Evaluation Of Distributed Leadership Education Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

According to Bush (2006), "Educational management is a field of study and practice concerned with the operation of educational organizations." He has also claimed several times that educational management needs to be essentially concerned with the purpose or goals of education since they give the fundamental sense of direction needed for effective management of educational organizations (Bush 2006).

Bush (2006) concluded that a singular all-inclusive theory of educational management does not simply exist as educational institutions are so diverse, starting from small elementary schools of the countryside to huge universities and colleges. Furthermore, even similar schools and colleges have to deal with completely different problems, which necessitate diverse approaches and solutions (Bush 2006).

2.0 Management, Administration and Leadership.

The concept of management often intersects with two parallel terminologies, namely leadership and administration. The difference is mainly regional according to Bush (2006).The term "Management" is commonly used in Europe, and Africa, where as "administration" is favored in the United States, Canada, and Australia. On the other hand the term "Leadership" is much more contemporary and it is of great interest in most developed countries (Bush 2006).

However other authors have differentiated these three concepts by claiming that they have opposing definitions. Cuban (1988) has provided a distinction between leadership and management namely leadership is "influencing others actions in achieving desirable ends" and Managing is "maintaining efficiently and effectively current organizational arrangements". He also added that both managing and leading are equally important and he confer no special value to either as they are both needed in different situations and at different times in order for schools to function effectively and meet their goals (Bush 2006).

Bolman &Deal (1997) also talk about their importance in these terms: "Leading and managing are distinct, but both are important. The challenge of modern organisations requires the objective perspective of the manager as well as the flashes of vision and commitment wise leadership provides" (Bush 2006).

Furthermore Dimmock (1999) has claimed that "School leaders [experience] tensions between competing elements of leadership, management and administration."According to him leadership is the "higher order tasks designed to improve staff, student and school performance, where as management is the "routine maintenance of present operations and administration is the "overarching term", which incorporates both leadership and management (Bush 2006).

2.1 Leadership

Leadership has been defined by Chemers (1997) as "a process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task" (Chemers 1997).

From this definition we can understand that leadership involves a social influence process in which one individual exerts intentional influence over others to structure activities and relationships in a group or organization.

Bass and Stogdill (1990) added that leadership is the process of ''influencing'' others to attain common aims. Spillane, Harvelson and Diamond (2004) defined Leadership through another angle. They claimed "leadership is not simply a function of what a school principal, or indeed any other individual or group of leaders, knows and does. Rather, it is the activities engaged in by leaders, in interaction with others in particular contexts around specific tasks."

Education researchers agreed that effective leadership is a key element to achieve school improvement. According to Harris (2002) ''research findings from diverse countries and different school contexts have revealed the powerful impact of leadership in securing school development and change''. A further important aspect while practicing leadership is the level of power and control which schools and other educational institutions assert/maintain on their in-house management and operations (Bush 2003).

However, effective leadership styles in education can be as varied as the large number of schools. Therein lays the difficulty in providing accurate definitions of leadership. Accordingly, Fiddler (1997) pinpoints two main characteristics of leadership: "a sense of purpose and confidence is engendered in followers and "followers are influenced towards goal achievement."

He continued explaining that there are various factors determining the appropriate leadership approach that need to be adopted at any particular point in time, namely : 'the context and its pre-history; the nature of the followers; the particular issues involved; in addition to the predispositions of the leader' (Fiddler 1997). Accordingly different leadership styles may need to be adopted to deal with specific circumstances.

Leithwood, Day, Sammons, Harris and Hopkins (2006), as cited by Crum, Sherman and Myran (2010), have summarized four core practices for successful school leadership as follows:

(1) Setting directions.

(2) Developing people.

(3) Redesigning the organization.

(4) Managing the instructional (teaching and learning) program.

2.1.1 Leadership theories

Scholars have come up with different leadership theories throughout history. It all started with the "Great Man theory" which implies that leaders are born and are not made (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

The idea that leadership is inherited further resulted in the trait approach of leadership. In 1927, Bowden carried out a significant study which associated leadership with personality. Hoy and Miskel (2004) cited the explanation of Bass (1990) concerning this leadership style: " Leaders were generally regarded as superior individuals who, because of fortunate inheritance or social circumstance, possessed qualities and abilities that differentiated them from people in general."

After a thorough research, Stogdill (1948) concluded that leadership is not gained solely by some inherited traits or characteristics since different situations have great influence on the impact of traits. So he came up with the theory of situational leadership (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

Hunt and Larson (1977) came up with the behavioral model of leadership which implies that leadership can be taught and learned by way of teaching and observing leadership behaviors (Northhouse 2010). Behavioural theories are centered on the belief that great leaders are made, not born. The focus of this theory is the actions of the leaders, and it is not the qualities or states of the leaders (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

Spillan, Harvelson and Diamond (2004), Hemphill and Coons (1950), Kunz and Hoy (1976) and Mouton and Blake (1984) among others investigated on the concept of leadership as a series of behaviors. Their studies resulted in defining various taxonomies of behaviors, including 'monitoring', 'consulting', and 'delegating' as Hemphill and Coons (1950) and Hallinger and Hausman (1993) pointed out. Others like Lewin, White and Lippitt (1939) have identified other styles of behavior, such as autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. Mouton and Blake named their findings on behavioral styles as employee-oriented and directive where as Likert called his as task-oriented and relationship-oriented and he has discussed about the relationship between these behaviors (Spillan et al 2004). More recently Yukl (2002) developed three fundamental classes of leader behavior and he described them as Task-oriented behaviors, Relations-oriented behaviors and Change-oriented behaviors (Hoy & Miskel 2004).

In 1964 the contingency theory of leadership was developed by Fiedler. According to him, leaders must complement the situation to his leadership behaviors for greater effectiveness (Spillane 2004).

The evolution of leadership theories continued with the transactional and transformational theories in the early eighties and Burns (1978) is often accredited to be the father of these concepts. Transactional theories, concentrate on the role of supervision, organization and group performance. These theories establish leadership on a scheme of rewards and punishments (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

Transformational theories of leadership are considered as recent leadership theories and according to Bass, this theory is an expansion of the transactional theory of leadership. Transformational leaders motivate and inspire others by helping the followers to see the importance and good side of the task. These leaders focus on the performance of group members, but they also encourage each individual to meet his or her full potential. Leaders having this style are often highly ethical and have moral standards (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

2.2 Management

As Dimmock (1999) has stated, managing means being in charge of the day to day running of the school and it is the maintenance of the system.

Dash and Dash (2008) define management as "the primary force within any organization which coordinates the activities of its various systems in relation to its objectives".

According to them, management can be considered not only as a theory but also as a process. The theory part comprises of the philosophy, Knowledge, art, concept, objectives, functions, principles and practices, models. The process part comprises of human relations, managing physical and financial resources, planning, organizing, decision-making, executing, directing and controlling people in order to meet the objectives set.

Another definition of management by Koontz (1996) is "the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organized groups"

3.0 School and Structure

The School is a complex open social system. In this system the structure is a key element in transforming inputs into outputs. The structure, also called the bureaucratic expectations, defines our role and responsibilities (Hoy & Miskel 2004).

Hoy and Miskel (2004) explained the transformational process of a school using the diagram below:



Cultural System

(Shared Orientations)

Transformation Process

Political System

(Power Relations)

Individual System

(Cognition and Motivation)






Structural System

(Bureaucratic Expectations)

They explained the five key elements within the transformational process. Structure is the bureaucratic expectations designed and organised to fulfill organisation's goals. The Individual provides energy and capacity to achieve organisation's goals and he is viewed in terms of needs, goals, beliefs, understanding of work roles (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

Mintzberg (1994), quoted by Hoy and Miskel (2004) defines the structure of an organization as "the sum total of ways in which it divides its labor into distinct tasks and then achieves coordination among them".

Hoy and Miskel (2004) have focused on structure since it is considered as the backbone of any organization, which is the framework under which we are all doing the necessary operations. The structure monitors operations at operational level of any organization. Within a structure, we are expected to make the whole machinery work. Structure provides order, cohesion and coherence.

All schools do not follow the same structure; some have an enabling or productive structure whereas others have a coercive or hindering structure (Hoy & Miskel 2004).

3.1 Enabling and Coercive bureaucracy

Lawson's made a distinction between an enabling and a coercive bureaucracy. According to him, an enabling bureaucracy promotes creative, informal relations among all the employees irrespective of the levels of hierarchy. The more an organization has an enabling bureaucracy, the larger the benefits to workers and clients. In this type of bureaucracy, the workforce is considered to be an asset or a resource on which the leaders capitalize. To this end, the latter encourage and endorse professional norms and standards as they know that the workers want and need their work to be pleasant and significant. Leaders also provide training and supports to the workers to foster expertise and mastery, thus they could be trusted to make good and solid decisions. This kind of proficient and cooperative supervision is regarded as a supportive one for the workers. Moreover, workers' participation is also solicited as they are aware that working conditions will determine the workers efficacy, effectiveness, and their loyalty.

In a coercive bureaucracy, norms and rules are not variable or open to alteration. Such a bureaucracy is considered as "mechanistic" since the whole organization functions, generally, "on automatic pilot" where there is a small number of people at the controls. All emphasis is on the respecting the norms and regulations and on the dutiful implementation of the appropriate procedures .Only the people at higher levels of the bureaucracy have a clear picture of "the work needing to be performed and its relation to societal expectations and needs". Indeed the main function of the leadership hierarchy such as commissioners, managers, and supervisors is to secure submission from the workers via a strategic system of supervision and sanctions. The workers are expected to perform so as to secure their salaries and benefits which are their only incentives to be effective. Furthermore, in a coercive bureaucracy the workers are not trusted enough to participate in decision making and they are not provided with the appropriate expertise to give their superiors, thus the latter conduct close supervision on a daily basis. If the workers are suspected to not following the rules, "the supervisory and managerial grip tightens". Consequently coercive bureaucracies become more and more hindering as in a vicious circle, bringing together a deterioration of the organization's climate (Lawson).

3.2 Weberian Model of Bureaucracy

Throughout the ages, many scholars have developed different organizational structures. But among them, the "Weberian model of Bureaucracy" is the most popular and is the theoretical basis of most contemporary study on structure. This model of bureaucracy was developed in late 1940s by Max Weber and all formal modern organizations, as well as schools, enclose aspects of the Weberian model of bureaucracy (Hoy&Miskel 2004).

This organizational structure comprises of five characteristics namely the Division of labour and specialization, the impersonal orientation, the hierarchy of authority, the rules and regulations and the career orientation (Hoy&Miskel 2004).

3.2.1 Efficiency of Weberian model

The Weberian Model brings maximisation, rational and administrative efficiency. Weber's model brings rigour as once rational decisions have been made, the hierarchy of authority ensured disciplined compliance to directives, a well coordinated system of implementation and uniformity. Career orientation ensures that staff is loyal to the organisation and provide extra effort (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

3.2.2 Criticism of Weberian Model

Despite being largely utilized, the Weberian model has quite some limitations which are explained by Hoy and Miskel (2004). Weber describes organisation as a non-living thing which can be easily moulded, but open-social system involves people and cannot be viewed as non-living. Moreover people are not all rational and well structured. Weber is describing an ideal situation, not made up of reality and on the other hand organisation is made up of people and people change, not everybody wants to attain the highest level of efficiency. Hence, there are bound to be major dysfunctions in Weberian model since this bureaucracy is made up of people and not everybody is rational, abiding and cooperative, complient, disciplined. His theory does not deal with internal contradictions of elements in the model (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

Concerning the Hierarchy of authority its dysfunctions is about the distortion and blockage in communication. Every level in hierarchy is a potential communication block if subordinates are reluctant to communicate anything that will make look bad in the eye of their superior (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

The main dysfunctions of rules and regulations is the goal displacement, rules become ends in themselves and administrators focus too much on rules and consequently ignore certain important goals. Moreover rules and regulations can engender legalist attitude. Employees use legalism as an excuse for not doing any work not covered by a rule or scheme of duty which creates an unhealthy climate in the organization. Rules normally are used to mitigate tensions but they may also create others. Another critics of rules is that they are either punishment centred or representative (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

Career orientation is also accompanied by its dysfunctions. For example rapid promotion of high-achievers might produce discontent of loyal, hard working senior employees who are not as productive or creative. (Hoy and Miskel 2004))

The Weberian model of bureaucracy also suffered from Feminist critique such as qualified women do not receive equal treatment or compensation. Women are usually confronted to conflicting demands of jobs and family responsibilities and feminists argue that bureaucratic structures perpetuate male domination. The feminine side is often suppressed and devalued by bureaucracies (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

Last , the Weberian model is criticized for having not taken into consideration the informal organisation which is a system of impersonal relations. Informal relations emerge as people interact through communication, operation and competition. Informal interactions are inevitable in formal organizations. Informal social exchanges produce differences in social relations and new networks of communication emerge. The impact of informal system on formal system can be both constructive and destructive. Informal organisation is an important device for implementing many important organisational goals and it can promote cohesion and cooperation. Informal organisation is not an enemy to be suppressed but rather a useful vehicle for improving efficiency (Hoy and Miskel 2004).

4.0 School Management

As stated above, schools are social organizations with set objectives and their human, financial, material and physical resources (Dash and Dash 2008).

The one responsible for managing all these resources is the principal or the head-master. Here is a list of his expected duties: find the best and cheapest way to achieve the objectives, careful planning, organization of human resources and materials, using the physical resources in the best way, controlling and monitoring all the different school activities, decision-making and the evaluation of the progress and achievements. In short, "school management means the use of people and other resources to accomplish the objectives of the school." Such was the definition of Kutz and Boone (1984), quoted by Dash and Dash (2008).

School management is divided into two parts: internal management and external management. Internal management comprises of managing the administrative works and the human, financial and material and physical resources. On the other hand, the external management is the relationship with the community, department and other external stakeholders of the school (Dash and Dash 2008).

Decision-making in many schools is also split into different lines of work and the four main domains are the personnel management, the financial resources, the student policies and the curriculum and instruction. School decision-making also consists of other domains such as the development of Infrastructure, maintenance and security (Economic note 2007).

5.0 School Leadership

School leadership is to identify, to acquire, to allocate, to co-ordinate, and to make use of the social, material, and cultural assets which are essential for establishing the appropriate environment in which teaching and learning will be possible. Leadership also implies the mobilization of the human resources such as the school personnel and clients so as to spot, handle, and assume the duty of changing instruction. Adding to that, they should harness and mobilize the resources required to sustain the transformation in the teaching and learning process (Spillane 2004).

Below is The Danish Union of School Leaders' definition of school leadership quoted in the National background report in Denmark (2007)

"School leadership is the ability to combine the wide view with perspectives of individuals, incidents, actions. It must be possible for headteachers to set frameworks for collective work and to show people the way in the academic/educational arena. They must have an insight into and competence with regard to the processes which promote learning and the shaping of children and young people. In a strategic and political universe, headteachers must communicate and define the conditions and future of the institution, and also coordinate requirements and expectations, objectives and means. As far as finance and administration are concerned, headteachers must give priority to the utilisation of resources which supports to the greatest extent possible pedagogical values, visions and objectives. At the same time, headteachers must possess the personal qualities which make it possible for them to formulate visions for the school and interpret these such that they fit in with the school's practice, take initiatives on behalf of the organisation, define and resolve specific everyday problems, initiate and follow up skills development among staff, and maintain regular contact with staff in their capacity as clear, communicative managers of people."

6.0 Educational Reforms in School Management

From the time that schools have been recognized as formal institution, it has known numerous changes in different spheres and it is continuously being subject to change and transformation. Recently both teachers and schools have experienced an unprecedented rate of change having both positive and negative outcomes (Aspinwall).

Pedler, Burgoyne and Boydell (1991) define the learning organisation as: "an organisation that facilitates the learning of all its members and continuously transforms itself in order to meet its strategic objectives." (Coldwell, Williamson and Cameron 2007).

Caldwell (2005) defined Transformation as "significant, systematic, sustainable change, securing high level achievements in all settings."

6.1 How to become "A Great School"?

Hopkins (2005) explains how a school can become great and he suggest various strategies, known as the "key drivers" in order to meet this end. These key drivers are personalised learning, professionalised teaching, networking and innovation and intelligent accountability. He argues that 'every school a great school' is not just a slogan, but an aspiration for the next stage of educational reform, in which each student has the opportunity to reach their potential."

Hargreaves (2003) affirmed that school as a learning organization has to motivate teachers and create new professional knowledge. School has got the responsibility to ensure that teachers have got high morale, they are given continuous development, they are provided with the appropriate platform to engage actively in innovation so as things can be done differently.

To be a great school requires strategies such as capacity building of and by the key actors, providing access and opportunities and transformation. Capacity development is important and great school will need to have further resources and see how these are being developed (Hopkins 2005).

Hopkins (2005) in his explanation on the key drivers, mentioned that the activities should be decentralized and the school should provide greater freedom and authority from the centre to the periphery for the school to work effectively. The re-tooling of school structures will certainly help to keep the strength of the school system (Hopkins 2005).

Access to best practice and quality professional development will help to improve performance and achievement. Transfer of best practice is not the easiest; sharing of experience is an important barrier. Alliance is important- should borrow the best practice, modify it and implement it in our own way. The element of flexibility in utilization of best practice is important. Schools as a learning organization have to motivate teachers and create new professional knowledge at the level of the school. This is important in order to help to motivate the teachers keeping a high morale and not to become disgruntled. Professional development should go side by side with leadership development (Hopkins 2005).

Senge (1990) defined a learning organization as one "…where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free and where people are continually learning how to learn together" (Johnston and Caldwell 2001).

To make optimum use of its human resources, an organization must make sure that everyone should be prepared to learn at every opportunity. Organizations will only succeed when learning will be seen as a continuous need for each individual. However, the learning organization will not become one by a sudden and remarkable transformation, rather it should proceed by developing gradually each of the five "disciplines", namely, "systems thinking", "personal mastery", "mental models", "shared vision" and "team learning"(Johnston and Caldwell 2001).

Intelligent accountability will only be possible if there is close monitoring of every aspect of school life. Monitoring of performance data is crucial and eventually it leads to the development of a framework for effective, ongoing self-evaluation of the level of the school (Hopkins 2005).

7.0 Decentralization of School Management

In the 1980s and 1990s, a new international trend emerged in many developed countries throughout the world, that of decentralization of their education system. It was obvious that large, centralized bureaucracies didn't possessed the necessary qualities to keep pace with the rapidly changing economic realities. According to Levacic (1998) and Raab (2000), the step was to decentralize the decision-making from the central government to the local school level and to share the decision-making among the principal, teachers, parents, community members and students at the school level (Ng and Chan 2008).

Accordingly, many schools adopted the school-based reforms, with a goal to upgrade the quality of education, which is expected to sustain the state competitiveness internationally. Ng and Chan (2008) further enumerated various examples of such school-based reforms. These are

"In the UK, the Educational Reform Acts of 1988 and 1993 introduced the reforms of Local Management of Schools and Grant-maintained Schools. In the USA, there were similar reforms of Site-based Management and School-based Leadership. In Australia, the Schools of the Future and Better Schools were also based on a school-based reform approach. According to School-based Management published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (Abu-Duhou 1999), many other examples could be found in Europe, Asian and Latin America countries" (Ng and Chan 2008).

They further interpreted such a collective shift as a means to enhance the education quality, responding to globalization and to develop the knowledge-based economy. This decentralization archetype is expected to provide greater freedom and responsibility to principals, teachers, students and parents, in domains like the school decision making about budgets, personnel and the curriculum. Such a freedom will enable them to establish more effective learning environments for the students (Ng and Chan 2008).

The Economic Note (2007) also examined this particular form of "market-based education reform" known as decentralization of school management which has become more and more popular during the recent years. Also known as school-based management, the decentralization of school management can be in various modes and has emerged in many forms in different countries.

The main argument brought to support decentralization is that "principals, teachers and parents are best placed to make decisions about how a school's resources should be organized to meet the needs of students and the wider community" (Economic note 2007).

7.1 Advantages of Decentralisation

Many advantages have been observed such as an improvement in educational outcomes due to the enhanced management and accountability of schools and examples of that are: an increase in the test scores and a decrease in drop-out rates. Another advantage is a more effective organization as an autonomous school had the strongly influences the overall quality of the school organization (Economic Note 2007).

Other prospective benefits from decentralization are an increase in efficiency and innovation in the teaching and learning process of education, a reduction in the educational bureaucracy, schools become more receptive to the needs of the local communities, the accountability is reinforced and an increased commitment with the schools, thus increasing the financial support. Increased self-management for schools is a key element in whichever strategy to provide greater choice in education (Economic note 2007).

In World Bank (2007), the authors provide a comprehensive analysis of case studies in some countries where "the process of decentralization of authority to the local-level" is in force from the past decades.

Among the various strategies brought by Governments around the world to improve the financing and delivery of education services and more recently to improve the quality and to increase quantity of enrollment rates, is the decentralization of educational decision-making. Defenders of this strategy argue that such type of decentralization encourages demand and it guarantees that schools now echo priorities and values of the local communities (World Bank 2007).

In conferring the freedom to voice out and the decision-making power to local stakeholders, who is more knowledgeable about the local education systems than the chief policymakers, decentralization can bring greater progress to educational outcomes thus increasing the clients' satisfaction (World Bank 2007).

The decentralization of decision-making in education has various definitions and names but it is most commonly known as School-based Management (SBM). However they are all relevant to the concept of "decentralization of authority from the central government to the school level" (World Bank 2007).

8.0 School-based Management or Self Managing School

Caldwell (2005) has observed that the governments of every country aim at transforming their schools. Transformation is only attained when "significant, systematic, and sustained change has occurred", thus improving outcomes for every students in whichever settings and contributing socially and economically to a country. One of the strategies invariably proposed to meet this goal is the School-based management.

The management of a school is in no way a simple task, the head of school alone will not be able to attend to all these duties. As Dash and Dash (2008) have rightly said "School management is a cooperative human endeavour." They further continued by explaining that for an effective school management, teachers, parents, students and even the community members have to cooperate with the head of school even if he is the manager of "this human enterprise".

Through the literature, we have come across several definitions of school-based management where one complements the other. Some of them are worth noting:

The Economic Note (2007) defined School-based management as "the systematic decentralization to the school level of authority and responsibility to make decisions on significant matters related to school operations within a centrally determined framework of goals, policies, curriculum, standards, and accountability."

In the World Bank (2007), two main definitions were quoted. Firstly Brian Caldwell (2005) saying: "SBM is the decentralization of authority from the central government to the school level". Secondly the definition of Malen, Barry and Kranz (1990): "School-based management can be viewed conceptually as a formal alteration of governance structures, as a form of decentralization that identifies the individual school as the primary unit of improvement and relies on the redistribution of decision-making authority as the primary means through which improvement might be stimulated and sustained"(World Bank 2007).

Bush and Gamage (2001) quoted a definition of school-based management given by Caldwell and Spinks (1988) "a self-managing school as one for which there has been significant and consistent decentralisation to the school level of authority to make decisions related to the allocation of resources."

Decentralization of school management is another way of calling the above mentioned cooperation. Decentralization or school-based management varies from country to country and it can take different shapes (Economic Note 2007).

"School-based management has many shades of meaning. It has been implemented in different ways and for different reasons and at different rates in different settings," as Caldwell (2005) pointed out.

A large number of countries in the world have adopted the school-based management in different forms of self-governance according to their specific context. However each of them revolves around the same central idea that "greater autonomy will lead to improved educational outcomes" (Bush and Gamage 2001) and that "there has been an increase in authority and responsibility at the school level, but within a centrally-determined framework that ensures that a sense of system is sustained" (Caldwell 2005).

The authority is typically delegated to the governing bodies at school level which consist of representatives of significant stakeholders, at the same time as the delegation of the operational management to the principal. The concept of self-governance is centered on the idea that decision-making concerning groups of individual within the educational system should be in the hand of those within the schools instead of the national or local politicians or officials (Bush and Gamage 2001).

The school-based management was initially put into operation in countries like Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, followed by many governments and agencies in developing countries who also became more and more interested in such a management style (Caldwell 2005).

A rising number of developing countries are establishing school-based management in their school with the objectives of empowering principals and teachers or of boosting their professional drive, thus developing their sense of ownership to the school (World Bank 2007).

Across all OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, the trend is to be more autonomous, to decentralize the functions and to encourage openness to local requirements, aiming at an increase in the performance levels (World Bank 2007).

School-based Management has already been proven beneficial as most countries with independent schools in terms of allocation and management of resources and bringing change in the educational content, have students who have good performance in international student achievement tests (World Bank 2007).

Moreover schools which empower teachers and stakeholders to participate in the decision-making concerning the course contents or the budget have a greater enrolment rate consisting of the majority of the students' population in the OECD countries. School autonomy and student performance are very much linked positively. Furthermore greater autonomy does not mean greater disparity in student's performance since the governments provide the necessary support to schools with poor performance to increase their level. Examples of that are countries like Finland and Sweden who have the least performance variations among their schools and who have the greatest degree of school autonomy (World Bank 2007).

These reforms also include reinforcing parental and community participation in the schools, often via school councils. The conclusion of this toolkit is that " there is no single best practice, but this toolkit provides some general principles that can broadly be applied to the implementation of SBM reforms" (World Bank 2007).

Caldwell (2005) pointed out that a significant implication of school-based management is that school leaders should be competent for decision-making on critical matters concerning the school operations and recognize and consider "the elements in a centrally-determined framework" which pertain to every schools in the system.

He further unfolds the different most-important domains in which the local decision-making would take place, from recent studies (Caldwell and Hayward, 1998; Caldwell and Spinks, 1998; Fullan and Watson, 2000; Ouchi and Segal, 2003; Volansky and Friedman, 2003). These are : "learning and teaching and the support of learning and teaching", particularly the capacity building of the personnel to devise and provide a curriculum and pedagogy that satisfies the needs of students, considering the priorities in the local background and having the capacity to identify needs and oversee outcomes. Adding to that, capacity building of the community is important to assist the schools in their efforts (Caldwell 2005).

Another important aspect of the school-based management is to decide who will be designate to responsible for the decentralized functions. The report of the World Bank (2007) has proposed four models that illustrate the numerous compositions in school-based management reforms:

1. administrative-control SBM-in which the authority is devolved to the school principal

2. professional-control SBM-in which teachers hold the main decision-making authority so as to use their knowledge of the school and its students

3. community-control SBM-in which parents have the major decision-making authority

4. balanced-control SBM-in which decision-making authority is shared by parents and teachers.

8.1 Advantages of SBM

Thomas and Martin (1996) quoted the conclusion of OECD countries synthesis of studies, conducted in nine countries, which welcomed cautiously the self-management and which talked about its potential benefits in these words : "Greater autonomy in schools ... [leads] to greater effectiveness through greater flexibility in and therefore better use of resources; to professional development selected at school level; to more knowledgeable teachers and parents, so to better financial decision; to whole school planning and implementation with priorities set on the basis of data about student [outcomes] and needs."

The "Guiding principles for implementing school-based management programs" (2007) has enumerated various advantages of adopting such a management style, namely:

"Better quality education as a result of the more efficient and transparent use of resources"

"A more open and welcoming school environment since the community is involved in its management"

"Increased participation of all local stakeholders in decision-making processes, leading to a more collegial relationship and increased satisfaction"

"Improved student performance as a result of reduced repetition rates, reduced dropout rates"

"And (eventually) better learning outcomes."

Everything has its advantages and its disadvantages, even school-based management. To successfully implement a decentralized policy there are certain implication that should be taken into due consideration. Failing to do so, the stakeholders will find major obstacles in their way to maintain the school-based management as such (IIEP Newsletter 2004).

The IIEP (2004) conducted a research in some African countries, namely Benin, Guinea, Mali and Senegal to observe and analyze the implementation of decentralization mostly via field studies on local education offices and schools. Interviews conducted with the major local stakeholders such as head and staff of local education offices, representatives of local authorities, head teachers, teachers, parents' associations and external partners, revealed that they have met numerous obstacles to successfully implement such a policy. Below is an enumeration of the above mentioned obstacles:

1. "Poor quality monitoring"

2. "Overloaded and under sourced schools: (The financial and material resources allocated to schools by the central education authorities are insufficient."

3. "Lack of transparency"

4. "Different categories of teachers"

5. "Little support from local authorities"

6. "Cultural obstacles"


James Spillane (2005) claim that Leadership includes "an array of individuals" with numerous means and a variety of structures. Distributed leadership has been of great interest in many countries. Several terminologies are used to describe this concept, such as "shared leadership," "team leadership," and "democratic leadership". In some cases distributed leadership means that school leadership comprises of several leaders; others claim that leadership is a quality pertaining to the organization and not to an individual only. Yet others define distributed leadership as a way to consider the practice of school leadership (Gronn 2002; Spillane et al.2004).Distributed leadership is primarily and principally about leadership practice instead of the leaders or their positions, tasks, schedules, and constitutions.

According to Huber (2004), when schools are regarded as learning organisations, it implies that the stakeholders should be given the necessary power and they should operate in cooperation. In brief Huber (2004) said that "Leadership is about empowering others as viable partners in leadership". Spillane (2005) also mentions the different terminologies used to describe distributed leadership and these are:"cooperative leadership", "democratic leadership" and emergent concepts known as "organizational-educational management" (Rosenbusch, 1997), "post-transformational leadership" (West, Jackson, Harris and Hopkins 2000), or Huber's (2004) "integrative approach to leadership", which has as focal point the fundamental aim of school. This concept is also about adjusting school leadership to the target of school in incorporating the different functions and expectations and putting emphasis on empowering the different stakeholders.

Mintzberg (2004) asserts that "bosses and subordinates running up and down the hierarchy have to give way to the shifting back and forth between 'colleagues' on the inside and 'partners' on the outside". Nominated leaders are needed in the web to unite and be part of the cause rather than to give orders and supervise. "And that means that managers have to get inside those networks. Not be parachuted in, without knowledge, yet intent on leading the team. No, they must be deeply involved, to earn any leadership they can provide". He maintains that leadership inside the organizational aim of a web is: "Not about taking clever decisions and making bigger deals, least of all for personal gains. It is about energizing other people to make better decisions and do better things ... It is about releasing the positive energy that exists naturally within people."

Successful leadership is more about inspiring than empowering; more about connecting than controlling; more about demonstrating than decision-making. And all this is done by full engagement, a great deal more than anyone else (Mintzberg 2004).

Reviewing Sergiovanni (2000) and Bezzina (2006), Jacobson (2011) found that organizational restructuring in booming schools are frequently those having cultures of collaboration which are embedded in diverse modes of distributed leadership (DL), whose teachers assume both formal and informal responsibilities (Jacobson 2011).

Distributed Leadership is also considered as an intentional component of the organizational redesign which has the potential of school upgrading as Gronn and Hamilton (2004); Firestone and Martinez (2007); Leithwood et al. (2007) and Mayrowitz , Murphy, Seashore and Smylie (2007) pointed out (Jacobson 2011).

However, Timperley (2005) showed that others have uncertainties about who should be involved in the distributed leadership and if so when. This should depend on their level expertise and whether their own agenda match that of the organization (Jacobson 2011).

Still other authors like Spillane, Camburn and Pareja (2007) consider Distributed Leadership as a substitute viewpoint to universal concepts of leadership which comprises of frequent interactions between formal leaders and their followers (Jacobson 2011).

There are particular modes of distributed leadership depending upon diverse characteristics and contexts such as assorted structures, methods of working, goals and principles, and ethical and other factors regarding issues like rights to participation. These particular manifestations often overlap with other ideas of leadership such as "collegiality" and "democratic" among others (Bennet, Wise, Woods and Harvey 2003).

Distributed leadership fundamentally could be viewed as "an analytical orientation to leadership", which leaves open or actuality entails, options and priorities regarding its operation thus creating differing tangible natures and structures of distributed leadership. (Bennet et al. 2003)

Throughout their article, Bennet et al. (2003) have distinguished between numerous alterable features. Below is a summary of these variable features

•"Control/autonomy". This major variable emphasize on limitations set by higher levels in the hierarchy or even by the circumstance in which the organization operates. Some aims or principles are established by formal leaders who are directly answerable to outsiders concerning the organisation's performance, and these are referred to as non-negotiable as Graetz (2000) pointed (Bennet et al. 2003).

• "Organisational structure and agency": Some approaches in practicing and studying distributed leadership focus more on the organizational configuration of leadership rather than on the prospect, purposes, and 'theories in use' of individuals; or vice versa. This singular characteristic was observed in comparative studies such as Harris and Chapman (2002), Spillane et al. (2001), and Goodman, Baron and Myers (2001).

• "Social and cultural context": This has a considerable impact on distributed leadership as the social and cultural background may act either in a positive or negative way to initiate and uphold the necessary conditions for distributed leadership to boom, as put forward by Knight and Trowler (2001) and identified by both Bryant (2003) and Kets de Vries (1999). Both external and social cultural context and the organizational culture exerts their influence on the distributed leadership (Bennet et al., 2003)

• " Source of change". The stimulus for the development of the distributed leadership can comes from different sources. To begin with, Bickmore (2001) suggested "policy issues or ideas external to the formal members of an organization". Secondly numerous studies showed that distributed leadership can be developed by a "top down" initiative from a powerful and charismatic leader, often in the forms of the headteacher or principal or senior leaders. Thirdly the impetus may come from a 'bottom up' initiative from the organisation or from a group of people that embody partly the organisation. This could occur in response to either a formal policy requirement from the organisation, or to some external pressure (Bennet et al. 2003).

• "Positional/informal leadership": Variations occurs according to the degree of involvement of informal leaders in the practice of distributed leadership. It may comes from a 'top down' initiative who acknowledge such type of leadership relationships within the community or from a 'bottom up' initiative through individuals or groups inside the organisation who are perceived by others as having a leadership role (Bennet et al., 2003).

• "Dynamics of team working": According to the literature reviewed, team work emphasizes on "collaboration, multiple and complementary strengths and expertises, and the need for all members to share a common view of both the purposes of the team and its means of working". All these characteristics have correspondence to a great extent of the opinions about distributed leadership (Karkkainen 2000). Moreover the authors on teams often differentiate between two types of teams : "formally structured teams" and "teams that are created on an ad hoc basis to carry out specific projects and both style of teams function best in an open environment, where the relationships are founded on "trust, mutual protection and support" (Bennet et al. 2003).

• "Institutional and spontaneous forms of distributed leadership": Distributed leadership may be practiced through a "long-term institutional form" with team structures and committees. On the other hand, the distributed leadership literature also revealed the existence of "a strong theme of fluid leadership", based on know-how rather than the stance and which function according to varying ad hoc groups formed on the on account of immediate and appropriate expertise. "Such fluid leadership will only be possible within a climate of trust and mutual support which becomes an integral part of the internal organisational social and cultural context" (Bennet et al. 2003).

• "Conflict resolution": Successful teams and the practice of distributed leadership should provide for means to face and to resolve conflicts. Such an approach may have to operate in a much larger sphere than would be required by smaller departmental, pastoral or project teams. Depending on the motives and on the degree of hierarchy, the conflict resolution approach may be "hierarchical, directed by a single leader, or more collegial, through conjoint or shared leadership." (Bennet et al. 2003).

9.1 Advantages of Distributed Leadership

Distributed leadership is beneficial in many ways. First, according to Harris (2004) and Spillane (2006), it gives recognition to individuals in both formal and informal positions to be responsible for leadership activities via a network of interactions (Gamage, Adams and Mc.Cormack 2009).

Based on observations, Harris (2004) noticed that distributed leadership has plays a part in the stable improvement of schools in domains like high levels of both student skills and achievements.

Accordingly distributed leadership is recognized as a collective leadership where teachers became experts by working in collaboration, since connect people in the leadership activity was the essence of distributed leadership practice. Day (2004) affirms that such a practice greatly encourage teacher participation and dedication and Duignan, (2006) asserts that the transparency and efficiency of team management show the way to development of "the processes, content, and outcomes of teaching and learning" (Gamage et al.2009).

According to Leithwood et al. (1999), "participative leadership … assumes that the decision-making processes of the group ought to be the central focus of the group." This 'normative model' is supported by three criteria namely: school effectiveness is improved by participation, Participation comprises of democratic ideologies and any lawful stakeholder is eligible to the Leadership position. Sergiovanni (1984) also shared this point of view by claiming that a participative approach thrives in "bonding" personnel together and in attenuating the pressures on school principals (Bush 2003).

"The burdens of leadership will be less if leadership functions and roles are shared and if the concept of leadership density were to emerge as a viable replacement for principal leadership", wrote Bush (2003).

As elaborated above, distributed leadership has been very popular and largely adopted in the professional world during the past decade. However a large amount of the discussion is 'prescriptive', that is it is based on ideals rather than data. Both theory and empirical study propose to be cautious with such an approach as "there is a time and a place for sharing leadership". Guidance should be sought to better understand when and how to share leadership for learning. Yet when being in the right hands, "shared leadership is a powerful tool for expanding the school's capacity to achieve its vision and create its own desired future". It is worth noting that research does recommends that even if policy measures supports shared leadership, the principal's own leadership is crucial in developing the leadership of others (Hallinger 2011).

Gronn (2008) observed, "Whatever the future might hold for this particular idea, however, the opportunity to reflect on its career history and scholarly uptake has reinforced the claim that, at least to this point in time, distributed leadership's contribution to better understanding and appraising the work of organisations, especially schools, has been both insightful and productive." (Gronn 2008)

10.0 Who are the School Leaders?

There is a need to redefine the nature of leadership, management and governing schools (Caldwell 2006). From studies on effective leadership in schools it can be seen that the authority to lead may not necessarily be located in the person of the leader but can be dispersed within the school in between and among people (MacBeath 1998; Day et al. 2000). Therefore, Leadership is not centered in a person or an office (Mulford 2003).

The school leaders must bear in mind that schools are places where leadership actions are distributed and diffused across the whole school. Every member of the staff must be responsible for leading his or her practice. Moreover the school leaders should be aware of the fact that individual schools are now working in collaboration with other schools in their locality or with other agencies and professionals. Networks are being formed. Consequently, traditional beliefs that learning is developed only in the classroom, or only in the hands of the school principal should be replaced with the concept of extended and multi-professional practice (Devecchi and Nevin 2010; Normore).

10.1 Key Actors

Principal or Rector is the first key actor. Great schools have great administrators. The rector will need strong data that can be used for decision-making and to make the school development plan. This should be done using data gathered on the spot. It is the rector who organizes the time-table and distribute work load. However, the rector alone cannot change everything, teachers and external partners are important stakeholders. Rectors lead instruction at the school, help teacher develop instructional strategies and techniques and encourages teamwork, ensure in - service training and plan for seminars for his staff, assemble resources and distribute them to benefit the students, maintain a well - balanced staff with multiple techniques and competencies, establish goals for the school and articulate those goals with clarity, conviction and understanding (Hopkins 2005).

Teacher is a key resizing actor, great schools have great teachers. A school is a reflection of the quality of the teachers it has and transformation can only occur with good teachers. Every teacher is different and every teacher matters. Moreover, Schools cannot work in isolation. Besides the headmaster, the teacher and the student, there is also the school community i.e parents and people at large who are engaged in providing support to the school (Hopkins 2005).


Teacher leadership may be either formal or informal depending on its nature. There are many designations which can be associated with formal leadership role of teachers such as leading teachers, supervising teachers, head of departments, representatives of union, members of the school governance council, mentors and so on. Teachers responsible to assume these roles have to carry out a wide range of functions which are related to decision-making (Fullan 1993). They must support and enhance the professional growth of colleagues (Wasley, 1991) and this will automatically lead to the improvement of decision-making processes in schools (Malen et al. 1990). These leadership roles are also expected to initiate new teachers into the school, and to influence the motivation and aptitude of other teachers in a positive way in order to implement change in the school (Fullan & Hargreaves, 1991; Whitaker, 1995) as quoted by Leithwood (1998).

These formal leadership roles bring about a commitment to lifelong learning and collaboration in teachers. Teachers are expected to become self-developing and seek to develop from others. They will develop a multitude of learning styles and practice constant evaluations and reflections. They will look for learners, seek challenges and also support from others. It will definitely result in the creation of Knowledge. There will be ongoing professional development programmes and courses with true commitment to participate and learn. Teachers will be ever ready for positive changes and be up to date with the new development in both pedagogical and administrative fields. Through formal teacher leadership schools become a real learning organization (Aspinwall).

Among the advantages of teacher leadership is that teachers will be attracted to their job and be motivated to stay in the teaching profession. They will have a feeling of belongingness by believing that they are contributing to the success of both their school and students. In their studies, Louis and Kruse (1995) have shown the important role of school-level leadership in the development of a professional community. Teacher morale, efficacy, conditions of work, and professional autonomy are factors that play a very important role in the emotional lives of teachers (Hargreaves, 2000). Teachers usually prefer rectors who are honest, communicative, participatory, collegial, informal, supportive, demanding and reasonable in their expectations. They prefer rectors with a clear vision for the school and who work 'with' rather than 'through' (Day et al., 2000).

Structural change is a further requirement for effective teacher leadership. The profession should expand, invent and provide opportunities for teacher leadership. There should be a variety of choices for the teachers so that they may show their potential as teacher leaders. The organisational structure should become more flexible. The structure should allow teachers to express their leadership abilities in exploring multiple conceptions of the teacher's role such as team leader, lead teacher, teacher researcher, master teacher. Only after the realization of these objects, the school will be able to benefit from its teachers fully (Mulford 2003).

Research concluded that effective principal and teacher leaders exercise a positive influence on the schools' capacity in improving the achievement of students (Harris 2004). It stimulates professional development and thus the quality of teaching is improved. This, in turn, strongly influences the levels of motivation and achievement in students and the quality of teaching in the classroom (Fullan, 2001). According to Portin 2009a, Research showed that individual leadership has become more and more evident. The charismatic leader or 'great man/woman' leader may realize school improvement and student achievement to an extent, but is not sustainable especially when the leader leaves or is retired. This sustainability is shaped through teacher leadership. These teacher leaders produce instructional and specific conversations, develop a relationship based on trust and promote shared leadership which consequently develops in a team oriented culture (Stephenson, Dada and Harold 2012).

Teacher leadership roles are dependent mainly on the support received from rectors (Mangin, 2005). Rectors with higher levels of knowledge and experience in teacher leadership can bring about overall school improvement. Frequent and sustained interaction with the teacher leaders and their colleagues by the rector promotes support for teacher leadership (Stephenson et al., 2012).

According to Portin (2009b), When rectors create and sustain shared instructional leadership teams, they manage the distribution of expertise and support individual and collective professional learning within the teams more effectively. The teams enable the rectors to foster teacher leadership development. Moreover, the greater the teacher leaders contact with the rector, the greater the opportunities for them to influence the school agenda to promote learning improvement (Stephenson et al., 2012)

Other characteristics of effective teacher leaders include expertise in their respective field, high opinion for their own instructional skills, self-confidence and the winning the confidence of other educators, enthusiasm, readiness to try new ideas and respect for the views of others (Danielson 2008). Only teachers attuned to student learning and development were recognized as having content and pedagogy knowledge worthy of attention. Teachers' pedagogical expertise and roles can be extended by engaging them in leadership activities which is likely to permit them to share power, involve in decision making and thus endorse their role as well as their teaching profession. Teacher leaders take on greater responsibility and change from being a decision receiver to a decision maker (Stephenson et al., 2012).

Some research also pointed out some mixed results mainly due to actual facts and circumstances. For example, many ambitious initiatives establishing formal teacher leadership roles through the creation of career ladders have been left out (Hart 1995). And Hannay and Denby's (1994) study of heads of departments found that they were not very effective as facilitators of change mainly due to their lack of knowledge and skill in implementing effective change strategies. However, Duke, Showers and Imber (1980) studies showed that greater participation of teachers in school decision-