Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




distributed leadership, international education, adaptive leadership, situational leadership, Lewin’s stage model, Duck’s five-stage change curve


This Organizational Improvement Plan explores trust, leadership, and power at True North Academy (a pseudonym), a Canadian-themed international school in Asia. The Problem of Practice (PoP) recognizes a gap between the school’s current collaborative practices and its aspirations being a cutting-edge learning organization. Recent events, especially the global pandemic, have highlighted the school’s reliance on traditional hierarchies and top-down decision-making. Unpopular decisions made without staff input have damaged teacher trust in the leadership, raised concerns of a staff exodus, and stalled ongoing improvement of school programmes. Within a theoretical framework of social constructivism, a plan is proposed to address the challenges posed by declining trust and the power gap by exploring alternate approaches to decision-making within the senior school. Using a hybrid of Lewin’s stage change model and Duck’s five-stage change curve, the role of middle leaders will be broadened, empowering them as members of a more robust leadership team and in their interactions with their own followers. The solution described in this OIP is for middle leaders to build capacity by engaging in an ongoing Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle in which they learn to work together effectively and model distributive leadership practices within their own professional teams. Supporting middle leaders in redefining their own roles will draw upon the principles of adaptive and situational approaches that focus on their individual readiness, capacity, and emotional needs to ensure a positive transition into a more dynamic and inclusive vision of school leadership.