CORRELATION BETWEEN CULTURAL PERCEPTIONS, LEADERSHIP STYLE AND ICT USAGE BY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN MALAYSIA
School leaders are key factors in implementation of information and communication technology (ICT) in schools. They need to understand the capacities of the new technologies, to have a personal proficiency in their use, and be able to promote a school culture which encourages exploration of new techniques in teaching, learning and management. However, there is less information about the current status of ICT use by Malaysian school principals. This paper investigated the extent to which secondary school principals use computers in Malaysia and determined factors related to level of computer use by principals (cultural perceptions and leadership style of principals). Initial report also highlighted analysis of a baseline data gathered from 520 secondary school principals in the state of Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia. Findings indicate that school principals are using computers for instructional and administrative purposes and they have moderate competency in computer applications and spent a few times a week working on their computers. Also, cultural perceptions and transformational leadership contributed significantly to the level of computer use by principals. It is anticipated that the data obtained from the study will open new lines of inquiry about the crucial roles of school leaders in the adoption of ICTs and will contribute to decisions about future developmental needs because more will be known about their preparedness for change. Hence, policy makers must design professional development programs, such as leadership studies, in order to teach the components of transformational leadership; idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individual consideration to future administrators.