Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Distributed leadership
professional learning communities
teacher leaders
Issue Date: 
Ho, J., Ong, M., & Tan, L. S. (2020). Leadership of professional learning communities in Singapore schools: The tight loose balance. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 48(4), 635-650.
Purpose: This paper presents a study on how professional learning communities (PLC) are developed in an Asian setting, and the nature of leadership that helped to cultivate and sustain PLC in such a context. Research Method: The study adopted a sequential mixed method, starting with a survey followed by qualitative case studies, involving focused group discussions and interviews. This paper focuses on findings derived from the qualitative data, triangulated with the survey data. Findings: The study raises questions about common assumptions regarding PLC, and shares how Singapore’s unique cultural context mediates and filters western notion of PLC and of shared leadership for PLC. The study suggests that leadership for PLC requires a centralised decentralisation approach, which provides clarity and alignment through strategic direction and supporting structures, while simultaneously enabling the distribution of leadership to teachers. The paper also
explicates the tensions that arise due to the need to balance a tight loose approach, and suggests how organisational and inquiry structures can both enable and constrain the distribution of leadership in a PLC
setting. Implications: Findings from the study has implications for policy makers and leaders in schools who are steering PLC initiatives.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Educational Management Administration & Leadership. The published version is available online at
Other Identifiers: 
Related URI: 
Related Source: 
The dataset for this journal article is available in the NIE Data Repository at
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
EMAL-48-4-635.pdf319.21 kBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on Sep 28, 2020


checked on Sep 28, 2020

Google ScholarTM



Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.