The aim of present research was studying the relation of power sources of the principals with the stress of teachers. The statistical universe was entire teachers of governmental elementary schools. By using simple random sampling and cluster sampling methods, 372 teachers were selected as subjects of the research. Among the other findings of the research, the significant relation between different dimensions of the power sources of principals (compulsion, reward, expertise, authority, and law) and mental stress of teachers may be pointed out. Furthermore, no significant difference was observed between the power sources of male and female principals and between the average stresses of teachers educated in educational sciences and in other sciences.
Power is one of unavoidable and essential components of any organization. For knowing the methods of an organization, all-embracing and all-sided analysis of power is required. Generally speaking, power is one of the most essential elements existing in all levels of organization. If the organization is to be able to have needed durability and stability and if it is to be able to proceed with its norms, power shall be considered among the most important organizational elements and shall be ranked as first in the set of the elements of any formations. Generally speaking, there will be no organization and no control if there is no power. (Zaleznik, 1970).
Mckoland, in talking about the power need and its role in the power of organization, introduces two main types of power called positive power and negative power. Continuously for many years, power has been looked only from negative point of view. The common phrase “thirsty of power” shows this negative feeling to power. In Mckoland’s view, negative use of power is intertwined with personal power. In his view, this approach is an elementary one and will lead to negative consequences unavoidably.
Mckoland class the other aspect of power as positive and social power. The specifications of this type of power is considering the aims of group as means of finding stimulant aims of man, helping the group in regulating and adjusting the aims, initiating ways for achieving the aims by the members of the group, granting sense of power and competency to the group members because, for achieving the aims by hard working, the group members need such sensations.
By this definition, the social power of the manager is often at risk. He is forced to move between exerting before personal power and social use of power. Position of Mckoland about the importance of power of successful managers diametrically opposes the humanistic opinions of McGrigore, Maslow, and Likert who emphasize on democratic values and participation in decision making (Ghasemi, 2003, pp.358-359). In Marx’s view, at the final analysis, power has roots in economic relations. Those who own means of production, exert political power on entire society directly or indirectly. (Kourz, quoted by Thalassi, 1989, p.316)
Greems (1978) conducted a research on the managers of human resources, power, credit, and aptitude. The research yielded following results:
Sometimes, negotiation on the role and place of the [arts of human resources or vocational human resources becomes a mix of sin and malaise. Sin is because of unavoidability of accusation, limited effectiveness, and the role of inability to maintain cooperation in the field of power, and malaise continues in endless negotiation, even if the management of human resources is different from personnel management or even if their areas differ from each other.
In researches conducted by Tion and Esterniger about need to success, need to belongingness, and need to power, they found that the force of these stimulants is affected by organizational atmosphere (quoted by Shariati, 2002).
Panahi (1996), in a research titled the Types of Leadership Power and Its Correlation with the Performance of the Principals of Model Governmental Schools, concluded that the legal power affects the performance of the principals, the most important power affecting the performance of principals is their expertise, and authority has impacts on the performance of the principals.
Nabavi Razavi, in his study on the effectiveness of the principals of the high schools of Tehran, equipped with different power sources, in view of the High School Teachers in Academic Year 1998-99, concluded that there is lowest correlation coefficient (0.70) between effectiveness and compulsion and highest correlation coefficient (0.88) between effectiveness and authority. He finally reached to conclusion that in comparing the average effectiveness, the high school teachers find no difference between male principals and female principals.
Jamalian in a research on applying different types of powers and organizational atmosphere of an elementary school in Tehran in academic year 2001-02 concludes that there was relation between reward and the personal power of principals on one side and open organizational atmosphere of schools on the other side. Further, he concluded that there was significant relation between different powers and the field of education of the principal. He has also showed relation between power based on law and organizational atmosphere of school.
In another research titled “Relation between Applying Different Types of Powers by the Principals and the Organizational Culture in Boys’ High Schools of Shiraz City in View of High School Teachers in Academic Year 2002-03”, Shariati concludes that the correlation coefficient between applying expertise power by the principal and the organizational culture is 0.89 and between applying authority power by the principal and the organizational culture is 0.75. Correlation coefficient between applying reward power by the principal and the organizational culture and between applying compulsion power by the principal and the organizational culture is 0.83 and 0.66, respectively. The correlation coefficient between applying legal power by the principal and the organizational culture is 0.82. Thus, the highest correlation coefficient relates to expertise power and lowest correlation coefficient relates to compulsion power.
Tajasob, made a research in academic year 1994-95 about “The Relation Between The Sources of Power (Personal and Organizational) Used by The Principals and Its Impacts on Motives of Teachers” and concluded that the stronger personal power of the principal is, the more motive exists in teachers and if the power of the principal increases be cause of his place and position the motive of the teachers will be weakened. Personal power is an effective factor which creates different motives and the highest degree of motives is created in teachers who have a principal with stronger personal power.
In a research conducted by Behdari (1997) under title of “The Opinions of High School Principals and Teachers about Type and Degree of the Principal’s Power in High Schools of Mianeh, the researcher concluded that in the pinion of the high school teachers, authority is the most important power and the other sources of power in order of importance are reward, expertise, legitimate power, and compulsion.
Mental stress is a status in a living organism which comes into being from mutual relation of the organism with the harmful stimulants and situations. This means that stress is a dynamic state in the organism. It is not a sudden stimulant or emotional loading, sign, and or any aspect of internal, external, and social environment.
Stress is physical or emotional weariness created by real or imaginary problems and difficulties. Similar to a building which undergoes corrosion by weather and water in the course of time, organism and human body too undergo corrosion because of age and by problems and difficulties (Fiostein, 1987, p.97).
Investigations have shown that people attach great importance to personal and family relations. The problems which people face them in the matters related to marriage (such as dissolution of family and laws and regulations related to custody of children) are examples of family problems of an individual which creates stress and tension for the person. They cannot put out of the building when an employee enters into working place. Some financial problems are caused by persons who expand their financial activities too much. This type of problems too may create tension for the employee and members of the organization and direct their attention to things other than their duties. Irrespective of the income level of person, it seems that persons enjoying high annual income face problem in adjusting their financial affairs just as those having low income (Robins, quoted by Parsaeian and Arabi, 1995, p.975).
Freud claims that welfare or mental health of individuals relates with adjusted relation of different parts of mind and the specific relation with real world. “Ego” is to establish compromise between “id” and “superego” and satisfy the instinct wishes of “id” without neglecting the criteria expected by “superego” and by realizing the situations. If the world is not “suitable” and does not offer possibilities then pain and disappointment are created. Even when the environment changes sufficiently into more favourable situation but still internal conflict between different parts of mind exists the mental agitation will continue to exist. Therefore, neurosis is a result of frustration disappointment of essential instincts and this frustration is either caused by external obstacles or by the lack of internal balance of mind. Freud ascribed part of the damages resulted from nervous perturbation to external world. The reason is that the criteria which man feels necessary to make himself compromised with them are on of the most important factors of mental conflict. Further, in Freud’s opinion, these criteria are product of social environment of the individual. One of the most important tasks of the school principals is enduring that no unnecessary pressure is exerted on staff. It is possible to ask teachers to fulfill additional clerical tasks which are either unnecessary or may be fulfilled by clerical staff easily. Additional pressures may by result of unnecessary time-consuming and tiring methods. The other source of additional pressure on the staff is that the fulfillment of troublesome tasks is continuous. For instance, if the deadline for submitting school reports coincides with sports day or visiting day or tests appraisal day, severe stress may be created for the teacher. Such potential may be avoided easily by time adjustments and changing the time of activities. One main source of stress for teachers is taking their weekly free time, the time in which they normally fulfill preparation, appraisal, ad administrative tasks. For safeguarding free time of the staff no endeavour shall be saved. The staff shall also enjoy sufficient sources and clerical and technical support for fulfillment of their duties (Houshmand, 1984).
Leyl H. Miller and Alma Dell Smith (2004), by doing several researches on solution of mental stress, conclude that unemployment in life may create lack of motive, moral deviations, and sometimes physical disease, tension in matrimonial life, anxiety, worry, and even committing suicide. The reason is that the unemployed person may feel incapability and this feeling paves the way for dominance of hopelessness, but, if person is employed he is in special route. Being busy puts back living pressures and the revenue of employment solves financial problems. However, some office works are accompanied by work pressures.
Dickingson (1999) in a research on mental stress in working place reached to conclusion that almost three out of every four workers introd7uce their jobs as pressure-creating jobs. The sources of stress vary differently. For workers of factories, mental stress directly relates to work situations (for instance, being involved in operations of dangerous heavy equipment or working in noisy place s), but those working in offices probably face pressures related to their own job. The working pressures are not limited to affairs in the course of working. The stress resulted from the demands of working place and the demands of living place too is common. It is generally told that in developing countries the pressure is lesser than that of developed countries.
Baikzad (1997) too has conducted a research on organizational stress-creating factors and their effects on job functions of the employees of governmental organizations of East Azerbaijan Province. The results support direct relation of selected organizational factors and stress of employees and their decreased performance.
The statistical universe of this research consists of governmental elementary schools teachers of Tehran who are teaching in academic year 2009-2010 2. They are 11,870 persons. Totally 3,280 persons out of above number are males and remaining 8,590 are females. For determining the magnitude of the sample, Kerjsi and Morgan Table was used. Considering the statistical universe, the size of statistical samples was 372 persons.
The sampling method was random and cluster methods. Since investigating in all districts of Tehran is not possible so the sample was taken from five districts of Tehran in random and cluster methods. Considering 10% as rate of non-responding, 409 questionnaires were distribute. The number of returned questionnaires was 372.
In addition to library studies, two questionnaires of self-report type were used for gathering information. “Questionnaire of Power Sources” consists of 24 questions each with five responses. Questions 1 through 5 appraise impulsion power, questions 6 through 9 appraise power based on reward, questions 9 through 13 appraise the power based on law (or legitimate power), questions 14 through 19 appraise the power based on expertise, and questions 20 through 24 appraise authority power.
Questionnaire of tension consist of 12 questions. The teachers asked to complete this questionnaire by choosing one of following five alternatives: Perfectly agree (5 points), agree (4 points), I have no opinion (3 points); disagree (2 points), and perfectly disagree (1 point).
For assessing the suitability of measuring instruments, content suitability was used, that is, at first 30 questions were designed for Questionnaire of Power Sources of principals and 18 questions for assessing degree of mental pressure. For finding the suitability of the factors, 10 experts were consulted and as a result some questions were deleted and the experts confirmed 24 questions for Questionnaire of Power Sources and 12 questions for Questionnaire of Mental Pressure. For finding the reliability degree of the questionnaire, the designed questionnaires were distributed among 35 members of the sample and the filled questionnaires were collected. Then, for assessing the reliability degree, SPSS software was used. Based on Cronbach Alpha Reliability Coefficient method, the reliability degree of 0.94 was resulted for Questionnaire of Power Sources and 0.75 for Questionnaire of Mental Pressure
Based on the findings of present study, the following suggestions:
- Since this study showed that in dealing with teachers the principals use compulsion source of power more than other power sources, it is recommended that the Ministry of Education holds special courses for principals to emphasize on the importance of using other power sources to teach them proper and optimal use of power sources.
- Since using compulsion source of power by the principals have direct relation with stress of teachers and the principals use compulsion more than other power sources, the principals are recommended to decrease their resort to compulsion and make the subordinates familiar with the rules. Before applying any punishment, the relevant teacher must be warned and the punishment shall be in proportion with the violation and shall be done in private (not in front of others).
1. Belmonte, Joelle (2009), Stress at Work., How to Reduce and Manage Job and Place, www.helpguide.org.
2. Dickinson Fairleigh (1999), Stress in the Workplace, A Costly Epidemic.Fairleigh Dickinson, FDU Magazine.
3. Fruerstein Michael (1987), Health Psychology, Second Printing, Plenu Press,New York.
4. Le.H. Miller, Alma Dell, Smith, Ph.D., Stress in the Workplace, APA Help Center.
5. Zaleznik, Abraham (1970), Power and Politics in Organizational Life, Harward Business Review, May-June
6. Grimes, A.J. (1978), Authority, Power, Influence, and Social Control: A Theoretical Synthesis, Academy of Management Review.