Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


College of Education and International Services


Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

Edward A. Streeter

Second Advisor

Richard Powell

Third Advisor

Robert Schwab



This study sought to determine the necessary competencies for secondary-school principalship functions as perceived by educational administrators in Sabah. A secondary purpose was to identify the most feasible time for acquiring the competencies.


The subjects for this study were three groups of administrators: principals, inspectors, and central office personnel. All the 159 secondary-school principals, inspectors, and central office personnel identified in the study were included.

A questionnaire was utilized to gather the data. Of the 159 respondents, 116 (72 percent) returned the questionnaires. A four-point Likert-type scale was used to indicate the essentiality of each competency statement. Two non-parametric statistical tests (Chi-square and Kendall's concordance) were utilized in the analysis of the data.


The respondent groups did not differ significantly in their perceptions on the essentiality of 41 of the forty-three competencies included in this study. All these competencies were considered important skills although some were perceived as more essential than others.

In the analysis of the procedure for acquiring the competencies, significant differences were noted among the perceptions of the groups on nine of the competencies. Analysis of the responses in which there was agreement among the perceptions of the respondents indicated that the groups saw more than one feasible procedure for acquiring the competencies. The total population saw that five of the competencies could be developed through pre-service course work, twenty-seven through in-service programs, and twenty-eight through experience on the job.


The following recommendations are offered as a result of the conclusions drawn from this study: (1) The personnel of the Department of Education who plan for pre-service and in-service training programs for principals in Sabah should consider the results of this study to arrive at meaningful and relevant programs for principals. (2) In planning for in-service programs for principals, communication between the inspectors, principals, and central office personnel should be improved. (3) The Department of Education should provide the principals with more opportunities to do advanced course work in educational administration. (4) Institutions that provide courses in educational administration should re-evaluate their course offerings so that they are relevant to the actual work the principals perform in the schools.

Subject Area

High school principals--Malaysia--Sabah

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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