Improving the Innovative Climate by strengthening Leader-Teacher Relationships and Teacher’s Self-Efficacy
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This thesis discusses the influence of both the formal and informal leader on someone’s perception of the innovative climate (IC) to provide new insights in concepts that improve the school’s IC. Leader-teacher relationships will be investigated by analyzing social networks at schools. A gap in literature was found concerning the influence of the informal leader. Hypothesized was a direct influence of both the formal and informal leader-teacher relationship on the IC, possibly mediated by the extent to which the teacher believes he is able to do his job, in other words ‘teacher’s self-efficacy’(SE). A total of 230 teammembers of 13 Dutch primary schools completed the questionnaire, with an overall response rate of 86%. Social network analyses and multiple statistical analyses were conducted to test the hypothesized model. Results show that a very strong informal leader-teacher relationship positively affects a teacher’s perception of the innovative climate (p< .05). No significant effect was found for the formal leader-teacher relationship on the IC. Results indicate a strong direct influence of informal leaders and of SE on the IC (p < .001), mediation effects were not found (confidence intervals set at 95% all contained zero). At most schools the internal coach is the informal leader. Given these results, schools are recommended to analyze their social network, identify the informal leader and deliberately position him to influence the IC. Because of the strong influence of SE on the IC, SE should be more closely investigated in further research and addressed in practice.