Meeting the Challenges of Hierarchy Through District Leadership

  • Bruce Sheppard
  • Jean Brown
  • David Dibbon
Part of the Studies In Educational Leadership book series (SIEL, volume 8)


School districts tend to operate as traditional hierarchical bureaucracies that are highly resistant to collaborative leadership and processes necessary for organizational learning. The literature review and this district case study reveal that, paradoxically, it is only by accepting this reality that school districts can move toward more collaborative leadership. It is this inherent paradox of working within the norms of hierarchy while altering the organizational structures to support collaborative leadership and organizational learning that poses great difficulty for formal leaders. It is risky, complex work. This case study also reveals the risk in doing collaborative research as a critical friend and the effects in a school district when an academic researcher returns to practice.


School District Organizational Learning Labor Relation School Board School Reform 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Sheppard
    • 1
  • Jean Brown
    • 1
  • David Dibbon
    • 1
  1. 1.Fac. Education Prince Philip DriveMemorial UniversitySt. John’sCanada

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