Distributed leadership globally

Educational Administration Quarterly
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Relates to study/studies
TALIS 2013

Distributed leadership globally

The interactive nature of principal and teacher leadership in 32 countries


Purpose: This study provides cross-country evidence regarding the extent to which distributed leadership operates in schools globally and offers preliminary insights about country education policies that explain the reported distributed leadership results. The researchers also investigate the relationship between principals’ reports of distributed leadership and teachers’ reports of the school culture, demonstrating the alignment of principal and teacher perspectives of distributed leadership. The conceptual framework highlights the interaction between leaders in varied situations characterized by leadership functions and country contexts. 

Research Design: Researchers use both principal and teacher surveys from the 2013 TALIS. In the first analytical stage, latent measures using confirmative factor analysis capture the extent to which principals and teachers were responsible for each of the three leadership functions; scatterplots explore distribution of interactive leadership, and further explanation is offered by document analysis of country policy profiles. In the second stage, the research uses hierarchical linear models for the effect of distributed leadership, specifically principal leadership, teacher leadership, and interactive leadership, on school culture for each country, synthesizing country results with meta-analysis. 

Findings: Distributed leadership varies by leadership function and appears to be influenced by country education policy. Teachers report that their school culture is conducive to distributed leadership when, in fact, they have the opportunity to lead. 

Conclusions: Findings add global evidence that country context is an important part of the situation for distributed leadership. The patterns of distributed leadership by function invite further research within each country, particularly to examine the influence of educational policy.