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Synergistic Leadership Theory

This Instructional Module was written and published by Nancy Leonard and Asia Jones, doctoral students from Virginia Tech, and is a chapter in a larger collection entitled, 21st Century Theories of Educational Administration. This Collection is a series of modules written by Virginia Tech Doctoral students in Summer 2009. Professors, Practitioners, and Graduate Students of Educational Administration are granted full rights to use for educational purposes.

The National Council of Professors of Educational Administration has reviewed and accepted this Instructional Module for inclusion in the International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation (IJELP), the official publication of the NCPEA Connexions Project and is catalogued under Instructional Modules and Education Material. In addition, the instructional module has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education’s Educational Resource Information Center (ERIC).


Synergistic Leadership Theory (SLT) is a 21 st century leadership theory that provides a framework to examine and reflect on the feminine voice in educational leadership (Irby, Brown,&Yang, 2009). This theory gives consideration to the necessity of the alignment and harmony of four interconnected elements of leadership. These elements include: (a) organizational structure, (b) leadership behaviors, (c) external forces, and (d) beliefs, attitudes and values. Figure 1. depicts the SLT’s four equal and interactive factors which are identified by four stellar points with six interaction pairs. This model can be rotated on any apex and still maintain its shape, thereby indicating no structural hierarchy or linear connotation, rather, suggesting that each factor equally affects the success of the leader in context, as well as the organization (Irby et al.). Being a holistic leadership theory, SLT integrates these external forces which lend to the perception of a leader’s success and effectiveness. It is unique from other leadership theories because it is gender inclusive and acknowledges that women bring leadership behaviors differing from traditional male leadership behaviors (Irby, Brown, Duffy,&Trautman, 2002). Additionally, acknowledging the presence of external forces that drive educational leaders to collaborate and strategize makes SLT unique from other leadership theories.

Definitions of terms

Gender Inclusive: Operationally defined as the acknowledgment of the female perspective and experiences in conjunction with the leadership attributes inherent to both males and females (Irby, Brown, Yang, 2009).

Attitudes, Beliefs, and Values: Operationally defined as foundations for the guiding principles that influence leadership behavior as demonstrated through actions (Irby, Brown, Yang, 2009).

Leadership Behavior: Operationally defined as behaviors which are characteristic of both male and females in leadership positions and may range from autocratic to nurturer (Irby, Brown, Yang, 2009).

Organizational Structure: Operationally defined as the characteristics of an organization and may range from a collaborative feminist style structure to a tightly bureaucratic structure (Irby, Brown, Yang, 2009).

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, 21st century theories of education administration. OpenStax CNX. Jul 08, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10727/1.1
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