Variabilities and dualities in distributed leadership: findings from a systematic literature review

Woods, Philip A.; Bennett, Nigel; Harvey, Janet A. and Wise, Christine (2004). Variabilities and dualities in distributed leadership: findings from a systematic literature review. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 32(4) pp. 439–457.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143204046497

Abstract

This article examines the concept of distributed leadership, drawing from a systematic review of relevant literature commissioned by the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) and jointly funded by NCSL and the Open University’s Centre for Educational Policy, Leadership and Lifelong Learning (CEPoLL). The concept attracts a range of meanings and is associated with a variety of practices, with varying implications for organizational processes and values. The article highlights key variables that emerged from the literature review. It then elaborates one of the emergent themes—the distinction between structure and agency—and seeks to utilize this further as a means of illuminating the concept and practice of distributed leadership. In conclusion, areas for future research are identified.

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