Leadership Can Be Effectively Distributed Across Organizations

  • Posted on: 19 August 2013
  • By: Tina McCoy

One person does not effectively lead a complex organization in a changing world.  Rather, leadership is distributed across an organization in a range of ways.  In Distributed Leadership in Practice, editors James Spillane and John Diamond examine and clarify the distributed leadership perspective by presenting selected case study articles that demonstrate how leadership is effectively stretched across schools through established routines, systems of practice, tools and individuals in a variety of roles.  Distributed Leadership in Practice CoverTo harness the potential of distributed leadership in an organization, one must not simply realize that leadership is distributed but how it is distributed.  Any formal leader will do well to consider that, in the words of the authors “leadership is not always about change… it can also be about resistance to change efforts” (p. 4).

Distributed Leadership In Practice will expand your thinking on leadership approaches. Distributed leadership, not to be confused with delegation, is neither easy nor appropriate for every situation.  It can, however, be useful for understanding and spanning the gap between the formal goals or ‘design’ of an organization and the daily or ‘lived’ realities faced within it.  This book allows the thoughtful administrator to reflect on ways to more closely connect leadership efforts to advancements in teaching and learning within their schools.

Caveat: Distributed Leadership Theory is not as well developed as most other, more traditional, perspectives on leadership.  Don’t expect a ‘how to’ approach from this book.  If you have a preconception that distributed leadership will be easier than other leadership styles, you may be disappointed in this book.