Scoping a distributed leadership matrix for higher education

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 33 : Reshaping Higher Education

July, 2010, 654 pages
Published by
M. Devlin, J. Nagy and A. Lichtenberg
0 908557 80 9

While there has been significant research into the theory and practice of distributed leadership in the school system, there has been less research into its applicability into higher education. This is somewhat surprising given the pressure on universities to reshape their governance models to accommodate a more competitive business environment as education becomes an important contributor to national economies. It is also interesting that, despite resistance from academics to the more ‘enterprise-based’ approach to shaping university leadership, there has not been a focus on a distributed leadership model that appears to accommodate the need for the autonomy that underpins academic culture. It is within this context that this paper intends to use the findings of four recently completed empirical projects funded under the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Leadership Project (LP) grant scheme to identify synergies in approach. This identification constitutes a scoping of the issues that need to be considered in exploring the applicability of distributed leadership in higher education.

Keywords: distributed leadership