Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Ron Childress

Second Advisor

Michael Cunningham

Third Advisor

Lisa A. Heaton

Fourth Advisor

Mary Lu MacCorkle


The study explored the implementation and effectiveness of distributed leadership as perceived by school administrators in selected schools in southern West Virginia. The data for the study were collected via survey and semi-structured interviews. Ninety-three building level administrators responded to the survey and eleven central office administrators were interviewed.

Generally, building level administrators described the level of implementation of distributed leadership components as partial or above partial. They also described effectiveness levels of distributed leadership components to positively influence student learning as some of the time to most of the time. Statistically significant differences were found for a limited number of levels of implementation and effectiveness of distributed leadership components based on respondents’ teaching/student support experience, overall administrative experience, administrative experience in their current schools, student enrollment, or sex. Building administrators identified the lack of time for collaboration and professional development as challenges to effective leadership distribution and commented that more time to work together and learn more about distributed leadership would facilitate the distributed leadership framework development in schools.

Study findings provide a baseline for assessing the leadership distribution framework in RESA I schools in West Virginia. The findings also offer information to the central office and state level administrators in West Virginia on how levels of distributed leadership implementation and effectiveness on student learning may substantially contribute to the development of sustainable school improvement process.


School management and organization -- West Virginia.

Educational leadership -- West Virginia.