Resources                                                         Page 43


Resource Bank



Shared Leadership
A recent doctoral dissertation completed at University of Northern Iowa studied the effects of shared superintendencies as a way of dealing with declining enrollment and diminishing resources.

Roark Horn interviewed four leaders involved in two shared superintendencies to inquire about motives for the decision to share superintendents and the impact on the roles of district leaders.

Horn drew the following conclusions: (1) The impact of a district’s decision to share a superintendent can be positive on the leaders of both districts; (2) the challenges of the past to district leadership in a shared superintendent environment have been addressed; (3) shared superintendent arrangements can be long-lasting when the motivation to share extends beyond the financial; (4) the shared superintendent arrangement does not have to impede the superintendent in his or her role as an instructional leader and can promote work as a manager; (5) a shared superintendent arrangement is recommended for consideration with certain job-specific caveats; and (6) specific abilities and skills are necessary for the success of a shared superintendent arrangement.

Copies of “Shared Superintendency in Iowa: An Investigation of Organizational Perceptions of Leaders in Districts that Employ a Shared Superintendent” can be ordered from ProQuest at 800-521-0600 or

Outperforming Districts
An interpretive qualitative study at University of Connecticut explored selected practices of four superintendents whose school districts outperformed demographically similar districts.

In her recently completed dissertation for the Ed.D., Mary Broderick obtained data through interviews with the four superintendents, interviews with three direct reports to each superintendent, observation of an administrative meeting in each district and review of public domain documents and articles.

Broderick found each leader monitored environmental trends strategically, articulated and gained support for a clear vision, fostered work-group cohesiveness and commitment to a collective purpose, demonstrated caring about the personal and professional growth of followers and encouraged openness to innovation. The approaches of the superintendent carrying out these practices varied to reflect the environments and contexts within which their districts operated.

Implications for practice include suggestions to (a) inform the growth and effectiveness of superintendents to position their districts for success; (b) make teachers and parents aware of the importance of these practices; and (c) ensure boards of education are considering these practices both in their own work and in their hiring of superintendents.

Copies of “Superintendent Practices in School Districts Outperforming Demographically Similar Districts” can be ordered from ProQuest at 800-521-0600 or



If you aren’t making it to AASA’s 2012 national conference in Houston, you can read about what’s happening in the coverage of the association’s Conference Daily Online (

The web-based publication is carrying summaries of the major presentations and award announcements along with blog postings from a handful of member superintendents participating in the conference and a daily photo gallery of the activities.

A full list of the firms that make up AASA's School Solutions Center is available at


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