Adaptive leadership in school boards in Australia: An emergent model
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education
When school boards are confronted with the challenge of unfamiliar, changing contexts, opportunities and governance responsibilities, they have to be able to respond appropriately. The research reported in this paper investigated the response of five Western Australian primary school boards to such situations. It analyses interview data from 49 board members on their roles and responsibilities using elements of Heifetz' framework of adaptive leadership, and explores the implications of these findings for the boards and their leaders. The findings reinforce the importance of the leader's role in choreographing the learning of the board members, and raise questions about the effect that the composition of boards may have on their capacities for strategic thinking. The paper concludes with a model of adaptive leadership appropriate for school boards, emphasising key elements that are necessary for sustained change.