Distributed Leadership: A Panacea or Epistemic Injustice


  • Rana Khan Canadian College Kuwait




Distributed Leadership, Epistemic injustice, Testimonial Injustice, Hermeneutical Injustice & Systemic Injustice


Distributed leadership has been a topic of discussion for more than two decades now. scholars define it as a new form of leadership that is inclusive and epistemically just, as it is based on social interactions of leaders and followers rather than on their roles (Spillane and Sherer, 2004). These social interactions, however, may be constrained due to the situations in which they take place. Distributed leadership if not exercised in controlled conditions with regulated and clearly specified guidelines, may lead to marginalization and epistemic injustice. In this paper, distributed leadership has been examined and investigated with a critical lens to highlight the ensuing epistemic injustice that prevents individuals, from certain disadvantaged backgrounds, to contribute to knowledge sharing and co-creation. They are marginalized and professionally bullied into accepting unsolicited roles and responsibilities without any acknowledgement of their true worth (Hargreaves, 2008). This paper uses a personal narrative to support the claims raised in contradiction of some existing distributed leadership theories. The author examines distributed leadership critically drawing comparisons from her narrative while emphasizing on the importance of further research to establish its significance and true worth. The author concludes with a note that distributed leadership is not a panacea for all leadership problems. It needs to be strengthened in a congenial environment and culture with collective responsibility from all.