Original Research

The influence of school principals’ leadership behaviour and act of fairness on innovative work behaviours amongst teachers

Peter P. Khaola, Francis A. Oni
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 18 | a1417 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v18i0.1417 | © 2020 Peter P. Khaola, Francis A. Oni | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 June 2020 | Published: 08 December 2020

About the author(s)

Peter P. Khaola, Department of Business Administration, Faculty Social Sciences, The National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho
Francis A. Oni, Department of Business Administration, Faculty Social Sciences, The National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho


Background: Although innovative work behaviours (IWBs) of teachers are important for individual school’s effectiveness and national economic sustainability, only fewer studies on leader-related behaviours drive IWBs of teachers in public schools in Lesotho.

Research purpose: Drawing from the theories of leadership, affective commitment, social exchange and justice, the study examined the influence of school principals’ leadership styles and fairness on achieving IWBs amongst teachers.

Motivation for the study: The teachers’ IWB amongst schools plays a key role in endorsing and producing innovative and adaptable future-oriented human capital. However, only scant research is available on the role of school leadership behaviour on teachers’ IWB in public schools. This happens despite the agreement amongst scholars and practitioners that critical thinking imparted by innovative teachers is a valuable source of creative labour force, a critical component for sustained national economic growth.

Research approach/design and method: Data collected from 210 teachers in Lesotho (response rate = 71%) were analysed by means of correlation and multiple regression analyses to examine the hypothesised relationships.

Research findings: The results indicated that the general supervisor-support factor (consisting of the perception of leadership and fairness of a principal) had a positive and significant effect on IWBs of teachers. Contrary to expectations, the affective commitment of teachers to their schools did not relate significantly to their IWBs.

Practical/managerial implications: The article discusses these findings, suggests their theoretical and practical implications and outlines the prospects for future research on factors that may influence IWBs of teachers in schools. In order to improve teachers’ IWBs, this paper recommends that school principals be provided with training on how to articulate a compelling vision; coach, mentor and develop their subordinates; challenge them to think creatively; treat them with honesty and respect; and follow school policies, procedures and regulations all the time.

Contribution/value add: This study adds to the scant literature regarding the role of school principals in nurturing IWBs of teachers in public schools.


affective commitment; creativity; fairness; innovative work behaviour; leadership


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Crossref Citations

1. Bolstering innovative work behaviours through leadership, affective commitment and organisational justice: a three-way interaction analysis
Peter Phomane Khaola, Douglas Musiiwa
International Journal of Innovation Science  vol: 13  issue: 5  first page: 610  year: 2021  
doi: 10.1108/IJIS-10-2020-0205