More Leaders: Dissipated or Distributed Leadership?

  • Ciaran Sugrue
Part of the Studies in Educational Leadership book series (SIEL, volume 20)


As the principal’s role has become more complex and complicated, there has been increasing advocacy for ‘teacher’ and ‘distributed’ leadership by policy advocates and some researchers. Against this international backdrop, this chapter focuses on how principals re-negotiate leadership responsibilities in a context where new management structures have been created at the national level, while internal school dynamics vary considerably. It deals with how principals re-negotiate leadership responsibilities amidst a changing school dynamic where policy rhetoric advocates a ‘distributed’ leadership role while legal requirements and more practical considerations constrain the enabling of colleagues to take on responsibility for leadership in a collaborative manner. The chapter provides further testimony that school culture and traditions, the inter-personal skills and leadership capital of the principal are critical in terms of the extent to which tinkering with existing provision rather than systematically building sustainable leadership capacity within schools continues to be a work in progress.


Middle Management Leadership Responsibility Staff Meeting Post Holder Shared Leadership 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ciaran Sugrue
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity College DublinBelfield, DublinIreland

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