CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

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Journal Article

Conceptualizing School Leadership and Management from a Distributed Perspective

A distributed perspective on school leadership and management has garnered considerable attention from policy makers, practitioners, and researchers in many countries over the past decade. However, we should be skeptical of its appeal as a measure of worth. While optimism is high with respect to taking a distributed perspective, we urge caution by arguing for more attention to research fundamentals in the form of study operations and research measures before seeking causal inferences. The question is not, does distributed leadership work? but rather, how are leadership and management related to school and classroom conditions and school outcomes? To answer this question from a distributed perspective, we need to engage study operations and measures when taking a distributed perspective in school leadership and management research. This article attempts to extend that conversation.

Spillane, J. P., & Healey, K. (2010). Conceptualizing school leadership and management from a distributed perspective. The Elementary School Journal, 111(2).


James P. Spillane, Kaleen Healey

Publication Date

April 2011


The Elementary School Journal