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ERIC Number: EJ916085
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-1052-6846
Distributed Leadership Includes Staff: One Rural Custodian as a Case
Maxwell, Gerri; Scheurich, Jim; Skrla, Linda
Journal of School Leadership, v19 n4 p466-496 Jul 2009
Distribution of leadership tasks, often described as distributed leadership, has emerged as an innovative concept for describing the deployment of leadership within schools. A distributed leadership perspective suggests that successful school leadership is not simply the charge of the formal leaders (e.g., Gronn, 2000; Ogawa & Bossert, 1995; Scribner, Sawyer, Watson, & Myers, 2007; Smylie, Conley, & Marks, 2002; Spillane, Halverson, & Diamond, 2004); rather, the entire staff of a school, throughout its multilayered network of relationships and interactions, is responsible for school leadership (Crow, Hausman, & Scribner, 2002; Scribner et al., 2007; Spillane et al., 2001). An examination of the leadership literature yielded task orientation (Fleishman, 1953), communication orientation (Gronn, 2000; Spillane, 2006), and trust orientation (Hays Group, 2004; MacBeath, 2005; Oduro, 2004; Smylie, Mayrowetz, Murphy, & Louis, 2007) as key characteristics of leadership. As such, the lead author used this trifold lens as a means of recognizing leadership among support staff--in particular, a rural school custodian. In addition, this qualitative study (Lincoln & Guba, 1985), which utilized snowball sampling (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996), resulted in hour-long interviews of 19 informants whose conversations revealed the leadership impact of one school custodian over his 50-plus-year stint as a custodian and significant school leader. Recommendations for leadership programs include incorporation of further studies of support staff within the current scope of what is considered distributed leadership. (Contains 1 note, 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A