Implementing and investigating distributed leadership in a national university network – SaMnet

Manjula D. Sharma, Will Rifkin, Vicky Tzioumis, Matthew Hill, Elizabeth Johnson, Cristina Varsavsky, Susan Jones, Stephanie Beames, Andrea Crampton, Marjan Zadnik, Simon Pyke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The literature suggests that collaborative approaches to leadership, such as distributed leadership, are essential for supporting educational innovators in leading change in teaching in universities. This paper briefly describes the array of activities, processes and resources to support distributed leadership in the implementation of a network, the Science and Mathematics Network of Australian University Educators – SaMnet. The research study investigated participating educational innovators’ experiences of distributed leadership using a mixed method approach after 2 years of immersion in SaMnet. Fifty innovators from 100 were surveyed and data analysed to obtain influences of the teams, the institution and SaMnet. Focus groups were used to extract rich descriptions of the experiences of the innovators. The study suggests that distributed leadership as the approach underpinning SaMnet cultivated leadership helping to complement team and institutional influences in a measurable way and to support educational innovators in leading change in university science and mathematics teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Collaborative approaches to leadership
  • communities of practice
  • distributed leadership
  • networks for building capacity
  • science and mathematics education

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