Higher Education

, 58:763

Improving leadership in Higher Education institutions: a distributed perspective


    • Human Resources DivisionThe Open University
  • Patrick C. Nelson
    • Human Resources DivisionThe Open University
  • Jon Billsberry
    • Faculty for Business, Environment and SocietyCoventry University
  • Nathalie van Meurs
    • Middlesex University Business School

DOI: 10.1007/s10734-009-9224-y

Cite this article as:
van Ameijde, J.D.J., Nelson, P.C., Billsberry, J. et al. High Educ (2009) 58: 763. doi:10.1007/s10734-009-9224-y


This paper reports on a qualitative study exploring how distributed patterns of leadership manifest themselves in project teams within a Higher Education institution. The emphasis is on both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of distributed leadership, thus providing an account of the nature of distributed leadership in higher education and the factors which were found to enhance and inhibit its occurrence and effectiveness. The findings are presented in a model of distributed leadership which seeks to provide an integrative account and a framework for further study. The conclusions focus on both the theoretical implications for the study of distributed leadership and the practical implications for HE institutions wishing to promote effective leadership.


LeadershipDistributedProject teamsHigher educationQualitative

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009