|dc.description.abstract||The COVID-19 pandemic caused worldwide disruption, including the closure of public
schools in the United States. This dissertation introduces a conceptual framework of complex
leadership, based on complexity leadership theory, to understand the decision-making process of
traditional leadership positions. The framework identifies five leadership functions: generative,
administrative, community building, information gathering, and information using. These
functions interact within a closed complex adaptive system, facilitating emergence,
self-organization, and adaptation.
Applying this framework to education during the pandemic, the study reveals that the
education system operates as a complex adaptive system, with leadership events occurring in a
chaotic environment. The closure of schools and the shift to virtual learning created uncertainty
and disagreements among stakeholders, exacerbated by internet access issues and insufficient
training. The formation of groups, called aggregates, was influenced by shared experiences and
connections. High staff turnover and organizational issues hindered the formation of strong
relationships among teachers.
The study finds that the GMS school operated in a state of chaos during the pandemic.
Aggregates formed to address challenges and find solutions. The study examines the
administrative, generative, and community building functions of complex leadership and
highlights the importance of building meaningful relationships, balancing generative and
administrative functions, and supporting communication.
The study concludes that complex leadership theory is applicable to chaotic educational
environments during the pandemic. It suggests further research to intentionally implement the
theory and explore relationships and emergent leadership events in other educational contexts. Additionally, the formation of aggregates and their response to the administrative function should be studied from an insider's perspective.||en_US