Leadership in a flattened organization: conditions for creating sustained collective efficacy
Master of Education
Leadership and student achievement
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This portfolio aims to determine the characteristics or traits that are required to lead system-wide educational change, specifically, a flattening of the traditional hierarchal structure in a school board. Through a review of leadership literature, data gathering through interviews and observations, and sharing in the narrative of a change process, specific leadership competencies emerge as necessary in order to initiate this type of change. I create an implementation guide for achieving an organizational transformation as experienced by a school board, located in northwestern Ontario. Over the course of four years, the board moved toward a different model of leadership, which resulted in an organization with greater transparency and a situation in which staff at every level are empowered and feel that their voice impacts the decision-making processes. This portfolio documents the journey of this board, and outlines the change processes used to redesign the leadership and decision-making structure within the board. Findings from the initial efficacy assessment provide a baseline context and insights from the data collected in the Year Three Study, validate and describe the shift in the culture of the board. The literature on leadership styles is used to examine the way the board has moved from a hierarchal model of leadership to one where the organization has been “flattened.” This results in a practical guide aimed at assisting other districts wishing to make such a shift while also presenting cautions related to this type of work.
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