Toward A Conceptualization of Democratic Leadership in a Professional Context



school, culture, professional leadership, democratic leadership


In this article, an argument is advanced with a view to establishing the central principles and premises upon which democratic leadership in school contexts is based. These principles are derived from the findings of a study on the professional leadership culture of one school conducted by this author. The initial study was a qualitative case study that examined, through Schein’s (2010) organizational culture and leadership model, the perceptions of school-level professionals regarding the nature of their professional leadership culture. Numerous findings with rich implications for democratic leadership in professional contexts emerged from the study. Based on these findings, I propose a conceptualization of democratic leadership and suggest ten strategies for its use in school contexts. Finally, I examine possibilities for the development of democratic leadership capacity in school contexts. 


Author Biography

Rob Liggett

Dr. Liggett has been a bilingual educator in western Canada for over 20 years. He has recently completed his doctoral studies in the department of education administration at the University of Saskatchewan. He has worked in rural and urban school systems and is a regular presenter at scholarly conferences in educational leadership as well as a sessional lecturer at the university level on leadership culture and leadership in administration. He has worked as a facilitator of curricula, instruction, and administration at the local, division, and ministry levels. His research interests are in the areas of organizational theory, educational leadership, administration, instructional improvement.


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