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Distributed leadership as fashion or fad

Distributed leadership as fashion or fad
Distributed leadership as fashion or fad
Despite frequently expressed reservations concerning its fundamental theoretical weakness, distributed leadership (DL) has grown to become the preferred leadership concept and has acquired taken-for-granted status. This article suggests that the dominance of DL can best be understood as a fashion or fad rather than as a rational choice. It explores the techniques used to privilege DL, where not only logical but also emotional and moral arguments have been brought to bear. It is suggested that ongoing hybridisation of distributed leadership theory serves to deflect criticism, rather as a virus continues to evade attack by changing its form. The article also argues that focusing on distributed leadership is a displacement activity, drawing people's attention away from the core purpose of leadership, which is to address the persistent inequality of chances that children experience in school.
0892-0206
161-167
Lumby, Jacky
83299e7c-1819-47aa-8971-76f4a7a62bb5
Lumby, Jacky
83299e7c-1819-47aa-8971-76f4a7a62bb5

Lumby, Jacky (2016) Distributed leadership as fashion or fad. Management in Education, 30 (4), 161-167. (doi:10.1177/0892020616665065).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Despite frequently expressed reservations concerning its fundamental theoretical weakness, distributed leadership (DL) has grown to become the preferred leadership concept and has acquired taken-for-granted status. This article suggests that the dominance of DL can best be understood as a fashion or fad rather than as a rational choice. It explores the techniques used to privilege DL, where not only logical but also emotional and moral arguments have been brought to bear. It is suggested that ongoing hybridisation of distributed leadership theory serves to deflect criticism, rather as a virus continues to evade attack by changing its form. The article also argues that focusing on distributed leadership is a displacement activity, drawing people's attention away from the core purpose of leadership, which is to address the persistent inequality of chances that children experience in school.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 July 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 September 2016
Published date: October 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 405122
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/405122
ISSN: 0892-0206
PURE UUID: 980b5150-6932-46c2-8782-fa2783a0602d
ORCID for Jacky Lumby: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7774-9827

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Date deposited: 27 Jan 2017 11:15
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:58

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Author: Jacky Lumby ORCID iD

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