Zombie Notions of Leadership

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Educational leadership in the United States has borrowed from many fields and engaged multiple paradigms. Throughout American history, government and business have had a unique, direct, and lasting impact on public school operations. Government domination and the resulting excessive compliance of recent years have created a seismic shift in this relationship and lead to leadership stagnation. Additionally, business has become a direct competitor in the form of private charter organizations and further strengthened its influence on instruction and operations through mandates to employ research-based and market-ready deliverables. Schools and their leaders have been increasingly forced into a continuing compliance reality. It has become safer for many to abandon who they set out to be as a leader in favor of adopting “experienced” leadership styles, whether they are even effective or right for the times. This chapter embraces the helplessness and resulting lifelessness promoted through excessive standardization. It examines the continuing reanimation of outlived leadership styles that likely continue to exist today primarily because of the stagnation fostered by outside intrusions into schools. Organized as a “top-ten” list, the chapter considers multiple outlived administrative styles. It delves into the underlying weaknesses of the individual expired leadership styles and then addresses implications, including why their failure to expire peacefully is less than desirable for leadership realities we face today and can expect in the future.

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


  • Compliance
  • Conflict
  • Connoisseurship
  • Discrimination
  • Equity
  • Leadership training
  • Outdated leadership
  • Stagnation
  • Standardization
  • Status quo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Social Sciences


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