Grassroots Leadership Models: A Conceptual History of Thought and Practice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter provides a conceptual history of the practice and study of grassroots leadership. It includes an analysis of the contrasts between grassroots leaders and leaders in roles of authority. The vital role that productive nonviolent conflict has in creating social and institutional change is discussed, as is the fact that school leadership programs would benefit from an enhanced focus on an understanding of conflict. Attention is given to the importance of trust in grassroots leadership, and the notion that trust in institutions can be increased through engagement with grassroots movements and organizations. Consideration is given to the nature of power and the effects of its distribution among dominant and subdominant groups. The chapter includes an analysis of extant theories of leadership that have enjoyed the attention of researchers and practitioners in recent decades and that share qualities with grassroots leadership. Consideration is given to those elements of grassroots leadership that can be transferred to educational leadership. The chapter concludes with reflections on the path of current trends in grassroots leadership and where new directions or discontinuities might emerge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Educational Leadership and Management Discourse
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030990978
ISBN (Print)9783030990961
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Alternative leadership approaches
  • Collective action
  • Community organizing
  • Conflict
  • Confrontation
  • Equity
  • Grassroots leadership
  • Inclusive leadership
  • Leadership development
  • Social activism
  • Social justice
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Social Sciences


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