Action research cycles

The action research approach provided the flexibility required for working across institutions, allowed for continuous cycles of improvement over a two-year period, and enabled a cascading input of ideas from universities that have undertaken trials of distributed leadership for leadership capacity-building. Through this cyclic approach, the benchmarks for distributed leadership were designed, developed, validated and refined. The process also incorporated the collaboration and collegiality inherent in distributed leadership principles and practices. It also enabled the use of a variety of university contexts (the project membership covered three universities, while the national survey invited input from all Australian universities). This process encouraged collaborative relationships to develop between participants who have undertaken change associated with distributed leadership. The evaluating distributed leadership project proceeded through four action research cycles.