Purpose – The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between four patterns of distributed leadership and a modified version of a variable Hoy et al. have labeled “teachers' academic optimism.” The distributed leadership patterns reflect the extent to which the performance of leadership functions is consciously aligned across the sources of leadership, and the degree to which the approach is either planned or spontaneous. Design/methodology/approach – Data for the study were the responses of 1,640 elementary and secondary teachers in one Ontario school district to two forms of an online survey, xx items in form 1 and yy items in form 2. Two forms were used to reduce the response time required for completion and each form measured both overlapping and separate variables. Findings – The paper finds that high levels of academic optimism were positively and significantly associated with planned approaches to leadership distribution, and conversely, low levels of academic optimism were negatively and significantly associated with unplanned and unaligned approaches to leadership distribution. Originality/value – This study provides as‐yet rare empirical evidence about the relationship between distributed leadership and other important school characteristics. It also adds support to arguments for the value of more coordinated forms of leadership distribution.
Journal of Educational Administration – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 21, 2008
Keywords: Distributive control; Leadership; Teachers; Trust; Individual behaviour