals are attained both internal efficiency and “break-even”, normally follow using simple administrative maintenance tips.

Furthermore, the practice of administration is as old as humanity. It is the art and science of systematic and careful arrangement of resources (human, materials, funds) available to an organization for the achievement of its objectives (Onyene, 2000). Besides, industrial revolution heralded in a strong concern for how best to organize human and material resources to ensure maximum profits for the employers. But the Human Relations Movement (HRM) as a reaction to the scientific management of industrial revolution stressed how best to motivate persons to harness materials for maximum productivity and for individual worker’s satisfaction. This is a concern, earlier confined to business and industrial enterprise. Thus, the theory and practice of administration were regarded as the monopoly of business, industrial enterprises, and later the public service. This explains the greater popularity of such terms as “business administration and “pupils administration”. According to Nwankwo (1982), Educational Administration when fully emerged was perceived as a translation of the principles and processes used in business and public administration. This impression is fast fading with the growing realization that all human organizations whether they are business, industries, public, religious, educational or military, have equivalent and transferable factors and challenges which  demand identical theories and strategies coupled with the fact that all human problems emanates from administration (Onyene, 2005).


Administration is a determinant of the level of organizational efficiency and or successes and failures. Three key elements to an organization’s success according to Onyene (2005) include effective leadership; effective human resources recruitment and management; and effective development of persons, programmes and activities. The level of administrative efficiency goes to determine whether the organization will level off for growth; become stagnated and decline, or blossom forth to achieve new heights and grow through expansion. Educational administration therefore involves the use of fundamental procedures consisting of both administrative and operative management techniques to attain the goal of education. Thus, administrative manager of a school is constantly planning, organizing, and controlling. In operative management as in school administration, the task consists of mainly supervising, motivating, and communicating on day-to-day basis.


In the secondary schools, it is the principals that are saddled with administrative functions (supervising, motivating and communication). It is therefore expected that principals should use their offices to mobilize the school personnel, especially the academic personnel to perform their teaching jobs effectively. It is against this expectation that this study attempts to examine the extent to which teachers’ performance in staff secondary schools in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area is influenced by administrative functions of the principals.

Statement of Problem

This study attempts to examine the extent to which secondary school principals have used their administrative functions to influence teachers’ work performance. It is predicated on the words of Ofoegbu, (2001) who noted that teachers in secondary schools are neither given the desired attention nor carried along by the school managers (principals) as they perform their administrative functions of motivating, supervising and communicating. This inadequate involvement of teachers in administrative activities by the principals is noted by Ofoegbu to be one of the major factors affecting the morale and job performance of teachers in Nigerian secondary schools.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study includes the following:

  1. To examine the relationship between principals’ supervisory activities in schools and teachers’ work performance.
  2. To determine whether there is any relationship between principals’ motivating activities in schools and teachers’ work performance.
  3. To assess the relationship between principals’ communicating activities in schools and teachers’ work performance.

Research Questions

The questions below were raised in the study.

  1. Do principals’ supervisory activities in schools influence teachers’ work performance?
  2. Is there any relationship between principals’ motivating activities in schools and teachers’ work performance?
  3. Do principals’ communicating activities have any relationship with teachers’ work performance?

Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were postulated to guide the study.

  1. There is no significant relationship between principals’ supervisory activities in schools and teachers’ work performance.
  2. There is no significant relationship between principals’ motivating activities in schools and teachers’ work performance?
  3. There is no significant relationship between principals’ communicating activities and teachers’ work performance?



Significance of the Study

This study is significant in the following ways:

First and foremost, it would be relevant to both principals and teachers in the sense that it would enable them to re-examine their professional commitment.


It is policy oriented in the sense that it is aimed at filling the gap between principals’ and teachers’ interpersonal relationship and achievement orientation at our secondary schools, especially the public ones.


It would serve as a reference document in the department of Educational Administration for research students carrying out research on the same or similar topic.


It would also be relevant in calling for review of teachers’ position in the nation and the entire society with the view of challenging them to occupy their rightful positions and become more effective in the education system.

Scope of the Study

This study focused on examining the relationship between administrative functions of principals and teachers’ work performance in staff secondary schools in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State. It covered the three staff secondary schools (University of Lagos Staff School, Yaba College of Technology Staff School, and Federal College of Education (Tech) Staff School) in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State; involved only the teachers in these schools.

Definition of Terms

The terms below are defined in the way their meanings specifically apply to this study.

Teacher: A teacher particularly in schools is a trained person who manages the teaching/learning process efficiently.

Teaching: It is a composite activity, which may be difficult to describe by simple definition. Most theorists viewed it as a process of imparting knowledge, or skill to learners.

Motivation: The drive or urge that makes one behave in a particular way. This drive or urge can be intrinsically (internally) or extrinsically (externally) caused.


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