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ERIC Number: EJ1132455
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-161X
Tensions in Distributed Leadership
Ho, Jeanne; Ng, David
Educational Administration Quarterly, v53 n2 p223-254 Apr 2017
Purpose: This article proposes the utility of using activity theory as an analytical lens to examine the theoretical construct of distributed leadership, specifically to illuminate tensions encountered by leaders and how they resolved these tensions. Research Method: The study adopted the naturalistic inquiry approach of a case study of an elementary school in Singapore in the process of implementing a project using information and communications technology for instruction. The leaders identified included the principal, vice principals, and middle managers, including a senior teacher. Activity theory was used as the lens for data analysis. Findings: The article makes three contributions to distributed leadership. First, boundary-spanning aspects of work give rise to tensions in the distribution of leadership. Second, tensions provide a context for the exercise of influence by leaders--demonstrated through innovative solutions to counter the tensions. Third, the distribution of leadership is dynamic with the centrality of leadership shifting between multiple levels of leaders as they interact in intersecting activity systems. The case study also confirms the importance of studying the relation between structure and human agency in examining the distribution of leadership.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A