Developing Leadership Capacity in Others: An Examination of High School Principals' Personal Capacities for Fostering Leadership


  • Kristin Shawn Huggins Washington State University



distributed leadership, leadership development, principals, capacity


In this multisite case study, we examine the personal capacities of six high school principals who have developed the leadership capacities of other leaders in their respective schools. Participants were purposefully selected by two teams of researchers in two states of the United States, one on the east coast and one on the west coast, who engaged their professional networks of current and former educational leaders to obtain recommendations of high school principals known to develop the leadership capacities of formal and informal leaders in their schools. The findings indicate that the principals possessed a strong commitment to developing leadership capacity, understood leadership development as a process and tolerated risk. This study adds to the rapidly growing corpus of literature focused on distributed leaders by illustrating the complexities of developing leadership capacity in an attempt to increase organizational leadership capacity, and by highlighting the relevant characteristics of principals who have intentionally sought to do so.

Author Biography

Kristin Shawn Huggins, Washington State University

Kristin Shawn Huggins is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Sport Studies, and Educational/Counseling Psychology. Her work focuses on distributed leadership, leadership development, and professional learning.




How to Cite

Huggins, K. S. (2017). Developing Leadership Capacity in Others: An Examination of High School Principals’ Personal Capacities for Fostering Leadership. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 12(1).

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