A Distributed Perspective on School Leadership and Management

J. P. Spillane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


During the past decade, the concept of distributed leadership has attracted a great deal of attention; however, the usage of the term varies widely. For some, distributed leadership is a conceptual lens for studying or diagnosing the phenomena of leadership and management, whereas others use it as a prescription – an improvement strategy for schools. Regardless of how it is used, clarity about what it means is essential; otherwise, it will be impossible for the field to use a distributed perspective to amass a knowledge base, test hypotheses, develop improvement strategies, and move forward. This article explores what it means to take a distributed perspective in investigating school leadership and management and considers the empirical knowledge base.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Education, Third Edition
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080448947
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Distributed leadership
  • School improvement
  • School leadership
  • School management
  • School reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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