Scholarly Technical Education Publication Series (STEPS) Vol. 1

Performance of Vocational High School Headmasters in Terms of School Atmosphere, Managerial, Supervisory and Entrepreneurship Competencies in North Sumatra Province


    Mian Siahaan, Drs., M.M., 2013
    Post Graduate Program, State University of Padang
    [email protected]


The purpose of the research was to discuss and describe whether (1) partially or as a whole, managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies of Vocation High School (VHS/TVET) have direct impact on school atmosphere, (2) partially and as a whole, managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies as well as school atmosphere directly influence the performance of headmasters, and (3) partially or altogether; managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies indirectly influence the performance of headmasters through school atmosphere.

The research was carried out through quantitative method, i.e. descriptive and associative research. The data were collected through questionnaires and hypotheses were examined through descriptive technique and path analysis.

From the findings, it may be concluded that (1) managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies of VHS/TVET headmasters partially or altogether directly influence VHS atmosphere in North Sumatra; (2) managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies and school atmosphere partially or altogether directly influence the performance of VHS headmasters in North Sumatra; and (3) managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies partially or altogether indirectly influence the performance of VHS headmasters in North Sumatra through school atmosphere.

Key words: managerial, supervisory, entrepreneurship and school atmosphere



A determining factor in the development of a nation is the quality of human resources. The capacity and progress of a nation are not contingent upon the dominance of comparative advantages but are based more on competitive advantages. In this regard, activities to develop human resources through education development are required. Education is expected to be the forum for developing readily available workforce, particularly graduates from Vocational High School (VHS/TVET).

In order to improve school quality, School Based Management is one of the manifestations of educational reform that provides autonomy (decentralization) to the schools to organize their programs and development in line with their potentials, requirements and needs. Schools require professional headmasters to be able to realize the decentralized functions.

The findings from a study by the Ministry of Education indicate that around 70% out of 250,000 headmasters in Indonesia are not competent (Susanti, 2008). As a follow up, the Directorate of PMPTK (Developing Teachers and Education Personnels) carried out competency tests for 400 headmasters from 5 provinces and the results were that the competencies of headmasters were 67.3% in personal competency, 64.2% in social competency, 40.4% in supervisory competency, 47.1% in managerial competency and 55.3% in entrepreneurship competency (Directorate PMPTK, 2010).

By 2010, it was highly ironic and heartbreaking to see that the percentage of unemployment among VHS graduates remained high. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS, 2011), the total workforce in North Sumatra was 6,314,239 out of 13.2 million population, with rising unemployment of 402,125 or a total of 6.37 percents. The data indicate that the percentage of unemployed VHS graduates in North Sumatra at 14.25%. The VHSs in North Sumatra have not yet been able to show outstanding performance and remain to be below VHS quality in Java. The innovation and creativity of VHS in North Sumatra have not been as recognized as those from Java and this fact could not be separated from the factor of headmaster’s leadership. The achievements have been made possible by the leadership of the headmasters that were able to develop synergy toward empowerment of the available resources, both human resources and the available facilities and funding.

Realities in the field indicated that there were gaps between VHS supply and demand from the business sector (Provincial Bureau of Statistics, North Sumatra, 2011). In addition, VHS in North Sumatra did not have significant competitiveness at the national level. This was closely related to the performance level of VHS headmasters in North Sumatra. Although there were a number of interrelated factors that may be suspected of influencing the situation, such as planning, funding, educational human resources, awareness of business sector and the public, one factor that influenced the quality of VHS was the quality of the headmaster’s performance.

Based on the above background, the writer feels it necessary to study further the performance level of VHS headmasters in North Sumatra from the perspectives of school atmosphere, managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies.

Formulation of Issues

The issues of this research were:

  1. Did managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies of headmasters, partially or altogether, have a direct influence towards the school atmosphere?
  2. Did managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies of headmasters and school atmosphere partially or altogether directly influence the performance of the headmasters?

Did managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies of headmasters, partially influence the performance of the headmasters indirectly through the school atmosphere?

Literature Review

Evan (2005; 209) claims that “performance simply means the extent to which an individual contributes to achieving the goals and objectives of an organization”. Quite similarly, Lindsay et al (1997:172), wrote that “performance is the contribution both individuals and system make to the accomplishment of the objectives of the organization”. Both opinions emphasize that organizational performance is an accumulation of individual performance of organization members. So important is individual performance in achieving organizational goals that discussion on organizational performance must begin with individual performance.

Gatewood & Co. (2011:73) say that management is “a series of activities designed to reach organizational goals by utilizing resources effectively and efficiently”. As a manager, a headmaster should be required to have the capacity in school management to be able to achieve the objectives of teaching and learning process as a whole. According to Katz and Payol (Robbins, 2007:7), in performing managerial tasks, at least three skills are required, i.e. technical skill, human skill and conceptual skill.

Robert D. Krey & Peter J Burke (2005) defines “Supervision is instructional leadership that relates perspectives to behavior, clarifies purpose, contributes to and supports organizational actions, coordinates interactions, provide for maintenance and improvement of the instructional program and assesses goal achievements”. Therefore, a headmaster’s supervision is the effort of a headmaster towards guiding the teachers to improve their teaching quality through the actual steps in planning, teaching appearance and creating rational change in order to improve the outcome of students learning.

Drucker (1996:27-30) interprets entrepreneurship as spirit, capacity, individual behavior in carrying out an activity directing toward efforts to discover, create, applying work system, new technology and product by improving efficiency in order to provide better services and/or gain higher profit. Entrepreneurship of a headmaster is therefore aimed at achieving certain goals and expectation that are formulated into realistic vision, mission and strategic plan, meaning that the goals are adjusted to support resources available.

McBrien and Brandt (1997) state that “organizational climate, the sum of value, culture, safety practices and organizational structures within an organizational that cause it to function and react in particular ways”. School atmosphere may develop into specific characteristics that differs a school from other schools. Good school atmosphere will certainly create favorable condition for school inhabitants in performing their activities and in turn will influence the level of educational outcome.

A combination of a headmaster’s competency and a good school atmosphere will certainly improve the results achieved by the school through improved process. A headmaster’s competency will determine the quality of the program, process, supervision and evaluation of the overall school activities. The roles of headmaster’s competency will be better in improving results if supported by the good school atmosphere. Good atmosphere means that all school populations work together to achieve the goals through activities.


The research was carried out through quantitative method, i.e. descriptive and associative research. The population of the research was 855 VHS headmasters in North Sumatra covering 33 districts/cities, both public schools and private schools. Ninety-two (92) samples were selected through proportional random sampling with 0.10 margin error and 90% reliability. Based on the analysis and data category, the research is a quantitative research and based on its explanation, the type is associative.

Research hypotheses were analyzed with Parametric Statistics, i.e. using Path Analysis. The level of direct influence of exogenous variable in certain endogenous variable is reflected by path coefficient and Path Analysis is used to explain the direct and indirect results of the variables of managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies of headmasters as the causal variable of school atmosphere and headmaster’s performance as the result variables.

Research Outcome and Analysis

Description of data variables on headmaster’s performance has an average value of 204.81 or 85.33% of the maximum theoretical score (240). Variable for school atmosphere is 134.20 or 83.88% of the maximum theoretical score of 160. Score variable for headmaster’s managerial competency is 206.60 or 82.64% of the maximum theoretical score of 250. Variable for headmaster’s supervisory competency is 122.97 or 81.98% of the maximum theoretical score of 150. A variable for entrepreneurship competency is 123.63 or 79.76% of the maximum theoretical score of 155. All variables above are relatively high as they are close to the maximum theoretical scores.

Hypothesis examination used path analysis after fulfilling all analysis requirements, i.e. based on the estimate of a normally distributed population, homogeneous data variables and the relation between variables in the model should be significant and linear. There were two analysis stages in hypothesis examination through path analysis i.e.: Determining and testing path coefficient and research hypothesis testing. Causal influence among variables in Substructure-1 consisting of endogenous variables, i.e. X4 and three exogenous variables, i.e. X1, X2 and X3.

After correlation matrix among variables under substructure-1, each coefficient of path (ρji) could be calculated. The resulting coefficient of substructure-1 is presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Coefficient Values under Substructure-1 Coefficients

a. Dependent Variable: School Atmosphere

Afterwards, calculation of determinant coefficient under Substructure-1 resulted in R2 = 0.708. It means that the headmaster’s managerial competency (X1), Supervisory competency (X2) and Entrepreneurship competency (X3) as a whole can explain 0.708 of school atmosphere variable (X4).

Causal influence variables under Substructure-2 on consist of an endogenous variable Y and four exogenous variables (X1, X2, X3 and X4). After obtaining the matrix correlation under Substructure-2, each coefficient (ρji) could be calculated. The result is presented in Table 2. Afterwards, determinant coefficient under Substructure-2 from the calculation is R2 = 0.870, meaning that change variables on X1, X2, X3 and X4 altogether can explain 0.870 of change variables under Headmaster Performance (Y).

Table 2: Path Coefficient Values under Substructure-2

b. Dependent Variable: Headmaster’s performance

Calculation result by using Lisrel 9.1 (Student Edition) indicates that the path coefficient for Managerial Competency (X1) against Headmaster’s Performance (Y) under School Atmosphere (X4) is 0.126 (significant), meaning that Headmaster’s Competency indirectly influences Headmaster’s Competency by 0.0158 or 1.58%. The path coefficient of X2 towards Y under School Atmosphere (X4) is 0.236 (significant). It means that Headmaster’s Supervisory Competency indirectly influences Performance under School Atmosphere by 0.0557 or 5.57%. Coefficient of Entrepreneurship Competency (X3) on Headmaster’s Performance (Y) under School Atmosphere (X4) is 0.102 (significant). It means that Headmaster’s Entrepreneurship Competency indirectly influences Headmaster’s Performance under School Atmosphere by 0.0104 or 1.04%.

Competencies play major roles in work habits and performance of headmasters. In order to be able to perform their main duties, a headmaster is required to possess a number of competencies. Education Ministerial Decree No. 13/2007 on Headmaster Standards stipulates five dimensions of obligatory competencies, i.e. (a) personal, (b) managerial, (c) entrepreneurship, (d) supervisory and (e) social.

The assertion indicates that competency is an important factor for creating a conducive work environment that will in turn improve performance. Researches have proven that school atmosphere has a relatively strong influence on the performance of its headmaster. To improve performance, a VHS headmaster needs to pay attention to the improvement of the school atmosphere. Freiberg (2002:1) emphasizes that school atmosphere may positively influence learning environmental health or creates significant obstacles to learning. School atmosphere is something that a headmaster needs to pay attention to as it will also influence the behaviors of the teaching staff, administration staff and more importantly the students. Therefore, schools should improve the school atmosphere in order to create positive impact for the benefit of the school. Peaceful and convenient school conditions that are suitable for teaching and learning are the form of school atmosphere that is conducive to achieve better education outcome.


Based on analysis results and research data on VHS headmasters in North Sumatra, it may be concluded that:

A direct positive influence toward school atmospheres from headmaster’s managerial competency is 11.02%, from supervisory competency is 21.90% and from entrepreneurship competency is 3.45%. Direct positive influence towards headmaster’s performance from managerial competency is 6.05% and from supervisory competency is 4.75%. A direct positive influence from entrepreneurship competency towards headmaster’s performance is 4.12% while direct positive influence from school atmosphere towards headmaster’s performance is 16.81%.

Furthermore, the indirect positive influence of headmaster’s managerial competency toward performance through school atmosphere is 1.58%, indirect positive influence from supervisory competency is 5.57% and from entrepreneurship competency is 1.4%. Altogether, managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies directly influence the school atmosphere by 70.8% while the direct influence toward headmaster’s performance is 80.7%.


There are a number of recommendations for improving vocational education i.e. through improvement of VHS headmasters’ performance, such as (a) head of North Sumatra provincial education office needs to consider managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies of headmasters as well as school atmosphere by conducting intensive, planned and sustainable development and guidance; (b) school inspectors should play their roles in the form of guidance and supervision and focus more on managerial, supervisory and entrepreneurship competencies of headmasters and school atmosphere; (c) headmasters should develop cooperation with school citizens to create favorable school atmosphere that will drive school members to perform their individual roles appropriately; (d) the roles of teachers are very dominant in improving education quality, therefore teachers should be oriented to improvement of learning quality. One of the efforts that could be carried out by teachers in helping the headmaster to make it come true is by creating a favorable school atmosphere. Teachers should provide inputs to the headmasters in relation to the issues that are useful for improving the quality of vocational education through improved learning process. Similarly, teachers should support headmaster’s programs related to the improvement of performance and work wholeheartedly and earnestly.


  1. Ainsworth, Murray & Smith, Millership (2002). Managing Perfomance, Managing People. Australia: Pearson Education Australia.
  2. Bacal, Robert (2004). Performance Management. Jakarta: PT. Gramedia Pustaka.
  3. Bateman, Thomas S. and Scott A. Snell (1992). Management: Leading & Collaborating in A Competitive World. New York: MCGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
  4. Bygrave, D. W. (1994). The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship. New Jersey: John Wiley & Son, Inc.
  5. Cherubini, L. ( 2008). “Teacher Candidates’ Perceptions of School Culture: A Mixed Methods Investigation.” Journal of Teaching and Learning, Vol. 5.
  6. Drucker, P. (1996). The Executive in Action – A Compilation of Managing for Result; The Effetive Executive Innovation and Entrepreneurship. New York: Harper Collins.
  7. Durkin, K. (1995). Developmental Social Psychology, From Infancy to Old Age. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher Ltd.
  8. Evan, James R. (2005). Total Quality: Management, Organization and Strategy. Canada: South Western-Thomson Corporation.
  9. Gatewood, Robert D. & Co. (1993). Human Resource Selection (International Edition). South Western: Cengage Learning.
  10. George, Jennifer M. and Gareth R. Jones (2005). Understanding and Managing Organizational Behaviour. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc
  11. Krey, Robert D. and Peter J. Burke (2005). Understanding and Managing Organizational Behaviour. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
  12. Lindsay, William M. and Joseph A. Petrick (1997). Total Quality and Organizational Development. Boca Raton, Florida: St. Luice Press.
  13. McBrien, J.L. and R.S. Brandt (1997). “The Languange of Learning: A Guide to Education Terms”. Association for Supervision an Curriculum Development. Alexandria, VA.