Functional and Visionary Leadership in Self-Managing Virtual Teams

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

(Submitted)

Abstract:

<p>In this conceptual article, we present a theory of leadership in self-managing virtual teams. We describe leadership in this setting as a process that results in the creation, reinforcement and evolution of shared mental models and shared norms that influence team member behaviour towards the successful accomplishment of shared goals. We distinguish two types of leadership. We identify leadership that works within and reinforces existing models and norms to influence team contributions as “functional” leadership. We identify leadership that results in changes in models and norms as “visionary” leadership, a subtype of transformational leadership. We propose that effective self-managing virtual teams will exhibit a paradoxical combination of shared, distributed functional leadership complemented by strong, concentrated and centralized visionary leadership and that visionary leadership is enabled by functional leadership in the form of substantive team member contributions.</p>

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