Predicting leaders’ behaviours – Theory of planned behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen, 1995)

The TPB is one of the most widely used theories. It is useful in shedding light on a school leader’s intentions and the way these might influence their behaviours. The theory is credible because empirical studies have shed light on health (Juraskova et al., 2012; Prestwich et al., 2014), corporate (Kautonen, Van Gelderen, & Tornikoski, 2013) and educational issues over the last 25 years (Bezzina, 1989; Dadaczynski & Paulus, 2015; Zolait, 2014).

The TPB is based on the work of Ajzen (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980; Madden, Ellen, & Ajzen, 1992; Ajzen, 2012). The fundamental proposition of the TPB is that behaviour is influenced by intentions (Ajzen, 2012). The elements of this theory are situated in the Model regarding the likely behaviours in which school leaders may engage when faced with external demands and under certain conditions.

In 1985, social psychologists Icek Ajzen and Martin Fishbein researched the relationship between decision making and action, to understand the key determinants of behaviour (Lunday & Megan, 2004). If behaviour is influenced by intentions (Ajzen, 2012), an individual’s intention is a precursor for their behaviour (Ajzen, 1991b). These intentions are a function of three conceptually independent determinants (Ajzen, 2012): attitude, subjective norm and perceived control (Ajzen, 1991b). These are shown in Figure 1. In varying contexts, these three determinants are the predominant influence on an individual’s intention.

Figure 1: Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980)

For more details about each determinant follow the links here:

Determinant of attitude

Determinant of subjective norms

Determinant of perceived behavioral control

Reference list to come

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