Benchmarking distributed leadership project

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This project was focussed on identifying and incorporating the findings from previous projects into an evidence-based framework for distributed leadership that will enable institutions to undertake a systematic, benchmarked evaluation of the enabling factors to allow distributed leadership to be effectively introduced. 

The  benchmarking indicators are inclusive of  the degree to which multi-functional engagement is enabled (academics/administrators/professionals from various support functions) and  the extent to which professional leadership development incorporates distributed leadership concepts (training, criteria for promotion etc).

In order to incorporate distributed leadership principles and practices in the project itself a number of activities were designed into the project approach. These include:

  • a reference group that includes leaders of several successfully completed distributed leadership funded projects.
  • a national survey offered online in a cascaded process to encourage broad participant engagement from both formal leaders and experts in learning and teaching.
  • an online community of practice of self-identified experts in learning and teaching.  Communities of practice, have been identified in the Synergy in Distributed Leadership project’s  Action Self-Evaluative Tool as contributors to the process that encourages collaborative relationships and the contribution of various forms of expertise. 

That is, the project was designed to undertake a systematic, empirical identification of the distributed leadership capacity building systems and frameworks currently employed in high education, particularly those developed from ALTC/OLT funded projects.  In particular, the project  utilised the principles, practices and actions identified in the Action Self-Enabling Reflective Tool to undertake an initial desk audit and used them to design the items  for a national survey of distributed leadership.